Blackboard

@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.

machajes

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

 

 

kautzc

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:

BbCatalystAward

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.”

 

Survey Results: College Presidents Welcome Change

In a Chronicle of Education survey, sponsored by Blackboard, 350 presidents of four-year colleges provided feedback and insights around innovations in higher education, including the role various constituencies play in advancing ideas, as well as their opinions on online learning, hybrid courses, and competency-based degrees.

Read the full report here [PDF]:  “The Innovative University: Presidents Think About Change in American Higher Education”

The focus of the survey highlighted the following areas:

  • How public and private college leaders agree and disagree on the direction of U.S. higher education
  • Who should be leading change on the college campus
  • What innovations will have the most impact in the future

The following post highlights results focused on online and hybrid teaching and learning:

New ideas:

An overwhelming majority of presidents—three quarters at private institutions and even more at public campuses—think that hybrid courses that contain both face-to-face and online components will have a positive impact on higher education. They are more skeptical, however, about massive open online courses (MOOCs), at least in their current form. Half of the presidents surveyed suspect that MOOCs will have a negative impact on higher education.

Two-thirds of presidents say that the pace of change is too slow.

Presidents believe that the focus right now should be on changes to the model of teaching and learning.

changeemphasis

Presidents believe hybrid courses that blend face-to-face learning as well as adaptive learning will have the most positive influence on the future of higher education.

positiveimpact

57% indicate faculty don’t get enough support to move their courses online/hybrid:

onlinehybridattitudes

The eLearning team at GVSU is here to support faculty in their work to transform education through good practice in leveraging #EdTech as well as to assist in the delivery of the next generation of teaching and learning through online/hybrid courses. Contact us!

Where will U.S. higher education stand in worldwide rankings 10 years from now?

Michigan Blackboard Users Connect to Share Best Practices

The miBUG (Michigan Blackboard Users Group) Spring Conference was held at the VisTaTech Center on the campus of Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan on Friday, March 24, 2017. More than 100 educators from 20+ institutions across Michigan and Canada attended this event to collaborate and share best practices in leveraging Blackboard in teaching and learning.

GVSU eLearning staff Justin Melick, Vince St. Germain, Sherry Barricklow and Eric Kunnen attended this year and picked up great ideas and networking with institutions around the state.

mibuggvsuelearn2017

GVSU eLearning Team (Pictured Left to Right) Justin Melick, Vince St. Germain, Sherry Barricklow, and Eric Kunnen

Several of the highlights from this event included:

  • Blackboard Learn, Collaborate, Mobile Product Roadmaps
    • New Features Coming: OneDrive (DropBox already available) Integration, Bb Instructor App, Attendance Management, New Video Everywhere Solution, and more!
  • New Blackboard Ally Product Announcement
    • Providing institutional dashboards, on demand tips for faculty on accessibile documents, and realtime conversion of uploaded files into accessiable formats.
  • Creating Course Videos – Wayne State University
  • Tackling an Unruly Grade Center – Schoolcraft College
  • Fostering Creating Critical Thinkers in Online Discussion Boards – Madonna University
  • Collaborate Ultra: Features and Tips you can Use Now – Blackboard
  • Getting to Know the Bb Peer Assessment Tool – Wayne State University
  • Blackboard Testing and Development in a Multi-Tier Environment – Center Michigan University
  • and more!

 

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

happynewyear

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

student-features

student-improve

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?