Using Blackboard for Staff and Student Professional Development in a University

Using Blackboard for Staff and Student Professional Development in a University

Geoffrey Crisp, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide


This presentation will highlight how Blackboard is being used for non-course specific programs such as health and safety for staff, writing and speaking at university, staff career development and performance reviews. Examples of design principles, quizzes and discussion boards for these wider applications will be given.

What a small world we live in.  This session was delivered by Geoffrey Crisp of the University of Adelaide.  About 3 or 4 years ago, Geoffrey visited Grand Rapids Community College.  He was touring many Blackboard schools during his visit in the United States.  We talked about how GRCC was using and leveraging Blackboard in teaching and learning.  It was impressive to hear from his perspective now how the University of Adelaide is using Blackboard for Student and Staff Development.

The session talked about using Blackboard in various ways “outside of the classroom” to encourage online communication and promote the building of online collaboration opportunities.

Geoffrey referenced the Educause eBook resource “Education the Net Generation”  which talks about 1) social networking, 2) connected students, 3) engaged students, 4) experiential learning, 5) working in teams, and 6) focusing on things that are important to students.

The University of Adelaide using Blackboard for student orientation and staff orientation.  In fact, in the staff orientation, all employees are required to take a mandatory survey inside of Bb at the end of their oreintation experience.

Opening up discussion boards for student orientation helps students feel comfortable by allowing them to ask questions of their peers.  Also I thought it was really clever that they were using Blackboard for student technical support questions and forums.

The University is also doing some very unique things with pre-populating courses with templates that include surveys for faculty on learning styles and also course evaluations.

It was really nice to see Geoffrey again as it truly brings home how small the world really is… even though it did take me 26 hours to get from Michigan to Australia! 🙂


About ekunnen
Eric has a passion for, works to lead, support, and coordinate effective uses of technology in teaching and learning. He is an Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan. His primary role focuses on collaborating and supporting distance learning initiatives at the university while exploring future trends in emerging technologies in teaching and learning. He also collaborates to research and support academic technologies used in the classroom and in eLearning. Previously, Eric was the Emerging Technologies Coordinator at GVSU and a Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eric has a background in teaching Computer Science and Biology at the secondary level and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology. I'm on mission to advance teaching and learning through the integration of emerging and innovative instructional technologies... More

One Response to Using Blackboard for Staff and Student Professional Development in a University

  1. Jason says:

    Safety for staff?! Like Bloodborne Pathogen Training? Right to Know Chemical Safety Courses? Mmm, Do you think we could develop a Course Cartridge and sell it / give it away to all the other universities and colleges that use Bb for non-course specific programs…er, well they are courses sort of, just extremely infrequent, like for new hires and work environment changes or job changes within the institution…

    Think you could get Bb to give me a stipend to develop some “out of box” training course example that they could bundle with BB and encourage other institutions to start thinking of additional out-of-the-box applications!?

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