I.D. Meeting 10.23.12 – SLN Internship #13


Blackboard Fear

I viewed this past week’s I.D. meeting and there seems to be a recurring theme:  Apprehension and hesitation about switching over to Blackboard.  This week the instructional designers voiced concern about the amount of people that need to be trained for the change, the time to convert all the courses and the elements they have on Angel that would be missing on Blackboard.  They also wanted to know when they should start preparing and seemed like they wanted to stay on Angel for as long as possible.  Rob advised that if campuses waited too long, a successful conversion wouldn’t be feasible.  SLN will be providing 2 self-paced stand alone courses to introduce faculty to Blackboard.  The first course is for faculty that won’t be getting into using Blackboard too deeply and will be called Intro to Blackboard Learn.  The second course, Intermediate Blackboard Learn is for more advanced features and topics and geared towards fully online courses.  Both courses will feature tutorials, proficiency tasks and the opportunity to communicate with others.  If you are a fully online teacher you would complete BOTH courses.  It was also pointed out that there are a variety of resources on confluence offering “just in time” training by means of videos and pdfs, and it will be searchable.  These resources are not going to be about pedagogy, only about how to implement things in Blackboard.  I understand the apprehension and hesitation for making such a drastic change and the stress that comes with the amount of time it will take to convert courses.  However, I feel that SLN is providing more than adequate resources with the courses as well as what is available on confluence.  We know that the most successful online learners are self-motivated and driven to learn, so I am confident that the conversion, although stressful, will be successful since these instructional designers possess these qualities to be in these positions in the first place.

Wish List for Workshops/Trainings

Rob’s wishes for future trainings and workshops to be provided by SLN included: lecture capture, mobile learning, apps/ipads for teachers, direct instruction, flipped classrooms and assessment tools/tracking assessment.  These ideas provided by Rob were mentioned in past I.D. meetings by the other participants.

The I.D.’s added to the wishlist with: pedagogy, cool tools to inspire students, teaching unprepared students, ADA and copyright compliance and developmental courses set up for student success.  I found myself thinking that Alex’s “Catch up and Complete” program would probably have a good amount of information to provide a workshop on the developmental courses that the I.D.’s desired.

Hands-on Labs – Joyce Springer

Listening to Joyce Springer’s presentation on Hands-on Labs was an interesting experience for me.  I’m always skeptical when someone is obviously trying to “sell me something”.  That being said, I can see the potential this program has in providing more opportunities for online learning. For people that have absolutely no time or means of going to school to attend a lab, they can now have the lab materials at their homes and take any course that has a lab element fully online.   I also think it is good that the company works directly with financial aid, requiring no extra work from the student or the professor and the lab manual can be directly downloaded to the LMS for the course.  We know that actually DOING something is the best way to truly learn, so providing students with these hands-on experiences is far better than simply watching a video, reading a text or even participating in a virtual environment.  My biggest concern with this is safety.  Joyce said things are shipped in small quantities so they are safe to ship.  I am not concerned with the safety of shipping these labs.  I am concerned with what happens when people get these lab kits into their homes.  What if they don’t read the manual or follow the directions correctly?  It makes me a little uneasy…And as I said before, I’m always skeptical when someone is giving a sales pitch.  I’m curious to see the results of success with this program.

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