BbWorld

GVSU participates in Michigan #GoOpen Initiative

On Wednesday, January 11, Matt Ruen from University Libraries and Eric Kunnen from eLearning attended a Michigan #GoOpen Initiative Community Meeting in Lansing at the Department of Education.

In short, the Michigan #GoOpen initiative is about collaborating P-20 to provide equitable access to high-quality open educational resources to transform learning.  The community meeting provided an opportunity for K12, HigherEd institutions, and the Department of Education to begin discussing how the state can align resources to advance open education resources (OER).

Throughout the day, a variety of national and state initiatives were highlighted such as the National Education Technology Plan which includes elements of OER in a goal to provide opportunity for all students to be successful through effective use of technology.

The National Education Technology Plan provides a vision of transformational learning experiences powered by technology that can shrink long-standing equity and accessibility gaps.

The US Department of Education’s established a #GoOpen campaign to create an organized movement around OER and their definition is:

#GoOpen campaign encourages states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning.

Regarding the national #GoOpen campaign, there are 4 Michigan school districts that are part of the USA Department of Education Office of Educational Technology’s #GoOpen Launch program:

  • Dryden Community Schools, MI
  • Marlette Community Schools, MI
  • Marysville Public Schools, MI
  • Mona Shores Public Schools, MI
  • Wayland Union Schools, MI

These school districts, along with the state’s Top 10 in 10 vision for “putting Michigan on the map as a premier education state”, has brought together the Michigan Department of Education, Library of Michigan, Open Michigan (U of M), GVSU, Lansing Community College, Michigan Colleges Online, and many other K-12 educational organizations in the establishment of a state organized #GoOpen Initiative.

The State of Michigan’s #GoOpen definition is:

#GoOpen Michigan is a community where educators and learners can access freely licensed, high-quality digital resources to enable equitable transformative learning experiences [for P-20].

Stay tuned for more news about this initiative and you can learn more about using #OER and the services/support/resources available to faculty through the GVSU open education resources initiative web site.

Top 6 eLearning Posts from 2016

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HAPPY NEW YEAR from the eLearning team!

2016 was a great year in eLearning at GVSU, and to celebrate a start of a new year, we assembled our most popular posts from 2016.

Here are the top 6 posts from our eLearning blog:

  1. 7 Things You Didn’t Know that Blackboard Can Do!
  2. Professor Cheryl Kautz receives Blackboard Exemplary Course Award
  3. GVSU Faculty Members Awarded “Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States”
  4. Virtual Office Hours for Student Success with Blackboard Collaborate and Bb IM
  5. Highlights from #BbWorld16
  6. Open Educational Resources Summit at Lansing Community College #LCCOER

Faculty and Student Blackboard Survey Highlights

bbsurveyanalysis_classAs part of a Statistics 319 class with Professor Gabrosek, 2 students worked with the eLearning team to gather feedback and suggestions from faculty and students about how the Blackboard environment can be enhanced at Grand Valley State University.

In addition, the STA 319 students presented the results on Student Scholars Day on February 27, 2016.

The survey was completed in the Winter 2015 semester and the sample size of students and faculty that completed the survey in a five day time period were 1907 and 122 respectively.

Here are a few highlights of the results from the survey:

faculty-use

As shown above, 54% of faculty that responded to the survey indicated that they use Blackboard every day. These data matched the “Baseline Faculty Survey” that was administered as part of the 2021 GVSU Strategic Plan. (This survey also referenced that Blackboard was used by 95% of the faculty responding to the baseline survey.)

In addition, based on GVSU’s participation in the 2015 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Faculty and Students and Information Technology report, this number was also reflective with 47% of GVSU respondents indicating a daily use of Blackboard.

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Over 92% of students surveyed indicate that they access Blackboard more than 5 days per week. In addition, in the 2015 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Faculty and Students and Information Technology report, 94% of GVSU students indicated that they used Blackboard in at least 1 course with 54% responding that Blackboard was used in all of their courses.

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80% of the faculty surveyed indicate that they have used Blackboard for more than 5 years.

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These data also are reflected in the “Baseline Faculty Survey” as part of the 2021 GVSU Strategic Plan where: Announcements were mentioned being used at 85%, content at 82%, and the gradebook as well as email was used at 78% as the top tools used in Blackboard.

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The majority of students indicated a desire to be able to check grades within the Blackboard system, followed by the use of the Bb for assignments, announcements, and content.

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Online office hours was reported by students that they would like to see more use of in their courses.

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For comparison, in the university’s participation in the 2015 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Faculty and Students and Information Technology report, 57% students reported that they “wish instructors used” Blackboard more with another 25% responding neutral.

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team would like to thank Professor Gabrosek and the STA 319 students for their work with our team in helping to facilitate this survey.

 

 

Highlights from #BbWorld16

 

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Each year, Blackboard users from all over the world come to BbWORLD (main conference) and DEVCON (developers conference) which is a national conference that is focused on using educational technologies in teaching and learning that contribute to student success. This year sessions were also streaming live via BbWORLDLive.

Over 2,000 educators, administrators, and #edtechies from over 30 countries attended the conference this year. There were over 200 client sessions offered at the event that shared best practices, while Bb corporate sessions focused on the next generation of tools and services that help meet the needs of students, faculty, and institutions. The exhibit hall featured a wide array of vendors with technology that integrate with Blackboard.

bbworld16_gvsuteamThe conference was held from July 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV and 5 faculty and staff from Grand Valley State University (pictured from left to right Katie Clark, Eric Kunnen, Cheryl Kautz, Sherry Barricklow, and Szymon Machajewski) attended the event to present and to pick up the latest and greatest of everything Blackboard.

In addition to major announcements, such as new partnerships with IBM and Amazon, here are a few highlights from the conference that were captured by the GVSU eLearning and Emerging Technologies team:

  • GVSU faculty members received their awards for “Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States” in a session at the conference entitled: “Celebrating Inclusive Classrooms“.  Cheryl Kautz, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU and Szymon Machajewski, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems each received a certificate and recognition for their accomplishment.

    Session Abstract: Building an inclusive classroom means anticipating the diverse needs of students in the classroom and ensuring your pedagogy, content, and classroom technology can easily adapt to meet the needs of every student. In support of Global Accessibility Awareness day 2016 the Blackboard team ran a contest to find the most inclusive classrooms in the United States. We were looking for teachers who went the extra mile to ensure their classrooms were set up for inclusion and enabled students of all abilities to succeed. We’re excited to provide the winners, Cheryl Kautz and Szymon Machajewski from Grand Valley State University with the opportunity to share their stories during this rocket session.

    Here is a video of Szymon and Cheryl receiving their awards at the conference:

  • Katie Clark presented at BbWorld DEVCON which is Blackboard’s developer conference in a session entitled: “Making it Simple: Automate Blackboard Administration using SIS Integrationbbworld16_KatieClark.jpgSession Abstract: GVSU has been using a SIS Integration for several years, and has developed ways to simplify user engagement opportunities. The university creates courses, users, and enrollments with SIS, but have started populating the hierarchy with courses and users based on Banner enrollments. It also uses data from Banner to create Academic Advising sites for individual advisors with their advisees enrolled. This integration enables the university to create organizations for academic units with students enrollments based on the applicable major or minor.
  • Szymon Machajewski and Eric Kunnen presented in a session at DEVCON with the University of Illinois at Chicago in a session entitled: “Open Source Analytics for Growing Adoption of Blackboard Learn using BbStatsimg_0204Session Abstract: BbStats has been a leading OSCELOT project for about seven years. The analytics tool reports on Blackboard Learn system health and usage and provides valuable information about activity and use patterns. This session will dive deeper into the tools and reports needed to increase adoption.This session highlighted the use of the free open source Blackboard Building Block called BbStats, written by Szymon Machajewski. The session was facilitated by Szymon who is an affiliate instructor at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and serves at a Blackboard system administrator at UIC.Szymon Machajewski also presented in 2 additional sessions entitled: “Help! I need Somebody” (Blackboard Student Services & Managed Hosting) and “Using the ITIL Framework to Drive True Technology Adoption”.

  • Session highlights were also captured in the following blog posts by Eric Kunnen:

More information about this conference can be found on the BbWorld16 website and via social #bbworld16 tag.  Next year, the event will be held in New Orleans from July 25-27.

 

#BbWorld16 LIVE – FREE Online Sessions from Blackboard Conference

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A free, online conference for faculty and instructional designers will be held on July 14. Several sessions from the #BbWorld16 conference will be streamed LIVE!

Sessions will cover a variety of topics, new ideas, and best practices in using technology in teaching and learning.

Be sure to REGISTER for BbWorld LIVE between June 26 and July 1!

Here are a few of the sessions that will be offered on July 14:

Rocket session: great teaching in a world of connected students

11:30AM ET
Multiple presenters

Love a TED talk? Who doesn’t! We took that format and supercharged it. Introducing rocket sessions: 7-minute sessions that pack a punch. Not sure what to expect? You won’t be disappointed in these seven rocket sessions. Topics include: Engaging your students via text message, Integrating video into your courses, Social presence in online learning

KEYNOTE
Dr. Howard Gardner

1:30PM ET
Dr. Howard Gardner
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Dr. Gardner is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences. However, he’s a man with many hats. He’s authored over 30 books and received honorary degrees from over 30 institutions in recognition of his work’s impact on education. He’s been named one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. Join us for this rare, online keynote address just for faculty.

Building (attr)active courses:
a session on instructional design

3:30PM ET
Tim Boon
University of Leuven

Engaging students in online courses can be quite challenging. Good-looking and well-structured courses help students stay motivated. By embedding web 2.0 tools (Google Drive, Prezi, Padlet, …) and using just a tiny bit of coding you can make your Blackboard courses stunning and a lot more interactive. Tim Boon will show you how.

Featured speaker: making sense of the new world of digital credentialing

4:30PM ET
Carla Casilli
Badging + Credentials expert

More than five years have passed since the inception of the open badges experiment, and in that time the concept of digital badges has moved steadily into the general consciousness. As this idea evolves, so do its many opportunities and challenges. Part technology and part conceptual approach, the digitization of representations of learning now includes wide-ranging considerations such as competency-based education and e-portfolios, as well as professional development. This presentation will explore the evolving dimensions of this work.

Learn more about BbWorld LIVE and REGISTER TODAY!

GVSU Faculty Members Awarded “Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States”

Two of our faculty members at Grand Valley State University have been selected as winners of the “Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States” contest that was organized by Blackboard.

To recognize Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2016, Blackboard held a contest to find the most inclusive classrooms in the United States. Bb looked for teachers who have put in the extra time and effort to ensure their pedagogy, content, and classroom technology enables all students to learn and be successful without complex accommodations.

 1st Place Award

kautzcCheryl Kautz, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU  received a 1st Place Award

As 1st place winner of this contest, Blackboard has invited Cheryl to share her story as part of the Accessibility Track at the BbWorld Conference that will be held July 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV.

 

2nd Place Award

machajesSzymon Machajewski, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU received a 2nd Place Award

As a 2nd place winner of this contest, Blackboard has invited Szymon to share his story as part of the Accessibility Track at the BbWorld Conference that will be held July 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV.

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies department offers our congratulations to Cheryl Kautz and Szymon Machajewski in their hard work to support student success through creating instruction that is inclusive!

Design and Organization Tips from GVSU’s Blackboard Exemplary Course Award Winners!

The IDeL team held a special seminar session to highlight 2 faculty members that have been awarded the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for their course design.  This session was also offered for the College of Education’s “Big Byte”.

Bb Exemplary Award LuncheonProfessors Machajewski and VanderMolen were highlighted in a special recognition luncheon at the national BbWorld conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2014.

The “Design & Organization Tips from GVSU’s Blackboard Exemplary Course Winners” session was delivered by Affiliate Instructor in the School of Computing and Information Systems, Szymon Machajewski and Julia VanderMolen, Assistant Professor in Allied Health.  These faculty received their award for their recognition of course quality in the design of their courses. The award in 2014 recognized 67 other winners from 43 institutions from around the world.

Key design tips:

  • Clear communication with students of what is happening now and what is coming up and when things are do.
  • Chunking content within items and folders and replicating certain blocks of content can help students keep track of the most important information.
  • Numbering sequences are also helpful in the content (1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) to match the sections in the gradebook.
  • Links within the course to help documents for students provide timely assistance.  For example, linking to the student help area on help.blackboard.com to provide information about how to submit their assignment.
  • Quick links in the navigation panel such as “Send Email” is helpful because it is easy then for students to contact the instructor with the subject of the email indicating the section that the student is enrolled in.
  • In the gradebook changing the total to “Projected Grade” helps student to understand where they are in the course at any given time.  A “Final Grade” column is set up to show students their non-cumulative grade to help them get a better view of their progress.
  • Using colors in the gradebook provides quick and at-a-glance views of the students that may not be performing as desired.  Using a magenta color for flagging cells of higher than 100% provides the instructor with a quick way to check their work for accuracy in grading. That is, to catch errors in input.
  • Providing multiple file formats to support universal design and access to content helps students with their ability to review the content from whatever computer or mobile device they are using.
  • Learning styles may be now “lifestyles”
  • Szymon uses achievements and openbadges for students so they can export these to Mozilla Backpack. Here are some videos about using badges through openbadges.  Badges can be linked to outcomes and provide an element of incentive for students (think gamification) and then also take these achievements with them after they graduate in their Mozilla Backpack.
  • Julia uses screencast-o-matic (like Techsmith Relay) for weekly introductory videos which are part of weekly modules. Each week has a task and agenda.  There are 3 opportunities to see and hear what is due in the week.  In the course syllabus, there are also reminders of what is due and when.  There is a check list of what tasks need to be done.
  • Each week there are learning outcomes that are clearly identified to students which helps them zero in on what is due and where to focus.
  • Using Blackboard IM and Collaborate tutorials are provided to students to help them connect to live sessions.
  • Julia embeds the Google calendar in Blackboard so students can easily add the event to their calendar because all students at GVSU have access to Google.
  • Consistency is key with same font and good colors.
  • Due dates are also important to use because it helps students organize and prioritize their work across multiple classes.
  • Using the discussion board helps to build community through a “getting to know you” opportunity.

Here are a few photos from the session:

Interested in learning more? Check out the resources on the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program website.