Author: stgermav

eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra provides Global Collaboration at GVSU

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra provides live web conferencing, virtual office hours, guest speakers and more at GVSU. This post highlights a few of the unique ways that the university is leveraging the use of live videoconferencing applications that are integrated into Blackboard.

Physical Therapy LIVE from Iraq

In a recent Physical Therapy class at Grand Valley State University, Collaborate Ultra was used to connect current students with a graduate of GVSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program who now lives and works in Kurdistan, Iraq as a trainer and clinical instructor for physiotherapists and other rehab professionals in developing countries. Over the course of two class sessions students were able to speak and interact with a D.P.T specialist on a variety of topics including global health, modern pain science and trauma-focused physical therapy. This was an extraordinary opportunity that would not have been possible without the use of Collaborate Ultra.

PT Screen Shot

Physical Therapy LIVE from Kurdistan, Iraq

Lunch and Learn Brown Bag Series LIVE from Palestine

In another Collaborate Ultra event, GVSU’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration used Collaborate Ultra to showcase the research of alumni in their Nonprofit Management and Leadership master’s degree program during their Lunch & Learn Brown Bag series. One presenter from Palestine presented on the topic, “Does the Work of Disability NGOs Seeking Decent Work for Persons With Disability Impact Public Employment Policies in Palestine?” Local participants were given the ability to ask questions and fully interact with the presenter during the live Collaborate Ultra session.

United Nation’s Youth Virtual Conference LIVE from Africa and Europe

YVC Screen Shot

Youth Virtual Conference

One other event of interest is the annual Youth Virtual Conference that is held in conjunction with GVSU and the United Nation’s global network of Regional Centre’s of Expertise. Using Collaborate Ultra, RCEs from three different continents join together to present on, discuss and challenge one another on a variety of Sustainability issues. Since the first conference in in 2013, the event has extended to other regions including Africa and Europe.


 

Contact eLearning to learn more about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra at GVSU!

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Blackboard Achievements, Badges, and quick-and-easy Certificates

Blackboard’s Achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to develop criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both badges and certificates.  In short, faculty can use achievements to create opportunities for students to earn recognition for their work, while students can see which badges and certificates they have earned and what is required to receive additional recognition. achievement_flow

While the built-in achievements capability is helpful, Blackboard Building Blocks provide colleges and universities with the ability to extend the functionality of the system. With the aid of an opensource “Certificate of Completion” building block by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, instructors at GVSU now have the ability to create and distribute custom certificates that students can proudly post, print or display.

Colleen Cameron, a GVSU Blackboard Administrator, modified the opensource building block so that a blank template could easily be used to add content specific certification details, that when printed, included the students name and date of completion. These new custom certificates will allow students to better showcase the skills and knowledge they’ve achieved, while saving time for GVSU faculty and staff.

bbcertificate

If you are interested in learning more about Blackboard Achievements tool and the “Certificate of Completion” capability, check out these instructions, or contact the eLearning team!

Blog post authored by: Vince St. Germain, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist

 

Ten Ways to Use Video in Your Classroom

This year’s Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) conference was filled with three days of intense, hands-on learning experiences centered on the practice of integrating technology and learning.

Presenting at the conference was Jason Valade, Customer Success Manager at TechSmith on “10 Ways to Use Video in Your Classroom”. Jason is a former elementary school teacher and Technology Lead whose love for “all things” video led him to TechSmith and their Customer Success Team.

During the session, Jason ran down his favorite top 10 uses for video in education and showed examples of how both video novices and experts can easily create video content to enhance instruction and engage students.

Tech Symposium

  1. Flip a Lesson

Rather than using class time to introduce new content, record a series of short videos that students can review on their own and then come to class prepared to extend the learning.

  1. Teach when you are Absent

Unable to attend a class, create a video review of that day’s related topics and assignments.

  1. Personalized Feedback

Use a desktop recording application to capture annotations and your voice as you provide feedback on assignments or use a document camera to record your voice while you manually mark up a printed assignment.

  1. Parent / Community Classroom

Post a video update for parents or the community by recording a PPT or Google presentation with the latest class information and achievements.

  1. Stop Repeating Yourself

Don’t keep responding to the same old questions over and over again, create a library of short how-to videos that can be used year-to-year.

  1. Give a Course Overview

Great at the beginning of the semester or when starting a new topic.

  1. Introduce Yourself

Build instructor presence and community. Perfect for online classes.

  1. Walk through Materials

Create a tutorial to review a complex procedure, demonstrate a process or solve a problem.

  1. Authentic Assessment

Let students storyboard, shoot and edit a video for review by the entire class.

  1. Filming Experiments

Use for review, as part of a quiz or other assessment.

Video recordings are quickly becoming a key component in any classroom, whether it’s face-to-face or online, video can be the catalyst that spurs a student’s imagination and learning.

Video Reflective Journals

Literature has shown that critical thinking enhances the learning process and that reflective practices enhance critical thinking. Together, better connections and meaning can be drawn from course materials and subjects, leading to enhanced understanding and a more satisfying learning experience for students.

For Grand Valley State University Professor Michael Ricco the use of Video Reflective Journals or “VRJs”, as he and his students like to call them, can easily bridge this gap. Offering faculty a better understanding of individual student needs and interests while providing students with a lifelong learning artifact that they can continuously return to for inspiration, the “VRJ” model has proven to be a valuable tool for both teacher and student.

See the entire interview.

To learn more about Video Reflective Journals, including an overview of the student survey data collected by Professor Ricco, plan on attending the 15th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium on Wednesday, March 23, from 1-4pm in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons on the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University.