Online Campus News You Can Use – May 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 upcoming software updates, course review deadlines, and resources to support your teaching practice.

Hot Topics

Career Essentials Assessment

If you haven’t done so already, make sure that you set up and facilitate a Career Essentials Assessment in your spring sections to assess student attainment of the college’s Career Essential core abilities. A brief recorded webinar that explains this process is available here. If you have questions about this process, faculty support liaisons are available for consultation.

Submitting Final Grades through Blackboard and Checking Grades in Self-Service

Spring term final grades for 16, 12, and 8 week courses are due Tuesday, May 24, 2022, by 5:00 PM CDT.  Faculty may submit final grades to Self-Service through Blackboard’s ILP Integration tool. You may confirm that final grades are present in Self-Service through these instructions

A Gentle Reminder – Update Your Syllabi for Summer and Fall Term

All faculty must provide an up-to-date digital copy of a syllabus to students in each course section in Blackboard. Please make sure that you are using the Center for Teaching Excellence’s updated syllabi templates when preparing your syllabi for the upcoming summer and fall terms. The Center for Teaching Excellence maintains and updates these templates through Google Docs to ensure that you will always have the latest available version. You may download a template as a Word File or copy a template into Google Docs for customization.

New Course Development Process and Review Deadlines

Per the Curriculum Department’s New Course Development Procedure, faculty who are tasked with developing a new course must develop it in a department master shell according to the criteria defined in the New Course Development Rubric. Once the faculty completes the master shell, the faculty member contacts the Online Learning Department to coordinate quality review of the shell. The Online Learning Department accepts requests for New Course Development Reviews during the regular Fall and Spring semesters. Course review requests will not be accepted two weeks before the end of fall or spring semester, during college breaks, or summer semester.  Accepted course review requests will be processed within two business weeks.

Important Blackboard and Collaborate Ultra Updates

Faculty and students will see the following updates to tools and settings in Blackboard. We strongly encourage faculty to share their feedback with Blackboard by joining the Blackboard Community and using the Product Feedback form. Many of Blackboard’s features and improvements come from the direct feedback shared through the community.

Collaborate Ultra New Feature – Session Engagement Insights Panel

In the April 2022 Collaborate Ultra update, Blackboard added a Session Engagement Insights Panel to show moderators how participants are engaging in a live session. This panel will display metrics describing the number of hands raised and the number of chat messages sent. Moderators may collapse this panel by clicking on the panel’s x icon in the bottom left corner of the screen. When the panel is collapsed, a clickable icon will appear over the instructor’s thumbnail for later access. The Session Engagement Insights Panel and icon are only visible to the moderator of the session.

Summer and Fall Section Availability in Blackboard

The Summer 2022 (SU2023) sections began their migration to Blackboard on April 18, 2022. Once Course Scheduling assigns an instructor to a summer section in Colleague, an automated process will make the section available to the instructor in Blackboard within 24-hours. 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.

2018 Section Deletion Coming in May 2022

As a part of regular maintenance, Blackboard Client Support will delete semester sections from terms SU2018, FA2018, and SP2018 from Blackboard starting on May 1, 2022. This maintenance is a necessary part of improving Blackboard’s performance and staying within our contracted storage limits. 

Third-Party Tool Updates

On May 26th, 2022, Blackboard will update its Labster, LabSim TestOut, Pearson, and Wiley integrations in order to take advantage of LTI 1.3 Advantage performance and security improvements. Delay integrating these tools with your summer and fall sections until after May 26th so that the transition to their newer versions is smooth. The way that faculty will  incorporate these tools in their summer and 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 about each tool’s LTI 1.3 Advantage integration with Blackboard.

When using third-party courseware in online courses, faculty must still demonstrate regular and substantive interaction in Blackboard to support student success. Consult our guide to creating a course communications plan towards this end.

Blackboard Support and Training

Faculty liaisons are your first point of contact for Blackboard how-to questions and instructional support. See the Faculty Liaison Schedule for their availability to meet online for consultations. For high-level troubleshooting/errors, contact onlinelearning@matc.edu.

Upcoming Blackboard Webinars

Faculty are welcome to join webinars provided through Blackboard’s Instructor Webinar Series to learn more about best practices in online instruction and using educational technologies. Register to attend a live session or be sent a recording to your email address. Recordings of previous sessions are available here.

Session TopicDate/Time
Blackboard Collaborate BasicsTuesday May 3, at 9:00 AM CDT – Register Here
Guide to Building Mobile ContentThursday May 18, at 10:00 AM CDT – Register Here
Q&A with Experts: Blackboard Learn OriginalFriday May 19, at 10:00 AM CDT – Register Here

Blackboard Training Courses

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-197-400VIRTSaturdays May 28th and June 4th, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM CDT
with an 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. 

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

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