Faculty Announcements


Welcome to the Fall 2019 Semester!


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


What's New with Blackboard?

Blackboard (Bb) went through several changes this summer. Bb was upgraded to the ‘Q4 2018’ release in May, a new course menu link "Library Resources' was added in June and the Bb theme was updated in July.


With the Bb upgrade, the following new features and enhancements are available. Please note that with this upgrade, Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Blackboard. Click here for supported browsers.


New Features:

Attendance Tracking

Record audio and video feedback for students

Cloud Storage Integration

Download annotated PDF's

Additional attempts in anonymous grading

Grading in Blackboard Instructor App


Known Issue with this release


Additional Information





Library Resource Course Menu Link

A new ‘Library Resources’ link was added to every course menu:
You will see the Library Resources link in all of your fall courses. This link is defaulted to be hidden from students. If you wish to use the Library Resources tool in your course, please click on the down arrow next to the text “Library Resources” and select “Show Link”.


Under the Library Resources link, you will find course guides, the A-Z list of databases, subject guides and library chat. When you click on the library link, a library portal page pops up in the blackboard shell. The portal is complete with resources designed to help your students with their writing assignments.





Bb Theme Update

With the ‘Bb theme’ update, you will see the following changes:

  1. All course menus will be defaulted to a dark gray background with white text.
  2. Menu buttons will be replaced with only text.
  3. Colors on the landing page are different.

Although you cannot use menu buttons, you can change the background and text color of your course by following the steps outlined in the Knowledge Article found here.






Additional Information:

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Learn Mobile Apps

Blackboard Jumpstart Training

Students now receive "Submission Confirmation Receipts"

Information for faculty teaching online and hybrid/online courses

Information for all faculty teaching with Blackboard

Blackboard Semester Preparation Procedures for Faculty

Blackboard Navigation Template Required

eLearning Blog

Blackboard Known Issues

Need help with Blackboard?







Attendance Tracking

Blackboard now has an attendance tracking feature. This is a different tool than the "ILP" Attendance and does not connect to Colleague. For each class meeting, instructors can mark whether a student is present, late, absent, or excused. The attendance records appear in a single grade center column in the gradebook. On the Attendance page, profile pictures appear so instructors can identify students.


NOTE: It is recommended that you make any course copies before taking attendance to avoid getting an additional attendance grade center column created.


Click here for a tour of the Attendance Tracking.




Record audio and video feedback for students

Instructors can create personalized audio or video feedback recordings while grading. Students can easily access the recording without the need of a browser plug-in. This feedback functionality is supported within Assignments, Tests, graded Discussions, graded Wikis, graded Blogs, graded Journals, and manual grade columns. Recordings are stored in the cloud and do not utilize hosting storage allocation or local storage. 


For information on how to create audio and video feedback, click here.




Cloud storage integration

Instructors and students can upload documents from their preferred cloud storage accounts – including OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox – directly into their course when authoring content items or creating assignments. Students can do the same when uploading assignments.  To use Google Drive, use Chrome.


For more information on cloud storage, click here.




Download annotated PDFs

Instructors and students can now download annotated files for permanent record using in-line grading. DOC, DOCX, or PDF files with annotations will download as an annotated PDF. Students can download the annotated file after their submission has been graded.





Additional attempts in anonymous grading

To better support anonymized assessment practice, instructors can now grant additional assignment attempts to students as needed while still maintaining the full anonymity of the process.


For more information on anonymous grading, click here.






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.







Known Issue with Q4 2018


The "Browse My YouTube Videos" tool in the Content Editor does not work. When you click on the tool, you will get a screen to "Sign in to YouTube". When you click on it, it doesn't go anywhere.


    Content editor


Recommend to your students to use the Mashups tool when embedding YouTube videos.


    YouTube Mashup






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. Students will now receive an email with their submission notification. Instructors can run a report listing all student submissions. Click here for more information.








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.






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.


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.







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!


  • Online via Blackboard - Course open from Monday, August 12–Sunday, December 8, 2019




Important Dates


August 22: Courses starting on August 26th will become available to students in Blackboard.
August 26: First day of fall 2019 semester.


All 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


August 22nd:

There will be a drop-in session in CAT109 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm for any student wishing to have hands-on training. There will be no on-campus Online Student General Orientation session.

Individual Instructor-led Course Orientation sessions will be held between 5:00pm and 8:00pm on Thursday, August 22nd. 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. 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 “2019FA Bb Student 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 Blackboard courses will become available to students 4 days prior to the start date of the course. Any course that will have an orientation session on August 22nd, will become available on that day so students can access their course during orientation.







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.