Chris Bray’s experience as a Blackboard Administrator at the  University of Arkansas makes him not only an expert on the technology side of modern-day learning, but it has also given him a deep understanding of the way students and faculty use innovations to enhance the learning experience.  Many of you know Chris from his frequent answers to community questions on the Blackboard Administrator (ASU) listserv .  Chris joined us for a Tweet Chat on his experience testing the latest release of Blackboard Learn.  If you didn’t’ make it here is a recap of the topics discussed in under 140 characters.

Upgrades for Educators

Q) The latest release of #BbLearn upgrades the educator experience – what will they like most?
A) Being able to paste from Word, haha. The new Content Editor is similar to what they see in WordPress & other web apps.

(You can see our new content editor in action here!)

The User-Focused Experience

The end user is the first priority when we develop innovations.  So, when the conversation moved to the user-focused learning environment, we were excited to hear this question from one of our participants:

Q) What are some of the functional changes that end users will notice in Blackboard Learn’s latest release?
A) I think students will benefit from the new My Blackboard – to see what’s really happening in all their courses at a glance.
A) …a functional calendar with export features, east to see course updates, discussions, grades
A) Faculty & students say My Blackboard eliminates the need to hop back and forth between courses so much – our goal.

Q) Why is a more personalized experience important in a learning environment?
A) You always want a place to feel like home, or at least more tailored to your liking.
A) It’s nice when I first went into #BbLearn and it said “Hi, Chris.”

Student-Centered Learning

Q) Speaking of upgrading the user experience, how does the new #BbLearn better facilitate social learning?
A) I know instructors will like being able to recognize their students, and students will see each other as well.
A) I think the social learning features will let students communicate with each other better, find study partners, etc.

Q) What update in #BbLearn have users at your institution looked for the most?
A) Multimedia, Mashups, #BbCollaborate – more hands on learning in an online environment.
A) I’m excited that our environment, now & with upcoming social functions, fosters behavior around student engagement
A) I see a lot of excitement around the updated Calendar, dragging/dropping items to change due dates is great.

Want to learn more? You can check out the rest of our Tweet Chat with Chris Bray by viewing our full recap here.

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