Online Campus News You Can Use – September 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. If you have any questions about processes or tools mentioned here, contact

Important Blackboard Updates

Uploading Syllabi in Blackboard and Best Practices for the Start of the Semester

Per the Faculty Appendix, all faculty are required to upload a current syllabus to the “Syllabus” area in their Blackboard sections and make their sections available to students. Consistency in location ensures that students can easily locate syllabi and that the college’s analytic reports correctly count the presence of syllabi in active sections.

The preferred method of moving content from one course to another is by importing an archive file. This ensures a complete transfer of content to the new course and it processes faster than Course Copy.  See these resources. 

The Higher Learning Commission and the US Department of Education require online courses to demonstrate regular and substantive interactions initiated by an instructor to support student success.  Faculty who teach online may create and follow a course communication plan towards this end.

Emails Sent from Blackboard Communication Tools

Sometimes Gmail‘s security feature sorts messages sent from the following valid Blackboard communication tool addresses to spam or marks them as suspicious:; If you see student messages in your Gmail inbox marked as spam or being suspicious, mark the messages as “not spam” or “looks safe” so that these messages sort to your inbox going forwards.

Screenshot example of a Gmail warning regarding external account
If you believe that you did not receive an email sent from the Blackboard system, see these troubleshooting steps. If you have further questions about your MATC Gmail, see this resource and contact the Help Desk at

McGraw Hill Connect & Pearson Integration Updates

As mentioned in the July and August email newsletters, Blackboard updated the McGraw Hill Connect and Pearson MyLab & Mastering/Pearson Revel integrations in early August to improve their performance and security. The way that faculty will incorporate these tools in their fall sections will be different. Refer to the linked resources above and your vendor’s technical support to learn more. 

Blackboard Course Shell Deletion Coming October 2022

On October 1, 2022, Blackboard Client Support will permanently delete semester course sections from past terms SU2019, FA2019, and SP2019. Course shells from these terms will not be available for faculty or student access in Blackboard after this date. This annual maintenance helps ensure Blackboard’s continued availability and smooth performance. Thank you for your continued cooperation.

If you have not already done so as a part of the regular end of semester course process, download files from these semester shells for your records before 5:00 PM CST October 1st 2022!

Collaborate Ultra Recording Maintenance Coming January 2023

In January 2023, Blackboard Client Support will permanently delete recordings of Collaborate Ultra sessions created before January 3rd, 2022. This means that links to Collaborate Ultra recordings created before January 3rd, 2022 will break and their recordings will not be available for viewing unless you take action NOW to prevent their loss! This annual maintenance helps ensure the Collaborate Ultra platform’s availability per the vendor’s contracted storage limits. 

To preserve recordings eligible for deletion, you have until 5:00 PM CDT on January 3rd, 2023 to move Collaborate Ultra recordings to the YuJa Video Platform!  If you are unsure about the process contact and view the following videos: Downloading a Collaborate Ultra Video | Uploading a Video to the YuJa Video Platform

Blackboard Ally – Coming Soon!

In October 2022, Blackboard Ally will become available for faculty to enhance the accessibility and inclusivity of course content. All students benefit from improved accessibility of documents, images, text, and tables. Ally provides instructors with guidance on how to correct accessibility issues with digital course content and provides students with automated options to download alternative versions of files. Alternative versions of files can include electronic braille, speech-to-text MP3 audio, and an immersive reader for easier on-screen reading. With Ally, learning materials will work better on mobile phones and tablets as well as with assistive technologies. To learn more about Ally, see the following resources.

Training & Support

Faculty Blackboard Training Courses

Faculty may learn how to use Blackboard original course 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 Fall 2022 schedule.

CourseDelivery ModeDate/Time
FA2023-ZERD-197-451VIRTUALSaturdays 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM9/10/2022 – 9/17/2022
FA2023-ZERD-198-451ONLINESundays TBD 10/9/2022 – 10/23/2022

Upcoming Blackboard and Educational Technology Webinars 

In addition to Recorded webinars for on-demand viewing, the following special topic live training webinars will occur this month. Register to attend.

Session Topic – Click to RegisterDate/TimeLeader/s
Introduction to SmarterProctoring & Exam Creation9/15/22
12:00 PM
S. Doty
SmarterProctoring Accommodations & Reviewing Sessions9/16/22
12:00 PM
S. Doty
Getting Started in YuJa (Creating a video)9/22/22
11:00 AM
R. Foltanova
Yuja Video Quizzes9/22/22
2:00 PM
R. Foltanova
YuJa Auto-Captioning in Other Languages9/29/22
11:00 AM
R. Foltanova
How students can use the YuJa app to submit videos to their instructors9/29/22
2:00 PM
R. Foltanova

Blackboard Ultra Courses – A Look Towards the Future

Want to learn more about Ultra Courses, Blackboard’s modern, streamlined, and intuitive course experience? Join the Live Instructor Webinars, view the Learn Ultra Best Practices for Instructors, and  join our Ultra Course Pilot! When you register to attend a live session, you will be sent a recording to your email address. 

Faculty Instructional Support

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 Blackboard troubleshooting/errors, contact

Faculty who need one-on-one support related to applying the 21st Century Classroom Competencies in their teaching practice should contact the Center for Teaching Excellence for assistance at

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

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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