Faculty Announcements


Welcome to the Spring 2018 Semester!


See "Bb Tools" and "Teaching with Bb" links to the left for additional online resources.


NOTE: Please check your Blackboard rosters against your Owl Link rosters. Send any discrepancies to eLearning Services.


What's New?

New Inline Grading Feature

Dropbox Integration

Drag and Drop Files

Submission Confirmation Receipts

Email Reminders

Fewer "Needs Grading" Items

Course Activity Report Enhancement



Blackboard Jumpstart Training: All PGCC faculty are expected to use Blackboard to support and enhance every credit class offered on campus. Click here for information on available training.


Blackboard Mobil 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.


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.



Click on links below for useful information





New Inline Grading Tool


The Blackboard Inline Grading Tool will be upgraded during Winter Break - Croc-o-doc is going away, and New Box View API is here!


Some key features of New Box View API include:

  1. Improved rendering
  2. Expanded support for new file types
  3. Videos and images are displayed

A scheduled Blackboard upgrade will begin at 3:30 a.m. on Monday, December 25. Blackboard will be unavailable for 12 hours as the upgrade to New Box View API is completed.


Click here to read more about the update to New Box API.








Dropbox Integration

Users can attach files and submit assignments from their personal Dropbox accounts using this new cloud service integration. Click here for more information.







Drag and Drop Files

When you create content items, assignments, and web links in your Blackboard course, you can now drag files from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.






Submission Confirmation Receipts

Administrators and instructors can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. This feature provides evidence for academic disputes, giving students assurance about their work.

A receipt is generated for each group member when a student submits on behalf of the group, and the anonymous state of an assignment is respected. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission. Click here for more information.







Email Reminders

Instructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included. Instructors can also send reminders for assignments with anonymous or delegated grading enabled. To protect anonymity, students' names and attempt statuses aren't revealed. Click here for more information.







Fewer Needs Grading items

When multiple-attempt assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, there are potentially numerous other attempts that will never be used for the grade calculation. This can be particularly problematic in anonymous or delegated grading scenarios where it can be difficult to determine which attempts are associated with students and therefore require grading. A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide these attempts. Attempts that won't calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon. Click here for more information.








Course Activity report enhancement

The Course Activity Overview report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrollment courses. Instructors can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups. Click here for more information.







Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience

All courses will now be using the Ultra experience when using Collaborate in your Blackboard course. 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.






Blackboard Jumpstart Training

All PGCC faculty are expected to use Blackboard to support and enhance every credit class offered on campus.  This training will provide Blackboard basics on how to post announcements, your syllabus, schedule and contact information. It also goes over how to use the Grade Center. See below for training dates/times.


eLearning Services has scheduled four (4) training sessions over the Spring 2018 semester.

Blackboard Jumpstart training for faculty:

Wednesday, January 17




Friday, January 19




Friday, January 19




Wednesday, January 24


3:30 pm



To register, login to Cornerstone using your Owl Link username and password. Enter "Jumpstart" in the Search box and press Enter. Click on "Blackboard Jumpstart Training (Basic)" and select the date/time you wish to attend.






Blackboard Text Notifications


The Blackboard notification system alerts you when events occur in your courses, such as when items need grading, new content and tests are made available, and when you have unread discussions and blogs. Notifications are generated automatically whenever their associated events occur and can be received as an email, text, voice message or a notification in the Dashboard. You and your students have the option to edit the way you receive these notifications. For information on how to edit your notification settings, click here and scroll down to "Choose how and when you get notifications".


For more information on the Notification Dashboard and how to edit your settings, click here. If you select to receive text notifications (SMS) or 'Text to Voice" you must have your mobile phone number listed in your Personal Settings.






Blackboard Content Collection

Blackboard's Content Collection is a file repository that allows faculty to store, manage, and share content. The Content Collection functions as a virtual hard drive that can be accessed from any computer by logging into a user's Blackboard account. With the content collection system, you can store your files once and link to them from any Blackboard course or organization. Click here for more information.


Blackboard Drive is a desktop application that allows you to map a network drive to the Content Collection in a Blackboard course or organization. With Blackboard Drive you can manage your files easily on your desktop. Files can be opened, edited, and saved right to your computer without having to re-upload them back into Blackboard. Click here for more information and how to install Blackboard Drive. Click here for a "quick hit" video on using Bb Drive.






Blackboard Retention Center

Faculty, are you aware of the Blackboard Student Retention Center? The Retention Center provides an easy way for you to discover which students in your course are at risk. From the Retention Center, you can communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement. You can access the retention center from your course control panel under "Evaluation". Click here for more information.








Student Preview


As an instructor, you can view your course as a student to confirm that your course functions as intended. Use student preview to review the course content and validate the course behaviors, such as those that control the availability of course content or require a particular interaction from the student to be triggered. This way you can be sure what your students are seeing. Click here for more information on 'Student Preview' or Click here for instructions on how to use Student Preview.







Colleague Retention Alert


The Colleague Retention Alert is different than the Blackboard Retention Center that is designed to help faculty quickly see what students are at risk. The Colleague Retention Alert is designed to submit a Retention Alert to Colleague.


  • Access to Colleague Retention Alert system from within Blackboard
    Faculty will be able to access the Colleague Retention Alert early warning system from within Blackboard (without additional login).

    To streamline submission of early warning messages to students, faculty will be able to access the Colleague Retention Alert system from within Blackboard.


  • Click here for instructions on how to submit a Retention Alert.





MyPgcc Portal


Access to Blackboard Courses from the myPGCC Portal

Faculty and students have access to Blackboard course sites and course announcements directly from the myPGCC portal (without additional login). From the portal, students and faculty are able to click on the Blackboard course link and go directly to the Blackboard course, without additional login to Blackboard.






Important Dates

August 24: Courses starting on August 28th will become available to students in Blackboard.
August 28: First day of fall 2017 semester.


All other courses will become available to students 4 days prior to the start date of the course.








Information for Faculty Teaching Online and Hybrid/Online Courses

Online Student Orientation

The on-campus Online Student General Orientation will be held on Thursday, August 24th.

Individual Instructor-led Course Orientation sessions will be held between 5:00pm and 8:00pm on Thursday, August 24th. Click Here for schedule.


Online Tutoring - SMARTHINKING

Smarthinking is an online tutoring service that Prince George's Community College has made available to online 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 online students about this valuable tool. Note:  Due to the limited licensing, we are only able to extend this service to online students at this time. Smarthinking can be accessed through the "Quicklinks" button in your course.



eLearning Online Student Orientation “Course” in Blackboard

All online and hybrid/online students have been enrolled in the Blackboard course “eLearning Online Student Orientation". From this Blackboard course, students can access the online student orientation and other helpful information to help them get started in their online course.







Information for ALL Faculty Teaching With Blackboard


Bb Course Site Availability

All Blackboard courses will become available to students 4 days prior to the start date of the course. Students registered for regular-semester classes that begin on Monday, August 28th will be able to access their courses in Blackboard on Thursday, August 24, 2017.







Need Help With Blackboard?

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

  • The Teaching with Blackboard page has a variety of tutorials and other training materials to help you teach with Blackboard.
  • New to Blackboard or still searching for an answer? Our How Do I? page has additional tutorials on getting started with Blackboard.
  • See the list of Known Issues or the eLearning blog for updates and workarounds.