Over 70 attendees consisting of more than 25 Russian universities discussed and learned about the challenges facing Universities today, how to engage with a new generation of learners, current trends in eLearning and how technology plays a vital role in enhancing education. A panel of Blackboardrepresentatives hosted the event including Sales Mangers Harry Tubben, Michael Vassilev and Solutions Engineers Pablo Langa and Yuri Shilov who showed live demonstrations of the Blackboard suite of solutions available to Russian universities. The program and was enriched by lively discussions and by special guest David Lewis from Glamorgan University who shared the experience of a Blackboard University in the United Kingdom, presenting a practical case of the challenges, change of behavior and most importantly the success they have had since they began using Blackboard Learn throughout their university. Mr. Lewis’ impressions were gratefully shared with us after the Forum: “The questions I was asked echoed the concerns of my colleagues in the UK when we are at out stages of introduction of this technology, and I hope that I left them with some ideas as to how they can progress, and they would be joining an international community of technologists and scholars in taking forward their development. The days proceedings were brilliantly designed and constructed to address their fears, explain the potential and provide them with opportunities to experience the range of new features and functions open to them, whatever their needs.” This blog was created by Senior Channel Marketing Manager, Roksana Nabavian. Roksana has been working with the International markets at Blackboard for 5 years and holds a BA in International Affairs and MA in International Education and Training from American University. She is based out of Valencia, Spain. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about Blackboard events in Russia and other locations in EMEA, visit us at: www.blackboard.com/emea.
“Sweet looking theme, a vast improvement over the current Bb Learn Theme, the revision in look and feel makes it a lot smoother to use.” — overheard during usability testingEarly reactions to the new system theme in Service Pack 8 have been overwhelmingly positive. Users that have seen it love its clean and modern look. UI changes in the new System Theme, “Blackboard Learn 2012” offer a change in the look and feel, but the functionality of the system remains exactly the same. So, what does that change to the look and feel mean to the people that support teaching and learning on campus? Instructional Designers sometimes cringe when they see interface changes because it often means changing screenshots used throughout tutorials, tip sheets and other training materials. I lead a team of instructional designers at Blackboard, and like you, we spend a considerable amount of time ensuring that our training materials, help documentation, and video tutorials help people meet their teaching and learning objectives. Before you dive in, we want you to understand that the new theme is optional. The original 9.1 default theme will still be available and Administrators can make the switch when the time is right. Existing customizations are unaffected. The new theme can be applied on a timeline of your own. Trying out the new theme is low-risk since it has no functional changes. If your campus is excited about a new modern look for Blackboard Learn, read on to find out what we think the impact will be and our ideas for managing the transition to a new look and feel (hint: we don’t think it is as big an effort as it first appears).