A blog for faculty, developers and system administrators focusing on the latest Blackboard Learn technical and commercial partner news. We’ll share documentation and information on web services and APIs along with Blackboard Partner updates and technologies.
One of the highest levels of education achievement is receiving your doctorate. As we are all aware, Doctors are experts in their field of study. They are often called on for expert reviews and feedback on questions related to their field. Believe it or not, even Blackboard has “Doctors” available to provide you with their expertise on one subject: Blackboard.
Ask The Doctors (formerly Ask Dr. C for the fans out there) is a discussion forum for any and all technical and pedagogical questions relating to Blackboard Learn and now Blackboard Collaborate. Your questions are reviewed and carefully answered by a team of “Doctors” with over 115 years of combined hands-on experience working with these Blackboard products. This hand selected group of seven experts is chock-full of knowledge from their professional experiences as Instructional Technologists, System Administrators, and Directors of Instructional Design.
Next time you have a question about Blackboard Learn or Blackboard Collaborate, search the wealth of knowledge on Ask The Doctors or just post your question on to the forum. The “Doctors” are listening.
To make it easier for institutions to manage classroom information from their administrative and academic systems, Blackboard Learn is partnering with another of the industry’s leading educational products, Colleague by Ellucian.
“We are always trying to create improvements in the overall learning experience,” said Jessica Finnefrock, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy and Development at Blackboard. “This partnership is part of our commitment to help our clients get the most out of their technology investments and our mission to create more open and interoperable frameworks for education technology.”
Using rich media solutions, like video, in the classroom helps enable the development of media literacy, higher order thinking skills, and a deeper connection to the curriculum being explored. Recently, Blackboard expanded its partnership with Kaltura, the world’s first Open Source Online Video Platform, to all institutions using Moodlerooms’s Moodle-based platform, joule. Also new, Blackboard and Kaltura are now offering the Blackboard Building Block™ more broadly to Blackboard Learn™ customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, expanding the availability of Kaltura’s video tools and capabilities in Blackboard’s flagship learning management system.
Like Blackboard, Kaltura strives to make the learning experience seamless for faculty and students. Video wasn’t always easily accessible to Blackboard users, as you can learn from the video below. In the past, instructors would go to one system to upload and manage content and then grab an embed code to add video to the appropriate web page or course. At the very least, this was an inconvenient workflow; in a worst case scenario, this could be time consuming and problematic for the instructor.
The Kaltura Video Building Block removes these manual steps from the process of assigning videos to various courses, assignments and pages. Users can stay within the Blackboard Learn platform through the entire process – essentially all content can be pushed into Blackboard programmatically and any Blackboard specific data can be synched back to the Kaltura system automatically. The result? A seamless experience for faculty and students.
Saving time while building courses? Actually, it is possible! The Content Editor, which is based on the industry standard TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor, was recently launched and vastly improves the user experience for entering text and adding content to all areas of your Blackboard course.
Kevin Lowey, System Administrator at the University of Saskatchewan and Liuz Teixiera, Course Manager at UCLA Extension, both participated in the Content Editor Early Release Program which gave nearly 200 clients early access to the new editor.
They shared with me how one seemingly small improvement in education software means one big leap toward educator efficiency.
Ever wish you could get a pulse on how new technology will actually affect you before you adopt it? Well, here’s your chance! Chris Bray, Blackboard Administrator for University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, was a part of the beta program to test and provide feedback on the latest release of our flagship LMS, Blackboard Learn. Through the beta, Chris had hands-on experience with testing the upgrade process on his local test server and playing with new features, such as the content editor (formerly known as the VTBE), before the official release of Blackboard Learn Service Pack 10 a week ago today.
Maybe you’re interested in upgrading to the newest release of Blackboard Learn and looking for some answers as to what your institution should expect. Or, maybe you’re a fan of Chris’ blog or you follow him on twitter @zenandjuice. Either way, we hope this Tweet Chat will give you the opportunity to ask a few questions of a peer. Or get you one step closer to understanding Blackboard’s clients have influenced the future of technology.