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 gvsuelearn.wordpress.com 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

eLearning Team Supports Online Learning Growth at GVSU

Online and hybrid learning is growing rapidly at GVSU – and the eLearning team is here to support and equip faculty with instructional design, instructional technology, and digital media development assistance.

See also:

  • “Online Education Ascends” – Number and proportion of college and university students taking classes online grew +6.4% in 2017, as overall enrollments fell by -.4%. A third of all students now take at least one online course. 

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team provides support to faculty at GVSU. Pictured left to right: Vince St. Germain, Matt Roberts, Justin Melick, Colleen Cameron, Sherry Barricklow, Kim Kenward, Katie Clark, Glenna Decker, and Eric Kunnen. (Not pictured: Hunter Bridwell)

As part of the Information Technology Department, eLearning and Emerging Technologies provides a wide array of services and resources designed to facilitate the support of faculty teaching hybrid and online classes as well as to assist faculty in delivering innovative classroom based instruction.

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is dedicated to supporting facultycontributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through:


A Growing Demand in Online Learning

In the Fall 2018 semester, student enrollment in online/hybrid courses has risen to 5,318 which represents a 15% growth since Fall 2017.  Looking back to the Fall 2017 semester, GVSU offered over 300 online/hybrid courses, (177 unduplicated), representing a one-year increase of 17%  (from Fall 2016), and significantly, a 78% increase in online enrollment since 2013. In fact, as of the Fall 2018 semester, 17% of all students at GVSU are taking at least 1 online or hybrid course, with 12% of all classes now being offered via distance education.

17% of all students at GVSU (5,318 enrollments) are taking at least 1 online or hybrid course.

Additionally, in the summer 2018 semester, online/hybrid courses contributed to a 4% growth in overall enrollment, with 42% of all enrollment offered as distance education. During the summer, there were nearly 4,000 students in total enrollment, which represented a 10% increase in online/hybrid enrollment since the summer 2017 semester.

High Touch and High Tech

On Friday, August 24, 2018, GVSU President Haas provided the campus with an inspiring lecture for the opening semester faculty/staff address. Focusing on the topics of stewardship, leadership, and innovation, the address also highlighted flexible learning options that meet students’ needs, including online learning while also mentioning the importance of high touch practices through high tech methods.

“We must be responsible to the changing needs of our students… on how we deliver education. Online learning and that becomes more vital to our students… we will not lose our high touch practices as we smartly utilize high tech methods.” – President Haas

GVSU 2021 Strategic Connection

Distance education is connected to the following GVSU strategies with special focus on Objectives 3.D.2 and 3.D.3:

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching. Baseline: 89% of faculty indicated either daily or weekly use of Blackboard in their teaching according to a GVSU faculty survey conducted winter 2016.

Objective 1.D.3: At least 60% of faculty members use state-of-the art instructional methods in their teaching. Baseline: 47% of faculty members use state-of-the-art instructional methods in their teaching according to a GVSU faculty survey conducted winter 2016. Additional Information Source: Education Center for Analysis and Research preliminary data is being collected for 2014-15, available June 2015.


  • The eLearning team provides support for innovative teaching methods, including the advancement and use of Blackboard.


Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Institutional outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1: At least 75% of faculty and 75% of staff participate in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions. Baseline for faculty will be determined via Digital Measures in summer 2015. Baseline for Fall 2014 for staff is 50-55%.


  • The eLearning Team provides the facilitation and training of faculty through a variety of seminars, including the Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development and Delivery course.


Strategic Priority 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.2: At least 30% of undergraduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for undergraduate courses for Fall 2014 is 6%.

Objective 3.D.3: At least 30% of graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for graduate courses for Fall 2014 is 25%.


  • Key to the advancement of online and hybrid courses, instructional designers in eLearning provide the point of contact for faculty in their work to design distance education courses as well as to facilitate a quality learning experience for students.


The eLearning Team is Here to Help!

If you are new to online learning or a seasoned veteran, the eLearning team is here to help! We provide consultations, faculty learning communities, coaching, and guidance to faculty. Please reach out and connect with us today!


eLearning Top 10 #EdTech List @GVSU



From getting started to advanced technology integration into teaching, the eLearning team is here for you! We have expertise in instructional design through the IDeL team, creative multimedia production authoring capabilities through the Digital Studio, instructional technology support and course management solutions such as Blackboard, and a wide array of innovative emerging technologies in the Atomic Object Technology Showcase.

Here is a top 10 list of #EdTech resources available through eLearning and Emerging Technologies (gvsu.edu/elearn) at GVSU.

IDeL – Instructional Design for eLearning (gvsu.edu/idel)

  1. Instructional Design Expertise and Support
    Looking for help in designing high quality instruction by leveraging technology? The IDeL team includes three instructional designers (Glenna Decker, Kim Kenward, Matt Roberts) and one digital media developer (Justin Melick) who have assisted faculty in online/hybrid course development and taught online or hybrid courses for over twenty years. Individual consultations are available, and the IDeL team provides seminars and web-based resources to support faculty in their work to best leverage technology for teaching and to design high quality media-rich online/hybrid instruction.
  2. Foundations for Online/Hybrid Course Development
    Learn how to build the next generation of teaching and learning and become certified to teach an online or hybrid course at GVSU.  The IDeL team facilitates the Foundations course that is designed to help you prepare, design, and teach an online or hybrid course.  While technology tools are used, the focus of this course is on instructional design and the conversion of materials for the online environment.  Foundations is offered throughout the year.
  3. Faculty Learning Communities (Formerly Teaching Circles)
    One of the best ways to get plugged in with distance learning at GVSU is to join a faculty learning community.  Working through the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC), the IDeL team facilitates monthly university-wide teaching circles on the subject of online and hybrid instruction.  Faculty are encouraged to join one of the communities to make connections and to find additional support and resources!

Digital Studio (gvsu.edu/elearn/ds)

  1. Multimedia and Digital Media Development
    Media-rich instruction can help solve instructional problems, enhance learning, and support student success. The Digital Studio, through the leadership of Vince St. Germain, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist, and Justin Melick, Digital Media Developer, seeks to promote the creation of digital learning experiences by providing consulting services, project development, and technology exploration for GVSU faculty and staff. Services are provided to faculty to assist in converting materials for online use, as well as to create custom interactive media elements that engage students.
  2. Lightboard
    One of the newest instructional technologies at GVSU is the Lightboard. This exciting technology was custom built by Justin Melick, Digtial Media Developer, and it combines a whiteboard-like experience with visibility of the instructor for highly engaging lectures. Lightboard videos can be easily integrated into Blackboard and placed online.

Atomic Object Technology Showcase (gvsu.edu/techshowcase)

  1. Innovative Emerging Technology
    Interested in learning more about virtual or augmented reality, 3D printing, gesture computing, mobile and wearable computing, and telepresence? Located in room 012 of the Atrium in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, the showcase provides faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to: interactdiscoverlearn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU. Check out the latest in #EdTech in the showcase!

Instructional Technology and Blackboard (gvsu.edu/elearn/help)

  1. Teaching and Learning with Blackboard
    Looking to save time, increase your efficiency and effectiveness, better communicate with your students, easily share content, and provide timely feedback to students? One of the best ways to engage with students outside of the classroom is through Blackboard.  In fact, in the Winter 2016 semester, more than 1,400 faculty and 23,000 students accessed the system. The eLearning team of instructional technologists (Vince St. Germain and Sherry Barricklow) and Blackboard specialists and systems analysts (Katie Clark and Colleen Cameron) provide support to faculty in individual consultations, seminars, email support, and web resources.
  2. Teaching with Technology
    One of the best ways to contribute to student success and to increase effectiveness and efficiency is to take advantage of technology to solve instructional problems and create engaging teaching resources. Sherry Barricklow, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist, Graduate Assistants, and the eLearning team have assembled a wide array of resources that can be used in teaching such as: Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, Ensemble, TechSmith Relay, and much more.

Get Plugged In

  1. Seminars
    Not sure where to start? Let us help you! We offer individual consultations, email support, and training opportunities through a wide array of seminars. These are available through the Sprout system and are also listed on our eLearning web site.
  2. Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium
    One of the best ways to enhance your teaching and determine the impact of teaching and learning with technology is to look for examples and to learn from others. There is no better place for this than the annual symposium. This event brings together faculty from across the campus to share how they are using technology to advance their teaching and improve student learning.

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