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The Blackboard Portfolio tool: Features, uses, and campus-wide implementation process

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The new Blackboard Portfolio tool released with Blackboard learn in April 2014 is much-improved and provides an easy-to-use platform for students to demonstrate and reflect upon what they have learned throughout their university career. Northern Illinois University (NIU) implemented the portfolios campus-wide during 2015, and it was used by thousands of students in a relatively short time. This presentation at BbWorld16 will provide an overview of the portfolio tool, strategies for developing portfolios that serve different purposes, and best practices for institutional adoption. Sample portfolios and exemplars from faculty who are using Blackboard portfolios in their classes will be shared, along with NIU’s campus-wide implementation process. Opportunities and challenges will be discussed to provide insights for others planning to roll-out portfolios at their institutions.

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The Blackboard Portfolio tool: Features, uses, and campus-wide implementation process

  1. 1. The Blackboard Portfolio Tool: Features, uses, and campus-wide implementation process
  2. 2. Presenters Jason Rhode Director Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Northern Illinois University jrhode@niu.edu @JasonRhode Stephanie Richter Assistant Director Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Northern Illinois University srichter@niu.edu @slrichter
  3. 3. Agenda • Background information • Blackboard Portfolios: Features and examples • Campus-wide implementation process • Portfolio usage across campus • Considerations
  4. 4. Background Information
  5. 5. Northern Illinois University Overview • Main campus in DeKalb, IL located 65 miles West of Chicago • Total enrollment: 20,130 • 1,174 Instructional faculty • Student to instructor/faculty ratio: 15:1 • Online programs: 8 undergrad, 7 graduate, 7 certificates
  6. 6. Why the Institutional Emphasis on Portfolios? • NIU PLUS Taskforce • High Impact Practices (HIP’s) • Focus on student retention and success
  7. 7. Features and Examples
  8. 8. Who has created a Portfolio in Blackboard?
  9. 9. Building Portfolios • Add artifacts from files or from prior Blackboard Assignment submissions • Embed media directly in the page • Customize and preview features • Manage multiple portfolios for different purposes • Use templates for standardized portfolios
  10. 10. Grading Portfolios • Faculty can create an Assignment with Portfolio Submission enabled • If Portfolio Submission is enabled, students can only submit a Portfolio • Faculty can grade and provide feedback as usual in the Grade Center
  11. 11. Sharing Portfolios • Share snapshots internally with institution users • Share snapshots externally with people outside the institution • Download entire portfolio as zip file for future use and portability
  12. 12. Campus-wide Implementation Process
  13. 13. Campus-wide Implementation Process Identify Key Stakeholders Raise Awareness Test Portfolio Tool Upgrade to April 2014 Develop Support Resources for Users Train Users
  14. 14. Identify Key Stakeholders • Provost’s Office • NIU PLUS Taskforce • Office of Assessment Services • Division of Information Technology • Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center • First and Second Year Experience Program • First Year Composition Program
  15. 15. Raise Awareness • ePortfolio Symposium: Regional College Readiness Partnerships – September 2014 • Teaching Effectiveness Institute – January 2015 • Demonstration of Bb Portfolio tool to stakeholders – January 2015 • Teaching with Technology Institute – June 2015
  16. 16. Test Portfolio Tool • Part of annual upgrade testing • Tested: • Creation • Sharing • Grading • Templates • Built sample portfolios for further promotion
  17. 17. Upgrade to April 2014 • Memorial Day weekend 2015 • Featured the updated portfolios as part of the upgrade facdev.niu.edu/bbupgrade2015
  18. 18. Develop Support Resources for Users • Developed throughout summer 2015 • Documentation, quick guides, sample portfolios, and tutorials • Materials for both students and faculty go.niu.edu/portfolios
  19. 19. Train Users • Offered 8 hands-on workshops for faculty and staff • Nearly 150 faculty and staff trained • Special audiences: • UNIV 101 Instructors • First-Year Composition Instructors • Met with additional faculty 1-on-1 for template creation
  20. 20. Portfolio Usage Across Campus
  21. 21. Usage In 1 year, we have… 9 Templates created 6,332 Portfolios created 41 Courses with templates 3,447 Portfolio users
  22. 22. Training and Documentation In 1 year, we have… 8 Hands-on workshops 5,587 Website pageviews 137 Participants 639 Tutorial views
  23. 23. Considerations
  24. 24. Staffing • Campus partners • Blackboard testers • Trainers • Resource developers
  25. 25. Implementation Time – 1 year • Test Blackboard • Upgrade Blackboard (if necessary) • Develop student & faculty support resources • Train faculty users • Learning about portfolios • Raise awareness on campus • Demonstrate Blackboard Portfolios to key stakeholders
  26. 26. Support Resources • Focus on student support needs • Work with stakeholders to determine what they want to see in a portfolio • Create multiple formats (e.g., text, video, printable) • Create sample portfolios, export and share on website
  27. 27. Establish Policies • Who gets a template? • What do you name templates? • Who approves template format (or at least provides guidance for template structure)? • How long are student accounts active (and thus portfolios are accessible)?
  28. 28. Summary
  29. 29. Summary • Implementing Portfolios is a campus-wide process involving multiple stakeholders • Consider how Portfolios will be used for teaching and assessment as you plan your implementation • Students will need the most support, but faculty need to be comfortable that students can be successful
  30. 30. go.niu.edu/portfolios
  31. 31. Join Bb Users Community Group j.mp/bbportfoliousers
  32. 32. Questions? Jason Rhode Director Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Northern Illinois University jrhode@niu.edu @JasonRhode Stephanie Richter Assistant Director Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Northern Illinois University srichter@niu.edu @slrichter
  33. 33. Don’t forget! Rate this session in the BbWorld App.

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