As another year comes to a close here at Blackboard, we want to share some of our readers’ favorite blog posts from 2012. You clicked, you shared, you commented. Here’s what got the most attention:
Take a chance; don’t worry about what could go wrong.
So often, we worry about what could go wrong when trying new methods at reaching our students. Problem is, our students have changed. No longer can we stand in front of the classroom and lecture for 50 minutes. No longer can we simply upload a slide deck and expect our students to simply ingest the information. They want to be engaged and part of the learning process.
This infographic, which illustrates data from a Pew Internet survey, illustrates some key metrics around digital engagement and higher education.
Specifically, we’re excited to see that there is plenty of expected growth for students using mobile devices to engage with their curriculum.
Here are the three stats that we found most interesting:
- 77% of surveyed college presidents say their school offers online courses.
- 60% of respondents believe that by 2020, hybrid classes will combine online learning with less-frequent on-campus, in-person class meetings. (A trend also known as blended learning!)
- 84% of college graduates say going to college was a good investment for them.
A major question facing parents and schools in the rapidly evolving, technology-driven classroom is how we should educate students to become good digital citizens.
What constitutes good digital citizenship? As this Technapex article puts it:
“It’s a tricky time to be a student. The digital age has brought about amazing innovations in education, but there’s also a darker, less safe side of technology that can be difficult for students to navigate: cyber bullying, online safety, and plagiarism are among a few issues that have arisen in recent years as a result of the proliferation of social media and technology.”
Northern Illinois University has earned a reputation for seamless integration and upgrades of instructional technology tools. The secret is planning, says Jason Rhode, assistant director of the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. Here he offers a few suggestions for getting an upgrade right.
Allow plenty of time. NIU allowed about nine months for its Blackboard Learn upgrade, which allowed plenty of time to prepare the campus.
Don’t start from scratch. NIU tapped into SLATE (Supporting Learning And Technology in Education), the Midwest Blackboard users group, to find out what worked — and hadn’t worked — during other schools’ upgrades. “We asked what questions we should be asking and what gotchas we should be watching out for,” Rhode says.
Avoid surprises. Communicate upcoming changes early and often. Explain what’s happening many times and via multiple channels. NIU’s upgrade communication plan worked so well that other universities have borrowed it.
Get faculty input. Whenever possible, allow faculty to influence the schedule. It will increase buy-in and may help you circumvent problems. For example, NIU gave faculty a say about when the upgrade to Blackboard Collaborate 12 would take place, better ensuring it happened at a time least disruptive to faculty.