Online Campus News You Can Use – July 2022

Blackboard Online Campus News You Can Use

Welcome to Online Campus News You Can Use, your brief monthly newsletter to help you promote student success through MATC’s online learning environment, Blackboard Learn. In this edition, we share news about updates to Blackboard and resources to support your teaching practice.

Hot Topics

Submit Grades through Self-Service this Summer

To ensure that grades are submitted on time and with accuracy, faculty can submit final grades in Self-Service directly through these instructions. The Ellucian’s ILP Integration grade submittal tool in Blackboard will be undergoing a maintenance update this summer to address a technical issue.

Fall Section Availability in Blackboard

The Fall 2022 (FA2023) sections will begin their migration to Blackboard by July 15, 2022. Faculty may request a personal master shell to prepare instructional content for a course while they wait for a section to be assigned. Preparing content in a personal master is time efficient and protects content from the impact of scheduling changes. Faculty may transfer the content of a personal master to a semester section through the archive and import processes.

Online Learning Department – Summer Contacts

The Online Learning Team’s offices in M336 and M338 are temporarily closed for construction until August. The Online Learning staff are working remotely and will be available online for consultation – contact us at onlinelearning@matc.edu to request support or to arrange a web meeting. The Dean (and her assistant Paul Aceto) will be located in M244 and will be on campus up to 3 days per week. Faculty who need high-level assistance with Blackboard during the summer semester should contact the Online Learning Department. Faculty liaison support availability will resume in the fall semester.

Get the Journal of Faculty Development for Only $50!

The Journal of Faculty Development publishes research and scholarship on innovation in faculty development that is relevant for administrators, faculty members, and faculty development professionals. The focus of this independent, peer-reviewed scholarly journal is on faculty development in post-secondary educational institutions. It provides support for educators and administrators seeking research studies (utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies) that further explore theory and philosophies related to faculty development. Click here and use coupon code JFD19 to purchase your one-year subscription for only $50 (online OR print option).

Optimize Announcements to Help Online Students Navigate the Course

In this MAGNA Pubs Teaching Professor article written by Nathan Pritts from the University of Arizona Global Campus, you may learn “how comprehensive communication, grounded in pedagogy, can enhance learning even through simple tools such as course announcements”. To access this publication for free, see the Center for Teaching Excellence’s instructions.

Important Blackboard Updates

SafeAssign Maintenance Downtime – July 19th

Blackboard’s SafeAssign servers will be offline for maintenance from Tuesday, July 19th, 12:00 AM to 4 AM CST. Assignment submissions will be queued until SafeAssign is back online. During this time, the Direct Submit feature will also be offline.  When creating a new Assignment during this time, the option to check submissions for plagiarism will not apply if selected. In this specific use case, the instructor will have to edit the settings of such an Assignment after the maintenance window is over and re-enable the “Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign” option.

Publisher Integration Tool Updates – August 3rd

On August 3rd, Blackboard will update its McGraw Hill Connect and Pearson integrations in order to take advantage of LTI 1.3 Advantage performance and security improvements. Delay integrating these tools with your fall sections until after August 3rd so that the transition to their newer versions is smooth. The way that faculty will incorporate these tools in their fall courses will be different; these tools will appear under the “Build Content” menu within content areas. Refer to the following resources and the vendor’s technical support to learn more. 

When using publisher-integrated materials in online courses, instructors must demonstrate regular and substantive interaction with students. Please see the Course Communication Plan Tutorial for ideas.

Faculty and Students – Use the YuJa Video Platform to Host Video Files!

Faculty should no longer upload video and audio files directly to Blackboard as file attachments, as this means of sharing lacks closed captioning and adds strain to Blackboard’s contractual storage limits. Upload video and audio files to the YuJa Video Platform to ensure that videos are closed captioned per college requirements. Videos in YuJa can be shared with students in Blackboard as links or embedded videos, ensuring ease of access.

In support of mobile learning and assessment, students may install the YuJa app on a mobile device to record a video and share the video in an assignment submission.

Because Blackboard eventually deletes Collaborate Ultra recordings within one year of creation, we strongly advise faculty who want to preserve a recorded session by downloading the recording’s video file and uploading it to YuJa through these instructions.

Blackboard’s Maximum Individual File Upload Size Limit is 2.5 GB

Faculty and students can upload individual files or documents up to 2.5 GB (2500 MB) in size in Blackboard. Files that exceed this limit will bring about an Upload Error pop-up message that advises the user to share the file through cloud storage solutions, such as Google Drive or the YuJa Video Platform. This new feature is meant to improve the user experience, as large files are oftentimes difficult for students to access and can pose additional technical challenges to the system.

This file size limit warning does not apply to course package import or copy requests. However, attempting to import archive or export package files in excess of 2.5 GB may bring about technical issues or errors. As a best practice, we recommend reviewing a course’s Content Collection to remove any duplicate or unused files to bring a course’s estimated file size down.

Blackboard Training Courses

Faculty may learn how to use Blackboard tools for teaching and learning online. Register for classes online in Self-Service. See this video for more information. Additional information is available in our Summer 2022 Schedule.

CourseDelivery ModeDate/Time
SU2023-ZERD-199-400ONLINESundays 7/10/22 – 7/31/22
SU2023-ZERD-197-401VIRTUALMonday/Thursday 8/8/2022 – 8/15/20225:00 PM – 7:30 PM with additional 8 hrs of coursework required

Student Online Blackboard Orientation Schedule

Students whose courses will be delivered in an online format this semester are advised to attend a Student Blackboard Orientation Webinar through Collaborate Ultra. Sessions will be offered throughout the month and additional sessions will be planned for the future. 

Online Readiness Module

Encourage students who are new to online learning to review our excellent Online Readiness module for a quick orientation to study skills, time management, and navigating tools commonly used in online learning.  ​Students may this great resource by logging in​to www.go2orientation.com/matc​ with their MATC network account and clicking on the Online Readiness link to begin viewing its contents. Students who complete the module receive a certificate of completion at their MATC email address; students may also download their certificate of completion from the module itself.

Educational Technology Resources

The following tools are available to support remote teaching and learning in Blackboard. If you have questions about using these technologies, please contact onlinelearning@matc.edu.

Chromebook Resources

Faculty and students who are new to using Chromebooks may find these resources helpful.

Resources to Support Online Instruction

Faculty Support 

Student Support


Published by the Department of Online Learning

Website: edtechnews.matc.edu   Email:  onlinelearning@matc.edu

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