Filed under: Articles, Work Activities | Tags: bb blackboard exemplary course rubric
While reading the Blackboard Blog, I came across an excellent post entitled “What Makes a Difference?” by Susan M. Zvacek, Ph.D., who is the Director of Instructional Development and Support at the University of Kansas.
In this post Susan highlights the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program and in her post makes the following to-the-point statement, which I have also been working to convey at GRCC:
“…that all courses – face-to-face, blended, online, and everything in between – should be evaluated rigorously with less regard for the instructional environment than for factors that are more likely to influence learning and achievement.”
Rather than holding online and hybrid courses to a higher standard, or treating them as “special”, let’s focus on effective teaching and learning and hold ALL courses to a quality standard that is aimed at continuously improving courses regardless of the delivery method.
Susan goes on to say:
“By segregating e-learning in this way, we’re encouraging the idea that it is different enough from traditional practice to require “special treatment,” and it’s a very small leap from “special” to “inferior.””
I couldn’t agree more. Too often, institutions place a “special” status on Distance Learning courses, and hold them to higher standards than “regular” or dare I say “OLD” ways of course delivery. Often the assumption is made, I suppose, that we have already figured out how to “do” face-to-face instruction… so we don’t need to spend our time improving them. Or perhaps your institution only evaluates courses every 3 (or other x number of) years… thinking that 3 years is probably a long enough time to circle back and re-evaluate a course to improve it. 3 years? How much technological change occurs in 3 years. A LOT! Think about how many improvements could be made in those 3 years. Think about how many students could be impacted in those 3 years if the course was taught differently or if technology was used or used differently.
So how do you take a good course and make it great? How can you improve teaching and learning at your institution? Well… for starters, you can:
- Apply the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric to your course.
- Encourage your colleagues, department, or college to adopt a common course evaluation rubric that is timely and effective.
- Review other courses that have been awarded as exemplary for ideas and teaching or design strategies.
- Apply to be an exemplary course reviewer so you can learn how to create a great course by applying a rubric to the courses submitted.
- Then, take the time to submit your course as an exemplary course and in the process of submitting your course, you will see how your course meets, exceeds, or could be improved based on the rubric.
What are your thoughts? How can we improve courses? Is it the faculty member’s responsiblity? The college’s? How can students get involved in improving a course?
Filed under: Work Activities | Tags: analytics, bb, blackboard, grcc, report
In order to better track and report Blackboard usage here at GRCC, Google Analytics was recently added to the system. Here are the top results since November 18th:
Activity: The Blackboard server has had an average of more than 7,600 visits per day with more than 14,900 visits topping the list for a single day.
Access: GRCC’s Blackboard server has had a total of 236,696 visits since November 18th, and those visits came from 22 countries. In Michigan, the server has been accessed from 257 cities.
Browsers: While the top browsers are Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari, there has also been visits to GRCC’s Blackboard server from users with an iPhone, iPod, Nintendo Wii, and Sony Playstation.
Filed under: Articles, Work Activities | Tags: blackboard, coursefeed, facebook, sync
The most recent edition of the student newspaper “The Collegiate” included a story about how students can now access alerts, notifications, and updates from their courses at GRCC without leaving the Facebook application. The article highlights GRCC’s use and deployment of Classtop’s CourseFeed and Blackboard’s Sync application.
Here is a video tutorial on how CourseFeed works with Blackboard:
Here is the full article:
Blackboard information accessed on Facebook
By Kyle A. Kiekintveld
Collegiate Staff Writer