Offering Online Professional Development for Faculty Using a Cross-Platform Strategy


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For the very first time, Northern Illinois University offered a fully-online teaching effectiveness institute utilizing a combination of Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, and Blackboard Mobile platforms. This cross-platform approach has proven to be very successful and provides a model for faculty to incorporate an integrated approach for implementing all three platforms in their teaching. In this session we will share NIU's cross-platform strategy, practices, and lessons learned that can be applied to any online professional development initiative.

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Offering Online Professional Development for Faculty Using a Cross-Platform Strategy

  1. 1. Offering Online ProfessionalDevelopment for Faculty Using aCross-Platform StrategyBlackboard Never Stop Learning Tour - ChicagoMay 23, 2013
  2. 2. PresentersJason RhodeAssistantDirectorJeff GeronimoE-learning
  3. 3. AgendaNIU’s cross-platformstrategyPracticesLessonsLearnedNext Steps
  4. 4. NIU’s cross-platform strategyNIU’s crossplatformstrategyPracticesLessonsLearnedNext Steps
  5. 5. Northern Illinois University
  6. 6. » Main campus inDeKalb, IL located 65miles West ofChicago» Total enrollment:21,869 (Fall ’12)» 1,185 instructionalfaculty» Student to facultyratio: 18:1» 39 academicdepartments; 57undergraduate majors;80 graduate programs» 95% of undergrads and79% of grad studentsare from Illinois» 685 internationalstudents from 116countriesAbout NIU
  7. 7. Blackboard Usage at NIU» 98% of students» 82% of instructionalFaculty/Staff/TAs» 53% of course sections» 4 course sections perstudent on BlackboardAs of Fall 2012:
  8. 8. Use by Individual StudentsUsage % for fall ‘12 with 22,009 enrolled is 97.5% of total number of students21,473
  9. 9. Use by Individual Faculty/Staff/TAs82.75% of all those who teach use Blackboard for credit courses, fall ‘121,449
  10. 10. Number of Credit Course Sections53.3% of all scheduled course sections among the 4,947 sections use Bb, fall ‘12*Course sections range from face-to-face courses with online components to “online courses”2,637
  11. 11. Number of Course EnrollmentsApprox. 4 courses that use Blackboard per student, fall ‘1287,430
  12. 12. Blackboard Mobile LearnApp students can install on their smart phone or tablet to access theirBlackboard course, receive notifications, and participate in course activities
  13. 13. Blackboard Mobile Learn24,276 unique users during past yearTotal LoginsLogins by Day of the Week Logins by Hours of the Day
  14. 14. Blackboard Collaborate MobileAvailable to NIU faculty sincereleased in 2012Building Block update installedto enabled recently-releasedAndroid app
  15. 15. Center Staff
  16. 16.
  17. 17. @facdev@facdev
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Teaching Effectiveness Institute (TEI)offered twice/year, typically f2f, sometimes invited speaker
  20. 20. More Info About TEI at
  21. 21. Why Online TEI?» Feedback from previous attendees askingfor “online” version» Interest in exploring flexibility of the onlinedelivery format» Opportunity to model collaborate onlinelearning experience using availablesynchronous and asynchronous tools
  22. 22. F2F vs. Online Attendance – Sp ‘13010203040506070Day 1 AM (F2F) Day 1 PM (F2F) Day 2 (Online)Spring 2013 TEI Participants514658
  23. 23. Savings…by the NumbersAverage number of miles, round-trip, that wouldhave been driven by each participantif everyone had driven to campus
  24. 24. Savings…by the NumbersTotal number of miles, round-trip, that wouldhave been driven by participants if everyonehad driven to campus
  25. 25. Savings…by the NumbersGallons of gasoline saved, assuming averagempg (23.8) of average vehicle sold in U.S. in2012 if everyone had stayed home
  26. 26. Savings…by the NumbersCost of gasoline saved, assuming cost of$3.93/gal. in the DeKalb areaif everyone had stayed home today
  27. 27. Savings…by the NumbersPounds of carbon dioxide emissions savedif everyone had stayed home today
  28. 28. Savings…by the Numbers
  29. 29. Model Best Practices
  30. 30. PracticesNIU’s cross-platformstrategyPracticesLessonsLearnedNext Steps
  31. 31. Picked
  32. 32. Used Bb Community12
  33. 33. Completely Mobile-Compatible
  34. 34. Roles for Staffpresenter,live discussions,discussion boardDanCabreraJeffGeronimoJanetGiesenTracyMillerCherieQuillmanJasonRhodeStephanieRichterpresenter,live discussions,discussion board, twitterhost, moderator,live discussions,discussion boardtech assistance, livetweeting @facdev,discussion boardtechnical support,live discussions,logisticscoordinator, presenter,live discussions,discussion board, twitterpresenter,live discussions,discussion board, twitter
  35. 35. Additional Resources
  36. 36. Give-aways
  37. 37. Consistent Design Template
  38. 38. Badge for Recognition
  39. 39. Custom Clickable Icons (48x48)Recommended Mobile AppsLinks to Activities and ResourcesComputerSystem CheckBlackboardMobile LearnBb CollaborateMobileNIUMobileIntro to BbCollaborateBb CollaborateLive Sessions Discussion BlogJournal WikiTweets#niu #tei13Presenters& Staff DownloadsBadgeOnlineArchiveMobileArchive
  40. 40. Available for Ongoing Conversations
  41. 41. Archives Available of Live Sessions
  42. 42. » Picked topic» Used a community» Chose to makeentirely mobile-compatible» Decided on roles forstaff» Additional resources» Give-aways» Used consistentdesign template forpresentations» Offered “badge” forrecognition» Available after institutefor ongoingconversations» Archives available of alllive sessions, accessiblein communitySummary of Decisions Made
  43. 43. Process for Designing / Developing» Built using mobile-friendly design practices– Course fully-accessible via Bb Mobile app– Activities in live sessions (avoided webtour, used polling)– Use of guest links for Bb Collaboratesessions to make it easier to access viamobile
  44. 44. Moble-friendly Course
  45. 45. Mobile-friendly Live Sessions
  46. 46. Guest Links for Bb Collaborate
  47. 47. Online and Mobile Archives
  48. 48. Process for Designing / Developing» Opened community 1 week early forpreliminary access and intro activities» Used “Announcements” feature and emailto notify participants about sessions» Use time availability feature to only showcurrent sessions link in a content area» Online evaluation at the end of the institute» Online and mobile archives available
  49. 49. Showcase Course FeaturesCourse Links to important initialcontent areas
  50. 50. ScheduleCourse Links to folders inSession Resources
  51. 51. Presenters and StaffAdded as Items with Icons hidden toallow more flexibility with content andpositioning
  52. 52. System Check & Mobile AppsAdded as External Links with customicon images indescription, clickable, with textdescription floating
  53. 53. Live Sessions & RecordingsUsed date/time availability settings toautomate making available newsessions
  54. 54. Session Resources
  55. 55. Evaluation
  56. 56. Announcements
  57. 57. Conversations
  58. 58. Help
  59. 59. What’s Next
  60. 60. Mobile Preview – Smart
  61. 61. Mobile Preview –
  62. 62. Lessons LearnedNIU’s cross-platformstrategyPracticesLessonsLearnedNext Steps
  63. 63. Feedback from Faculty Participants“The online delivery of thissubject was critical to myunderstanding of how it feels tobe the learner as well as thedesign required from a facultyperspective.”
  64. 64. Feedback from Faculty Participants“It was really convenient to havethis (institute) online, and I thinkit showed what BlackboardCollaborate can do. I learned alot and have new ideas for theupcoming semester.”
  65. 65. Feedback from Faculty Participants“This was wonderful! The flowwas easy to handle and I stayedengaged throughout the day. ILOVED being able to attendfrom home.”
  66. 66. Feedback from Faculty Participantsof faculty participants indicated they wouldattend another online institute in the future
  67. 67. Lessons Learned1) Online format was very successful2) Raised awareness of potential for usingcross-platform strategy in teaching andlearning3) Modeled many features of Bb Collaborateand Bb Mobile Learn4) Need to plan better backups (have backupactivities if there is a lull)
  68. 68. Lessons Learned5) Have plan for managing time between livesessions (left 30 mins between livesessions, but hadn’t planned who wouldstay in the session to see that everyonewas removed so archive could beginprocessing)
  69. 69. Next StepsNIU’s cross-platformstrategyPracticesLessonsLearnedNext Steps
  70. 70. Next Steps1) Repeat model in the future, build upon2) Possibly reuse content / framework thatcould be replicated using mobile-friendlybest practices3) Consider other online formats (multi-day, extended conversations, etc.)4) Perhaps have invited speakers presentinstead of our staff (save $ on travelexpenses for invited speakers)
  71. 71. Any questions?Jason RhodeAssistantDirectorJeff GeronimoE-learning
  72. 72. Download Session
  73. 73. NIU Case StudyDownload PDF