Guest post by Misty Hanks, Coordinator of Instructional Design, at Morehead State University in Kentucky.
Over the past several years, Morehead State’s
online course adoption (both hybrid and fully online) has grown considerably. In fact, nearly every course has an online component and purely online courses grew from 17% to 28% during the last five years. With the success of our online program, coupled with a limited budget, we had to consider the most appropriate learning management system (LMS) for our University.
When we started the evaluation process, we were using Blackboard Learn 7.3. We considered either upgrading to Blackboard Learn 9.1
or adopting Moodle with the overall goal to find a solution that would help faculty create interactive and engaging learning environments while remaining cost-effective. We spoke with other institutions and faculty about their experiences using both solutions. The feedback highlighted the overall simplicity of the updated Learn 9.1 interface, the inclusion of SafeAssign
™ (the plagiarism detection solution) and the ease of the upgrade. I’m thrilled to say that we are extremely happy with our decision to upgrade to Learn 9.1.
What does openness and efficiency look like bundled into one?
Blackboard continues to find ways to innovate and make users more efficient in their daily tasks. There are various ways we can accomplish this. It may be through the core Blackboard Learn™ platform. Or, it may be through Blackboard Building Blocks™ where we augment the platform and provide clients with a greater choice of instructional tools. And, as we develop, we continue to consider how we can contribute back to not only the education community, but the developer community, as well. We’re excited to announce two important Building Blocks – Bboogle and the Paste from Word Mashup – are now available and certified for the Blackboard Learn platform.
McGraw-Hill recently released a case study in which they explore how LearnSmart, an adaptive learning system within McGraw-Hill Connect®, has helped students in Professor Tuckwiller’s Psychology class at Florida State College to learn core course content outside of class. By integrating LearnSmart into the classroom, the study shows that students spent much more time with course material and, in this particular case, course pass rates increased from 75% to 83.6%. Additionally, Professor Tuckwiller notes that her class time has become much less about lecturing and much more about exploring the field through active learning.
As the U.S. Peace Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary
this year, my husband and I were fortunate enough to spend it with our great friend, Sheila, who is now working as the Country Director for the Peace Corps program in Romania. Sheila and I met ten years ago on our flight to Ukraine to serve as Peace Corps Volunteers ourselves. Little did we know we’d be back in the same part of the world a decade later continuing to fulfill the goals of the program John F. Kennedy started half a century ago
For those less familiar with the Peace Corps, it has 3 simple goals:
1. Bringing technical skills to interested countries through volunteer service
2. Promoting a better understanding of Americans in the countries where volunteers serve
3. Promoting a better understanding of other countries and peoples through volunteers
I am a Senior Product Manager here at Blackboard and today I am extremely excited to tell you about our newest product release, Blackboard Drive™! Blackboard Drive is now part of the Content Management Module license and today we are releasing Blackboard Drive for Windows® .
Blackboard Drive is the simple, user-friendly way to work with file based content in the Content Management module. I know it is really going to benefit users and the IT staff and I am looking forward to hearing what clients think.
Let me begin with why we are launching Blackboard Drive in the first place. The Content Management module can provide users with increased efficiencies through centralized management of content in the learning system and anytime-anywhere web based access. To leverage these benefits at scale you need to overcome the hurdles of user adoption. With Blackboard Drive we think we found the solution. It is simple and intuitive for users (which will drive usage) and provides a more consistent and reliable experience than we were able to achieve with WebDAV or Web Folders.