The following is a guest blog post with Terry Patterson. Terry is the Blackboard Learn system administrator at the University of Missouri. As a seasoned Blackboard Learn veteran of nine years, he started a blog called Blackboardguru.com where he provides valuable insight to other Blackboard Learn system administrators.
Whether you’re just getting started as a Blackboard System Administrator or are a veteran like myself, here are three pieces of information to take with you on your LMS journey:
- Learn by doing. When I started my work as a Blackboard admin, I never attended official training for the first year or so. While I highly recommend getting training, it’s the time and effort that you spend learning about Blackboard that will make you a lifesaver to a faculty member or student. It’s been almost 10 years since I first logged into Blackboard and everyday I’m still learning something new about it.
When Scott Davis, Technology Services Director of Applications Services, and his team set out to create a mobile campus application (“app”) for Virginia Commonwealth University (“VCU”), they didn’t just envision creating another app but rather, an extension of the school. To ensure this, Davis and his team partnered with Blackboard to develop a platform that combined VCU’s vision to bring technology to the campus and Blackboard’s expertise in building mobile applications that transform learning.
In the competitive environment to attract talented students in higher education, universities are looking to have an edge. They struggle to meet the needs and expectations of millennial and non-traditional students. Students are using their mobile devices for email, text messaging, and social networking.
Furthermore, today’s student is entering college already familiar with a course management system from their K12 environment. Through VCU Mobile, VCU is able to keep students engaged so they are more invested in the classroom, more likely to capitalize on resources provided by the institution, and ultimately perform better academically.
“Mobile brings down the classroom barrier and makes for a more engaging experience” says Davis.
Just because something is getting a sudden burst of attention, does not mean it’s a passing fad. And that’s what we’ve tried to prove about social learning over the past few weeks. (Ex: Myth 1 – Social learning isn’t new!)
So, what gives social learning this broad appeal and staying power? Multiple studies and stories confirm students’ increased immersion in technology gives them the experiences, relationships, and stimulation that helps them stay better engaged in their learning experience, plus these technologies are something they are increasingly unable to live without.
Social learning is not going away, and in fact, it will continue to be bolstered by technology and students’ adoption of it.
Our fourth and final myth busted here: Social Learning Doesn’t Have Broad Appeal
The following is an interview with Terry Patterson on how he super-uses LMS, Blackboard Learn. Terry is the Blackboard Learn system administrator at the University of Missouri. As a seasoned Blackboard Learn veteran of nine years, he started a blog called Blackboardguru.com where he provides valuable insight to other Blackboard Learn system administrators.
What tools do you use that quickly improve the quality of Blackboard as an LMS?
Building blocks are essentially extensions of the Blackboard Learn environment and play an important part in Blackboard at the University of Missouri. I use Building Blocks to connect Blackboard Learn to third party tools like Blackboard Collaborate, Tegrity, and Kaltura. I also use administrative Building Blocks like the Admin Console, Impersonate, and BbStats in my daily work.
Have you ever been on your way to tailgate when you realized you forgot to post a comment to your class discussion board? What do you do? About face, go back to your dorm, sit down, plug away and miss out on the fun? Or forgo the assignment all together?
How about neither?
What do I mean? Well, with Blackboard Mobile Learn, you can check grades, grab presentations and documents, even post on your class discussion board right from your phone. And, now access to the app is only a few taps away on iOS or Android.