Faculty Blackboard Training

People to help

Whether you are a new instructor to Blackboard or a seasoned faculty member that would like to brush up on your Blackboard skills, there are a few people you can reach out to at MVCC.

  • Norma Chrisman, Ed Tech Manager - Contact Norma to set up a course shell and receive one-on-one Blackboard training.
  • Jocelyn Ireland, Instructional Design Librarian - Contact Jocelyn to learn more about best practices in online course design and student support.
  • General Blackboard Assistance - Ed Tech Office Staff

Websites to learn more about Blackboard

Learning about Collaborate Ultra

MVCC gained access to a Blackboard tool called Collaborate Ultra starting in March 2020. It is a conferencing tool found in Blackboard course tools. Instructors can use it to show a live lecture, record sessions, share their screen, engage with students, use a digital whiteboard, share files, and more. It has similar capabilities as Zoom.

Some resources to learn more about using Collaborate Ultra are below:


Important things to know about Blackboard course Design

Difference between items and files

  • When building content, most of the time you will want to use "item" instead of the "file" option. The item option allows you to add descriptive text, attach files, or embed html code.
  • The "file" option only allows you to add a title with a file to download. There is no opportunity to add descriptive text about the file.
  • When "Create Item" is used, a text box editor is displayed. You can add text or embed html. You can also attach a file for students to download.

Difference between content folders and learning modules

Content folders

  • Creating a folder allows you to title the folder and insert descriptive text.
  • You can insert other content items in the folder therefore organizing course material. For example, you can insert all readings or assignments expected of students for a particular week in unique folders.

Learning modules

  • Learning modules are like folders except a table of contents is automatically created of all items you put in the module.
  • You can also enforce sequential viewing of learning module content, so students have to view the content in the order that you determine.

Customizing the course menu

You can customize the left side menu panel to make navigation for students as easy as possible. Make sure you are in edit mode.

Adding a new button to the course menu

  • You can add menu buttons on the left-side navigation panel. Select the + sign on the top, left side of the menu to add a button.
  • "Content Area" is the most popular menu button, but you can also link to a "tool" like grades, email, or discussion board.

Rename and reorder buttons

  • Rename a menu button by selecting the downward pointing carrot on the right side of the button.
  • Reorder buttons by hovering your mouse pointer to the left side of the button. A four-pointed arrow will appear, then you can click and drag the button to a new location.

Add dividers and subheaders

  • Dividers and subheaders can be added to the menu to organize your buttons and make certain sections stand out.
  • Add dividers or subheaders the same way you add a new menu button (+ button at the top of the menu).

Customize the style of your course site

You can change the color scheme, theme, and the way buttons look (just to name a few options). Under Control Panel, select Customization then Teaching Style.

Embed a video instead of linking

If you would like your students to watch an online video, embedding the video directly into your course site is much more convenient for students as they will not have to navigate somewhere else to view the content. Another option is to use a mashup which is located under build content.

To embed a video:

  1. Navigate to the video you wish to embed through YouTube, Kanopy, Films on Demand, or other online provider.
  2. Select the Share button
  3. Select Embed
  4. Copy the embed code
  5. Go back to Blackboard. Create an item where you want to place the video. Enter a name for the video.
  6. After you create the item, select the html button. If you do not see the html button, make sure the "show more" option is on. The html button might be minimized if you don't see it.
  7. Paste the embed code in the html code view box. Select update to close the html viewer. The video will be outlined in a shaded area until you select submit.
  8. You can add descriptive text with the embedded video. Click before or after the shaded area where the video will be shown and press Enter. Your cursor will move to another line where you can type.