Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fall 2012 End of Semester Blackboard Information

I hope that your fall 2012 semester was enjoyable and productive! As you are wrapping up your fall courses, I thought I would take this time to share some information related to Blackboard:

·        Fall 2012 Blackboard profile: 117 faculty taught 60 online, 6 blended and 218 supplemental courses using Blackboard with an unduplicated student total enrollment of 3213.
·        Fall 2012 online student profile: 717 unduplicated online students; 79.2% from Monroe county and 14.2% outside of Monroe county but residing in Michigan; 28.8% were under 21 years of age and 43.5% were between the ages of 21 and 30; 69% were female; 75% of online students were also enrolled in on-ground MCCC classes.
·        For those of you that need to download your Blackboard grades, here are instructions for doing so: http://www.monroeccc.edu/jpeters/files/Download_Grades_Using_Blackboard9_1.pdf
·        If you plan to upgrade your home computer system over the break, please keep in mind that the new Internet Explorer 10 is not supported for our current version of Blackboard (Release 9.1.60230.0).
·        Earlier this semester, I informed you of a seminar regarding making web-based content accessible. If you missed that webinar, here is the recording: http://www.mccvlc.org/~staff/content.cfm?m=86&id=86&startRow=1&mm=0
·        The Higher Learning Commission is conducting a focused visit at MCCC on March 4th and 5th, 2013. A portion of this visit is to examine the distance learning (eLearning) program here at the college.
·        As you are beginning to develop and prepare your winter 2013 Blackboard courses, here are several resources that may be helpful to you:
§  Blackboard 9.1 supported browsers and operating systems: http://kb.blackboard.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=72810639
§  Adding files (e.g. Word docs, images, etc.) to your Blackboard course: http://www.monroeccc.edu/distancelearning/tutorials/AddFiles2Blackboard_demo/AddFiles2Blackboard_demo.htm

Classroom Accessibility:
§  Students With Disabilities at Monroe County Community College: http://www.monroeccc.edu/lal/students_disabilities.htm
§  How to Make Presentations Accessible to All: http://www.w3.org/WAI/training/accessible
Copyright and TEACH Act Resources:

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this email.

Happy holidays,


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making Your Instructional Materials Web Accessible Webinar

Greetings, Blackboard users:

I hope you will consider participating in this MCCVLC webinar that will provide information on making your course content materials web accessible: 

Making Your Instructional Materials Web Accessible – November 13, 2012 at Noon.  This webinar will introduce the principles of Web accessibility and offer techniques educators can use to create accessible instructional materials. Areas that will be covered include the materials commonly upload into the college's learning management systems-for example, Word, PDF, and PowerPoint files.  To register online go to: http://tinyurl.com/8gzcrgk
I realize that this day and time conflicts with divisional meetings. I am hopeful that the session will be recorded so it can be viewed at a later time. I will keep you posted.

Monday, February 6, 2012

MCCC e-Learning Brown Bag Workshop Schedule

Please mark your calendars for the following MCCC e-Learning Brown Bag Workshops. These workshops are designed to be informal discussions and demonstrations about Blackboard and other instructional tech topics, so please feel free to bring your lunch and any questions you might have. If possible, please let me know if you plan to attend so that I can ensure I have enough chairs, handouts, etc. I hope to see you at one or all of the sessions listed below – Jeff.

e-Learning Brown Bag Workshop Schedule

·        Basic Blackboard tools (beginners and non-Blackboard users only) - During this session we will discuss the basic tools in Blackboard that allow you to post documents, link to external websites and post student grades.
Dates: Thursday, January 26th and Monday, January 30th
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 PM
Location: C10

·        Using iPads and tablets in instruction - During this session we will discuss the strengths and weakness of using iPads and tablets in teaching. Feel free to bring your own iPad or tablet to discuss how you have incorporated it into your classroom or online teaching.

Dates: Thursday, February 9th and Wednesday, February 15th
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 PM
Location: C10
·        Blackboard online discussionsDuring this session we will discuss the basics of conducting Blackboard discussion; specifically, we will discuss grading discussions, using a rubric, and discussion moderation.

Dates: Thursday, February 23rd  and Wednesday, February 29th
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 PM
Location: C10
·        Student classroom polling (clickers) During this session we will discuss TurningPoint student polling systems; specifically, we will discuss how to incorporate student polling questions into PowerPoint and how responses are collected from students in class.  Also, we will discuss how you can poll students without using PowerPoint or a computer.

Dates: Thursday, March 15th and Wednesday, March 21st
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 PM
Location: C10
·        Blackboard Assignments During this session we will discuss how to create an assignment and download all student assignment submissions at once. Finally, we will discuss the grading options for the Assignments tool.

Dates: Thursday, March 29th and Wednesday, April 4th
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 PM
Location: C10
·        Using Blackboard SafeAssign to detect student plagiarism – During this session we will discuss how SafeAssign works and how to interpret the plagiarism reports.

Dates: Thursday, April 12th  and Wednesday, April 18th
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 PM
Location: C10

Friday, February 3, 2012

Enhancing Classroom Instruction

Here is a link to a PDF that contains information related to enhancing classroom instruction: http://www.monroeccc.edu/distancelearning/files/ClassroomBestPractices.pdf

The topics that are covered in the PDF provided above are:

  • Lecture organization
  • Capturing and maintaining student attention
  • Classroom interactivity
  • Cognitive load
  • Creating effective PowerPoint slides
  • Effective use of classroom document camera
  • Instructions for using the following MCCC classroom technologies: Crestron controller, document camera, VHS/DVD, Starboard annotation monitors
I hope you find this information helpful. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this email or the PDF.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New features in Blackboard 9.1 (service pack 6)

New features in Blackboard 9.1 (service pack 6)

As many of you are aware, we recently upgraded our Blackboard system to service pack 6. Although there aren’t any significant differences between service pack 6 and the previous service pack used last semester, there are a few enhancements that I wanted to call to your attention.

  1. Communications Tools (i.e. Blog, Discussion Board, Journals, Wiki) feature enhancements:
a.      If you are using the grading feature with any communication tool you can select how many student blogs, discussion postings or journals before the “Needs Grading” symbol appears in the Grade Center (see below)

b.      Also, you can now create and attach a rubric to any Assignment, Blog, Journal, Discussion forum or Wiki

You can create a rubric by defining what a novice, competent or proficient performance is on the assignment, blog, discussion or journal within your criteria and then apply the appropriate grading weight.

2.  Testing feature enhancements
a.       There is now an option in the “Test Options” area where you can choose to have your test or exam automatically submit when the time expires.

**If you choose to utilize this feature, I would be sure to inform your students that their tests or exams will be automatically submitted when their time expires.

b.      Student test answers are now automatically submitted 

If you have any questions regarding any of the features listed above or need assistance in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me in e-Learning.