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Teaching with Blackboard

About Blackboard

Blackboard™ is a course management system used campus-wide at NIU. The system allows faculty to post materials, deliver tests and surveys, hold online discussion and many other course-related functions. All currently-enrolled students and teaching faculty have access to the Blackboard system. We are running Blackboard version 9.1 Service Pack 14, having upgraded the system May 25, 2014. Login to the NIU Blackboard site at: http://webcourses.niu.edu

Email From Blackboard Being Marked as Spam

Posted: 1/29/15

Recently, there have been reports that email sent from within Blackboard is being marked as spam by several third party email providers (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook, Yahoo). This can be a problem when students expect or rely on emailed Announcements, or use of the Send Email tool.

The Division of Information Technology has determined that the biggest impact occurs when the message is sent by a faculty member or instructor who has changed their email address from their official NIU address to an alternative email address. Of particular note is the use of Yahoo addresses, which are often not merely flagged as spam, but blocked altogether, meaning students may receive no email at all.

It is recommended that any faculty member or instructor who has changed their email address within Blackboard (and especially if it has been changed to a Yahoo email address), they change it back to their NIU email alias by emailing a request to helpdesk@niu.edu.

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New launcher replaces Java for launching Blackboard Collaborate sessions on Windows

Posted: 01/15/2015

NEW Windows Launcher for 2015: A recent update to Blackboard Collaborate eliminates the need for a compatible version of Java to function. Starting this semester, all Blackboard Collaborate sessions will initiate using the new Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. This utility has been available and successful for over a year for Mac users, and is now available for Windows, as well. The Launcher provides a convenient and reliable way for you to launch your Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing sessions and recordings.

It is no longer necessary to install and maintain the system version of Java in order to access Blackboard Collaborate sessions or recordings. In addition, the Launcher will only need to be installed once per computer, the first time it is used to join a Blackboard Collaborate session.

Information about downloading and using the Launcher is available at facdev.niu.edu/winlauncher for Windows and facdev.niu.edu/maclauncher for Mac, or watch the video to the right for a demonstration of downloading the Launcher for Windows. In addition, the Blackboard Collaborate Technical Support is available 24x7x365 to assist with accessing Blackboard Collaborate sessions at 877-382-2293 or through their online support portal.

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