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Teaching And Learning Online

Canadian Blackboard Users Conference Session

– Innovating Together – Todd Gibby – SR VP Operations for Blackboard

-Signs of change:

1. Breadth and depth penetration
2. Communities of Practice
3. Organic

1. Breadth And Depth – BB in 59 Countries -Basic/Enterprise license penetration for K-12 = 269 in 2002 , 346 in 2003 and 391 in 2004 -40% of classes CMS used in classes

I’m not sure where this number comes from but this just does not seem right in a K-12 environment, maybe a teacher who uses it just once in a school year is included in this data? Todd Gibby had this nice slide with all the logos for the different school boards, universities, and colleges that were using BB. OF COURSE, he did not have the right logo for our school board on his presentation – we are the Toronto Catholic School Board, not The Toronto District School Board get it right BB, know your customers.

– 39 user groups in 2004 up from 16 in 2002
– Todd also recommended subscribing to the Brooklyn College Newsletter

(I couldn’t find this resource)

Transforming the institution, looking at the path to a networked learning environment.Improved Instruction:
States he has qualitative data that online instruction improved instruction, but not quantitative.

More Blackboard pitch here …

Talks about “Project Caliper� code name for the next generation LMS, CMS, Community product combined for enterprise level assessment, test, survey, planning, tracking, with its own SIF agent, and aggregating research. Sounds like for use in consortia and across different organizations or as a federation of set of tools.

School boards in Ontario have been developing homegrown products or purchasing products from Core or Media X to perform these sort of enterprise level tasks for student assessment data management, SIF agents etc. Sounds like this product would offer school boards another choice.

Teaching And Learning Online

Canadian Blackboard Users Conference Session -Teaching And Learning Online -Melissa Anderson – Blackboard

Melissa was the best speaker at the BB conference. She was a wealth of knowledge and ideas. She shared best practices and really made the session come alive with her approach to the session. Kudos … I wish I had her as an online instructor.

Question that Melissa starts with Faculty – What do you do well in the classroom?
-Then do selective things in BB that relates to the course,
-give students select opportunities rather than more resources (Since more resources are often just ignored)
-Match activity to style of the instructor
-chunk depending on the attention span of students (Based on grade/age to the topic)
-Think about what is too much – reverse roles

Think about how students learn (Behaviorism, Cognitive, Social Constructivist)

Strategies for Hosting A Chat Session:

Think of chat as if you are sitting at a lunch table. Less structured setting. Maximum number in a chat is 20.
1. Use acronyms our quick notations like “Stop� or “Slow� to bring the students back on topic. Set this up before hand so that students are not offended.
2. Give students three key questions to concentrate on in the chat session.
3. Give students the opportunity to manage a small group in a chat session so that the understand what it means to moderate a chat session
4. Bring chat back around to the larger theme.
5. Post Chat transcripts to avoid covering the same ground when working with a number of students from the same class in different chat sessions.

Strategies for Using Discussion Boards:

Do some set up work for discussions.
1. When you agree to a point you must give a new point, not just agree
2. Point out more thoughtful responses by students
3. Remind students of what makes a good discussion through examples and rubric

Strategies for ePortfolio:

– use eportfolio to show the process of knowledge creation
– use fore peer commenting on the process

Strategies for Adaptational Release:
1. means different students with different access to different content
2. simulation based on problem with part of a solution that has been given and then get new information to change complexity and reality

Strategies for Course Linking:
Internal linking in order to see how content fits within the themes of the courses, to see connections between different course topics and overall course

Strategies for Fostering A Community of Learners:

1. create different roles into the space – ie. Water cooler (They can be experts at the water cooler in a different topic)
2. student opportunity to be teachers – student run wiki or blog
3. promote a sense of equality in the course, post anonymously to communicate in a discussion area
4. provide mentoring opportunities to connecting them with the community

Strategies for Test/Quiz:

Use tests as a diagnostic to define what students have missed as a group and then use it to review in the next class.

Developing And Fostering Communities

Canadian Blackboard Users Conference Session – Developing And Fostering Communities
Adrian Alleyne

This presentation using illuminate is available in the Canadian User’s Group – 2005 conference section at You can enroll in this Blackboard community site and access the resources.

– Turn users into a knowledge base
– Turn into a community of practice
– Communities of practice – distributed groups, sense of purpose, informal reconnect
– Use to stimulate interest in a topic
– To foster interest in the community Blackboard has a number of projects:
-The Greenhouse project – $25,000 in grant money won by University of Durham and Nebraska
-Bbionic Course Contest – $5000 tech rich and pedagogically sound course
-Community Site
– Blackboard Idea Exchange
– Rubric for Online Course creation for the Bbionic Course content looks useful
– Faculty Resources Development available in the Faculty SIL, includes videos and other materials available.
– Functional Free Building Blocks User group suggested.
– Included in Adrian’s presentation is this list of independent Blackboard listservs:

ABbC — Australasian Blackboard Community List
Site gives instructions for signup

Arizona State Listserv
No homepage, but subscription e-mail address is:
The largest and perhaps most popular ListServ out there, it is frequently visited by sys-admins, instructional designers & technologists, etc.

BB Admin List
Sign up at:
Another ASU listserv specifically for Blackboard Administrators

Bb Open Source Developers
Listserv for Building Blocks developers interested in developing Open Source Building Blocks.
Hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University

Blackboard User Group – Denmark
The site is entirely in Danish (I think it’s Danish)

Blackboard User Group
This is a website with active discussion forum, not a listserv. Hosted by Seneca College
Frequented by System Administrators and Building Blocks Developers

Content System Listserv
Just started in August 2004, but already has become pretty popular

Bb Foreign Language Listserv
Focuses on the use of foreign languages and foreign characters in Blackboard.
Hosted by Duke University. Not much traffic on this list.

Instructional Designers Listserv
Also no homepage, but subscription e-mail address is:
Hosted, I believe, by William Patterson University, very popular

United Kingdom Blackboard User-Group List
Hosted by the JISC (The Joint Information Systems Committee) which supports use of information technology in higher and further education.

Finding And Using Learning Objects in Blackboard

Canadian Blackboard User’s Conference
Session – Finding And Using Learning Objects in Blackboard – Dawn Mercer – Seneca College
Reviewing a definition of learning objects. The definition here is the interaction that the students have with the digital entity -actively. If it is one way then it is a digital assest rather than a LO. Key is reusablabilty, digital and two way interaction.

Review use of metadata for use with LO’s. Data about data. Have LO tagged so that they are easy to find. Provides a list of LOR’s: MERLOT A free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education.

Links to online learning materials are collected here along with annotations such as peer reviews and assignments. CAREO A searchable, Web-based collection of multidisciplinary teaching materials for educators across Alberta and beyond. SciQ A collaborative partnership project that provides science-related learning resources primarily for K-12 students in Alberta and Canada. WISC-Online The Wisconsin Online Resource Center project is a Web-based teaching, learning, and assessment resource center for instructors to use when designing or revising online courses. CLOE A collaborative project of Ontario universities and colleges to develop multimedia-rich learning resources. In order to search the repository, you need to Register. GEM: will be added.

We then had a preview of the Merlot Building Block when integrated into BB. Search merlot, check off content, adds link and description into BB.

The First Annual Blackboard Users Conference

It is just after the first day of the “First Canadian Blackboard Users Conference.� There was about 75 attendees, 35 were from Seneca College. I must hand it to the conference organizers they have done an excellent job with this conference. Everything seems to have run smoothly.

I have enjoyed the sessions so far and will post some of my notes over the next few days, as I have done for the ECOO conference. I wish that Blackboard had participated in the Leading Learning Conference last February. They have some great speakers on staff and the 200+ participants would have benefited from another vendors perspective.

It has been quite a bit of a sell from Blackboard and its Building Block Partners, but that was expected. I have really appreciated some of the sessions on building community and online strategies, now if only there was a K-12 focus somewhere in the mix.

Moving to a Learning Paradigm

Canadian Blackboard Users Conference Session

– Moving to a Learning Paradigm – Rudi Aksim – Algonquin College
-3600 courses built in blackboard, 2600 are used that range from fully online to announcements -students who use Blackboard demand it
-offers pedagogical and technical support
– interested more in curriculum direction then more features
-delivery modes
– f2f (document repository), Hybrid(Focus on blended learning and uses collaboration tools), Online(Uses collaboration tools), experiential learning
-started off with WebCT, had difficulties with uploading documents (Training became focused on html) focus became the creation of an “online textbook� more of a library paradigm
-Blackboard is required for distribution of course outlines, driven by student expectations, main use is posting of documents.
-Introduction of online learning as a vehicle for curriculum renewal
– part of every course, student opportunity for active learning, and to help teachers play new roles in courses
-Faculty Training and Support: Professor of the 21st Century, curriculum renewal, develop hybrid courses, mentoring for new teachers, orientation to Blackboard focus as a communication tool
-Hybrid courses more successful then conventional or fully online courses because:
fewer dropouts, better pass rather then f2f, links become clear between outcomes and evaluations, clear tasks for students to perform.

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