Category Archives: Instructional Design

EdTech Open Labs and Support Opportunities

Happy new year and welcome to the spring 2017 semester! EdTech staff are ready to support you this week as you prepare for the new semester.

As you review this week’s College Community Schedule, be sure to note the following EdTech events.

  • Distance Learning Faculty Meeting, Monday, January 9 at 1:30 pm, Central Campus, Slocomb Auditorium (This meeting is held for all full-time faculty teaching distance learning courses. Part-time faculty should consult with their Department Chairs.)
  • EdTech Open Lab – Central Campus, Tuesday, January 10 at 9:00 am, C-1.219
  • EdTech Open Lab – South Campus, Thursday, January 12 at 1:00 pm, S-12.214
  • EdTech Open Lab – North Campus, Friday, January 13 at 9:00 am, N-2.207

For training and course preparation support outside of scheduled open lab sessions, faculty are encouraged to contact their campus Instructional Designers.

EdTech looks forward to working with you in 2017!

EdTech Launches Monthly Newsletter

Welcome back to a new semester!

SJC EdTech has launched EdTech Connect – a monthly newsletter featuring training tips and information to bring a greater awareness to our services and support offerings.

The first edition was included in faculty packets during College Community Week. Future editions will be distributed via email.

Archives of Edtech Connect will be kept in the EdTech training section of the blog.

We look forward to connecting with you in the coming months!

SJC Blackboard Course Site Template Updates

The SJC Blackboard course template was revised during the Summer of 2015 to reflect additions made in the 5th edition of the Quality Matters rubric.

This template, originally developed for the 201420 course sites is an updated template with content to help meet the minimum course presence expectations and Quality Matter (QM) standards. The infographic below details features in this new template. You can download a PDF copy of this infographic: Understanding Bb Course Template.

QM Template Sept 2015 Update


Support staff and resources are available to help faculty in course design, with Bb training, or in meeting the QM standards.

Contact information for Instructional Designers, Blackboard Support and Multimedia Specialists can be found via the People Page of the EdTech blog at .

Blackboard Upgrade Feature Review – Student Preview

Faculty have long desired a true student preview mode in Blackboard. Good news! The wait is over. Student preview is one of the improvements the College will pick up as part of the Blackboard upgrade scheduled for August 2015.

Enter Student Preview Mode




In Student Preview mode, faculty will be able to view their Blackboard course sites from a student perspective, allowing them to review course content and ensure course settings are working as expected.

Bb Student Preview Mode



A full write up of the student preview mode is available from the Blackboard Help website. Or take a few minutes to review the Blackboard OnDemand video below.

Contact an instructional designer at your campus to for questions or to schedule additional Blackboard training.

End of the Semester Checklist

The close of another great semester is just around the corner. Sometime between final exams and preparing your course grades, take a few moments to review one of our newest features on the EdTech blog – our Checklists section. These checklists were built to serve as quick references and guides for faculty. Currently there is a two references –  Beginning of Semester and End of the Semester – with plans to roll out additional topics in the future.

The checklists can be accessed via the Checklist button in the blog menu. Here’s a quick link to the End of Semester checklist.

Should you need any support, please contact EdTech personnel from the Bb Support or Instructional Design teams.

Blackboard Tools Update: Kaltura Video Platform

Subject: Blackboard Tools Update – Kaltura Video Platform

Who it affects: All Users


In an effort to improve functionality and user experience within the Blackboard Course Management System, Educational Technology is transitioning to the Kaltura Video Platform. This includes the integration of a Blackboard building block for improved video integration within Blackboard. As part of this transition, we are working with faculty and staff to move video stored on the college’s existing streaming media server over to the Kaltura system. If you are actively using content stored on our streaming media server and you are not yet working with us to transition your content, please make contact with the Multimedia Specialist at your campus.

The Kaltura Video Platform offers:

  • Easy Integration with Blackboard
  • Accessibility on multiple platforms including most mobile devices and computers
  • Optimum delivery bandwidth for device and internet connection speed
  • Ability to better streamline and manage your content


The existing streaming media server will no longer be supported and will become unavailable for use on Friday, August 8, 2014. Content on the existing media server will be archived for storage, however, links to your materials will need to be updated by Friday, August 8, 2014 in order for your content to remain active for future use.


To ask questions or schedule an appointment, contact your campus Multimedia Specialist:


Keith Hudson, Multimedia Specialist, ext. 2080


Patience Wieland, Multimedia Specialist, ext. 3493


LaVena Wilder, Multimedia Specialist, ext. 5416


Yes, Bb is for F2F Courses Too!

Incorporating Blackboard into a face-to-face course has many benefits. Organizing files and content within a Blackboard course site creates a concrete course organization for students. It also becomes the central hub of information for students and faculty through the use of Grade Center and other communication tools. We’ve listed a few ideas in this post. For further support, contact an instructional designer at your campus or visit our blog tutorials: Blog Blackboard Tutorials.

1. Grade Center

Keeping records of individual grades and final averages keeps students informed and accountable of their success. This allows for important decisions and changes to be made by learners. Actively using Grade Center also allows for more efficient use of instructor’s time. Rather than manually keeping students aware of grades, it will become the norm to rely on Blackboard for such information. At the end of the semester, grades are automatically averaged and can be printed out in an Excel file for a much smoother semester checkout experience.

Training is available via SPARK; below are the course descriptions:

• BKBD 9081 – Blackboard: Getting Started
• BKBD 9084 – Blackboard: Setting up the Grade Center
• BKBD 9095 – Blackboard: Using the Grade Center

2. Attendance Tool

A new feature is the “Online Attendance” tool in Blackboard. Instructors simply set up the semester range and meeting dates, then submit attendance online in each class. Students can view their attendance records, allowing for the transfer of responsibility to them. Attendance records can be printed out for semester checkout, another timesaver for faculty.

Bb Attendance Tool Tutorial

3. Communicating with Students

Using Blackboard as the central location for class messages is possible through the use of “Announcements”. Every faculty is provided with an announcements tab in their course shells. Instructors can disseminate information via an announcement that is not only posted in Blackboard, but automatically sent to student’s San Jac email.

Bb Announcements Tool Tutorial

Another great feature for face-to-face courses is Blackboard IM. This is an instant messaging application that is downloaded and allows faculty and students to communicate instantaneously online. Collaboration occurs either through text or voice and screen-sharing can be allowed to view content together.

Bb IM Tool Tutorial

4. TurnItIn

Assignments can be uploaded via TurnItIn in Blackboard, which then checks for originality. The exact source is provided if material is copied verbatim from other works. Previously submitted assignments are also checked for any sharing of work between students. Instructors can highlight and annotate areas of work for students to view. Each assigned grade is also automatically sent to Grade Center. Using an Apple iPad, an app allows instructors to read, annotate and grade papers through their tablet. Turnitin has extensive training resources which can be accessed via their Getting Started page.

TurnItIn Getting Started Training Resources

5. Online Tutoring

One student resource available via Blackboard is SmartThinking, an online tutoring session available at no cost. Students can request an appointment or drop in for a live assistance with English, Math, Science, History and more. Smarthinking can be accessed via the Tools menu on the MySanJac tab in Blackboard.

Smarthinking In Bb SJC











These are only a few ideas of how Blackboard can be integrated into a face-to-face course. For further help, see an instructional designer at your campus or visit our blog tutorials: Blog Blackboard Tutorials.

EdTech Informational Announcement – Blackboard Course Deletions for Fall 2012 Term

Subject: Blackboard Course Deletions

Who it affects: All Blackboard Users


On January 5, 2014, Blackboard Support will delete courses in the San Jacinto College Blackboard system for the fall 2012 term (201310). Faculty should archive and save a copy of courses you may want to retain for future use.

Click here for instructions on how to properly archive your courses and remove them from Blackboard.

Note: Failure to remove archived courses from Blackboard can cause overages in course size limitations.

If you need assistance in archiving a course, or you have any questions regarding this announcement, contact Blackboard Support at

On-Campus:  2084

Off-Campus:  281.542.2084



Date Announced: November 25, 2013


Blackboard Support Hours

M-F  – 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.                  Sat-Sun – 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

                                                                           (closed noon-1:00 pm)

Now at SJC…NBC Learn


NBC Learn has landed at San Jacinto College. NBC Learn / Higher Ed is a collection of primary source videos, newsreels, documents, and images that can be used for research, projects, and in classroom and online teaching. The College has initially licensed the product for three years. For an overview of the product, view the video Brian Williams on NBC Learn.

For training on how to access NBC Learn and integrate it as tool within Blackboard, contact your campus Instructional Designer.