It seems every year we hear more from Faculty that students just aren’t reading their course content. Blame it on last night’s big party or this weekend’s football game all you want – your students today just aren’t the same. They want instant access to their course content, grades and assignments – and they want it all in one place. With the start of the new school-year around the corner, we have just the fix for your biggest problem. Introducing: Blackboard Digital Content.
Guest blog post written by Siobhan Stynes
Siobhan Stynes is a professor of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Integrated Science at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. Spending time in the hands-on laboratory as well as in an interactive classroom has enabled Siobhan to re-evaluate the focus and methodology of her teaching, bridging the two learning environments. Her goal is to provide interactive learning experiences for her students so they can work together and develop a deeper foundation in science. Siobhan is on facebook and twitter @siobhanstynes.
Since I started teaching at Seneca College of Applied Arts of Technology in Toronto, Canada back in 2008, I have always struggled in engaging students with their work outside of the classroom. In my integrated science classroom, they were great! They would pay attention, do theoretical problems & calculations and get in to it. But, once the end of class came, the books & laptops were packed up, not to be opened for the purposes of studying science until our next class. When our institution adopted a Wiley textbook with digital content, called WileyPLUS with online homework, assignments, quizzes, tutorials, animations, audio files, students became more engaged outside of the classroom. They were eager for more assignments and more practice on their laptops and iPads (any excuse to use those cool devices, right?).
Today’s digital natives – those who have had access to computers, cell phones, email, and other forms of technology since birth – expect their professors to integrate media into the curriculum to augment learning in the classroom.
Kaltura, a market-leading open source online video platform and a Blackboard Premier Partner, helps universities deliver on this expectation by allowing faculty to easily create, edit and upload videos with a click of a button. Once the videos are uploaded to the platform, students can view the videos from any device in any location.
McGraw-Hill Connect Improves Student Success and Increases Instructor Efficiency at Hinds Community College
In 2010, Professor Sharon Feaster began offering Connect Anatomy & Physiology to her students as an extra study tool. Professor Feaster was hesitant to require McGraw-Hill Connect and have her students go to two course websites – Blackboard Learn and Connect – so she made it optional for students.
As soon as the Blackboard integration became available, she immediately jumped on board and started requiring her students to use McGraw-Hill Connect. As a result, she experienced significant improvements in course and exam pass rates, demonstrating the effectiveness of Connect and LearnSmart on student learning. In addition, she saw a 29% reduction in course withdrawals, which she assumes is a result of fewer students feeling compelled to withdraw because they were succeeding in the course.
Read this case study to find out why Professor Feaster credits Connect with having made a real difference for her students.
There’s no doubt that the growth of digital learning content is accelerating. Multiple resources indicate that a higher ed world of blended and online learning is rapidly approaching, some resources even cite the “flip to digital” occurring in the next 5 years. Textbooks aren’t going away any time soon but their use in the classroom is declining steadily. And, expectations are that instructors will graduate from eTexts to the more sophisticated integrated learning systems being developed by publishers.
What does this mean for you?
Blackboard can be a channel for all this content and tools, helping faculty make sense of the numerous digital content options available to them. Blackboard offers a broad choice of content to choose from right within the Blackboard Learn course. I would like to take a moment to look at one of our newest providers of digital content: Cengage Learning.