Department of Classics receives $1,000 Accessibility Competition Student Scholarship Award

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, along with eLearning and Emerging Technologies in Information Technology at Grand Valley State University is proud to announce the winner of the Blackboard Ally – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Accessibility Competition…

the Department of Classics!

The department of classics staff are pictured holding a large poster check with a total amount of $1,000. The memo of the check is labeled: $1,000 For Student Scholarship.

The Department of Classics was recognized on Tuesday, December 3 in a short ceremony in Lake Huron Hall.

Sherry Barricklow, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist in the eLearning and Emerging Technologies group in Information Technology presented the award and the a $1,000 student scholarship check. In attendance also from eLearning was Graduate Assistant, Brandon Thompson, Digital Media Developer Hunter Bridwell, and Associate Director Eric Kunnen.

The Department of Classics increased the accessibility of Blackboard class content by 7% during the competition, benefiting 500 students enrolled in their courses.

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team offers our congratulations on behalf of supporting inclusive education at GVSU!

About the CLAS – $1,000 Student Scholarship Competition

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and eLearning and Emerging Technologies in Information Technology, CLAS units and faculty will use Blackboard Ally to compete to create the most accessible content in courses to support student success, inclusive education, and universal design for learning principles. 

The unit with the highest percent improvement will receive a one-time $1,000 student scholarship in their name.

Learn more on the competition website.

6 Tips for Teaching Online at GVSU in 2020

Are you an online/hybrid faculty member at GVSU? If so, we have some news for you!


As you look ahead to teaching your online and hybrid courses in 2020, we have prepared the following resources designed to help support you and your students.

6 Tips for Teaching Online and Hybrid Classes in 2020

  1. Consider joining an Online and Hybrid Faculty Learning Community to explore best practices and learn from your peers! Learn more on the Online/Hybrid Faculty Learning Community web page.

  2. Focus on student success and retention with Blackboard tools. Maximize student retention by proactively contacting inactive students, students with missing deadlines, or poor performance. The Blackboard Grade Center shows the date of last course access for students and gradebook colors can be set to trigger alerts for faculty based on student performance.

    The Retention Center, Performance Dashboard and Item Statistics provide faculty with information about student activity as well as the ability to monitor students at-risk. Use these tools to determine whether any students in your class are falling behind or neglecting to check Blackboard regularly. Intervene early on, so they get back on track quickly.

  3. Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser academic integrity tools are available for online exam proctoring. Learn more on the Respondus web page or request access to LockDown Browser and Monitor.

  4. Register for Seminars offered by eLearning and Emerging Technologies on a variety of technologies that can be used in teaching an online/hybrid course. View a list of seminars and register in Sprout.

  5. Encourage students to complete the Online/Hybrid Orientation in Blackboard. All students enrolled in an online or hybrid class are automatically added into a CourseSite in Blackboard entitled: “Online/Hybrid Orientation”. A link to this site is available to students in the “My Courses” module after logging into Blackboard. Students that perform all of the required activities in the orientation are provided with a “Certificate of Completion”.
  6. Have a question or need assistance? Contact an Instructional Designer on the eLearning team:Glenna Decker – Instructional Designer
    4453 Kindschi Hall of Science (KHS) | 616-331-2598

    Matt Roberts – Instructional Designer
    4452 Kindschi Hall of Science (KHS) | 616-331-9085

    Kim Kenward – Instructional Designer
    268C Richard M. DeVos Center (DEV) | 616-331-2131

Best wishes for a wonderful and relaxing break and a successful start to your 2020 semester!

If we can be of further support as you teach your online and hybrid courses, please reach out to the following units at GVSU:

  • eLearning and Emerging Technologies, Online Education Council, University Libraries, the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center, and the Office of the Provost.
Stay Updated with the Latest Info and News from eLearning

Top 9 Posts from 2019


At GVSU, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is here to support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning. Our team is dedicated to supporting faculty, contributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through:

  • exemplary instructional design
  • effective application and integration of instructional technologies
  • interactive digital media development
  • administration and enhancement of the university’s enterprise learning management system (Blackboard)
  • deployment of innovative emerging technologies

Reflecting back on 2019, we would like to recognize and celebrate the work of faculty at GVSU in their efforts to advance education through the application of technology in teaching. Digital transformation brings about tremendous opportunities and we are excited to collaborate to pioneer the future of education.

In the past year, our blog has had 4,849 views by 3,295 visitors, and we have published 56 posts!

Here are the top 9 most viewed posts from the eLearning and Emerging Technologies blog in the year 2019:

#1 – 7 Things you didn’t know that Blackboard can do!

#2 – Blackboard Achievements, Badges, and Quick-and-Easy Certificates

#3 – Teaching with the Lightboard @GVSU

#4 – Using Blackboard Goals to Monitor Curriculum and for Accreditation

#5 – Virtual Office Hours for Student Success with Blackboard Collaborate and IM

#6 – GVSU Offers Virtual Reality Space for Faculty and Students

#7 – Designing Quality Courses in Blackboard with Cheryl Kautz

#8 – How to use Blackboard Analytics to Support your Students at GVSU

#9 – First ever hackGVSU ‘hackathon’ brings Innovative ideas to enhance Blackboard at GVSU

GVSU explores Extended Reality in the Showcase


Photo Credit: Amanda Pitts

Extended Reality (XR) is a frequent topic among those in higher education. XR is about engaging students across a wide array of digital experiences, including: virtual, augmented, mixed, and haptics-based interactions.

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of the physical “real world” environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

In the showcase we have multiple Augmented Reality experiences including the MERGE CUBE and the CURISCOPE AR T-Shirt. The Merge Cube includes multiple apps that can transpose various three dimensional holographic applications a user can experience, while the Curiscope T-Shirt pairs with an application named Virtual-tee to provide an anatomical visualization of the human body.

Justin Robinson, student assistant in the showcase, is currently developing an app for the Merge Cube to assist GVSU medical students in the study of Moro Infant Reflexes.

The app will project a “virtual” baby that will respond to the movement of the cube in the same way a baby would respond tilted in a given direction. This provide students with the understanding of infant reflexes without having to use an actual child.

Here are a couple of photos of the AR experience that Justin is developing in collaboration with Hunter Bridwell, digital media developer, in eLearning and Emerging Technologies.

Merge Cube    Merge Cube AR Experience

“The Technology Showcase gives me and other students the ability to experience and develop the future of learning and entertainment and I’m blessed to be a part of it.” – Justin Robinson

Showcase participates in #GivingTuesday

YOU can make a DIFFERENCE!

On Tuesday, December 3, the Atomic Object Technology Showcase at Grand Valley State University is excited to be participating in:


Lakers Helping Lakers

Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to give back to not only the Showcase, but also to the GVSU community. With your help we can explore new innovative technology right here in the showcase!

Make a #LakerEffect impact and consider donating a gift of any amount though the Atomic Object Technology Showcase GIVE web page!

Give to the Technology Showcase Now!

Now, more than ever, #edtech is playing a critical role in student success. Through your support of the the “Emerging Technology Fund“, the showcase can continue to pioneer the future of education.

Thank you for your consideration in supporting the work of academic innovation at GVSU.



Please help us to spread the word among your connections and fellow GVSU alumni.
Thank you, in advance, for giving back!


GVSU Alum visits the Showcase

We were grateful and thankful to have a recent visit by a GVSU alumna, Lily Snyder. A graduate of GVSU in 2010, Lily went on to receive project management and ScrumMaster certificates while pioneering the way in virtual reality through her experiences as COO for Doghead Simulations.

Lily is a writer and speaker and has provided keynote addresses at a variety of events, including the Cincinnati Tech Frontier Series, Seattle Startup Week, and IILeX Europe in Amsterdam.

Here is an excerpt from a recent post on Lily’s LinkedIn profile regarding her visit to the Atomic Object Technology Showcase at Grand Valley State University:

“Super stoked to have gotten a tour of the GVSU – Atomic Object TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE today. I met enthusiastic students and GV’s associate director of eLearning, Eric Kunnen along with Hunter Bridwell M.S., Digital Media Director. If you want to know how universities are implementing emerging technology like virtual reality, you should reach out to them. Grand Valley State University is my Alma Mater and I’m proud to see their continued dedication to their students, education, and technology.”
#digitialtransformation #education #virtualreality #augmentedreality
Showcase Behind the Scenes
Photo courtesy: Lily SnyderPictured left to right: Carson (student assistant), Lily Snyder, Hunter Bridwell, Eric Kunnen
Pictured left to right:
Carson (student assistant), Lily Snyder, Hunter Bridwell, and Eric Kunnen


Blackboard by the numbers…

Here is an infographic with a few stats, highlighting the use of Blackboard at GVSU in the Fall 2019 semester:

bbstats-2019_41917149 (1).png

Data in Infographic:

  • Users Logged in past 90 Days
    • 1,394 Faculty, 20,902 Students
  • Assignments Created
    • 14,366
  • Most Simultaneous Logged in Users
    • 17,028
  • Course Sections Available
    • 3,510
  • Logins per Minute
    • 121
  • Content Items Created
    • 238,486
  • Most Email Sent per Hour
    • 18,541
  • Most Assessment Attempts per Hour
    • 2,106
    • 7,710 Quizzes / Tests Created
  • Discussion Forum Created
    • 9,194
  • Total Announcements Posted
    • 39,225
  • Gradebook Columns Created
    • 61,132