Email students through WPConnect

Students are added to Bb just days before the start of the semester.  To reach students before then take advantage of the sevices offerded by WPConnect using these directions:

Email students before addition to Bb

Robert Alan Harris, Asst. Dir.
Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology
Cheng Library 120h – 973.720.2451 – harrisr@wpunj.edu

Center for Teaching & Learning w/ Technology (CTLT)
Cheng Library 120kwww.wpunj.edu/ctlt/http://bit.ly/wpu-ctlt-youtube

Fall 2014 Faculty Blackboard Bulletin: http://blog.wpunj.edu/ctlt/bb-bulletin/

Quality Matters @ William Paterson Universitywww.wpunj.edu/ctlt/qm/

 

Notes from Bb World 2014

These notes were taken off the cuff and if they appear at times to be disjointed, they are!  Still, I think they leave an idea of some of the sessions and ideas, and anyone with questions is free to contact me: Robert Harris, harrisr@wpunj.edu


 

Creating a Master Online Course and Blackboard Learn Presence

Community College of Baltimore
http://www.ccbcmd.edu/

Lisa Caplan
Monica Hill, mhill5@ccbcmd.edu

Master Online Course Initiative:
All sections of the course will be the same.  I wonder about academic freedom and what our union would say?

One of the rationales in passage of Quality Matters certification.

Another rationale for creating master courses is to meet the needs of Middle States accreditation and to meet QM certification.  If the Master Course is certified all 35 sections are also certified.

Faculty have the freedom to go in various directions within the master course.

Each school has a distance learning coordinator. I wonder if this a job in and of itself or if the coordinator is a faculty member w/ release time?

They have one-day “summits” with the subject matter expert, the college distance learning coordinator and techs and they assemble the course.

Bb Learn Presence: All faculty have to have a presence in f-2-f classes.

  • Increases educational availability
  • Promotes ecology — less paper
  • No Snow Days — snow is no excuse, classes go ahead in any event.
  • Faculty finds it helps to flip the classroom

This is required of all full-time faculty, and will soon be required for adjuncts soon
Base requirements: syllabus, faculty profile and office hours, posting midterm and final grades. Bb Presence Training or Bb Intro Training is required. They also have online material.

Initially the faculty was resistant.  So they showed the faculty all the benefits, and won them over.  Me: That’s some good work!

They want

  • No more snow days
  • Everyone using Bb rather than varied tools
  • Convenience and flexibility
  • Increased student engagement
  • Ecology re: paper

Faculty need to run a course 2-3 semesters to have a QM-ready course.

Bb Presence was an initiative from the top; this staff approached the the advisory board, the deans, etc and the VP for instruction made it a mandate.

 


 

Academic Integrity: How Strong is Your Foundation?

Tammi Kolski, Central Michigan University
www.cmich.edu

Had rock-strong indication of cheating and the student took it all the way to the disc. committee

Does our academic policy
define cheating and other varieties
offer examples
offer consequences?
All three should be clear and concise

Increase student awareness
Orientation
Syllabus
Define Expectations
Discuss, link and assess

Syllabus as a contract.  Her syllabus is ten pages long.

All exams are proctored with screen shot software.  Me: How expensive is that?!
Also, what is the name of the tool.

Her well-crafted syllabus includes course information student expectations, student performance.

Safe assign — as of release -14 of Bb SA is free with Learn
Turn It In: http://www.turnitin.com
Plagiarism-detect: http://www.plagiarism-detect.org

Monitoring:
NetSupport School: http://www.netsupportschool.com/

 


 

Edtech insights from Ed leaders

Betsy Corcoran
https://www.edsurge.com
https://www.edsurge.com/betsy-corcoran

A tech reporter who helped start a Silicon Valley, well, startup: EdSurge

Edsurge edtech index
https://www.edsurge.com/products/


Does edtech make a difference?

The same question has been asked in industry.
In 1996 an industry survey found that tech has not made a change in business. Not that long ago, she insists. I say: techwise, Yeah!  She thinks not and asks the same question about education.

Notes that Newsweek was sold for a dollar, but the Huffington Post was sold for three hundred million, and and the number of books being published is growing. I say: that 1$ was probably a tax dodge, and the number of books may well demonstrate the growth of serious digital publishing,  but may also reflect Amazon one shots, or whatever they’re called, written by anyone with a keypad and sold for — a buck.

She talks for a while and then: OK, I’ve told you some of the questions I’ve been hearing, now you all should share the questions you’ve been hearing. Did I wander off? I heard her talking about some exemplary programs, not unlike what we heard from Ito yesterday. I missed the questions. But that may be me.

 


 

Jay Bhatt – Corporate Keynote

11 million unemployed in the US, but 4 million open jobs, many if not most in the tech area.  Skills gap

We need to reimagine education, and it is the corporate, um, motto, something like that.

Group of invited student learners stands up and everyone applauds. But there are only about two dozen, if that.  Not enough; if our aim is education we need more representation of the victims!

Change to operational approach
Change product portfolio

  • Put students first
  • Add support centers abroad
  • expanded cloud hosting across the world.
  • Joined I2
  • Integrated and streamlined product versions
  • invested in 25 updates to meet various country (international) environments. UK, Brasil,
  • K-12 central parent app
  • Bb store (which is a good idea but which is really lame)
  • Bb Labs — look into this
  • Invested in Moodlerooms products
  • Over 40 schools hosting MOOCs
  • Open badges. yada yada
  • Bought MyEdu — look into this — already integrated

Long list, and it’s great for the company but little of it means much to WPUNJ

Redesign:
Solutions
Support and Services
Industry citizenship

Solutions:
Changing the way they distribute products; tucking components into the LMS rather than as a separate product.  Example?
Learn, Content, Explore, Community and Mobile are what they see as their indiv. products:

  • Learning Core
  • Learning Essentials
  • Learning Insight
  • Learning Insight an Retention

Another example of Redesign of approach: Support
global partner to support every aspect of what your community needs.
Unifying support operations
Private Cloud improving – not sure what this means

Institutional focussed?
Joint research conducted with American Council of Education (ACE).

Founding members of the badge alliance.

Supporting research studies to inform the industry dialogue

jay bhatt - corporate keynote - Bb World 2014

jay bhatt – corporate keynote – Bb World 2014

USER experience
Mobile First
Expanded cloud strategy
Big data

Head of Learner Centricity stands up to tell us about — learner centricity
First example is the Bookstore. But we know that fewer than five (small) schools are using it, and that it needs a great deal of development.

My Edu – something like a graphical portfolio.  Students need to sign up for it and create profiles — 2000/day.
We need more student support, info, documentation to help people take advantage of these things

Learn – streamlined.  So to speak. Is it newly learner-centric? We are to hear . . . we hope

The UI is being updated.  Courses and organizations are listed in the nav bar.
With a course outline students can find content more easily.  I hope we can teach faculty how to use it.  Students get a Facebook-like profile page.  A timeline of courses is available to students in order to help them keep track of how many times they’ve failed History 1010!

Big time: Collaborate is now in the browser! So much for my recent product certification ;-)

Bb Grader: new product to help grade papers, offering feedback through audio and video

Try out in the usability lab
Job Genie - already available – helps students find majors, jobs, careers – visual GUI in App Store

The other guy talking,  Using the cloud they can upgrade seamlessly.  See the differences between Hosted, Private Cloud, Public Cloud (Moocs)

Am still not clear on the relationship between locally hosted Learn and Private Cloud – if any

Missed all the stuff about Mobile. How important is Mobile to my institution. Do we have a means of tracking mobile users?

Back to Bhatt.  The emphasis is a) combining products and support into a single seamless entity, and b) participating in the larger edu world

 


 

Putting the meat on the bones: Roadmap To learn

Bb is challenging traditional thinking; creating new educational models to make a difference and positive substantial contribution to our society

Bb challenging traditional thinking; creating new educational models
Bringing well integrated products to the market
Evolving beyond the traditional LMS.  (Is there a traditional LMS?!)

Bb Learn => Mobile => Collaborate => xPlor

Collaborate Mobile is looking to (finally!) becoming a useful tool

Again w/ the FB-like profile interface.

Bb thinks students will be motivated by the new timeline of courses – time will tell

“Save” is going away — material is saved automatically throughout the session

SEARCH through a course is coming!

Unified messaging system; all messages in one place — I don’t know what this means.

Drag-and-drop uploading content

Making a corse available will be a one step process

Transferring content between courses easier

When will all these be available. He keeps saying “now,” and it may be Now for him, but it’s what a year for us?

Timing on the new Collaborate — runs in the browser — Java dependency is — or will be — gone. Timing? 

WebRTC is a tool native to the major browsers and helps improve the quality of the picture.

RTC is a Google product and in iOS works only in google Chrome.

Afterwards I went down to the Knowledge Bar in order to get a sense of timing.  The people there suggested that Blackboard Corp. isn’t going to talk about timing so they don’t get caught with their pants down. Fair enough.  We’re likely to get some crumbs this Fall, nothing useful until Fall semester 2015, maybe.

 


 

Models of Student Throughput and Retention.

Izak (Sakkie) Smit
Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Get all faculty to use the retention center.

 


 

Top Ten things you didn’t know were in Bb

Jim Chalex
Senior Director of Product Management for Bb Learn, jim.chalex@blackboard.com
Four areas:

  • Learning Core Solution
  • Learning Essentials
  • Learning Insight
  • Learning Insight and Student Retention (Analytics and Outcomes)

Top 10

10) Date Management

Review and adjust dates

9) Student Preview

Switch into student mode to see what students see

8) Bb Store

Not Ready for Prime Time

7) Delegated Assignment Grading 

To allot grading responsibility to various faculty or TAs in the course
I need to alert faculty in Bio and Nursing, and that one Comm crs -

6) Safe Assign Integration 

SA is no longer a separate product. It’s still not as useful as Tii but now, like Tii, it’s built into the system. All this needs to go into a faculty blog post.

5) Inline Grading

We’ve been using this for a year, anyway, but I should remind people. And remind them it is available for most grading features. Maybe add Assignments to the Tools workshop roster.

4) Test power features

  • Create/edit calculated formula question
    This is really old news. They’ve tweaked it a bit
  • Test availability exceptions
    Made it easier to help people w/ disabilities. Also can be used to see when/how a student accessed a test

3) Portfolio Assessment

They need to make the portfolio useful first. Faculty don’t want to use it so ease in assessment is, for our people, less than relevant.

2) Learn Outcome and Activity Reporting

Retention Center

“Bonus” feature: Publisher integrations: Cengage, McMillan, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, maybe I’m missing one.

Then he goes into new design issues, most of which we’ve heard of before and none of which we know when we’ll see. A senior executive told men that the coyness on timing is due to legal issues.

Tablet — Instructor Grading App – Prototype in knowledge bar

================

Aside:
Some people are jealous that I “get to” go to Vegas for a conf. Screw that. Sure I have a good time, but I work harder in 4 days than most do in 2 wks #BbWorld14

 


 

Final Keynote
Geoffrey Canada, Children’s Zone in Harlem

Started out helping kids in Harlem. Did 60 Minutes a few times, was listed as the 12th most influential person by Forbes, etc.
http://hcz.org/about-us/leadership/geoffrey-canada/
http://www.ted.com/talks/geoffrey_canada_our_failing_schools_enough_is_enough

Harlem was bad enough — no one was getting into college and if anyone did they made it onto the cover of Time. Silly. So he worked on it, made some inroads. Then he travelled to Detroit, Camden, etc., and found staggering levels of poverty, a paucity of education.

What have we done but built a toxic environment: a nation of incarceration.  Poverty makes it hard to educate kids.

People say you can’t educate poor kids. People say you shouldn’t even be trying to educate the poor.

$33,000 a year to incarcerate person in US
$50,000 a year to incarcerate person in NY
$157,00 a year to incarcerate person in NYC

So people are happy to pay those prices to lock people up and get nothing out of it but a hardened criminal. He pays $5000 to educate a student and people get their pants in a bunch if a kid gets a bad grade.  People have their priorities out of whack, and it’s destroying the world.

Hole in the ozone? There’s a hole over Harlem. There’s a hole over Bed-Stuy. Yeah, we got holes.

He read a report that a huge number of kids don’t qualify for military service.  30% of kids have no high school diploma.  X% of kids are just too damn fat.  Today the rates of unwed births in the white community is higher than what Moynihan found in the black community in his 1960s report. M reported on what he thought was a Black problem, but it’s an AMERICAN PROBLEM.

Summer vacation.  What the hell — it’s supposed to be based on the agrarian calendar, but who the hell is planting in July?!  No one.  Why can’t we reimagine education in this country.

He comes from South Bronx and the educational system when he was growing up sucked. He went into a SB classroom not long ago and found the same education on the same time table — not a damn thing had changed.  Why can’t we re-imagine education?

His challenge: we have to think outside the box.  People in education are resistant to change.

His kid is a patent attorney, and education is one field that doesn’t need patent attys is education: you can’t GIVE AWAY a good idea.

Try it. Try something. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else.
paraphrased

 


 

Badges
Doesn’t really matter which badges session, does it?
1. Badges have metadata in order to guarantee origin
2. Speaker suggests that FINALLY we have evidence-based data for transfer students.

You’re kidding me, right? What school is going to accept a stinkin’ badge?  And what happened to TRANSCRIPTS?

I started out skeptical, am leaving just shaking my head.

 


 

Executive Listening Session 

Embrace your new UI. Whenever it comes.

News is people will not be forced to used the new UI, but can switch all courses, course-by-course, or no courses.  When it comes. Whenever it comes.

? What do you think about Google Classroom ?

It’s fine, but Google is not interested in developing to meet educators demands and are not   going to service the education market in the way educators expect to be dealt with.

? What happened to DevCon ?

We deemed the effort not to be worth it, and while it is not likely we’ll bring it back we will add more tech sessions next time.

? When will your updates not suck ?

No reason to record this.

Most of the questions revolved around updates, the timing and the quality. Answers as one might expect.

Audience anger was palpable, if repetitious.  Responses were measured, if rehearsed.

 


 

Links