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.
- Seek and ye shall find. Open your mind to integrating and adding enhancements to your Blackboard Learn instance. Find new Building Blocks and tools to integrate your current systems to make your life and others in your institution easier. I’ve found that being open and learning about new tools and Building Blocks gave me the ability to do great projects for the institutions I’ve been with.
- Ask questions. I have worked with many types and groups of people. I find that the people who work with Blackboard as clients and employees are open and welcoming to discussions, feedback, and questions about the products. Make sure to sign up for distribution lists, or listservs, about Blackboard products. Attend Blackboard User Group events that are in your area. Beg, plead, and do what you can to get to events like Blackboard World where you can network with people who have the same questions and interests as you. I find it funny, but I think of Blackboard World as an alumni event. Many of us have been there for years and have helped each other through upgrades and problems virtually. Every year I find myself enjoying the time and knowledge that sits beside me.