“Blackboard’s Product Development Team truly listened to the institutions represented in the Product Advisory Council during the development of the Blackboard Collaborate interface. Members of the PAC made suggestions about what we wanted, and the Development Team put it into action. We were able to prioritize needs for the product based on a wide variety of user experiences from many institutions. Through this process the Blackboard Collaborate user interface was essentially designed by thousands of users.” - Robin M. Smith, Ph.D., Coordinator of eLearning and Associate Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
At Blackboard, we work with our clients every step of the way during the development process, making sure that when it comes to new features, your voices are heard. Over the past two years, with your guidance, we’ve worked especially hard on the Blackboard Collaborate user experience, making it easier for new users to get started and for power users to discover new ways to collaborate.
A colleague recently told me that more students pursuing four year degrees are considering community colleges to earn their core credits first and then transferring to the college of their choice to pursue their major. In theory this makes sense as pursuing higher education is a major investment of time, energy and money. However, thinking back on my primary decision criteria for the “right” college a while back (reputation and brand), this trend had me wondering if the decision criteria for choosing the right higher education path have changed. This really came down to a question of how today’s active consumers of higher education are determining the value of their investment.
Here are a few points worth sharing.
Guest Blog Post by Dan Lim, Ph.D., Vice President for Educational Technology and Distance Learning, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (linkedin.com/in/danlim01). Dan will be presenting “De-angelizing Synchronous Distance Teaching: Collaborate To Enhance Online Education Quality” at Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit 2012 on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 2:50-3:45PM.
Once upon a time, it was popular to angelize. Now it’s time to de-angelize. At Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (FHCHS), our plan to de-angelize is still on track though the ANGEL learning system has recently been put on indefinite life support. Although ANGEL has served us well, its unscalable chat tool has been the Achilles’ heel since the beginning when we used it in the synchronous distance delivery of our three distance degree programs.
The transition to Blackboard Collaborate this year is a timely and critical change. If your institution is experiencing various challenges in the quality of distance delivery, there are ten reasons why you need to attend our session, seven of which are on how Collaborate is a great solution to distance education challenges and three reasons why the transition has been smooth and quite painless.
School’s out for summer – which means more time to catch up on that foot-tall stack of books on your nightstand! Or better yet, that long list of downloads on your favorite reading device! Just in case you’ve been too busy to begin a summer reading list of your own, we’ve gone ahead and gotten you started with a few book & blog suggestions to kick your summer off right.
Social Media for Educators – Tanya Joosten
Understandably, the majority of the conversation on the functionality and utility of social media in education has been online. If you haven’t read what author Tanya Joosten
has to say about online learning – definitely check out her blog
and you’ll instantly recognize why this book is a must-read examination of the best strategies for integrating social media and technology into your lesson plans. This detailed, thorough, yet totally approachable book will get you excited to strategize for next fall.
The Muses Go To School – Herbert Kohl and Tom Oppenheim
Encouraging creative approaches to conveying information is a huge part of tailoring your classroom to active learners, but without that inspirational artistic spark many students will remain unengaged. In The Muses Go To School
, Herbert Kohl
and Tom Oppenheim
have curated an elegant mixture of interviews with artists and commentary by educational scholars that examines the merits of placing a dynamic arts based philosophy at the center of your curriculum. This energetic read is sure to get you thinking about innovative ways to incorporate the arts into a social learning atmosphere in your classroom.
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.