Blackboard

Engage with Fellow Faculty at the 2017 miBUG Conference!

mibuglogoRegister TODAY for the 2017 miBUG Conference! 

The Michigan Blackboard Users Group conference will be held at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan on Friday, March 24, 2017.

Registration is FREE and includes breakfast and lunch.

Mark Burris, Blackboard Customer Service Advocate will be presenting a Blackboard Roadmap session in the morning, and your peers will be presenting during the concurrent sessions. Don’t miss it!

 As this is a users conference, please take a moment to submit a presentation proposal to share how you are leveraging Blackboard in teaching and learning!

Visit www.mibug.org/events for more details.

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

Bb Collaborate Ultra supports live events beyond the Classroom

You may already be aware of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra as a solution for live virtual class sessions, student group meetings, or online office hours – in addition to these uses, there are even more opportunities to take advantage of this easy to use and live collaborative tool!

Classroom Guest Speakers

To help save time and department travel costs, Collaborate Ultra is a good solution for guest speakers. In fact, sessions can be recorded and played back in subsequent semesters or for those students that missed class.  Courses in Occupational Therapy, Geology, and Technology in Public Relations and Advertising here at the university have used Collaborate Ultra to bring in guest speakers for their students.

Another example is the use of Collaborate Ultra for Online Library Research Instruction. Presented by Rita Kohrman, GVSU Education Librarian, the sessions are conducted in the Steelcase Library and provide assistance to education graduate students in understanding how to access, retrieve, and evaluate materials for their Projects/Theses. Students learn various library and/or research applications to better assist in obtaining materials for the completion of projects or theses.

The classes are simultaneously taught face-to-face and online via Collaborate Ultra for those students who are unable to attend in person.

Online Interviews

Collaborate Ultra was used for live streaming the Dean of University Libraries interviews from the Allendale to the Pew Campus downtown. This provided an opportunity for those staff whose offices are downtown, but still wanted to be able to see the candidate presentations.

Live Campus Events

The West Michigan Health Information Management Association recently used Collaborate Ultra to connect 2 remote locations in the upper peninsula in Iron Mountain and Newberry, Michigan for a continuing education coding workshop.

Virtual Conferences

Bb Collaborate Ultra supported the 2016 Youth Virtual Conference of the UNU RCEs Conference.  This project provides students with the perspective and practice of a global dialogue, in hopes that they will better understand the unique energy systems dilemmas facing the regions of the world and in turn reveal and embrace the universal themes of sustainable evolution through dialogue, empathy, and collaboration.

 Sites that participated during the event that was held on March 2, 2016 included:

  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Portland, Oregon
  • La Paz School, Costa Rica
  • Minna, Nigeria
  • Medellin/Bogota, Colombia
  • Curitiba, Brazil

Here is a link to the YouTube Livestream Recording from the Youth Virtual Conference.

Another example of a conference was that GVSU Scribe Academy event. The Academy is designed to train individuals to assist healthcare providers in local Emergency Departments by documenting patient care in the electronic medical record. The Program consists of two training sections: Pre-clinical and Clinical Training.

Class sessions are simultaneously taught face-to-face and online via Collaborate Ultra for students who are unable to attend in person. Jeffery Trytko, Director of the GVSU Scribe Academy, acts as the online moderator/facilitator.

Remote Troubleshooting

The eLearning staff has been using Collaborate Ultra to help troubleshoot and support faculty in their use of educational technologies.  But having the remote user share their screen, it is often more efficient and effective to provide tips, guidance, and solutions to faculty requesting assistance.

Online Training

For those situations where it is challenging or difficult to come to a training session on campus, Collaborate Ultra is providing a solution to learn about a variety of topics and subjects whether the participants are on the main Allendale campus, or at one of GVSU’s other regional campuses.

Please let us know how we can help you best leverage technology to save costs, reduce travel, increase convenience, or enhance collaboration!

Clicks, Grades, Engagement and Student Success

In a recent article in the Chronicle for Higher Education entitled: “What Clicks from 70,000 Courses Reveal about Student Learning“, aggregate and anonymized data was assembled by Blackboard from 70,000 courses across 927 institutions with 3,374,462 students revealing that:

“The most successful students are those who access MyGrades most frequently; students doing poorly do not access their grades. Students who never access their grades are more likely to fail than students who access them at least once.”

John Whitmer, director of learning analytics and research at Blackboard, is quick to point out that this doesn’t indicate causality, but that the data can be used to explore opportunities to more effectively help students succeed.

See also Blackboard’s blog post with additional information: “How successful students use LMS tools – confirming our hunches

The article also references research around the use of learning management systems by groups such as EDUCAUSE. GVSU participated in the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis Research (ECAR) study in 2015. Related to the use of an LMS, 94% of GVSU students surveyed said that they used Blackboard in at least 1 course with 54% responding that Blackboard was used in all of their courses.

Further, in a baseline survey as part of the 2021 GVSU Strategic Plan, faculty indicated that: announcements were used at 85%, content at 82%, and the gradebook as well as email was used at 78% – as the top tools used faculty in Blackboard. (This survey also referenced that Blackboard was used by 95% of the faculty responding to the baseline survey.)

Finally, in the student Blackboard survey that was administered in the Winter 2016 semester, students indicated that their #1 desire was to be able to check their grades in Blackboard.  These results echo the importance and value that students place in being able to check their grades and performance throughout the semester.

The following graphs are from GVSU’s student survey data:student-more-features

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For more survey results and information, please see our “FACULTY AND STUDENT BLACKBOARD SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS” blog post.

What do you think? How can we best use technology to increase student engagement and in turn improve student success at GVSU?

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!

7 Things You Didn’t Know that Blackboard Can Do!

Blackboard isn’t just a place to upload your syllabus, in fact, there are many benefits of using the system to better engage with students, increase communication, provide 24×7 access to course materials, collect assignments, and promptly post student assessment feedback and grades!

Here are 7 things you didn’t know that Blackboard can do!

1. Class Photo Roster

The Class Photo Roster is an effective way to more quickly learn students names, increase engagement, and to better personalize instruction. In just a few clicks, faculty can access the official student ID photographs of enrolled students.

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Learn more about the photo roster on the Blackboard Class Photo Roster Tip Sheet.

2. Retention Center and Performance Dashboard

The Retention Center provides an easy way for you to discover which students in your course are at risk. Based on preconfigured rules and rules you create, students’ engagement and participation are visually displayed, quickly alerting you to potential risk. From the Retention Center, you can contact the most at-risk students immediately and flag those you want to monitor closely. As you observe their progress and send emails, you can also keep track of this correspondence and make notes about each student right in the Retention Center.

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For more information on how to use Bb’s Retention Center Watch a Tutorial.

The Performance Dashboard provides you with a view into all types of user activity in your course. All users enrolled in your course are listed, including instructors, students, teaching assistants, graders, observers, and guests, with pertinent information about each user’s progress, last course access, discussion board participation, and activity. The numbers provided in the Review Status column of the Performance Dashboard indicate the number of items that a student has marked as Reviewed and provides an at-this-moment view of the item availability and a student’s progress on reviewing items.

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For more information on how to use Bb’s Performance Dashboard Watch a Tutorial.

3. Review Status and Adaptive Release

The Review Status tool allows instructors to track user review of specific content items. After an instructor turns on the tool for an item, students track their progress. A Needs Review button appears with enabled items. After reviewing the item, a student selects this button to mark it Reviewed. If the Review Status tool is turned off, all data is saved.

To learn how to make the review status tool available in your courses see How to Manage Tools.

Adaptive Release controls the release of content to users based on a set of rules you create. The rules may be related to availability, date and time, individual users and user groups (such as course Groups), scores or attempts on any Grade center item, or review status of another item in the course. An Adaptive Release rule consists of a set of criteria that defines the visibility of a content item to users. Criteria are the parts that make up the rule. For example, date and membership are two types of different criteria. Each content item may have multiple rules, and each rule may consist of multiple criteria. To view an item, a user must meet all of the requirements of the rule. This means that if a rule has multiple criteria, the user must meet all criteria before the item is available.

For more information on best practices see Approaches to Adaptive Release.

4. Date Management

Use the date management tool to easily adjust all content and tool dates in your course. Accessed on the Control Panel in the Course Tools section, you can choose to adjust dates automatically or individually from one convenient location. You can adjust dates according to the course start date. The Current Start Date displays the date that the course is currently set to start. Change the new start date to reflect when this new course is going to start. All dates in the course adjust by the number of days each date occurs after the start date.

To learn how to adjust and manage course date’s Watch a Tutorial.

5. Blackboard Grader for iPad with Video/Audio Feedback

Bb Grader is a mobile app that provides teachers with a portable solution for reviewing, providing feedback, and grading student submissions to to your Blackboard Learn courses—when and where you have time. Bb Grader requires iOS 7 + and is compatible with iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad 2, 3, or 4.

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Visit the Blackboard website for more information on Getting Started with Bb Grader.

6. Gradebook Colors

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You are able to create rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status. Creating color rules in the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly. For example, you can use yellow to highlight graded items with failing scores so students and columns that require attention are prominent. Also, you can assign colors to the following grading statuses: In Progress, Needs Grading, or Exempt.

To learn how to use the Colors feature in your course Watch a Tutorial.

7. Rubrics for Assignments

A rubric is an assessment tool listing evaluation criteria for an assignment. A rubric divides the assigned work into parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each part, at varying levels of skill. You can use a rubric to quickly grade an assignment and/or communicate the assignment requirements and acceptable performance standards. Rubrics can help ensure consistent and impartial grading.

Students can use the rubric to organize their efforts to meet the requirements of an assignment, and you can use them to explain evaluations to students. When you score assignments with a rubric, students can more easily recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their work and direct their efforts accordingly.

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To learn how to grade using a Rubric Watch a Tutorial.

BONUS:  Badges, Certificates, and Achievements

The achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both badges and certificates. These can be beneficial in the #gamification of instruction. Students can see which rewards they have earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies.

Achievements has four functional areas: achievements description, reward, notification and sharing. Criteria identified in the achievement description must be met before a reward is earned. Students are notified when a reward is earned and can then share it as they choose. Each achievement must have at least one reward identified during set up. The reward is the item awarded upon meeting the required criteria. It is given in the form of badges and certificates.

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For more information on Blackboard’s Achievement tools see Achievements.

For assistance and support with any of these tools, please contact the eLearning team or visit our eLearning Teaching with Technology support site. We are here to help!