Blackboard Updates

8/13/2015

Hello!

By now you hopefully are aware of the many updates made to our Blackboard system at the beginning of summer. The overall look is more modern, and there are a number of functional changes. If you have not reviewed these changes, please see here and here. The change that has most surprised faculty is that all spring and older courses are now on a different server, https://bbarchive.miracosta.edu, which you will need to access for exporting and importing old content to fall courses. This server will remain available for accessing older courses for at least another year.

A secondary Blackboard update has just been completed. This means that Turnitin and YouTube integrations have been restored to operation. Please carefully review the following sections if you use those tools in Blackboard. Note also that we have rearranged the Blackboard landing (portal) page, with myCourses now on the left rather than the right.

Turnitin

As we described earlier this summer, you needed to wait until now to add Turnitin assignments in fall semester courses. Fall Turnitin assignments set up prior to this morning in Blackboard will not work correctly. And if you import old Turnitin assignments into a fall course (even with the new update), those also will not work. Please create new Turnitin assignments now for your fall courses. Also, please note that Turnitin will be conducting maintenance this weekend and expects the Turnitin service to be unavailable from 7-11:00 on Saturday morning.

YouTube

Issues with YouTube/Blackboard integration began this spring, and finally are corrected with the just-completed update. The mashup tool for adding YouTube videos is working, as is the Video Everywhere tool for recording/adding your own videos directly within Blackboard. Note that the default video size when embedding videos via the Video Everywhere tool ( in the editing toolbar) is 120×90, unusably small, so be sure to change the default height and width to a larger size (e.g. 480×360) that your students will find useful.

Other Reminders

  • Text message and text-to-voice notifications from Blackboard are not working. This is a recent bug that Blackboard is working on. Students can still sign up for automated email notifications.
  • Students or faculty who have previously used Blackboard Mobile Learn will need to re-connect it.
  • Students who wish to change their first name displayed in Blackboard or Moodle can do it themselves within those systems. Students who wish to change their last name displayed in Blackboard or Moodle must request a preferred name change through the Admissions and Records Office.
  • Please review last week’s full Online Education News You Can Use if you have not done so!

– Jim

Jim Julius, Ed.D.

Faculty Director, Online Education

Back-to-School Online Ed News You Can Use

Hope everyone had a great summer! Lots has happened in the Online Ed realm – please see below and click links to learn more. Best wishes in your final preparations for fall classes!

Blackboard and Turnitin Updates – Very important

  • If you’ve been away for the summer, you may not yet have noticed the Blackboard system update, with new features and functions to learn about
  • This update means your procedure for copying content from previous courses to fall courses or helping students finish incompletes is different – your old courses are on a different server
  • The Blackboard system will receive minor updates on August 13 which will fix current YouTube and Turnitin integration issues in Blackboard.
  • DO NOT copy old Turnitin assignments to fall courses, and until August 13, don’t create new Turnitin assignments either. After August 13, you may create new Turnitin assignments (though please note that the Turnitin company is taking Turnitin down on Aug. 15 from 7-11 am for maintenance).
  • Voice Authoring is no longer working properly in Blackboard and is permanently removed. 
  • Opt-in Blackboard notifications via text messages are not working – we are still hoping to get this fixed. 
  • Finally, if you or your students use the Blackboard Mobile Learn application, it will need to be reconnected to MiraCosta’s Blackboard system.

Fall Flex – Reserve your spot now! 

Sign up now for August Flex workshops. You may also review the details of the Online Education workshops that Karen and I (and some additional faculty) are offering before entering MyFlex.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you finalize your syllabi and course resources, please make your students aware of online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (under “ASK US” at upper right). These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class! Also, the OEI has made its set of student online learning readiness modules open and available to anyone – feel free to link to any that you like.

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning 

I will offer eleven online learning orientation sessions this fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. I will provide a report to online instructors of the students who have completed this orientation this fall or previously. 

Online Instructors: Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this fall, please make sure your class description is up to date on the separate Online Class Schedule page. Students use this page to learn how to get started with your class, and you can provide other important information there to help students prepare for success.

Zaption Pilot

Zaption enables creation of assessments within videos, and integrates with Blackboard to provide detailed analytics on video viewing and assessment results. We still have a few faculty spots for a pilot over the 2015-16 year. Please contact me if you are interested.

Online Education Initiative (OEI)

Much has happened over the summer. The biggest news is that the OEI is making the selected common course management system, Canvas, available to all CCCs at no cost. It’s very likely that a faculty-led effort will take a close look at MiraCosta’s course management system selection this year. MiraCosta will continue to offer two pilot OEI courses this fall, and will continue to have opportunities for more faculty to offer pilot classes in upcoming semesters. To learn more about OEI, please see http://ccconlineed.org/ or feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Encouraging a Growth Mindset in Students

A wonderful online educator from the U. of Oklahoma, Laura Gibbs, is looking for collaborators on a project to help promote a growth mindset in students through fun and simple memes (pictures with sayings). Check out her resource site and invitation to collaborate: http://growthmindsetmemes.blogspot.com/

Professional Learning this Fall

Looking to inspire and inform your (online) teaching? Explore these links:

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

Current State of Blackboard. Please Read

MiraCosta College Faculty,

As you hopefully are aware, at the beginning of June we completed a Blackboard upgrade. This email gives a quick overview of various changes and current concerns with Blackboard, with links to learn more.

Overview of New and Updated Features in Blackboard

https://tic.miracosta.edu/blackboard-new-release/

NO MORE COURSE COPY

Read carefully how to bring content from old courses to summer and fall courseshttps://tic.miracosta.edu/import-export-for-summer-and-fall-2015-courses/

Some YouTube features are broken now

Update: As of Aug. 13, 2015, the YouTube features are now working.

This is not due to the system upgrade, but to a YouTube change on June 3. Video Everywhere – which makes it easy to find and add YouTube videos and/or record a video directly within Blackboard – and the YouTube mashup tool are currently not working. Also, playback of videos previously added to Blackboard through the YouTube mashup tool is not working properly. Until this is fixed, the best procedure to add a YouTube video is to find it on YouTube and insert the embed code into Bb. Directions: https://tic.miracosta.edu/embed-youtube-blackboard/

Email from Blackboard may look a bit different

But it shouldn’t be filtered out by some email providers anymore. https://tic.miracosta.edu/blackboard-generated-email/  

Voice Authoring is no longer working and has been removed

Copying previously-created Voice Authoring recordings into a new course will not work. You must extract the voice records from the Blackboard archive, import them to a streaming media service, and then link or embed those in your course. We suggest 3C Media Solutions: https://tic.miracosta.edu/campus-teaching-technologies/3c-media-streaming-server/

Voice Board issues

Copying previous Voice Boards into a new course requires separately extracting and re-adding voice recordings to the voice board. Accessing Voice Boards in the latest version of Chrome requires some extra configuration steps; details here: https://tic.miracosta.edu/chrome-voiceboardfix/

Blackboard Mobile Learn app must be refreshed

On iOS, delete the Bb Mobile Learn app and re-download it from the app store; on Android, clear your app cache then relaunch the Bb Mobile Learn app. Then search for MiraCosta College.

Text Message Notifications not working

At present, Blackboard opt-in notifications via text message are not functioning. We are actively working to fix this.

Happy summer,

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

Blackboard-generated email: What to expect

Blackboard offers many ways that faculty and students can communicate via email to others enrolled in a Blackboard course. Blackboard can also automatically send emails out to notify users about activity taking place in Blackboard, depending on user preferences.

During 2014, changes made by some email providers to reduce spam meant that some users may not have received these emails from Blackboard. Included in MiraCosta’s June 2015 Blackboard update were changes inside Blackboard to fix this problem.

However, Blackboard-generated emails are not consistent in their formatting, and the sender name is different when Bb email is received on a MiraCosta email system vs. an external system like Gmail or Yahoo. The table below provides details about what you can expect.

Bb feature that generates external emailEmail sender displayed outside miracosta.eduEmail sender displayed in miracosta.edu emailWhat happens if recipient replies
Send EmailSender name - sender emailBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the sender’s email.
Group email (from groups feature)Sender name - sender emailBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the sender’s email.
GradeCenter (via the email button and selecting desired recipients)Sender name - sender emailBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the instructor's email.
Announcements (if instructor selects to send via email)blackboard@miracosta.edu or just blackboardBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the instructor's email.
Discussion board (if user has subscribed)Blackboard Administrator - blackboard@miracosta.eduBlackboard at MiraCostaEmails from discussion board include a link for recipients to use to reply within the discussion board. If someone replies via email, a message will go to blackboard@miracosta.edu, which will auto respond.
Notifications (if user has opted in to email notifications)blackboard@miracosta.edu or just blackboardBlackboard at MiraCostaNotification emails include a note at bottom: “Please do not reply.” If someone replies via email, a message will go to blackboard@miracosta.edu, which will auto respond.
Email generated via course archive/ export/importBlackboard Administrator - blackboard@miracosta.eduBlackboard at MiraCostaIf instructor replies via email, a message will go to blackboard@miracosta.edu, which will auto respond.

If you suspect that your email system is treating Blackboard emails as spam, you may need to whitelist messages coming from miracosta.edu in your email system.

Summer Online Ed News You Can Use

Happy Summer!

Blackboard Update Complete

The Blackboard system update means there are new features and functions to learn about. It also means your procedure for copying content from previous courses to summer and fall courses or helping students finish incompletes is different – your old courses are on a different server. You’ll notice that the default course menu in the new system is somewhat different; this was developed and approved by the MiraCosta Online Educators committee. If you have questions about this menu, or the change of the default course landing page back to Announcements, please contact me or Karen Korstad. Also, note that Karen and I are doing an online Fall Flex workshop on Blackboard course design where we’ll discuss these (see next item).

Fall Flex Schedule is Available

You can sign up now for August Flex workshops (select 2015-2016). You may also review the details of the Online Education workshops that Karen and I (and some additional faculty) are offering before entering MyFlex.

Captioning Help Available

It’s that time again when Robert Erichsen (rerichsen@miracosta.edu) is seeking all instructional video that faculty need to have captioned. Please contact him by June 12 to have your videos included in the latest round of grant-funded captioning service.

Summer Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer two online learning orientation sessions this summer: June 15 on the OC campus and June 16 online. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid summer students and encourage their attendance. I will report back the students who complete a session if you wish to incentivize attendance. I will also list the students who already completed the orientation.

Summer Student Support Resources, Online

MiraCosta’s online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (under “ASK US” at upper right) remain available throughout the summer session. Please share these with your summer students.

Zaption Pilot Underway

Zaption enables creation of assessments within videos, and integrates with Blackboard to provide detailed analytics on video viewing and assessment results. We still have a few faculty spots for a pilot over the next year. Please contact me if you are interested.

Online/Hybrid Summer and Fall Instructors: Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid class this summer or fall, please make sure your class description is up to date on the separate Online Class Schedule page. Students use this page to learn more details about expectations for online and hybrid classes, as well as how to get started with your class and prepare for success.

Independent Learning this Summer

Looking to inspire and inform your online teaching? Explore these links:

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

1 5 6 7 8 9