Faculty Announcements


Welcome to the Summer 2020 Semester



See "Bb Tools" and "Teaching with Bb" links to the left for additional online resources. Visit our Blackboard Collaborate page for information on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.


What's New with Blackboard?


New Inline Grading Tool Coming June 29th

New Box is the current inline grading tool in Blackboard. However, New Box will soon be replaced by Bb Annotate. Bb Annotate will offer more robust features for instructors to provide customizable feedback to students, including a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, color selections, and more.


To prepare for the release of Bb Annotate, please check out the Bb Annotate Toolkit




Blackboard (Bb) will be upgraded to the Bb Q4 2019 release scheduled on August 16, 2020. With this upgrade, the following new features and enhancements will be available. Please note that Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Blackboard.

Click here for supported browsers.


New Features:

Take Attendance Using Bb Collaborate

New Safe Assign Originality Report

Open File Upload Warning for Edge Browser Users

Needs Grading filter selection is remembered

Calendar Items and Due Date Notifications for Additional Content Types

New Facilitator Course Role and More Granular Permissions

Course Availability Controls in More Places



Additional Information:

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Learn Mobile Apps

Blackboard Jumpstart Training

Information for faculty teaching online and hybrid/online courses

Information for all faculty teaching with Blackboard

Blackboard Semester Preparation Procedures for Faculty

eLearning Blog

Blackboard Known Issues

Need help with Blackboard?



Taking Attendance Using Bb Collaborate

Let Collaborate take attendance for you. If you use Collaborate from your Blackboard Learn course, you can choose to have Collaborate send student attendance to your Blackboard Learn course Attendance page.


Attendance reporting is off by default. You must turn attendance reporting on for each session you want to track attendance in. Attendance reporting is only available in sessions with an end date and time.

Click here for more information on taking attendance using Bb Collaborate


Click here for information on adding and/or deleting Attendance Grade Center columns.



New SafeAssign Originality Report

The design of the SafeAssign Originality Report in Blackboard Learn has been updated. The new Originality Report uses Blackboard's Ultra design philosophy and includes some new information about a submission's overall risk for being copied from another source. This new report interface is also more responsive for mobile devices and more accessible to screen readers than the old design. 


For information on the new design, click here.

Open file upload warning for Edge browser users

Due to a known Microsoft Edge issue, some users who access Blackboard Learn through the Microsoft Edge browser have encountered problems attaching and submitting open Microsoft Office files. To help prevent file submission problems, Learn now warns Microsoft Edge users that they should close files before uploading them. The message only displays the first time the user encounters a file upload workflow in a Blackboard Learn session.


Needs Grading filter selection is remembered

With this release, Bb will remember instructors' preferences for the Show attempts that don’t contribute to user's grade filter on the Needs Grading page. By default, the checkbox is unselected and student attempts that don’t affect grades won’t show on the Needs Grading list. When an instructor changes the setting, Learn will remember the preference across that user’s sessions and courses.


Calendar items and due date notifications for additional content types

To give users a single, comprehensive view of their class requirements and activities, Calendar and To Do modules are now expanded to include the due dates from additional content types including manual columns, SCORM, and those from third-party solutions.


New Facilitator course role and more granular permissions

For institutions that centrally manage course development and settings, these more granular course role permissions enable roles to teach, engage, and grade but not modify materials or settings. There is also a new default course role called Facilitator. As with other default course roles, the specific permissions can be edited.


Course Availability Controls in More Places

The availability indicator and toggle now appears in additional tools and management pages, including the Discussion Board.


When an instructor, teaching assistant, or other entitled user has the privileges to edit course availability settings, they can select the padlock icon to toggle availability. If availability date settings need adjustment, the padlock icon will take the user to the Settings Management page.



Grading in Blackboard Instructor App

Instructors can now grade assignments in the Blackboard Instructor mobile app. They can review assignment submissions and attachments, provide comments and inline annotations, grade with rubrics, and publish grades to students. For more on how to grade in the Instructor app, click here.




Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience

Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact with your students. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser, so you don't have to install any software to join a session. Click here for frequently asked questions and a Bb video. For more information on how to get started with Collaborate in your Blackboard course, click here.



NOTE: The Blackboard Collaborate course room will no longer be available under the Blackboard Collaborate link after this upgrade. The Collaborate Course room will be available under the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra link only.



Blackboard Mobile Learn Apps:

The Blackboard Instructor Mobile Learn App is a mobile solution that helps instructors and those in teaching roles manage their courses, and easily communicate with learners and quickly complete administrative tasks. Click here for a video on the Instructor Mobile App.


For additional help with the Instructor App, click here.


Student Mobile Learn App: There is also a new app designed especially for students to view content and participate in courses. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices. Click here for information on the Student App.


NOTE: iOS 13+ users: Please update your mobile app to Blackboard 4.7.1+ or Blackboard Instructor 2.12.1+ for a push notification fix. After the app update, please log out and log in again to resolve the issue.




Blackboard Jumpstart Training

Mandatory for Newly Hired First-time Fulltime and Adjunct Faculty.
Blackboard is the college’s academic learning management system (LMS).  All PGCC faculty are expected to use Blackboard to support and enhance every credit class offered on campus. This training is mandatory for all faculty who will be teaching at the college for the first time. The course will remain open for the duration of the semester, however it is recommended that it is completed within the first two weeks of the semester. Sign up by searching for “Blackboard Jumpstart” in Cornerstone!





Important Dates


May 28, 2020: Summer 2020 courses starting on June 1 will become available to students in Bb. (4 days prior to start date). All courses in Bb become available to students 4 days before the start date of the course.





Information for Faculty Teaching Online and Hybrid/Online Courses

Online Student Orientation


All summer orientation sessions will be conducted online.

Online Tutoring - SMARTHINKING

Smarthinking is an online tutoring service that Prince George's Community College has made available to students. Smarthinking provides tutoring in a variety of subjects, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  Please inform your students about this valuable tool. Smarthinking can be accessed through the "Quicklinks" button in your course.



eLearning Online Student Orientation “Course” in Blackboard

All credit students will be enrolled in the Blackboard course “2020SU Student Bb Orientation". From this course, students can access the Bb student orientation and other helpful information to help them get started in Bb. There is currently no certificate that students can print out after completing this course.





Information for ALL Faculty Teaching With Blackboard


Bb Course Site Availability

All summer session Blackboard courses will become available to students 4 days prior to the start date of the course. All sessions will be conducted online, either synchronously or asynchronously.






Need Help With Blackboard?

The eLearning website has a wealth of information on Blackboard and other tools used with Blackboard.