Getting Ready for a New Semester

The Fall semester is fast approaching and there is so much to do. Below are a few reminders and tips from our instructional design team to smooth the way and get off to a great start.

Before Your Course Begins:

Personalize Your Course: Consider which aspects of the course you want to adjust.  At minimum, this should include parts of the syllabus (your contact information, for example). If necessary, contact eLIS or use our online tutorials to learn about Blackboard editing tools.

Review and update information as necessary in the syllabus that sets expectations for communication, group work, or instructor facilitation. For example, will the pre-established turn-around times for feedback work with your schedule? Keep in mind that changes you make in the syllabus might need to be checked against content you entered into myLesley to make sure the instructions align in both locations.

Set Up a Teaching Schedule: Consider setting up a teaching schedule to better organize your teaching time.  A schedule can help you to identify when to attend to different facilitation tasks (i.e. weekly announcements, daily discussion board check-ins, major project or paper feedback, etc.).

Familiarize Yourself with These Tools:
Performance Dashboard: Use this tool to quickly view if and when students are accessing the course.
performance dashboard

Announcements Tool: Recommendations for using this tool include:

  • Always make sure to send Announcements as emails. Embedded images, video, or audio will NOT be available to students in emails.
  • Use the Announcement Tool for:
    1. Welcome messages, briefly introducing yourself and the course
    2. Introducing a new week and wrapping up a previous week
    3. Providing whole-class feedback on discussions, group work, etc.
    4. Updating students on changes to the course or assignment scheduling
    5. Clarifying any confusion that multiple students have experienced

Post a Welcome Announcement: In addition to welcoming students to the course, you might point out the syllabus and other key documents to review before beginning the first module.

Taking care of these seemingly small things now can greatly help you stay organized and in contact with your students as you move through the course.

myLesley Upgrade in August 2015

myLesley is being upgraded to the latest version of Blackboard (Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 Release). The upgrade will begin at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 26th and will last until the morning of Friday, August 28th.

What does this mean to you?
During the upgrade, you will not be able access to myLesley. However, LOIS, email, and other Lesley systems will remain available and unaffected.

What’s changing in myLesley?
There will be no major changes to myLesley with this upgrade which means no new tools to learn how to use. Instead, this upgrade is intended to fix minor errors and improve the overall performance of the system.

Should I do anything to prepare?
It’s always a good idea to have a backup of your course materials. You may wish to archive your course(s) prior to the upgrade just in case. You can find instructions for doing this on the Lesley Support site.

We also recommend that you closely review your course content after the upgrade to ensure everything is behaving as intended.

We don’t expect any issues, but it’s good to be prepared.

For the most recent information on the upgrade, please check the myLesley Upgrade page at:


Kaltura Media Now Available

Kaltura Media is now available in all myLesley/Blackboard courses. All previous Kaltura content has been updated to the new version and is available in your courses and My Media area. For more information on the new version, review New Features in Kaltura below.

We apologize for any inconvenience delays in the update have caused. Please email if you have questions or concerns.

Kaltura Currently Unavailable

Kaltura Media in Blackboard/myLesley was upgraded on June 26, 2015. Due to a series of errors related to migrating existing video content to the new version, Kaltura has been temporarily disabled. At this time, students and faculty are not be able to upload media content via Kaltura Media or view Kaltura Media content in their courses. We are working with the vendor on a fix and hope to have the issue resolved by early next week.

Please note that all existing content is still on the server and no content has been lost during the process.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Please email if you have questions or concerns.

New Features in Kaltura

The Kaltura Media tool in myLesley has recently been updated to a new and improved version. The basic features of Kaltura remain unchanged. However, there are some nice new features and options available to you.


Kaltura Media Mashup – No Changes

There have been no changes to the Kaltura Media Mashup tool and it still functions the same as the previous version.  Kaltura Media is available under Mashups in the myLesley text editor or from the Build Content menu.

buildcontentmenu mashuptexteditor


Upload Directly From Your Mobile Device

Kaltura Media has been redesigned to allow you to upload videos directly to myLesley from your mobile device. Simply record a video on your iOS or Android device, use the device’s browser to navigate to your myLesley course, and upload as you would if using a laptop or desktop computer. Check out our support site for complete instructions.

iOS Android
ioskaltura androidkaltura


Record Your Computer Screen

You can now use Kaltura Media for screencasting. Record a demo of an application process or give a tour of your myLesley course site. Anything you can show on your computer screen you can record using Kaltura and share with your students. Your students can use it, too. Check out our support site for complete instructions.

addscreenrecord launchbutton


Learn More….

The IT and eLearning Support site has step-by-step instructions for using Kaltura. Be sure to visit us to learn how to use the new features or to get started with Kaltura for the first time. Have questions? Email us at