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

May Online Ed News You Can Use

Blackboard Updates

Your MiraCosta Blackboard dynamic duo – Karen Brown and Karen Korstad – has been working hard to update the hardware and software comprising our system. Learn more about the updates and features coming with the new system. The new server will be available for faculty with summer and fall course shells by Monday (5/11), and we will send out a detailed message to all faculty at that time.

Blackboard Video Everywhere not Working

The connection from our Blackboard system to YouTube has been broken by an update that Google made to YouTube user authentication. We believe it will be working in the new Blackboard system, but for the remainder of the spring semester, if you or your students use this feature, you will need to create videos outside of Blackboard and then copy the link or embed code into Blackboard.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As your students work hard to finish up, please remind them about MiraCosta’s online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (under “ASK US” at upper right).

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.

Online/Hybrid Summer Instructors: Online Learning Orientations for Students

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.

Supporting Student Name Preferences in Blackboard & Moodle

If you have a student in your class who is requesting that a name other than the name on your roster be used in Blackboard or Moodle:

  • If they just want their first name changed, they can do that themselves in Blackboard or Moodle. Students should contact the Student Help Desk (760-795-6655) for assistance if they do not know how to do this.
  • If they want their last name changed, please have them contact the Admissions and Records Office at 760-795-6620, via email at admissions@miracosta.edu, or in-person to request a preferred name change. Once A&R determines that the name change is warranted, the name will be changed in Blackboard and Moodle within approximately 48 hours.

Zaption Pilot

The MOE committee identified Zaption as a desirable technology to pilot in the next academic year. Zaption enables creation of assessments within videos, and integrates with Blackboard to provide detailed analytics on video viewing and assessment results. We have a limited number of seats for the pilot, so please contact me if you are interested.

OEI Updates

If you are interested in the latest news from the CCC Online Education Initiative, please visit the OEI website and/or the TechEdge newsletter. OEI has also set up a site for anyone interested in learning more about Canvas, the course management system selected for OEI use. OEI just re-opened the application process for faculty interested in teaching their online class as an OEI pilot; I will be sending an email about this tomorrow to the department chairs and faculty who are teaching online classes that match the OEI desired course list for fall.

Best wishes for a successful closing of the semester,

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

April Online Ed News You Can Use

Blackboard Updates

  • Look for your summer and fall course shells in early May. A significant software and hardware upgrade for our Blackboard system is underway. Look for details on the system changes and process for updating your courses in late April.
  • The Blackboard Mobile Learn app, available for Apple and Android products, has been important to many faculty and students in providing better mobile access to many Blackboard features. Now accessing MiraCosta courses through the app is free – the previous small fee is gone. Learn more here and please share this information with your students!

OEI Town Hall: Tomorrow (4/8)

If you’d like to learn more about the CCC Online Education Initiative, tune in to the live stream of the OEI Town Hall event tomorrow, April 8, 10-11:50 am. Learn more and tune in here.

Student Support Resources, Online

As the end of the semester approaches, please remind your students about online tutoring, the online 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 – a great way for busy students to get support they need when they can’t come to the library.

Online Orientations to Student Learning Complete

The final two online orientation to student learning sessions were held after spring break. Nearly 250 students attended in all this spring. If you are an instructor who would like to review the list of attending students, let me know.

Online Teaching Conference in San Diego

More than two dozen MiraCostans have expressed interest in attending the Online Teaching Conference in San Diego, June 18-19, with funding from my office (Online Education). Early bird registration ends April 17, so let me know if you are interested ASAP.

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

Online Teaching Conference 2015 | Be an Early Bird!

Online Teaching Conference LogoThe Online Teaching Conference is in San Diego on June 18-19, with pre-conference workshops on June 17. As in recent years, I am able to help fund attendance, and I hope we again send a strong group of MiraCostans. The conference is focused on online teaching and learning in the California Community Colleges, and is a great opportunity to hear from and network with faculty and student services staff about helping students to succeed with online education. Keynotes include Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein of the excellent e-Literate blog, along with Online Education Initiative director Pat James.

If you are interested, please let me know soon, so that you can register at the early bird rate (by April 17) and so that I can plan the year-end Online Education budget accordingly.

Some procedural notes & caveats:

  • If you are planning to go, you’ll need to have your travel request signed by me in addition to the usual signers.
  • Note that because this conference is outside of the fall/spring semesters, it is not Flex-eligible for associate faculty.
  • Note that because the conference is local, most of our attendees will not be eligible for hotel stay or meal reimbursement. You will receive mileage reimbursement and conference registration. If you believe you have special circumstances that warrant coverage of hotel expenses, let me know.
  • Note that pre-conference workshops in which goods are provided (iPads, books, software, etc.) cannot be paid for via travel funds. You would need to find another source of funds to cover those fees if you are interested.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
jjulius@miracosta.edu

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