eLearning team attends #miBUG19

d6oxynsxsaapryvOn Friday, May 10, several members of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team attended the #miBUG Michigan Blackboard Users Group Conference to connect, learn, and share best practices in using Blackboard in teaching and learning.

The conference brought together over 95 faculty, staff, instructional designers, and system administrators from 14 institutions all across the state of Michigan. The event was held at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Held every spring, the agenda included a keynote by Dr. Darcy Hardy entitled “It all Begins (and ends) with Quality”, and 3 breakout sessions. Sponsors for this year’s conference included: Blackboard, Washtenaw Community College, Qwickly, Respondus, ReadSpeaker, and Examity.


Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies, captured a few notes on his “EdTech with Eric” blog:

Also please visit the miBUG 2019 Conference folder on the Community site.

eLearning attends MiBUG – Michigan @Blackboard Users Spring Conference


Photo by Jason Kane, Instructional Designer, Schoolcraft College

On Friday, May 18, Vince St. Germain, Hunter Bridwell, and Sherry Barricklow attended the 2018 Michigan Blackboard Users Group Spring Conference (MiBUG) which was held on the campus of Central Michigan University.

This event brought together 90+ faculty and staff from 18 institutions – all focused on learning and collaborating to improve education with @Blackboard. In addition to the keynote, 10 sessions were offered on a variety of topics including: online science labs, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra features and tips, and building a success course development model with Quality Matters. For a complete list session descriptions check out the MiBUG Keynote and Breakout Session Descriptions.

Keynote Presentation

Widening Perspective, Shifting Focus: Adapting to Generation Next

Chad Kainz; Principal Strategist, Strategy and Transformation Services at Blackboard, Inc.

Eighteen years into the 21st century and we now accept that today’s students are different. Like their consumer and social interactions, students expect their educational experiences to be personal, streamlined, and on-demand. To a learner of today, the once sharp divide between face-to-face and virtual learning seems arcane in a world of consumer-defined seamless digital and physical interaction. And with careers being measured in sprints rather than lifetimes, the demand for lifelong learning is crafting new hybrid educational generations (and expectations) out of the old. In short, the 18-24-year-old “traditional” one-and-done learner of the last century is a fond memory.

Arguably, a college or university’s digital learning environment and its surrounding technology ecosystem establishes a student’s field-of-view regarding their experience, and enables (or inhibits) access and engagement. In his keynote, Chad will explore Blackboard’s research into the attitudes and expectations of five generations of learners, share his perspective on rethinking the student experience, and provide ideas for incorporating Generation Next thinking to create a more responsive campus digital learning environment.

[Keynote Slides]

Vince St. Germain captured the following notes from the keynote session:

Student expectations shift and change with each generation

Today, students favor experiences that are personal, streamlined and on-demand

What do we know about today’s students/learners

  • 5 generations of learners
    • 21% Gen X
    • 69% Gen Y / Millenial
    • 10% Gen Z
  • Majority are working
  • Majority are renting
  • Majority are single
  • Seek opinions of others/public opinion

Decision making attributes:

  • Affordability
  • Program attributes
  • Location
  • Career placement

What do you need to succeed:

  • Advising and support
  • Financial aid
  • Distance learning

George Mason Student Experience Redesign Project


  • Know your students
  • Think holistically
  • Act on your capability

What does it mean to support today’s student? Shape a unique experience that’s built around your institution and serves every generation of learner.

Closing Blackboard Panel

At the closing of the event, a panel of Blackboard staff provided a Q&A session for attendees.


In addition, Tim Atkin, Chief Client Officer (Blackboard, Inc.) presented a session entitled: “Improved Client Experience:  Understanding, Commitment, Communication


About the Michigan Blackboard Users Group

mibuglogoThe Michigan Blackboard User Group (MiBUG) is a user group for educational institutions throughout the state to network and share teaching and learning best practices.

Learn more about miBUG on the Blackboard Community site.

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.


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.