Blackboard-New Semester Course Preparation

August 26, 2014

Blackboard small logoBefore each semester begins, you will need to prepare your Blackboard course shell.  Below is an outline of what you will need to do to prepare your course.  For detailed information and instructions, please see the links located below the outline.  

  • Make sure you are updating the correct course shell.  Check the course id before entering the course.  The course id begins with the term.
  • If using course content from a previous semester, you will need to copy the content into the new terms course shell.  
  • You must make your course available to your students so they can have access on the course start date.
  • If you have cross listed courses or multiple course sections you want combined, you will need to submit a request.
  • Update your course with the new 24/7 Blackboard Support information. Remove the Blackboard Support email address.
  • For Full Online courses, remove all reference to completing a course survey within the Blackboard course.  Students now receive access to the course survey via their SJC email.
  • Hide or remove all old course announcements.
  • Update all dates within your course.

Links to detailed information and instructions: 

Copying Course Content into an Existing Course
Course Availability and Duration
Combining Course Enrollments for Multiple Course Sections or Cross Listed Courses
24/7 Technical Support


Free Webinars on Accessibility in Course Content Hosted by 3Play Media

October 8, 2015

Join colleagues from around the country to learn about accessibility in course content, closed captioning, and more in these complimentary webinars hosted by 3Play Media.

Select the webinar title to register.

10 Tips for Creating Accessible Online Course Content
October 8, 2015 at 2pm – 3pm ET

With recent lawsuits in higher education and updates to Section 508 on the horizon, it is more important than ever that online learning content be made accessible to students with disabilities. In this webinar, Janet Sylvia, Web Accessibility Group Leader and Web Accessibility Trainer, will provide you with 10 tips for making your online course material accessible.

Understanding Closed Captioning Standards and Guidelines

In this webinar, Jason Stark from the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) and Cindy Camp from Pepnet 2 will go over DCMP’s captioning guidelines and preferred techniques that will help you produce captions that are accurate, consistent, clear, readable, and equal.

Implementing Universal and Inclusive Design for Online Learning Accessibility

This webinar will discuss how the principles of universal and inclusive design can be applied to the online learning environment, with a particular focus on the accessibility of course content and materials hosted by 3Play Media.  

Select the title of the webinar to register.

How to Implement Accessible Lecture Capture

In this webinar, Christopher Soran, the Interim eLearning Director at Tacoma Community College, along with Ari Bixhorn from Panopto and Lily Bond from 3Play Media, will discuss how you can implement accessible lecture capture at your university. Looking at Tacoma’s workflow, they will walk you through an efficient, cost-effective way to manage closed captioning for lecture capture at a university level.

Quick Start to Captioning

Watch this webinar to learn the basics of how to add closed captions to online video to make it fully accessible, searchable, and SEO-friendly. This webinar covers Section 508 and ADA accessibility compliance, creation of closed captions, explanation of caption formats and video player compatibility, as well as an overview of automated workflows and integration with lecture capture and video platforms.

3Play Media provides premium closed captioning, transcription, and subtitling to more than 1,000 customers in higher ed, enterprise, broadcast, and media & entertainment.

Source: 3Play Media Read the rest of this entry »


Speed Dial for SJC Telephones

October 2, 2015

The SJC phone system allows users to program their display keys as speed dial buttons for frequently used phone numbers. You can program the display keys with both internal or external numbers. Follow the steps listed below to personalize your  speed dial display keys. Please note that each option has a display key associated with it to the left or right.Phone Display Image 2

Program a Key:

  • Press and hold the display key to be programmed on your phone.
  • Select the Speed Dial option using the associated display key.
  • Enter the phone number using the numeric keypad as you would normally. Don’t forget the “9” for an outside line and the “1” for a different area code other than the campus area code of (631) or (718).
  • Use the Navigation dial (arrow facing up/down) to switch between the Number and Mnemonic areas. Enter the speed dial name into the Mnemonic area using the alphabetic keypad on the phone.
  • Select the Apply option to program the key.

The speed dial name will appear on the display screen of the phone. Simply press the display key next to the name and the programmed number will be dialed on the phone.

Modify or Delete an Existing Speed Dial:

  • Use the Navigation dial (arrow facing left) on the phone,  to move left to display the Menu options.
  • Press the display key to the left of the Settings option.
  • Select the Set option, then Key program. You will be asked to program a key on your extension.
  • Choose the Main page option and select the existing speed dial display key to be changed.
  • The options to delete and modify will appear.
  • Select Modify to make changes to the number or mnemonic , then select Apply to save.
  • Select Delete to delete the programmed key.
  • Press the End button to exit.

Original image from Superhotmobile.com (see here)


Microsoft Office 2013 General New Features

May 13, 2015

General New/Updated Features in Office 2013:: Apply to all programs

While Office 2013 looks and performs much like Office 2010, there are some changes in the latest version. The most immediate differences is the new Metro appearance and the updated File menu.  We’ve outlined some of the more significant features of Office that apply to all programs.  

Metro Style

The new interface, called Metro Style, is designed to work seamlessly on all types of devices.  On tablets, the start screens will have a limited number of commands displayed to simplify the experience.  The Office Ribbon tabs are now grey and when selected they will turn blue.  The Metro Style also senses the screen size of the device and will adjust accordingly.  On a tablet, Office will be placed into full screen mode automatically to maximize screen real estate.  You will have the ability to turn on the ribbon as needed.  

More Choices for Getting Started

There are more choices to get started with file creation instead of just a blank screen.  When starting one of the Office applications, you now have the choice of selecting a template instead of the Blank document.  There is also a Recent file pane displayed on the left side of the screen.  This makes it easy to find the latest documents you were viewing/working on.  If you need to open a document that is not listed in the recent pane, just select the Open Other option on the lower left side of the screen.  (click on the image to enlarge)

Opening Office 2013 Screen

Sample of MS Word 2013 opening screen.


File Drop Down Menu

The former File drop down menu is now an entire screen that Microsoft refers to as the “backstage.”  When selecting the Open option, you will have the option to select from Recent Documents or from the Computer.  When selecting the Computer option, a list of recently accessed folders will display along with an option to browse.  (click on the image to enlarge)

Open menu in Office 2013

Open option selected within the Office 2013 File menu. The Computer option is selected in this image.

When selecting the Save As option, a list of recently accessed folders will display along with an option to browse.  (click on the image to enlarge)

Save As menu option in Office 2013

Save As option selected within the Office 2013 File menu.

Ribbon Display Options

The Ribbon Display Options allow you to control the tab and ribbon navigation.  The ribbon can be toggled between three different states.  The Ribbon Display Options icon is located in the upper right hand corner of the Office 2013 application.  The Auto Hide option places the screen into full screen mode, hiding the ribbon.  The Show Tabs option collapses the ribbon and only displays the ribbon tabs.  In the Show Tabs and Commands option, the full ribbon is displayed.  See image below (click on the image to enlarge).

Office 2013 Ribbon Options

Office 2013 Ribbon Options



Blackboard: Issues with VideoEverywhere and YouTube May 2015 (Resolved 7/22/15)

May 12, 2015

Update as of 7/22/15 :  The YouTube and VideoEverywhere Issues we had been experiencing within Blackboard have now been resolved.  You can use the YouTube Mashup and VideoEverywhere Tools without issue.


YouTube has recently made changes to their API coding which is causing an issue with the Blackboard YouTube Mashup tool and VideoEverywhere tool.  Until Blackboard releases a fix to address those changes, please see the workaround below for embedding videos.   Any videos you have embedded using the Mashup tool prior to this change will continue to work.  

If you attempt to use the YouTube Mashup or add a video created with VideoEverywhere, you will receive the following error:


The workaround to this problem is to go to the YouTube site and grab the embed code to embed the video into your Blackboard course.  There are detailed instructions on how to do this located here:  Blackboard: How to Embed YouTube Videos.  


2015 Technology, Learning, and Collaboration Conference

April 27, 2015

The information below is for faculty and staff of St. Joseph’s College. This conference is not open to students or the public.


TUESDAY MAY 19, 2015   9:15am – 4:00pm
Conference begins in the McGann Conference Room

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of the Provost are happy to announce that this year’s Technology, Learning, and Collaboration Conference (formerly the Tech-in-Ed Conference) will be held on May 19, 2015 on the Patchogue campus.  Transportation will be provided from Brooklyn.

This year, we are very pleased to welcome Whitney R. Bischoff as our opening keynote speaker. Dr. Bischoff has been a registered nurse for over 30 years and has been a faculty member for a total of 15 years at three different nursing schools in Texas. In 1993, she graduated with a doctorate of public health degree from the University of Hawaii where she wrote her dissertation on Transactional Distance and Interactive Television in the Distance Education of Health Professionals. Dr. Bischoff has won numerous teaching awards for her innovation and leadership in the area of distance education. In 2008, she was Texas A&M International University’s Distance Educator of the Year. That same year she received the Texas Organization of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nurse Educators, Innovations in Teaching award for her project “Adding the Personal Touch to an Online Course.”  Just this spring she was awarded the Outstanding Commitment to Excellence & Innovation in Distance Education award from the Texas Distance Learning Association. She is a Master Reviewer for Quality Matters, an advocate for Turnitin’s originality checker as a teaching and learning tool, and teaches writing intensive courses across the nursing curriculum in large and small classes.

Her opening keynote session is titled: Harnessing the Power of Technology for Active Learning.

In addition to our invited guest, faculty from across the campus will be presenting how they incorporate technology into their own classrooms.


The complete conference schedule, with detailed session descriptions, is now available on the conference web site. Please click the links below to view the site pages (login to the MySJC portal is required).

Conference Registration :: Opening and Closing Sessions :: Conference Schedule :: Session Descriptions

While there is open seating in the demonstration/lecture sessions, the hands-on sessions have limited seating and require pre-registration. When you register for the conference you can choose to register for these pre-registration sessions.

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning
Office of the Provost
Information Technology Services


Tracking Student Performance

March 31, 2015

Blackboard LogoTracking  student’s performance within a course provides information for the instructor to help struggling students, show if students’ are grasping materials, and if the design of the course is effective.  (See Best Practice: Analyze Course Effectiveness). Blackboard provides several tools to assist instructors in this area. 

Performance Dashboard

The Performance Dashboard provides the instructor with a quick glance on all student activity within the course.  Instructors are able to view when a student last accessed the course, has reviewed documents uploaded to the course (when set for review status), viewed course grades, and received early warning notifications.  

The Performance Dashboard is accessible in the Evaluation section of a course’s Control Panel.

Performance Dashboard

Click here for more information or view the video below.

The Retention Center

The Retention Center replaces the Early Warning System.  The Retention Center helps identify at-risk students in the course.  Tailoring rules or using Blackboard’s default rules enable instructors to gain an early insight on struggling students, communicate with these students via emails directly from the Retention Center, and monitor their progress.

The Retention Center is automatically on and immediately visible in your My Blackboard menu and also accessible in the Evaluation section of a course’s Control Panel. The information in the Retention Center is for instructors only and is not seen by students.

The main table displays which students are at risk in one or more categories according to your rules.

Retention Center- image from Blackboardhelp.com

Click here for additional information or view video

Statistics Tracking on Content Item 

Would you like to see a student’s activity in a forum or participation within a group?  Who and how many times a student has viewed an item or when they last accessed the course?  Blackboard Statistics Tracking provides detailed information about course content. It displays daily and monthly statistics by student or a course activity.  Accessing charts within the report shows which area of the course received the most traffic as well as when and who accessed it.  The data can be printed or exported for further research. Statistics tracking can be enabled at any time.  Click the dropdown arrow next to the content item and select Statistics Tracking.

Run a Course Report to view statistics on a content item.  Click the drop-down arrow next to the content item and select View Statistics Report.  Select from several types of reports to run.

Click here for more information or view the video below.

Item Statistics Tracking

Item Analysis

You have deployed a test and it seems most of your students have not answered a particular question correctly.  Using Item Analysis you are able to obtain statistics on the performance on a particular question or the total performance of the test.  This will enable you to recognize questions that might be poor performance indicators.  Access to Item Analysis is available by clicking the drop-down arrow next to  a test deployed in a content area, via deployed test listed on the tests page, or Grade Center column.

  • Item analysis

    Locating Item Analysis on the Test page

The Item Statistics page will display several statistics about your test. The Test Summary provides data on a test as a whole.  A Question Statistics table provides statistics on each question of the test with indicators that might need your attention as to the difficulty of the question or possible revision.

Click here for more information about Item Analysis or view the video below.

Images Courtesy of help.Blackboard.com


Blackboard: Upgrade to October 2014 Release

March 24, 2015

Blackboard Logo

On April 6, 2015,  Blackboard will be upgraded from Version 9.1 April 2014 Release to Version 9.1 October 2014 Release.  This upgrade contains mainly bug fixes and 2 feature enhancements to note.  

Calendar Enhancements

  • Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.
  • Users can also now choose the Hijri Islamic lunar calendar.
  • A course list filter is now available in the calendar.

For additional information about the Calendar, please visit Calendar on Blackboard’s Help website.

Content Editor Enhancement

The Content Editor spell check option is now ON by default.

For additional information about the Content Editor, please visit Content Editor on Blackboard’s Help website.


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