November 2012

Office Hours with Darek Sady: You have Questions? We have Answers!

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Faculty Training Materials & Opportunities

Cengage MindTap Training Seminars for Faculty
Cengage Learning is hosting a series of MindTap-related webinars over the coming months. Pass this link along to your faculty to give them more training opportunities on Cengage digital products.

Tuesdays: WileyPLUS and Blackboard: Integrating all Your Course Materials in One Place
WileyPLUS builds students' confidence because it takes the guesswork out of studying by providing a clear roadmap: what to do, how to do it, and if they did it right. The WileyPLUS/Blackboard integration gives you and your students access to the rich collection of learning content and tools from WileyPLUS directly within the Blackboard LearnTM platform. This virtual product information session, hosted by a WileyPLUS Account Manager, will provide an overview and take you inside the integration by highlighting its key features and benefits. Come discover the advantage of the new unified teaching and learning experience from WileyPLUS and Blackboard.

Topics include:

  • Overview of the partnership
  • Instructor experience
  • Student experience
  • Resources & support

Faculty Success Webpage
Check out this new resource for faculty that includes information on how to build a better course, links to professional development opportunities, and tips & tricks about how to use Blackboard Learn to its fullest. 

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Spring Semester Prep: How to Successfully Copy a Linked Blackboard Learn Course and a McGraw-Hill Connect Section

It’s that time of year: Spring semester is around the corner. Let the course copying begin! We know that copying courses can sometimes be a little confusing. If you need to copy a linked Blackboard Learn course that is paired to a McGraw-Hill Connect section, we’re here to help!

You can successfully copy a Blackboard Learn course that is linked to a McGraw-Hill Connect section, without creating duplicate assignments and columns in the Blackboard Learn Gradebook, by following the steps outlined in the McGraw-Hill Connect & Create Building Block Instructor Guide (Section 3.3, page 17).

The key is to first copy the McGraw-Hill Connect section and the Blackboard Learn course separately. Then, you can use the McGraw-Hill Tools in Blackboard Learn to reset the Connect pairing, re-pair the new Blackboard Learn course to the new Connect section, and manually synchronize the two with one-click.

Please follow the step-by-step instructions found on page 17 of this Instructor Guide. If you have any questions along the way, submit a ticket to Behind the Blackboard or to McGraw-Hill’s Customer Experience Group (CXG) here. When submitting the CXG form, please select Connect Enterprise/Learn as the “Product Name” under Product Information to ensure the quickest response. 

Remember: more documentation and resources for the McGraw-Hill Connect and Create Building Block can be found on the Blackboard website at under the “Resources” tab, as well as in the McGraw-Hill Knowledge Base article on Behind the Blackboard.

Earn a "My Students are Luckier Than Yours" Badge

At Blackboard, we believe that System Administrators are the key to implementing new technologies at their institutions.  They are always on the forefront of adopting tools to extend the Blackboard Learn platform to make the lives of instructors easier, but did you know System Administrators can impact students learning beyond the classroom by giving them easier access to internships?

Give your students access to more internship opportunities this year

It’s no secret that students are concerned now more than ever to find a job after graduation. In a 2010 survey report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 73 percent of employers stated the desire for higher education to put more emphasis on “the ability to apply knowledge and skills to real-world settings through intern ships and other hands-on experiences.” [The Chronicle, April 24, 2011] But, finding an internship that is the right fit for a student can be a struggle in itself. Blackboard System Administrators can help connect students to internships within their Blackboard Learn environment., the largest marketplace for internships, part-time jobs and entry-level positions is available within Blackboard Learn.  Additionally was selected by Forbes as the one of the 10 Best Websites for Your Career.  The partnership allows students to access’s vast inventory of internships – currently over 60,000 active positions – all which have been vetted and verified by the team.  The partnership complements and adds value to existing career-focused efforts and provides one more resource for students as they are looking for internships.

The time to act is now – help your students succeed beyond the classroom

You now have the opportunity to earn the use of the Blackboard “My students are luckier than yours” badge, to be sent to you upon activation of the Building Block. Like the other official Blackboard badges, we encourage you to use the badge for your own professional development on your Facebook, LinkedIN, Pinterist, blog or any other personal channel profile.  Or, print it out and tape it to your computer monitor, pin it to your bulletin board, or tape it to your office door.  Download, install, and register the Building Block and then fill out your name and email address here.

ExamSoft Connect: Connecting a Secure Assessment and Learning Analytics Solution with Blackboard Learn

Join us for a Blackboard and ExamSoft webinar!
Patrick Chadd, Acting Associate Director of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine and Daniel Muzquiz, CEO of ExamSoft, will provide an overview of the ExamSoft Building Block, ExamSoft Connect, and show how this institution is utilizing the product to deliver high stakes exams. ExamSoft is a leading provider of secure, scalable, and affordable computer-based testing solutions, and ExamSoft Connect synchronizes courses, student records, add/drop information, and grades seamlessly into the Blackboard Learn™ platform to create a unified user experience for faculty and students. 

Learn more at

Webinar Date: November 15th, 3PM ET

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Campus-wide Technology Training @ UMass Boston: Maximizing the Potential of our Instructional Design Team

Join Blackboard and Signature Partner Atomic Learning to hear how UMass Boston successfully created a virtual training presence on campus and provided an online training solution for faculty, staff and students. You’ll see an overview of key features of the Atomic Learning Blackboard Building Block including deep linking capabilities, reports and thousands of short video tutorials to support staff, students, and faculty technology training needs.

Paula Dinneen is an Instructional Designer with UMass Boston and a sixteen-year veteran of delivering data driven standards based education.  As an instructional designer she is passionate about educational technologies and helping faculty incorporate technology in their face-to-face and online classrooms.  She is presently working to migrate Blackboard Vista users to Blackboard Learn 9.1, helping to design online templates that benefit student learning, building pedagogically sound online courses that engage students and training faculty on the use of the new LMS.  Paula also specializes in Universal Design focusing on making all online courses accessible.  Her latest project includes bringing Atomic Learning to UMass Boston, through the integration with Blackboard Learn.

Learn more at

Webinar Date
Wednesday, December 5th at 2:00pm (ET)

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New Kids on the Block: Cengage Learning Training Specialists

Cengage Learning is proud to announce the creation of a new group of field staff –Implementation Training Specialists – who are readily equipped to help answer questions about the Cengage Learning Blackboard Building Block. These Implementation and Training Specialists (ITS) are there to help guide you and your faculty on how to best implement Cengage digital solutions based on each instructor’s needs for their course. Each ITS is regionally based and account focused so they can help you with Cengage Learning content used by any department on campus. To date, there are  a total of 36 ITS on campuses across the country, ready to assist you. To arrange a meeting, please email and we will connect you with the ITS for your institution.

Learn more about the Cengage Learning Blackboard Building Block and Download the Building Block today!

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Up for Debate? Free "Decision 2012" Video Content from NBC Learn

A presidential campaign is, by nature, ripe with material for current events. Intensified by the explosion of social media channels over the last few years, the campaign trail is now a prime source for instant course content. Instructors can replay videos from last night’s debate, stream live-footage from a rally or display results from today’s election on a moment’s notice. Now, history can literally be taught, learned and relived in the making.

Amidst the excitement in America over today’s Elections, NBC Learn launched a new collection of free resources for students and teachers “Decision 2012”. This special collection of online content is designed to help students research and analyze the 2012 election based on the candidates, the major issues, the calendar of events, and the process behind the campaigns. Using stories from current and past presidential elections in teaching and learning modules, this collection supports student learning and engagement around the presidential election. The free “Decision 2012” offering includes premier content from partner organizations and institutions such as, Carnegie Learning, Lynn University, the Newseum, and Scholastic Inc. Read more here.

For more information on “Decision 2012” and NBC Learn, visit

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