Using Lightboard Videos to Personalize Teaching and Learning

Christopher Harper, CPA, clinical affiliate at the School of Accounting, Seidman College of Business, at GVSU, has recently written an article for Strategic Finance Magazine. In the article he focuses on his move from one profession to another, while highlighting the use of lightboard videos with the goal to better personalize teaching and supporting a flipped classroom.

Read the full article here: “Leaping from the Office to Academia

Chris provides excellent advice in the article and focuses on quality teaching principles.

We have included the following excerpt to share how eLearning and Emerging Technologies is coming along side faculty at GVSU to help transform teaching and learning:

Progressive instructors embrace technology in the spirit of continuous improvement. I utilize light board videos so students can absorb concepts outside the classroom on their own schedules. You can obtain a sense of the light board experience by viewing my cost-volume-profit ( and financial statement analysis ( videos.

I am currently expanding my video library with the plan to “flip” my Principles of Accounting class in the fall 2019 semester. A flipped classroom will require students to view lectures outside the classroom, thereby allowing more hands-on, practical experiences when we meet in person. Recall the suggestion that effective instructors seek student feedback; flipping the classroom was inspired directly by insights gleaned from my student evaluations.

An example of Professor Harper’s light board demonstration video

It’s important to know each student individually. Learning student names is just the beginning. An instructor can enrich the educational experience by understanding each person’s learning style, hurdles, and natural approaches to problem solving. Personal knowledge helps an instructor craft relatable, meaningful examples that circumvent roadblocks (see “A Student’s Perspective: Tessa Keena, CPA”, below).

Interested in learning more about lightboard videos, flipped learning, or the Blackboard Class Photo roster to help learn your students’ names to personalize your teaching? Check out the following resources from eLearning and Emerging Technologies:


eLearning Supports Faculty Teaching Online/Hybrid Courses at GVSU

This post is brought to you by the Online Education Council, eLearning and Emerging Technologies, University Libraries, the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center, and the Office of the Provost.

Welcome back faculty! Teaching an online or hybrid course this semester? We have you covered… check out the following resources available at GVSU!

Online/Hybrid Orientation Available to Students

Faculty teaching online and hybrid courses, along with their students, have been automatically be enrolled in an “Online/Hybrid Orientation” via Blackboard. This resource, which takes 20-30 minutes to complete, features activities and videos to help students get in the mindset to succeed in a distance education course.

orientcertificateUpon completing the orientation, students take a brief quiz and are issued a Certificate of Completion; thus, there is a built-in way for you to confirm students completed the orientation, if you’d like to require it as an assignment early in the term.

As a faculty member, to locate the orientation in your My Courses list in Blackboard, scroll down to the bottom.

Online Proctoring Solution Available for Online/Hybrid Courses

Over the summer, faculty teaching online courses piloted Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, that enable online proctoring of exams. We determined the software was a good tool and have purchased a site license!

Our official roll-out of the software campus-wide will happen this winter, but if you think the technology is needed in your class this fall, let the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team know by filling out the Respondus LockDown/Monitor participation form.

Please be aware that using the technology will require you to participate in an orientation, both so that you can navigate the technology effectively and learn some best practices faculty discovered during the pilot. You can read more about Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor here:

Collaborative Learning in an Online Environment

Are you planning to have students work in teams this semester? Will there be smaller collaborative assignments or larger projects? In either case, setting students up for success in working with their peers involves solid assignment design, support for developing collaboration skills, and employment/deployment of technologies to facilitate collaborative work. Here is a sampling of scholarship of teaching and learning on the subject from the past year or so:

For additional resources, please review Pew FTLC’s Collaborative Learning Teaching Resources, eLearning and Emerging Technologies IDeL Tips and Best Practice Handouts,  Blackboard Collaborate for Groups, Using Blackboard Collaborate for Online Group Work, Building Community in Online Courses video, and the Google G Suite web page.

Want More Info? Need Help? Try These Resources!

  • Consult with the instructional designers from the IDeL group in eLearning and Emerging Technologies for online/hybrid course design support, streamlining your course menu/navigation, and to learn how to increase your teaching, social, cognitive presence through the Community of Inquiry.
  • Access tips, tutorials, and information for effectively using Blackboard and creating accessible content with Ally.
  • Attend an eLearning and Emerging Technologies Fall Seminar to learn more about teaching with technology.
  • Join an Online/Hybrid Faculty Learning Community to connect with peers teaching at a distance.
  • Contact the Digital Studio for assistance in creating a welcome video, course tour, or leveraging interactive media in your courses with Panopto.
  • Review the one-stop Faculty Resources for Online Education.
  • Review University Library resources for distance learning.

Best wishes for a successful semester!

The eLearning Team welcomes New Faculty at GVSU!



On, Wednesday, August 7, New Faculty Orientation kicks off with over 100 faculty participating in 2 days of sessions focused on equipping and preparing new faculty at Grand Valley State University.

From 1 to 3pm, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team will share a wealth of tips and strategies to leverage technology in teaching through break out sessions,  #EDTECH demonstrations, and consultations.

Specific sessions by the eLearning team include:

This post features a variety of technologies and resources that are available to faculty at GVSU.

Who is the eLearning team and what do they do?

Our eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is on mission to supporting faculty pursuing innovation in teaching an learning.

Our team provides a wide array of services and resources designed to facilitate digital learning at GVSU through supporting faculty in delivering high quality, innovative teaching.

We support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and enhance student success through:

What enterprise technologies are available at GVSU?

Look no further then our Teaching and Learning with Technology Guide!


New to Blackboard?

Here are a few resources to help you get started!

  1. Checklist for getting started with Blackboard
  2. Tips for teaching and learning with Blackboard
  3. Facilitating live office hours and video conferencing with Collaborate
  4. Checking accessibility of your course content with Ally



Interested in kicking-it-up-a-notch with video?

Check out the Digital Studio, Lightboard, and get help with using Panopto, our streaming video solution at GVSU!

Need instructional design support in teaching online?

Join a growing movement in higher education by learning to teach an online or hybrid course. The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team includes instructional designers in IDeL focused on providing expert guidance in designing high quality courses.

We’re here to help!

Visit our eLearning and Emerging Technologies web page to connect with a plethora of possibilities in teaching and learning with technology at GVSU!


Call for Proposals – ETOM Fall Conference hosted by GVSU


Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals is now available for the ETOM 2019 Fall Conference! 

Held every year in the Fall, this event focuses on best practices in using technology to enhance teaching and learning.

    Grand Valley State University
    Russel H. Kirkhof Center
    1 Campus Drive, Allendale, Michigan 49401
  • WHEN
    Friday, November 8, 2019

“Active Teaching – Active Learning!” is the conference theme and the event will focus on strategies to make the teaching/learning process more dynamic and interactive – from furniture and room configuration to synchronous and online strategies.

Sessions will address ways to promote active learning in both an online format as well as within the campus classroom.

You are invited to share your active teaching and learning strategies by submitting a proposal to present. Conference breakout sessions are 60 minutes (including time for questions).

To submit a proposal, go to the ETOM conference page at:

The deadline for proposals is September 13, 2019.

Also be sure to follow ETOM on social media (@ETOMConnect) for the latest updates!

A Carillon Tower for President Philly


This one-of-a-kind 3D printed carillon clock tower now resides in the Office of the President at GVSU!

As an initiative out of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team in GVSU’s Information Technology Department, the Technology Showcase is an: immersive and engaging environment to:  INTERACTDISCOVERLEARN, and SHARE how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU.

After seeing a tweet by @PhillyGVPres, requesting ideas to fill her bookshelf in the Office of the President, Eric Kunnen and Samantha Krepel came up with an idea:

How about a welcome gift for our new president?

Taking that idea and running with it, Samantha, a GVSU 2020 undergraduate and showcase student assistant, 3D designed and printed a replica of the Cook Carillon Clock Tower, located on the Allendale campus.

By using Tinkercad, a 3D modelling software, she was able to recreate the clock tower to show her love for GVSU. After 30 hours of printing, the clock tower came to life! While this wasn’t made for any academic intent, Samantha found it to be a great icon to symbolically encapsulate Grand Valley!

Samantha is from West Michigan, and has been glad to call GVSU her home for her undergraduate career. She has a passion for creativity within her work at GVSU’s Atomic Object Technology Showcase, which provided the resources needed to print the Cook Carillon Clock Tower for President Mantella.

About the GVSU Atomic Object Technology Showcase

Located in room 012 of the Atrium in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, the showcase is an initiative of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies unit within Information Technology that provides faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to: INTERACTDISCOVERLEARN, and SHARE how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU.

To date, the showcase has over 40 exhibits ranging across a spectrum of innovative technology.

GVSU Professor receives Blackboard Award for Optimizing the Student Experience

Dr. Szymon Machajewski, an affiliate professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems at Grand Valley State University, has been named a winner of the Blackboard Inc. Catalyst Award in the “Optimizing Student Experience” category.

szymonawardquote.PNGMachajewski said using Blackboard in his CIS 150 course is a critical component and helps drive student success.

“The coordination of the course focuses on improving student experience and ensuring that Blackboard technology scales instructor efforts in communication of announcements, grades and course outline,” Machajewski said. “Students have a better course experience when they know their current grades to manage their academic effort and exact due dates through notifications and mobile technology to manage their time.”

GVNow – “Grand Valley faculty member wins Blackboard Catalyst Award

See Also: “Blackboard Announces Winners of 2019 Catlayst Awards


About the Optimizing Student Experience Blackboard Catalyst Award

Founded in 2005, the annual Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Winners are selected by a cross-functional team of Blackboard experts.

Specifically, the “Optimizing Student Experience Award”, honors those institutions whose educational and administrative innovations have markedly improved the total learner experience. This includes their addressing of new and changing dynamics in fields such as student recruitment, financial aid, enrollment, retention and assessment, graduation, and beyond. More information about the Catalyst Awards can be found on Blackboard’s website.

Optimizing Student Experience at GVSU

As coordinator and instructor of CIS 150 Introduction to Computing, Machajewski has integrated Blackboard tools to engage with students and to motivate them to succeed. In addition, he is an expert in leveraging technology in a variety of ways, always focused on student success and optimizing the student experience. Here are a few examples of his work at the intersection of teaching and technology:

  1. “Using Blackboard Goals to Monitor Curriculum and for Accreditation” – GVSU eLearning Blog Post
  2. “GVSU’s Blackboard Student Photo Roster enhances Personalized Instruction”  – GVSU eLearning Blog Post (The photo roster application was also released as an open educational resource, available for download.) 
  3. “Move over, Mario Professor invents game to engage students in learning” – Grand Valley Magazine Article
  4. “Open Source Analytics for Blackboard Learn” – 2014 GVSU Big Data Conference
  5. Gamification Strategies in a Hybrid Exemplary College Course” – International Journal of Educational Technology


The eLearning team at GVSU congratulates Dr. Szymon Machajewski in receiving this recognition, and his commitment to student success!!!

“We’re thrilled to honor this year’s Blackboard Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to improving the educational experience for all learners through EdTech and sharing these insights with the broader community,” said Lee Blakemore, Chief Client Officer and President, Global Client Operations & Success at Blackboard. “Clients like these inspire us to accelerate innovation driving student success and we’re proud to be a part of their story.”

Lee Blakemore, Chief Client Officer and President, Global Client Operations & Success at Blackboard

Machajewski will also be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld 2019, Blackboard’s annual user conference to be held July 23-25 in Austin, TX.


Dr. Szymon Machajewski was also recognized with a Blackboard Exemplary Course Winner award in 2017 for “Introduction to Computing” at GVSU.

About Blackboard
Blackboard is the leading provider of learner success-focused technology solutions and services. Its product portfolio is unmatched in the marketplace, spanning teaching and learning, analytics, community engagement, campus transactions and security solutions as well as student services.

Our mission is to partner with the global education community to enable learner and institutional success, leveraging innovative technologies and services. With an unmatched understanding of the world of the learner, the most comprehensive student-success solutions, and the greatest capacity for innovation, Blackboard is education’s partner in change.


Highlighting Trends in EdTech in Education Technology Insights

Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies, recently authored an article in Education Technology Insights magazine.

In this article, Eric places focus on those technology trends that seem to “bubble to the top”, including the pedagogical possibilities and data-informed practices that provide opportunities to support student success in higher education.

Read the full article here:
Technology as a Catalyst Shaping the Educational Experience
via Education Technology Insights Magazine