Blackboard Upgrade (Spring 2014)
At the start of the Spring 2014 semester all Blackboard courses will have been upgraded to the most recent version of Blackboard Learn (version 9.13). This new version will still contain the same features that were a part of the previous version, but there are some exciting updates that will be part of the new release, including an improved content editor with additional tools and better formatting options; a “post first” discussion board option, which requires students to submit an original post before seeing the posts of other participants; an interactive, exportable calendar; and additional testing options to better accommodate students who register with the DRC office. Further, beyond these “built-in” features, we are also exploring the benefits of other additional, optional features and as we vet them and add them to Blackboard we will keep the community notified about their use and function.
Getting Started with the Upgraded Blackboard
While Blackboard will still have the same underlying structure and tool set, the look and feel will be somewhat different and users might want to explore some of the new features. Early in the Spring 2014 semester, the TLC will offer workshops to guide users in the upgraded environment and to cover the new tools and features; please check our calendar for dates and times.
You can also get a head start on familiarizing yourself with these updates by exploring some of the following resources:
New or Updated Features
- Content Editor Improvements
- Blackboard Collaborate Updates (also, click here for more about using Collaborate)
- Accessibility Improvements
- Math Formula Improvements (Content Editor)
- Discussions (note: some features mentioned in this link may not be available at New Paltz)
- Test and Survey Options
- Quiz or Test Log (log of student activity during a quiz or exam)
- Creating and Editing Assignments
- Allowing Multiple Attempts on Assignments
- Inline Grading
- Grading Assignments
Blackboard is the Course Management System used at SUNY New Paltz and is used in many different ways depending on the faculty member and class type:
Online Courses: online courses take place entirely within a course shell created in Blackboard. Online courses are accessible with an internet connect from any location and are typically largely asynchronous.
Hybrid (Blended) Courses: blended courses are split between a Blackboard course shell and a face-to-face classroom. Individual faculty will determine what percentage of the course will take place virtually and what percentage will take place face-to-face.
Face-to-Face Classes: faculty teaching face-to-face classes often still use their designated Blackboard course shell as a place for students to access important information or meet outside of class. They might post syllabi and course materials; host online discussions outside of traditional class hours; create assignment submission areas; or create online assessments.
Faculty and students can access Blackboard by going to https://blackboard.newpaltz.edu and logging-in with their NPCUID. On the main page that opens, individuals will see a list of all courses in which they are enrolled. For students, courses will become available one week before the semester begins.
Blackboard requires the use of a java-enabled browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome for Windows (Internet Explorer is not recommended) and Safari, Firefox, or Chrome for Macs. Other java-enabled browsers may work, but are not Blackboard tested for reliability. Some Blackboard tools (i.e. Collaborate) require Java to be installed or they will not work. Click for a full list of supported browsers, as well as supported operating systems.
Faculty using Blackboard are supported by staff in the Teaching and Learning Center (College Hall 113) and all questions or concerns relating to Blackboard should be directed to Linda Smith (x3188) or Kate Hurd (x3820) (do not contact the Academic Computer Help Desk for Blackboard related questions). Also, the Teaching and Learning Center website hosts valuable tutorials for both faculty and students who need to learn Blackboard related skills or who need to troubleshoot Blackboard related issues. Students who experience Blackboard related issues should contact the SUNY Learning Network for support; please see the Resources for Blackboard Help page for more information.
Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions