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.
We use the Internet to read news, to gather research, to socialize, and more, but some are still skeptical about the ability to teach an engaging and successful course online. Achieving success in an e-Learning environment is actually quite attainable and each year, more instructors make the move. Today, I’d like to focus on one individual who recently made the move online. Dr. Angela Green is the Director of Nursing Research at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She and her team won a 2012 Catalyst Award for Staff Development. This award honors those who use Blackboard solutions to support and enhance faculty and staff development skills that provide a better learning experience for students and faculty themselves.
What do Extra Credits mean in 2012? Well for today’s college student, they might mean going above and beyond an original assignment in order to get an added boost to a midterm or final grade. For elementary school students, it might mean a gold star at the top of a worksheet.
We’ve asked some bold questions to some of the most interesting folks around the education community. They’ve been kind enough to share their insights in two minutes or less and starting tomorrow, we’ll share these insights, aka Extra Credits, with you.
Please share them with your peers. You never know when they or you may be our next Extra Credit. If you have a question of your own, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You never know who may give you the answer.