February 2023 Blackboard News

woods cover in snow background and a cow with a hat and scarf.

Spring 2023 begins Monday, February 6

If you have not done so already, you can request your Blackboard courses in SPIRE. Don’t forget that each semester you will need to request Blackboard for the courses you are teaching.

For detailed instructions, see:

The last day of Winter classes is Friday, February 3, and grades are due Thursday, February 9 at midnight. You can upload your grades in SPIRE directly from Blackboard.

Blackboard Tip of the Month: Help Getting Your Course Started

Instead of putting the spotlight on a single tool or setting this month, we have a few things to highlight that might help make your Blackboard course run a little smoother this semester.

Did you know that…

  • You have access to a handy checklist for starting your semester using Blackboard? The Course Update Checklist page has a list of common topics to make sure are ready and includes resources and information for each of them.
  • You can create groups in Blackboard? These groups allow you do things like facilitate peer-to-peer instruction in forums, or have students submit assignments in groups. For more information, check out An Overview of Groups and Groupings in Blackboard.
  • You can update the due dates of multiple activities in Blackboard? Use the edit the dates of multiple activities function to do it all on on handy page. This can be useful if you’re copying a previous course, or if you need to make date changes while you are teaching the course. You can even use this to adjust the availability of activities.
  • You can generate transcripts automatically for your recordings? Both Zoom and Echo360 can automatically generate interactive transcriptions for your recordings. These transcripts allow students to search for information in your recordings, including key terms and phrases. Automated transcriptions are not 100% accurate, but if you edit them they can be a powerful study aid for your students. For information, check out Add and Edit Transcripts in Zoom or Add and Edit Transcripts in Echo360.
  • You can improve accessibility with Blackboard Ally? Blackboard Ally is a built-in tool that automatically evaluates any files attached to your Blackboard course to help identify possible accessibility issues. For more information, check out An Overview of Blackboard Ally.

Planned downtimes

There are no planned downtimes for Blackboard in February 2023.

You can check the status of Blackboard, Zoom, and other supported teaching technologies on the IT Services Status for Remote Teaching and Learning page.

Blackboard help and resources for instructors

To learn more about Blackboard or to get help, you can: