Missouri State University
Blackboard at Missouri State University
Blackboard News & Info

October Black Belts!

BbBlackbelt_logoCongratulations to the most recent recipients of the Blackboard Black Belt! These intrepid members of the Missouri State Faculty and Staff have attended all 13 hours of Blackboard training offered by Computer Services and have learned the ins and outs of our learning management system. Without further ado, the Blackboard Black belts of October 2014!

  • Ethan Amidon, Criminology & Criminal Justice 
  • Ari Carter, Computer Services
  • Lacy Geiger, Missouri State Outreach
  • Rachel Jamieson, Theatre & Dance
  • Sue McCrory, Computers For Learning
  • Michael Suttmoeller, Criminology & Criminal Justice

To learn more about the Blackboard Black Belt Program at Missouri State University and find out how to get yours, visit the Help Desk website.

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SafeAssign Planned Service Outage

The SafeAssign central services will undergo maintenance that requires a service outage on Thursday October 30, 2014 from 2:00 AM US Eastern (GMT-4) until 6:00 AM US Eastern (GMT-4). SafeAssign functionality will not be available and an error will be displayed to the user.  Papers will not be processed and reports will be delayed until after the maintenance has completed.

Please contact Blackboard Learn Client Support if you have any questions.

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Blackboard Jumpstart Online Course

Want to learn about the basics of Blackboard but can’t make it to an in-person class? Not a problem! Computer Services offers an online Blackboard Jumpstart course that you can take anywhere at any time. This asynchronous course is comprised of a series of videos to help you find your way around Blackboard followed by a few short quizzes to reinforce what you are learning. If you’re interested, all you need to do is fill out a brief form on the Blackboard Training Opportunities page. From there, click the link on the top of the page to show the form. Taking this course will earn you a Blackboard White Belt, just as attending an in-person course would. Happy learning!​

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Pearson MyLab and Mastering Server Maintenance Scheduled 9/26 – 10/1

Some server maintenance will impact Pearson users 9/26 – 10/1.

From Pearson:

“Amazon Web Services (AWS) has informed Pearson that it needs to restart a number of its servers between September 26 and October 1, 2014.

Pearson, along with many​ other companies, uses AWS to offer several of its products and services over the internet. This means that some features in Pearson products which use AWS to run and support their systems could be unavailable during these restarts. Each server restart takes around 20-25 minutes.

Why is this happening?

AWS has indicated that these restarts are in response to a security issue. Restarting each system allows AWS to ensure its services remain secure. Since we were advised of the plan to restart the AWS servers, we have been working around the clock to review the possible impact and take all possible steps to mitigate or minimize disruption for our customers. We will post messaging on our 24/7 Technical Support site (http://247pearsoned.custhelp.com/) if any disruptions do take place and teams will work to restore performance as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this process with AWS. Please reach out to your Strategic Customer Operations Consultant with any questions.

Thank you,

Pearson MyLab and Mastering Team”

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Blackboard Black Belt Tip: Attachments










For the inaugural edition of our Black Belt Tip series, we’re proud to feature a tip from Chulapol Thanomsing, Instructional Designer from the West Plains Campus and a Computer Services Blackboard Black Belt! Chulapol recommends using the “paper clip” (insert file) in the text editor to attach files within your content. For instructions on how to use the insert file tool in the rich text editor, see this page in Experts!

Thanks for the tip, Chulapol!

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Blackboard Feature Spotlight: Global Navigation Menu & My Blackboard

My Blackboard

The Global Navigation Menu & My Blackboard Suite of tools makes it faster and easier to interact with Blackboard for both instructors and students. To access it, simply click on your name in the upper right hand side of the Blackboard window. This will reveal the Global Navigation Menu, a far more convenient way of navigating from course to course. Along the left side of the Global Navigation Menu, you’ll see a series of icons. These are the My Blackboard suite of tools. Each tool gives you quick access to some aspect of your digital learning experience, from the “Posts” area which covers your discussion boards, blogs, wikis, and journals to “People”, which allows you to connect to your fellow Bears in a whole new way. For more information about the Global Navigation Menu and My Blackboard suite of tools, check out this article in Experts.

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Blackboard Spotlight: Online Training Courses

Computer Services is excited to introduce several new learning options on your way to master Blackboard! Several of our classes will now be offered online through Blackboard Collaborate. These classes are fully synchronous, so you can interact with the instructor in real time and find answers to all of your Blackboard questions. To take part in one of these sessions, register online through My Learning Connection. After you register, you will receive an email with instructions for logging into the class.

We’re also developing an asynchronous Blackboard Jumpstart course to earn your Blackboard White Belt anywhere at any time; keep an eye on the Blackboard blog for more information about this exciting opportunity. Last but not least, we’re also offering virtual sessions of our “Ask the Experts: Blackboard” session from 1:30–4:30 p.m. every Friday that the University is open. Visit the Blackboard support website to drop in to our virtual office during those times.

If you have any questions about our synchronous or asynchronous classes or our weekly virtual open session, please contact Ryan Spilken, Technical Trainer, at (417) 836-6056.

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Blackboard Mobile Learn App is Now Free For Missouri State!

Interacting with your students is a key component to keeping them engaged, and Blackboard Mobile Learn makes it even easier to check and update Blackboard right from your mobile device. Students and instructors can now download the Blackboard Mobile Learn app for free through the App Store and Google Play. iOS and Android devices on all carriers and networks can use the application. For more information about downloading or using the Blackboard Mobile Learn app, visit the Blackboard Mobile Learn page in Experts, or see a quick overview of the features at Blackboard’s Mobile Learn Site.


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Turnitin to SafeAssign Transition

Missouri State University’s current subscription for Turnitin is discontinued as of June 30, 2014. It was determined that most critical purposes of Turnitin can be accomplished through Blackboard’s SafeAssign tool. To help faculty make the transition from Turnitin to Blackboard SafeAssign, Instructors can attend one of the Blackboard Learn: Assessing Learners sessions on June 24th or 25th, or visit us during any Friday in the Ask the Experts: Blackboard Open Session. See the University Calendar for a complete list of Blackboard training dates provided by Computer Services. Our Experts online documentation has been also been updated, so you can view step-by-step guides on SafeAssign.

If you have any questions about Turnitin, please contact Michael Frizell, Director of Student Learning Services, Bear Claw, Meyer Library 112, ext 65006.

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