The SRSU Blackboard Online Support Desk is where faculty can direct all your Blackboard questions or requests. For instance, if you are the instructor of record for a Blackboard courses and need to add a TA, GA, or additional instructor to your course(s), merge course sections, need help with course copying content, need help with using a Blackboard feature in your course (such as Collaborate Ultra), etc., contact the Online Support Desk.

The Blackboard technical support desk is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your convenience.  To reach the support desk:

You can also email your SRSU Team of Blackboard Instructional Designers directly:

Jorge Luna –
Tim Parsons –



NEW Fall Blackboard Ultra Feature FYI: 

ANNOUNCING THE AI DESIGN ASSISTANT FOR BLACKBOARD ULTRA COURSES – Blackboard’s AI Design Assistant will be available for all instructors starting on September 8, 2023.
The AI Design Assistant, developed in partnership with Microsoft, makes Blackboard Learn the first major LMS to extend generative AI capabilities to instructors to inspire course creation, tests, and rubrics.
AI Design Assistant features will include (click links for video walk-throughs):
Learning Module Images (Suggestions from Unsplash and Generate)
For more information see the “New Tools & Features in Ultra” (#2 bullet below) & a new folder of AI Design Assistant information added in the Faculty Central “Teaching Online with Blackboard” instructor resource site (#5 bullet below)!

1) SHSU Online Digital Teaching Webinars for August thru October and “By Appointment” Sessions!

All Digital Teaching Webinar offerings for the fall are open for enrollment!

August Webinars

8/23/23 @ 2pm –What’s New in Bb Ultra?

8/29/23 @ 3pm –Navigating the Transition from Original to Ultra Course View

September Webinars

9/7/23 @ 2pm –What’s New in Bb Ultra?

9/11/23 @ 2pm –Course Building in Ultra Course View

9/14/23 @ 2pm –Communicating in Bb Ultra Course View

9/19/23 @ 3pm –Grading in Bb Ultra Course View

9/21/23 @ 3pm – Fostering Academic Integrity in Blackboard

9/27/23 @ 3pm – Managing Groups in Ultra Course View

October Webinars

10/5/23 @ 2pm –What’s New in Bb Ultra?

10/10/23 @ 2pm – Course Building in Ultra Course View

10/12/23 @ 2pm – Communicating in Bb Ultra Course View

10/16/23 @ 3pm – Grading in Bb Ultra Course View

Register for these webinars today!


FALL 2023 – Online Course Ultra Redesign & Faculty Certification Cohorts – Cohorts Dates Announced Soon! 

Enrollment for the Fall 2023 cohorts for the Online Course Ultra Redesign and Faculty Certification program are opening soon!  These cohorts are fully online and asynchronous, so interact with the course and complete activities at a time of day that is convenient for you.

Online Course Ultra Redesign and Faculty Certification program cohorts:

  • Cohort 1: ( 5 SRSU seats)
  • Cohort 2: (5 SRSU seats)

The Program:
-Takes place over 5 weeks
-Is fully-online in SRSU Blackboard
-Utilizes a guided course review and self-evaluation component
-Contains presentations on course design best practices and online pedagogies (including Quality Matters tenants)
-Involves collaboration and communication with Instructional Designers
-Provides a model course to begin the redesign process

The Results
-A better understanding of course design and online pedagogies
-A newly redesigned SRSU online course in the Blackboard Ultra Course view that you can start using in the fall.
-A TSUS-SRSU certification

SRSU faculty who COMPLETE the program will receive a $500 stipend, and in addition to this reward, faculty will receive 25 professional development hours for the 2023 year. Faculty who complete this program are then eligible to take SRSU Quality Matters workshops.
SRSU seats are limited to 5 per cohort so enroll as soon as fall cohorts open!

  • SRSU online faculty must complete this certification program before you can take an SRSU Quality Matters workshop.
  • The fall 2023 certification program is currently available for SRSU instructors who have NOT previously completed the certification program within the PAST YEAR. If you have previously started or completed a cohort in the Original Course View in 2021 or early 2022 you may be eligible to retake the program for the Ultra redesign (completion stipend $250 for retakers). If you have any questions on your eligibility to retake the program in order to redesign a course and become re-certified in the new Blackboard Ultra course view, please contact: .


AVAILABLE TO ALL SRSU FACULTY- Digital Teaching How-to By Appointment

Need to know how to do something with Blackboard or one of its associated tools? Can’t make the scheduled webinar times above, or there isn’t a specific webinar for your need on the schedule? No problem!  Sign-up for a “by appointment” webinar at a time/day that works for you. Just visit our Faculty Development Sign-up page, use the “Sessions” drop-down menu, and select “Choose Me for By Appointment Sessions” to schedule a one-on-one session!


2)​ New Tools and Features in Ultra Course View that Released in August / Coming in Sept!

– Progress Tracking turned on by default for all courses
– Ultra Accessibility Checker as you edit content
​- August Spotlight: Flexible Grading – The rigid grading choices imposed by most Learning Management Systems (LMS) create unnecessary barriers leading to fatigue and frustration. Blackboard Learn’s Flexible Grading eliminates the labor-intensive and button-heavy interfaces that can be draining to deliver an enhanced experience that redefines how instructors’ grade. This groundbreaking update enables grading by question or student and even mix-and-match approaches.

Check out the PDF below for more Flexible Grading details:

Blackboard Learn Adoption – New Flexible Grading.pdf

August Ultra New Tools & Features:


Flexible Grading

Gradebook: New default cell status in grid view

Increased visibility of Gradebook ‘Move item’ icon

Bulk download of anonymous submissions

Rubrics: Editing improvements

Course Banner image improvements

Learning Module image

Replace files in course content

Students with alert flags in the Course Activity report

Instructors and students:

Assessment Submission Receipt improvements

Groups in the top navigation bar and Group Spaces

Unread Message indicator

Group Messaging improvements

Google Integration: Google Workspace files

Replacement of Connect SMS notification service

Instructors and Administrators

All Users

Removal of Welcome guidance for first-time login and attendance user experience pop-ups

Course status indicators

Messages Off indicator

Active Session Termination

Concurrent Session Control


New Artificial Intelligence features in Blackboard Ultra

The new Artificial Intelligence feature coming to Blackboard Ultra in Sept can help instructors save time and effort by generating Learning modules, assessments, rubrics and even images based on the content of the course. Well, the LMS of the future is here! Watch this video and discover how Intelligent Experiences are delivered in Blackboard Learn Ultra: (All AI Blackboard features available by September 8th)

As part of Anthology’s Trustworthy AI program, they are committing themselves to implementing the following principles. These principles are based on and aligned to the principles of the NIST AI Risk Management Framework, the EU AI Act and the OECD AI Principles. The principles apply to both their internal use of AI as well as to AI functionalities in products they provide to their clients.

Trustworthy AI principles
Fairness: Minimizing harmful bias in AI systems.
Reliability: Taking measures to ensure the output of AI systems is valid and reliable
Transparency and Explainability: Explaining to users when AI systems are used, how the AI systems work,
Privacy, Security and Safety: AI systems should be secure, safe, and privacy friendly.

Value alignment: AI systems should be aligned to human values, in particular those of our clients and users.

Accountability: Ensuring there is clear accountability regarding the trustworthy use of AI systems within Anthology as well as between Anthology, its clients, and its providers of AI systems. If you have any questions regarding Anthology’s Trustworthy AI program, please contact them at



3) UPCOMING EVENT: MARK YOUR CALENDAR for the 2023 Digital Education Summit on September 22nd!

The 12th Digital Education Summit (#DES23)! The summit is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 22, 2023. This FREE one-day event is dedicated to promoting the best practices and methodologies in online education. We welcome everyone, including faculty, staff, administrators, and digital education enthusiasts, to join us for this exciting event.

Our event is honored to have José Antonio Bowen, Ph.D., FRSA, as our distinguished keynote speaker for this year’s SHSU Annual Digital Education Summit on Friday, September 22, 2023!  With his vast experience and expertise in higher education, Dr. Bowen will share valuable insights on “Motivating & Focusing Students in the Age of AI.” His keynote address will highlight the critical role educators play in navigating this changing landscape. He will delve into the transformative power of AI in assignments, assessment, class preparation, and attendance while challenging us to build a more future-proof and inclusive classroom.
Register TODAY!

NOW AVAILABLE: TSUS Faculty Development Day 2023 Session Recordings
TSUS Faculty Development Day was on July 14, 2023! In support of digital teaching and learning in The Texas State University System, SHSU Online hosted a Blackboard Ultra focused TSUS Faculty Development Day for Digital Education.Session recordings from The TSUS Faculty Development Day for Digital Education – 2023 are available! Click the link below:
Two session recordings from the conference in particular are suggested for watching in case you could not make the conference as they deal with important features that will become universally available as of August 3, 2023.
  1. Flexible Grading – Announcing a game-changing solution specifically designed to enhance the grading experience for instructors. Flexible Grading from Blackboard Learn empowers instructors with unprecedented flexibility and efficiency.
  2. Not So-Hidden Secrets in Ultra Courses – This session covered a few gems inside Ultra Course View courses, but one of the features (Progress Tracking) is important because it will be turned on by default as of the August 3, 2023. When you enable Progress Tracking, Blackboard adds completion indicators to every item and assessment in your course. These indicators let your students keep track of where they are, with the added bonus that they help inform your own course analytics.



 Quality Matters Workshops for SRSU Faculty!

If you have completed an SHSU course redesign and certification cohort and received the associated $500 stipend (Fall 2023 cohorts will soon be announced), you can now start the next step in your online teaching training opportunities with our SRSU Quality Matters workshops.
Expand your online course design acumen by taking the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR)’ course – the flagship Quality Matters workshop in which faculty learn about the QM rubric and join a collaborative effort to support online and distance learning students.
All SRSU faculty – full or part-time – who have completed the SHSU Course Redesign certification from summer 2022 thru summer 2023 are eligible to continue their online teaching training with the ‘Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR)’ course this fall.

To take the next step, contact Dr. Jennifer Haan (see below) with your SHSU Certification Cohort completion certificate and get your Quality Matters account created:

How to Create an Account with Quality Matters:
Step 1 Go to

Step 2 Go to Membership and click on Sign Up

Step 3 Under Already a Member Creating your MyQM account

Step 4 Click on Go to MyQM – Step 5 Enter your Sul Ross email check “No, I am new here”

Step 6 Fill out the form and create a password.

If you need any assistance, please contact Jennifer Haan at


5)LinkedIn Learning Access, Webinar Recordings (and many other resources) Available in the “Teaching Online with Blackboard” Organization Site
To access our Faculty Central “Teaching Online with Blackboard” instructor resource site within Blackboard:

Choose the “Teaching Online with Blackboard” link in your “SRSU Faculty Central” module on the institutional landing page.

 Inside the ToWB site you’ll find:
-Faculty and Staff Services – Sign up for Digital Teaching webinars, SRSU Quality Matters info or access online training thru LinkedIn Learning!
– AI Design Assistant for Bb Ultra – resource folder
-Bb Ultra Quickstart Guides, Blackboard Original & Ultra Help from A-Z, Bb Ultra Roadmap (when new Ultra tools & features will appear)
SHSU Online Webinar Recordings – In the “Webinar Recordings” folder you’ll find the latest recorded SHSU Online webinars (under both “Ultra” and “Original” webinar recording folders), such as:

• Blackboard Ultra Instructor Bootcamp
• Getting Your Bb “Original” Course Ultra Ready
• Making the Leap: Moving from Original to Ultra Course View
• Grading in Blackboard Ultra
• Adding Content and Activities to Ultra Courses
• Blackboard Ultra Course View: Tips & Tricks
• Kaltura – Recording Audio, Video & Screen for Bb

… and so much more in the new SRSU “Teaching Online with Blackboard” instructor resource site!

6) ALSO: SRSU Blackboard Student Support / Orientation Org site is available for all students!
Students can access their SRSU Blackboard Student Support / Orientation site within Blackboard from the SRSU landing page:
Choose the “SRSU Student Central – Blackboard Student Support / Orientation” link in the “SRSU Student Central” module at the top of our landing page.