Last week UTC Online switched to a new Blackboard version for Summer 2011 (and following) courses and Blackboard organizations. Users now are directed to the new Blackboard server and may access the new server through MyMocsNet, the login at utconline.utc.edu, or directly at bb4.utc.edu

Summer term instructors are reminded to make their course available when it is ready for students to view (step-by-step PDF):
Control Panel > Customization: Properties > 3. Set Availability to Yes > click Submit

UTC Online would like to highlight three important issues for users with the new Blackboard version:

1. Accessing Microsoft Office Files in Blackboard Using Internet Explorer
If you attempt to access a Microsoft Office file (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, Excel) within Blackboard while using Internet Explorer (IE), you may be asked to login again in a window prompt which typically opens behind your main window. UTC Online recommends you use a different internet browser (such as Firefox) when using UTC Online, but other workarounds to open the file include selecting “Cancel” in the relogin window prompt, saving the file locally, or making a configuration change in IE so that the relogin prompt does not appear. Read about how to make the IE configuration change.

2. Difference in how Course Announcements Sent by Email
If you choose to email your course announcements (“Send Email to all users even those that choose not to receive Announcement notifications through email”), you should be aware these types of emails no longer come to students from your email address. Instead, these announcement emails instead appear to be sent by the UTC Online administrator’s email (utconlin@utc.edu). This change is due to how the new Blackboard version sends notifications to students. Thus, if a student simply hits reply to your emailed course announcement, the student will unintentionally send a reply to the UTC Online email address. It is recommended that you use the Send Email tool (Control Panel > Course Tools: Send Email) when emailing students an announcement as these emails will always come from your email address.

3. Hiding the Course Menu
Users may become confused and state they “cannot see the course” after entering it. What users mean is that they cannot navigate the course using the course menu. The course menu can be hidden and shown by clicking the right bracket character on the left hand side of the screen. View this issue in action.

Please contact or stop by the Walker Teaching Resource Center (401 Hunter) if you have any questions about UTC Online’s new Blackboard version.

UTC Online Administrator
utconline@utc.edu