BbWorld

Top 5 Blackboard Conference Highlights #BbWorld17

One of the best conferences of the year is the national Blackboard users conference “BbWorld“. This year, the event was held in New Orleans, LA.

In addition to the in person conference, there were also sessions streamed LIVE via “BbWorldLive“. Further, the conference was cohosted with “MoodleMoot” and was proceeded by the largest ever developers conference “DevCon“.

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Pictured Left to Right: Eric Kunnen (associate director, eLearning), Colleen Cameron (systems analyst, eLearning), Szymon Machajewski (affiliate instructor, CIS), Vince St. Germain (eLearning and instructional technology specialist, eLearning)


Highlight #1 – GVSU Professors receive Blackboard Exemplary Course Award

Congratulations to Grand Valley State University’s professors Szymon Machajewski and Cheryl Kautz! These GVSU professors earned recognition from education technology company Blackboard Inc. as recipients of the “Exemplary Course Award” through the Blackboard Catalyst Award program. The winners were recognized during the a special reception at the conference.

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Associate Director of eLearning, Eric Kunnen (middle) receiving Cheryl Kautz’s Exemplary Course Award with Tim Atkin, Chief Client Officer, Blackboard Inc., and Bill Ballhaus, CEO and President, Blackboard Inc. (right)

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Szymon Machajewski, affiliate instructor in CIS, receiving his Exemplary Course Award from Tim Tomlinson, Chief Product Officer, Blackboard Inc.

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Szymon Machajewski, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU received a 2017 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for his CIS 150 – Introduction to Computing Course

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Cheryl Kautz, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU received a 2017 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for her CIS 238 – Internet Media and Programming Course.

 

 


Highlight #2 – Keynotes and General Sessions

There were a wide array of sessions offered at the conference. Eric Kunnen blogged at the conference, capturing 10 sessions. Here are a few noteworthy keynote sessions:

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  • BbWorld General Session – Thursday’s general session started off with the Catalyst Awards winner presentation followed by Blackboard’s charitable giving program. Then, Dr. Mae Jemison, former NASA astronaut, engineer, physician & education advocate takes the stage to deliver an inspirational keynote address.
  • BbWorld Blackboard Opening Keynote – “Join us as we kick off BbWorld 2017 with Bill Ballhaus, Blackboard CEO and Katie Blot, Blackboard Chief Strategy Officer. Then, hear from lifelong education advocate, and former Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden.”

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  • BbWorld General Session: How to Partner for Success – “Join us in the general session theater as two panels take the stage. You’ll first hear from clients about how they are overcoming challenges around student access and student success. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the intersection between technology, education and policy as we work to understand what the future holds.”

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Highlight #3 – GVSU Staff Presentations

Eric Kunnen, and Szymon Machajewski presented at the conference in the following session:

  • DevCon: Managed Hosting, Does it work? Will I get access to my data? – “University of Illinois at Chicago adopted the managed hosting environment in 2012 and has been successful in important user support improvements and stability of operations. While employing GAs and undergraduate students in the support structure the resolution time for Blackboard tickets was reduced from two weeks to a few hours. Deep integrations have been created for event driven user synchronization. A number of OSCELOT projects are being sponsored and developed in a staging managed hosted system. The experience and collaboration with managed hosted team allowed for strong support of Blackboard Learn adoption on campus. The panel will include representative from Grand Valley State University, where initial deployment to Managed Hosting was later reversed to again become self-hosted.”

Szymon Machajewski presented at the conference in the following sessions:

  • Course Design Patterns: Latent Class Analysis with Opensource BbStats – “Fostering the adoption of teaching and learning technologies requires taking stock of how faculty use the LMS through a process that is reproducible, reliable, and affordable. Studies in student activity patterns, such as the recent Patterns in Blackboard Learn tool use: Five Course Design Archetypes, help us to understand evidence of use. But what about the ways that faculty design courses before any student activity takes place? This session will explore a case study at University of Illinois at Chicago in which course design patterns in Blackboard Learn were derrived using BbStats and Latent Class Analysis.”
  • Gamification in Blackboard Learn – “Gamification is an important movement in business management, but also in higher education.  Projects like the GradeCraft LMS, funded at $1.8 million dollars at U of M, demonstrate that designing student experience in learning is a top priority for major educational institutions.
    • Considering enrollment limitations and changes in population profiles, motivating students into program completion and into high employability STEM programs may provide a competitive edge for academic organizations.
    • Before switching to a fully gamified LMS, faculty, designers, and administrators should consider the capacity in Blackboard Learn  to support gameful pedagogy.  Gamification has the potential to motivate both the students and the faculty, especially in introductory courses.”

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Highlight #4 – Product Roadmaps

In addition to keynotes and general sessions, there were a wide array of sessions offered at the conference. Eric Kunnen blogged at the conference, capturing 10 sessions.

Here are a couple product roadmap sessions from Blackboard, to showcase what is coming in future releases:

  • Blackboard Learn Product Roadmap – “We invite you to join our product management leaders to hear about the short and long term plans for Blackboard Learn. This session will cover both the Original experience (aka Learn 9.1) and the Ultra experience.”

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  • Blackboard Collaborate Roadmap – “We invite you to join our product management leaders to hear about our short and long term product plans for Blackboard Collaborate.”

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Highlight #5 – Watch BbWorldLIVE Session Recordings

There are 9 sessions available to watch on demand through BbWorldLIVE.

Here are a few of the topics:

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@GVSU Professors receive @Blackboard Catalyst Award

ECP_WinnerCongratulations to Grand Valley State University’s professors Szymon Machajewski and Cheryl Kautz! These GVSU professors recently earned recognition from education technology company Blackboard Inc. as recipients of the “Exemplary Course Award” through the Blackboard Catalyst Award program. The winners will be recognized during the BbWorld 2017 conference to be held July 25-27 in New Orleans.

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Szymon Machajewski, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU received a 2017 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for his CIS 150 – Introduction to Computing Course.  The award also recognized Brad Brege, CIS150 course coordinator, as a course collaborator and contributor.

 

 

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Cheryl Kautz, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU received a 2017 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for her CIS 238 – Internet Media and Programming Course.

 

 

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies department offers our congratulations to Cheryl Kautz and Szymon Machajewski in their hard work to support student success through excellence in course design and teaching!

The Blackboard Catalyst Exemplary Course Award recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges and universities around the world who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

The award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well designed, and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community. Submissions were judged by peers and by experts on the following components:

  • course design;
  • interaction and collaboration;
  • assessment; and
  • learner support

About the Blackboard Catalyst Exemplary Course Award:

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Exemplary Course Award – This award recognizes faculty and course designers who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

Congratulations to GVSU faculty Szymon Machajewski and Cheryl Kautz, along with all of the 2017 award winners:

  • Hawaii Pacific University: Dr. Han Nee Chong
  • Algonquin College, Ontario, Canada: Dr. Albert Dudley
  • Grand Valley State University, Michigan: Cheryl Kautz
  • Grand Valley State University, Michigan: Szymon Machajewski
  • Columbia Southern University, Alabama: Jacqueline Pica and Dr. Christine Whitaker
  • Ohio University: Kyle Rosenberger
  • Kent State University, Ohio: Dr. John Staley

For more information about the 2017 award program, please visit the Blackboard Catalyst Award Community Site.

“Blackboard is proud to recognize this year’s Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to leveraging technology to improve the education experience,” said Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO and President of Blackboard. “We look forward to continuing to work with these educators and institutions to support learner success, and to share best practices widely for the benefit of the education community.”

 

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:

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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!