Aug 17, 2017
Volume 17 | August 2017


The Digital Professor - Blackboard Edition
Blackboard will be unavailable on Saturday, August 19, 2017, from 12:30 AM to 12:30 PM EDT for scheduled maintenance.
Thank you to all of you for being a part of our continued success with Blackboard at Rutgers University—Newark (RU-N)!  During the 2016-2017 Academic Year, we had 100% uptime with our Blackboard system.   Our Blackboard upgrades continue to proceed without significant issues and we look forward to providing you and our students with increased functionality and efficiency.  RU-N has hired an outside consulting firm to review our delivery of IT services and we are pleased to report that both faculty and students have overwhelmingly voiced their satisfaction with Blackboard and its support.  With active users averaging up to 94 minutes of time spent in Blackboard each day and up to 5 million pages views a month, Blackboard is one of the most used systems at the university.
Blackboard Contract Renewed
Based on of the success and positive feedback we have received from faculty, staff, and students at RU-N, we have renewed our Blackboard contract until July 1st, 2020.  We are planning to upgrade Blackboard next year which will allow faculty the option to use the new ‘Ultra’ interface which will simplify and modernize the Blackboard experience for both faculty and students.

Get Your Courses Ready for the Fall

Be sure to check out these resources as you prepare for the Fall semester!

  • Self-Service Tool to gain access to your Fall 2017 courses (REGIS Grader access is required)
  • Quick Connect tool makes it easy to open your course to students with just two clicks
  • Course Copy allows you to copy an entire course from a previous semester to the current semester
Blackboard Upgrade Highlights

Below are some of the new features and enhancements that you will be able to take advantage of once the upgrade is complete on August 19, 2017.

Drag and Drop - After the upgrade, you’ll see a “hot spot” denoted by a dashed outline in the Attach Files section of a number of tools such as items, assignments, and web links which will allow you to drop files from your computer right onto the web page. Students will also be able to use this functionality in areas such as assignment submission. More details are here: 

Collaborate Ultra - This new version of Blackboard Collaborate features a clean and modern design that does not require Java, making it even easier to collaborate with your students through a simple and convenient web conferencing tool that allows you to engage with the material and your students in real-time.  Collaborate Ultra features a wide variety of tools such as an interactive whiteboard and application sharing in addition to the more traditional voice, video, and chat.  Break-out groups and polling further enhance the learning experience through this tool while mobile access, a phone bridge, and recording capability ensure that all students can take part in the learning. Find out how to get started here:

Reminders - This new feature will allow you to quickly and easily send reminders to students with missing coursework right from your Grade Center.  The system-generated email will be sent to any student who has not submitted work or is missing a grade for a particular item.  The email will include the course name, the missing coursework, and the due date if set.  Reminders can be used for assignments, tests, and even manually added columns. More details are here:

Submission Receipts - When a student submits an assignment, a receipt will be generated including assignment information, file name and size, date, and time.  This data will be available to you from the Reports menu within your Grade Center.  A confirmation number will be generated for each submission even if there are multiple or deleted attempts. More details are here:

Fewer Needs Grading Items - This new feature will filter items from Needs Grading as well as the Full Grade Center when you have assignments that allow multiple attempts and are set to calculate using the first or last attempt.  The filter will allow you to hide the extraneous attempts to streamline grading.  The attempts that will not be calculated will be indicated with an icon and can be shown if you’d like. More details are here: 

Mobile Apps

We encourage you to download the rebranded Blackboard app for students as well as the new Blackboard Instructor app for faculty - both of which offer increased efficiency with simplified workflows. The Blackboard app is currently available on the Apple App, Google Play and Windows Stores and Blackboard Instructor is currently available on the Apple App and Google Play Stores.  This initial launch of Blackboard Instructor focuses on key communication tools but don't worry, grading capabilities will follow in the coming months.  For more information Click Here.

  Upcoming Training Workshops

Join us for an in-person “Introduction to Blackboard” on Monday, August 28, 2017, or September 11, 2017.  For more information and to register Click Here

Academic Technology Services | Rutgers University - Newark | 973-353-1713 | | Email | Website

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