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


Turnitin: Free Virtual Conference April 18-22, 2016

April 7, 2016

Turnitin’s Free, Virtual Conference on Writing Education
April 18-22, 2016 

Sessions from Educators and Thought Leaders

Do your students think that writing is just about following conventions and putting words on a page? Join us to explore how thinking differently about writing can engage your students and set them up for success. Participate in this webcast series devoted to opening your mind and helping all students write better!

  • How can mobile devices support the writing process?
  • How can copying other writers’ work help develop students’ writing skills?
  • How can academic writing be a pleasure to read—and to write?

Select the session title for more information and to register:

How Writers Read   Monday, April 18th 2016, 4:00pm EST

Stylish Academic Writing  Monday, April 18th 2016, 6:00pm EST

Beyond Integrity: Why We Cite  Tuesday, April 19th 2016, 1:00pm EST

A Picture is Worth a MILLION Words!  Wednesday, April 20th 2016, 1:00pm EST

Mimicry & Plagiarism  Wednesday, April 20th 2016, 6:00pm EST

Teaching the Writing Brain  Thursday, April 21st 2016, 1:00am EST

Beyond Thumb Typing   Thursday, April 21st 2016, 4:00pm EST

What’s the Story Behind Why We Write?  Friday, April 22nd 2016, 4:00pm EST






Blackboard: Known Issue with Announcements Sending Email

February 25, 2016

Blackboard Logo

We have just discovered that there is an issue with certain posted course announcements not sending emails out to students.  

If you have an announcement in your Blackboard course that was copied over to another Blackboard course AND and the announcement is a date restricted announcement, the announcement will not generate an email to the students. There is no patch available for this at this time and Blackboard does not have an expected timeline for this to be fixed.

Any announcements that you have set as date restricted (availability dates set) AND they were copied over from a previous course, create a new announcement with the information and delete the old one.


Accessibility: Creating an Accessible Word Document Part 1

November 12, 2015

When creating documents you plan to share electronically, it is very important to make them accessible to users with disabilities.  Equal access should be provided to all users.  Users with disabilities may use assistive technology such as screen readers or screen magnifiers.  These technologies require documents to be formatted in certain ways for easy reading.  

Below are a few simple steps to get you started in the right direction for creating an accessible Word document. 

Use a Sans-Serif Font

Sans-Serif fonts are recommended due to their readability.  Some examples of sans serif fonts are:

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Helvetia
  • Calibri

Alternative Text (Alt Text)

Alternative text is required for images, charts, graphs and tables.  Users with visual impairments should have access to information these visuals provide.  The descriptive text should be kept to 120 characters or less.  If the visual is more complex, you should include a brief summary of what the visual is showing within the document.  If the visual is just for decorative purposes, do not supply alternative text.  See below for instructions on how to add alternative text.


  • Right-click the image and select Format Picture
  • Select the Layouts & Properties icon and select Alt Text
  • Enter the alt text into the Description field only (leave the Title field blank)

Image of adding alt text to an image in MS Word 2013


  • Right click on the table and select Table Properties

Image of adding alt text to a table in MS Word 2013

  • Select the Alt Text tab and enter the alt text into the Description field

Table Properties Alt Text


  • Right click on the chart and select Format Chart Area
  • In Word 2010, select the Alt Text option from the Format chart Area dialog box.  
Alt text box for charts in Word 2010

Word 2010 alt text dialog box.

  • In Word 2013 select the Layout and Properties icon from the Format Chart Area dialog box.  
Alt Text Box for Charts

Word 2013 alt text dialog box.

  • Enter the alt text into the Description field

SJCNY Network Maintenance November 7, 2015

November 5, 2015

Network maintenance will be taking place on Saturday November 7th, from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am.  The following services may be unavailable during this time:

  • MySJC Portal (you will still be able to access your e-mail with your mobile device)
  • WebAdvisor
  • Password Reset Services
  • bears.sjcny.edu
  • eagles.sjcny.edu
  • Video Conferencing Services
  • HelpDesk Ticketing System
  • Library E-Reserves System
  • Online Admissions Application System
  • Payment Systems

For Blackboard Learn access during the maintenance window, please utilize the following temporary link:  SJC Blackboard Learn

For Canvas access during the maintenance window, please utilize the following temporary link: Canvas

Should you have any questions or concerns please send an e-mail to techhelp@sjcny.edu or call TECH (8324).


Canvas: New User Interface December 23, 2015

November 2, 2015

Canvas Logo  On December 23, 2015 a new user interface for Canvas will be released.  The new Canvas User Interface (UI) has improved the user experience by restructuring the Dashboard and Global Navigation Menu.  The Course Navigation menu also collapses on smaller screens, allowing for a more content-focused and responsive layout.

The updated user interface provides many added benefits to the platform, including:

Updated look and feel. The platform has been re-energized with a cleaner, more modern user interface to enhance the user experience for students, teachers and administrators.
Improved navigation. The primary navigation menu has been re-conceived to maximize screen space on modern devices, especially on tablets.
New paths to engage. The new dashboard uses dynamic course cards to provide an additional way to access important updates within the course.

Take a look at the new user interface in the video below or see the What is the New Canvas User Interface documentation.



Google Apps: Google Drive Sync

October 27, 2015

Sync your Google Drive to easily access your SJC files from your computer.

Google Drive Image

Keep Google Drive files on your desktop by downloading Google Drive for your Mac or PC.  Files will sync between your desktop and the web. Any changes made to files on your Mac or PC will be automatically reflected on Drive.

Install Google Drive on your Mac/PC



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 »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 178 other followers