Supporting Bboogle

Brian Nielsen from Northwestern University

A session on the Blackboard building block developed at Northwestern that integrates Blackboard and Google: Bboogle.

Brian created a BbWorld Session Community Site at Go to SIGN UP / “Are you a student?” Say yes, you are a student, go to Northwestern Unviersity, Cook / Brian Nelson and enter as GUEST.

What is Bboogle?

A powerful, simple building block that won the developers a Blackboard Catlyst Award in 2009. It is open source and eventually will actually be in the Blackboard Building Block Catalog by the end of this summer. It allows user to jump from Blackboard directly into Google Content. It also allows instructors to bring in Google Calendars, Docs, and Sites directly into their course. On the tools menu on the “My Courses” Page as well as the Tools Area in courses, there are links to Google Apps Docs, Google Apps Calendars, and Google Apps Sites. Site or doc is collaboratively editable! When an instructor links to a google item, by default the file sharing permission is set to facilitate collaboration.

Knowledge can be co-created by students instead of just fed to them.

I am curious as to whether this might be a building block that would work at GRCC. The ability to link students directly to a collaborative Google site to build something like a living encyclopedia during a class would be so valuable in online courses for building community and making learning active.

Lucy Suchman and Bboogle

Currently a professor at Lancaster University, studied ethnography of Xerox PARC photocopy machine users and repair staff in her dissertation research. Her research on technology and human interaction is being used at Northwestern to find a more effective means of explaining Bboogle and its uses to their faculty.

The new strategy for depolyment and adoption at Northwestern is to explore with faculty what their graduate students will need to be successful and create together new types of activities where students will create collaborative projects. Using Bboogle requires thinking of teaching and learning in new ways – it is a tool for collaboration, not a tool for teaching in the traditional ways of thinking.

Future Bboogle Developments

Northwestern and the Bboogle team is looking for collaborators!

Bboogle Teams is being developed so that it may be used and included in the Blackboard Learn deployment later down the road and integrate with Blackboard groups. (Awesome!) This would allow groups to go directly into their Google Apps to build a team/group site, calendar, and documents.


About Meegan
Meegan has over fifteen years experience working in higher education. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Western Michigan University and a Master of Education with an emphasis on Instructional Technology from American InterContinental University Online. She is currently the Instructional Technologist/Designer at Grand Rapids Community College where her main focus is helping faculty to develop and deliver quality online and hybrid courses.

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