In November I wrote about how Kaltura’s partnership
with Blackboard helps address the challenge of campus media head on
. This December, Kaltura released an updated version of their Building Block to make it even more helpful and user-friendly. Some of the new product features include:
- Additional clipping functionality, allowing users to create clips from existing content
- Improved galleries, enabling users to click thumbnails
- New workflows, allowing administrators to assign content to Blackboard courses directly from within the Kaltura Management workflow
Maisie Caines, a Blackboard Exemplary Course Director and Faculty Development Specialist at College of the North Atlantic, recently spent time chatting with Teri Herron of Delta State University
. Teri received the 2011 Exemplary Course Program Award
for her Music in American Culture online course
. So, how does a classically trained opera singer and music historian design and deliver an exemplary online course? According to Teri, it was a “completely wild ride.”
According to Teri: “We need projects that push us out of our comfort zones, because that’s what I’m asking my students to do every time they enroll in any of my classes.” When Teri approached Dr. Susan Hines, Director of Instructional Technologies at Delta State, about designing an online course, she asked for no forgiveness. “I want you to be really hard on me.,” Teri said, “I would rather work diligently one time and then have something upon which multiple layers can be built. You know, build a really solid foundation into which you can add or subtract content, add or subtract media, fuss a little bit with your learning modules… but have something really, really good, structurally sound…something that a student climbs into and thinks, WOW!, this person really cared when they put this together for me.”
I just moved into a new role at Blackboard, working with clients on the awesome Empower Programs
we have developed to get clients heavily involved in our design and development process. In the last month of 2011, I was lucky enough to work with over 100 Blackboard clients
, partners and developers
as we kicked off our Beta Programs in preparation for the release of our newest software Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, Service Pack 8.
These beta programs are important because they allow us to get feedback on the client’s upgrade experience, test the quality of the installer, as well as help developers and partners test out their building blocks
with the new release – allowing us to help them resolve any issues prior to general availability of the software.
Christie Smith, a Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Director and the Director of Online Course Development, Lone Star College-Online recently chatted with two 2011 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program winners—Dorothy Jones and Gillian McKnight-Tutein. Dorothy teaches for Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia, and Gillian teaches for Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. This was the first time either instructor submitted a course for program review, and they both won! In addition, Gillian participated as a course reviewer to gain experience from the other end of the process.
Both faculty members had their students in mind when they decided to participate in the Exemplary Course Program. Dorothy explained that she was interested in having her course evaluated externally against established standards that indicate “value and quality to potential students.” Gillian’s goal was to receive feedback that would help her to make learning more enjoyable for her students.
When asked what makes their courses exemplary, Dorothy mentioned the overall best practices in course design that were used to redesign her course and the positive feedback she received from her students. She states, “When students enroll in my course, I often hear that it is different from many of the online courses they have taken.” Gillian says her course was built upon the Quality Matters ™ framework, a program similar to the Blackboard ECP that focuses on research-based best practices in course design. View Gillian’s Course Tour
Guest Post by Christopher Tiné, Producer, NBC Learn and EducationNation.com
“Just about every challenge in American education has been met somewhere, by somebody.” – Bill Clinton.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to hear Bill Clinton speak about education at NBC News’ Education Nation summit
. He spoke with Brian Williams about competitiveness and cooperation, but right at the end as he was wrapping up he made a comment that has stuck with me. He said, “Just about every challenge in American education has been met somewhere, by somebody…why are we so lousy at copying the competition and adapting it to our own circumstances?”
Bill Clinton challenged the audience to look around and see where things were working, and adapt solutions to fit their own educational challenges. NBC Learn and Blackboard have tried to do just that with the Solutions in Action series. So often the focus of the education conversation is on what’s wrong with the system. Solutions in Action is our effort to spend a few minutes shining a spotlight on what’s right in education – thinkers with new ideas, effective solutions, and scalable strategies.