Ivy Tech Distance Education Faculty Certification Course

Faculty must complete a six-week  certification where they complete training and develop course content.

Structure of Training Course

  • Technology Skills
  • Facilitating Online Learning
  • Communication Skills
  • Use of Specific Tools in Blackboard
  • Hands-on, Real-World Experience

Online Training Process

  • Participants register online
  • Course taught by certified instructors
  • Participate in the training for six weeks
  • Participants must earn 90%
  • Complete all assignments
  • Record is kept in portal

Course Development Process

  • Five course developers
  • One committee with 10 members
  • Technical check by online learning coordinators
  • Course pilot-statewide
  • Course is used statewide

Development Model

  • Step 1 – Identify Course for Online Delivery
  • Step 2 – Identify Course Developers
  • Step 3 – Prepare for Development (Establish Milestones)
  • Step 4 – Review and Approve Course
  • Step 5 – Package and Deliver Course

Training Roles and Responsibilities

It sounds like they group participants and take turns facilitating other group members. A number of faculty drop the course and this can create a challenge (when there are fewer group members). They commit to 6-10 hours at least per week.


Bb World Keynote – Sir Ken Robinson

Although suffering from a “man cold” (I’ve had these), Sir Ken Robinson addressed three themes:

  1. We’re living in times where there are no prior examples to learn from.
  2. Education systems are part of the problem.
  3. We need to radically change education (a learning revolution).

Revolutionary change is being driven by technology and population. 60-110 billion have lived on earth. Robinson posits that we can support 1.5 billion people at the rate that we consume in North America.

Our education systems are designed around efficiency and uniformity, not diversity. 30% of students drop out between 9th and 12th grade. Education needs to be personalized! New technologies offer new opportunities to personalize the experience.

The power to bring to mind things that are not present (imagination, creativity) is unique to humans!

Bb Learn Product Roadmap

Brad Koch, Director, Product Management, Blackboard

This session started with a grade report. Bb gave themselves a B+ on features delivered. Here’s an outline of the Service Packs (SP):

SP 6 (June)

  • Automatic Assessment Submission
  • Grading Rubrics
  • New SCORM Player
  • SIS Integration Evolution
  • Institutional Hierarchy
  • Evidence Collection

SP 8

  • Auto Regrade
  • Reporting (Activity and Performance)
  • Course Relationships
  • HTML Editor (Tiny MCE)
  • Negative and Weighted Marking
  • Themes and Course Structures
  • Authentication Updates
  • Easy Edit and Blackboard Drive

SP 10 (2012)

  • LO Repository
  • Individualized Learning

SP 7 (Middle of Traditional Semester) and other odd SP will be for maintenance and enhancements! Some things coming in the “My Blackboard” future:

  • Streams
  • Profiles
  • Social Learning Spaces
  • Presence & Instant Messaging
  • Learning Object Repository (e.g. shared assessment questions)
  • Improvements to Portfolio (e.g. APIs for integration and portability of artifacts)
  • Assessment Updates (e.g. group aware time limits, better question editors, better assessment reporting)
  • Assignment Grading Workflow (e.g. Needs Grading expanded, opening documents in native application and save back)
  • Course Evaluations and Enterprise Surveys
  • Rubric Criteria Aligned to Standards
  • SIS Grade Export
  • Relative Date Management Systems (e.g. changing all due dates by establishing an “offset”)
  • Calendar Updates (e.g. recurrence, due dates connection and exporting)
  • Student Preview and make submissions to the Grade Center
  • API Updates

The Blackboard Collaborate 11 Platform

Annie Chechitelli, Senior Director, Collaborate Operations, Blackboard and Valerie Schreiner, Senior Director, Collaborate Product Management, Blackboard

The presentation highlighted enhanced video communication, more options for informal communications and a new user interface. Valerie walked us through a Bb Collaborate 11 demonstration. One example was drag-and-drop elements like video. The modules snapped back into the interface. She also showed us some robust polling options.

The drag and drop functionality includes the ability to move attendees up in the cue, giving them different priorities. There’s a lot of control over chat (e.g. private, supervised chat). You can even restrict one student’s ability to chat. Version 11 also has a tab for the moderator “back channel.”

During the slide presentation, the presenter is able to survey the students and determine if other students see their answers. There are a lot of tools for navigating and notating slides. There are also three large buttons for application sharing, whiteboard or browser. There are also more advanced features in the menu (e.g. showing video).

Some of the advanced features include the ability to break students into groups and give them content to work on (e.g. copy a slide to one or several breakout rooms). The presenter/facilitator can see the students working in each room and send themselves to a specific room to intervene. While in groups, students can send questions to the presenter. The rooms can have timers.

At the end of the presentation, the presenter can send homework (e.g. PDF document) to all students. Those who watch the recording also have access to the files that were distributed. Later, students can meet with the instructor during office hours through Bb IM. The drag-and-drop IM has a similar interface. In the IM client, you can launch to a full web-conferencing experience with individuals or groups.

Bb World participants can access more information at https://bbcollaborate11.coursesites.com.

Bb Mobile Keynote (and More)

I went to the re-run of the Bb Mobile keynote and was not disappointed! I got to see some features that didn’t get demonstrated in the Corporate Keynote. Augmented Reality – Overlays on live images that include information.

96% of the US population have a mobile phone. In fact, smartphones are outselling PCs. 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. The average iPhone user spends 45% of usage time on voice calls (my usage is far less).


1 in 3 campus life apps were developed with Bb Mobile. There is an app for so many things and information is freely available. Do our classrooms reflect these trends? Embracing mobile technology in the classroom may bring the level of interest to that of Lost and WOW. 40% of students used a mobile device to complete an assignment even though the devices were banned.

eTextbooks and the Nook Study Application

I attended a session on the Nook Study application during Bb World 2011. During the session, I downloaded the free Mac (also on PC) application. You can print into the Nook Study application (e.g. select “Print to Nook Study” in Word). I was also able to easily upload a PDF to the application.

The session also covered the Nook Study Building Block and the presenter did a live presentation of the textbook search. Our area (Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies) recently acquired a Nook for testing and I wasn’t aware of this integration.

Faculty have the ability to establish links directly to a page in the eText. Students can also add notes or tag the selection. Faculty can use a “Redeem Access Code” (from the publisher) to pull the eText into their application. They can also create a course and add content (e.g. PDF documents) to the course.

The Building Block adds a “Link to Nook Study” option in the “Build Content” area of Blackboard. The presenter did a cut and paste from the application, but it also looks like you can navigate to the link from within Blackboard. One idea is to link to discussion questions in the text.

It sounds like there will be some future integration with the Nook Color, iPad and Android devices!


The Analytics “Bbuzz”

There seems to be a lot of buzz (or bbuzz) about “analytics” at BbWorld 11! Our session on using analytics was over-capacity and it looks like they moved this one (Introduction to Analytics) to a larger room.

Analytics is Blackboard’s newest platform after their acquisition (December 2010) of iStrategy. The application provides pre-defined and customizable data models for the leading SIS. Blackboard defines analytics as performance measurement, reporting and self-service,as well as decision support. For background, the presenter mentioned a whitepaper on “What Every Leader Needs to Know About Analytics.”

We saw a live (iStrategy) presentation of students taking more than 15 credits who have a low GPA (below a threshold). Next, we looked at the charts in the dashboard view and drilled-down to the data needed. Finally,we saw a page consolidating a large volume of reports that can be tailored for a specific department. As an example, the drop percentage in the English department has continually increased. Then (joking about pitchforks), he was able to identify trends by individual faculty.

Next, we took a look at the new Financial Aid module. There’s also Advancement and Learn Modules in development. Some examples include detecting at-risk student behavior (average time on task), adoption of Bb Learn, monitoring of student learning outcomes, as well as establishing and tracking KPIs. They showed a Learn Module (sample) report on usage patterns by week/day.

Faculty should show interest in (and add their voice) to this coming “analytics” movement!