At this year’s BbWorld 2012 event, higher education leaders and officials will get together to trade user experiences and innovative program successes using Blackboard technology with peers from around the world. With each conference, attendees hear presentations and participate in sessions discussing common challenges to identify unique solutions to implement on their campus. For the last few years, it has been apparent that most higher education officials continue to look for ways to better engage the mobile student population. This year is no different, as many mobility-minded sessions are sprinkled throughout the agenda. Depending on the department, university officials and instructors aren’t just looking to know how to utilize available mobile tools and technologies, but many are looking for proven programs using mobile devices to better address the needs of their campus community.

As this year’s Catalyst Award winner for innovation in communication strategies, Dionne Curbeam is familiar with developing and implementing mobile strategies to engage the student population at Coppin State University. Serving an academically promising but financially challenge student population, Coppin State pays special attention to students to help ensure their educational success and that they graduate on time. Having tried various methods of outreach, include email, Coppin State officials decided to utilize text messaging as a way to communicate quickly and effectively with students. Sending text messages out notifying of campus updates or reminding of upcoming events or activities proved extremely successful. The text messages were so popular that Coppin State is looking to institute a similar program for instructors and professors to send out course-specific messages by implementing the Connect for Learn service. Students and instructors alike delivered positive feedback to the more instant and personalized means of communication by the school. Dionne Curbeam and Ahmed El-Haggan will be discussing their mobile communication plan during BbWorld 2012. The session, “ Analyze, Enable and Interact: Using Blackboard Technology to Reach and Retain At-Risk Students” will be held on July 11 at 10:55 a.m. in Room 391. To learn more about this year’s BbWorld Sessions, visit the website. To register, click here.

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