Missouri State University
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Blackboard News & Info

January 8th & 9th ALL DAY Ask the Experts Blackboard Open Sessions!

In order to help get the amazing MSU Faculty ready for Spring 2015, Computer Services will offer two full days of our Ask the Experts Blackboard Open Sessions on January 8th and 9th, 2015.

From 8am to 5pm on both days, come to the Meyer Library 205 Technology Training Center and get Blackboard assistance from one of our awesome Help Desk employees.

These sessions don’t require any registration and are open to all who need help getting ready for the coming Semester. See you next year!

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Learn new tools and prepare for 2015!

Computer Services is offering several opportunities to help you get a great start to the Spring 2015 semester. Sessions are listed on the University Calendar, the Blackboard Blog, with registration through My Learning Connection unless otherwise noted. Some great updates are coming to Blackboard here at Missouri State University, and these trainings are the ideal way to learn how to make the most of them.

  • January 6th and 7th – In person classes over Blackboard Collaborate will be held. Information and registration is through the My Learning Connection system.
  • January 6th and 7th – Faculty and staff who have completed the Blackboard Black Belt series have been sent invitations to Black Belt Master Classes. These two-hour workshops provide Black Belts the opportunity to see and work with Collaborate and the new Content Collection tools to build their courses. There is no registration for these courses. Black Belts should check their email for their Black Belt Master class invite and more information.
  • Jan. 8th and 9th – Two full days of our “Ask the Experts” Blackboard Open Sessions! Receive answers to your questions and one-on-one assistance from one of our friendly Help Desk Blackboard support specialists between 8 am and 5 pm in the Meyer Library 205 Technology Training Center. These come-and-go sessions do not require any registration and are open to all who need help getting ready for the coming semester.


  • January 13th – The regular 6-course Black Belt Series will begin. Individual Blackboard Black Belt series courses are offered in two modes: In Person and Online Live via Collaborate. There’s also half-day Boot Camps for if you are looking for a fast-paced class. And be looking for more Online Video training courses to be offered later in 2015!
  • Starting January 16th, the “Ask the Experts” Blackboard Open session will resume to every Friday between 1:30 and 4:30 pm in the Meyer Library Technology Training Center; no registration is ever needed for “Ask the Experts”.
  • 24/7 – Our Online Video Blackboard “Jumpstart” course is currently available 24/7 as self-paced introduction to the Blackboard user interface, general navigation, and core tools used in the teaching and learning process. To request access to Blackboard “Jumpstart”, complete the request form on the Computer Services Help Desk website under Blackboard Support to be added to this online Video Course.
  • 24/7 – How-to, troubleshooting, and reference articles on Blackboard Collaborate and all other Blackboard tools are found in our online Experts documentation repository. We’re looking forward to rolling out our new Experts Learning Management System Knowledge Base coming soon! The new Experts Knowledge Base will feature enhanced search and suggested help articles to make finding Blackboard and related resources even easier.

For more information about Computer Services learning management system training or other resources, visit this site. If you’re in need of Blackboard assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the Computer Services Help Desk.


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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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