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.

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

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

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