Integrating External Content in Blackboard Michael Anderson Assistant Director University of Texas System TeleCampus
Why Use External Content? High-quality and diverse usually beyond the means of institutions Multi-modal learning experiences for students Allows instructor to focus on designing the learning experience Saves time and money You wouldn’t write a textbook would you?
Where to begin: Selecting ContentWhat kind of content would add value? Multi-modal or media-rich presentations Simulations and interactivityand is appropriate? Academic Integrity Bandwidth and Accessibility Support and Reliability Design and Usability Rights of Use CostsWhat content would help achieve course goals and learning outcomes?
Wide Range of SourcesCommercial Sources Print publishers (course cartridges) Course vendors (Thinkwell, SIRIUS/McGraw-Hill) Supplement providers (WebAssign, Curriculum Pathways)Non-Profit & OER Sources Courses (NROC, MIT-OCW, CMU-OLI, SOFIA) Repositories (Wisconsin) Referatories (MERLOT)Institutions and Colleagues Communities of Practice (TLT Groups) Local Initiatives (Orange Grove, SCORE)
Sources: CommercialPrint Publishers Vetted high-quality content (confidence in editorial quality saves time) More costly, per student charges Textbook specific materials usually provided as course cartridges at fee to students Often lacks media-rich content Lack of flexibility for instructor customization and hosting
Sources: CommercialCourse Vendors (i.e., Thinkwell) Vetted high-quality content (confidence in editorial quality saves time) More costly, per student charges Services in addition to courses Lack of flexibility for instructor customization and hosting
Sources: Commercial Supplement Providers (i.e., Curriculum Pathways, United Streaming) Vetted, permissioned content Search and choose Flexibility to download (United Streaming) or access in hosted environment (CP) Breadth of coverage Transaction model for the content (license, statewide purchase, student purchase, etc.)
Sources: Non-Profits & OERsCourse and Content Developers (i.e., NROC, MIT-OCW, SOFIA) Vetted content at affordable prices Some sources require additional review Flexibility for customization and hosting Inclusion of media-rich, multi-modal content varies significantly Commitment and funding Educational non-profits provide balance between vetted content, flexibility and cost
Sources: Non-Profit OrganizationsLearning Object Repositories & Referatories (LORs) Low cost or gratis access to content Contributed by dedicated academics Academic integrity, but single perspective Flexibility varies significantly (format of the content) Usually not vetted (uneven quality) Usually requires time commitment to visit to multiple sources Technology incompatibilities
Strategies for Evaluating OnlineContentDoes the content and technology fit the design philosophy of the online program? Objectives and outcomes Instructional design philosophy Flexibility to fit within the course format Institutional branding Transparency Development process
Strategies for Evaluating OnlineContentIs it easy for instructors to use? Transparent technology Technology support staff and training Instructional design staff and training Support and feedback loop with the developer
Strategies for Evaluating OnlineContentIs it easy to use for students? Quality directions for using the content Transparent navigation and access Transparent technology Appropriate bandwidth Is any additional help desk support required and how does that affect student success?
External Content:A Decision-Making Do I want to use No Continue building Model 3rd party content? course on my own Solo Yes New Replace Augment Time and Cost How do I plan to use the content? Augment existing Replace existing Start with all content content new content
Augment existing Replace existing Start with all content content new contentThe Ecology ofExternal Content What sources do I want to use? Community of Repositories/ Publishers & Practice referatories non-profits Publish CoP Reposi Reposi CoP Publish Time Cost Time
Augment existing Replace existing Start with all content content new content What computer-aidedPedagogical strategies do I want to utilize? Strategy terminology research design theoriesVocabulary Access Video Lab Podcast practice to tools cases simulation PBL VR Game