Guest Blog Post by Dan Lim, Ph.D., Vice President for Educational Technology and Distance Learning, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences ( Dan will be presenting “De-angelizing Synchronous Distance Teaching: Collaborate To Enhance Online Education Quality” at Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit 2012 on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 2:50-3:45PM.

Once upon a time, it was popular to angelize.  Now it’s time to de-angelize.  At Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (FHCHS), our plan to de-angelize is still on track though the ANGEL learning system has recently been put on indefinite life support.  Although ANGEL has served us well, its unscalable chat tool has been the Achilles’ heel since the beginning when we used it in the synchronous distance delivery of our three distance degree programs.

The transition to Blackboard Collaborate this year is a timely and critical change.  If your institution is experiencing various challenges in the quality of distance delivery, there are ten reasons why you need to attend our session, seven of which are on how Collaborate is a great solution to distance education challenges and three reasons why the transition has been smooth and quite painless.


Here are the seven outcomes of implementing Blackboard Collaborate to enhance the distance programs at FHCHS:

1.       Achieving high retention rates (in mid 90s)

2.       Creating strong student engagement

3.       Fostering quality presence

4.       Capturing authentic and compelling virtual class experience

5.       Showcasing caring instructors

6.       Verifying distance student identity

7.       Enhancing course integrity

The session will also demonstrate three reasons why the transition to Collaborate has been smooth, painless, and quickly adopted by faculty.  Firstly, the ground work has been laid for the rationale and implementation of the synchronous component in all distance programs.  The technical, logistical, and operational challenges were resolved and fine tuned over the past few years.  Faculty culture has reached a positive turnaround.

Secondly, the changing environment factors have provided compelling reasons to turn to a more robust and multi-modality synchronous learning tool.  The upcoming new LMS selection and the policy of requiring verification of distance student identity have created an impetus to adopt Collaborate.

Thirdly, creating a comprehensive adoption climate through “over” training, monthly peer sharing, and “over” support has been instrumental in taking advantage of the first two reasons and reaching the goal of moving to Collaborate at the end of the year.

Blackboard Collaborate is the right tool when it is driven by a compelling distance education model.  Come to BbWorld 2012 and join us to see how it has spurred FHCHS Online to the next level. To register for Dan’s session, be sure to visit the BbWorld Program.

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