Our last meeting was hosted by Nargas Oskui, Manager of the Center for Media and Educational Technologies Consulting, who presented on her findings, and workshop experiences from the last Blackboard World conference (http://www.bbworld.com/2011/BbWorld/content.asp?id=1773).
Nargas discussed various best practices for the following areas:
- Effective Practices Snapshot: Student Services for Online Learners
- Making Mashups within Blackboard
- Using Blackboard for university employee training (PDF file)
- Improving Course Quality Through Systemic Change (PDF file)
- Training Users on Backwards Design
Additionally here is the PDF of Nargas’s presentation with more resources: http://tep.uoregon.edu/technology/blackboard/docs/BBworld2011_Presentation_TEP.pdf and see this page for information about the 2012 Bb World in New Orleans: http://www.blackboard.com/BbWorld/Home.aspx
What really was highlighted for me in Nargas’s presentation were the ways in which utilizing an enterprise system, for something such as online course management can be a layered and nuanced process. The complexity of support for students, faculty, and staff is an ongoing discussion that builds and changes over time. Not only are there challenging best practice support questions to address but there is the whole level of technical (data storage, maintenance, technical troubleshooting, etc.) and institutional (buy-in, openness for integration with other systems, budget allocation, and so on) administrative support.
This then leads to coming to conclusions about how the layers of support, though they may have their very unique challenges, all overlap and inform each other. An example is the basic road map for trouble-ticketing and involving people who can support technical issues as well as others who can address possible pedagogical focused questions. I think this then goes beyond how we sometimes focus more attention on something like Blackboard (and other enterprise systems) and look at the ways in which these issues apply to any technological application within higher education.
For this upcoming Friday’s (May 18th) session Chris Bone, Assistant Professor Geography will present on cloud based maps and mapping application hosting service ArcGIS Online. The freely available service allows one to create a simple map or to develop a crowd sourcing application in which multiple users can voluntarily contribute geographic information, all of which bridges the gap between students working with geographic information systems and the potential of the web. See you then!