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