Bringing Blackboard to Bath


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Slide set I used in 2004 doing a two day on-site engagement preparing Bath Spa Uni for implementing Blackboard. Some things are still *so* relevant ;-)

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  • You might be wondering whether anything I can say is relevant to you - you may have a traditional view of the University of Durham as the old, traditional model of a collegiate university, a slow, perhaps lumbering beast which keeps itself to itself, its nose in the air, and would be one of the last places to be reading and voluntarily at the forefront of advances in new technologies. And you may be right - we are a traditional old university, we are: SLIDE But we are also looking to the future - in a single academic year, we are getting famous for our modernism too. And this has not been achieved by a huge team of support staff - there’s three of us. So you may find that in fact our experience can be useful to you, which is why I’m here today.
  • Develop own - like Leeds! Experience of NLE TLTP3 Blackboard - WebCT - Lotus Learning Space etc
  • NELE meetings
  • From pilots, then wanted to offer duo to any member of staff who asked for it, then gradually to permeate whole departments (Durham isn’t really an institution where you say this WILL happen) Aimed eventually - 5 years? 3 years?to be cross campus
  • Geography 1 > 2 > 4 > 6 = all first year courses
  • Without level 3, LDAP comparisons will enable as many minimisations of workload as possible, adding together all batch files, comparing and then squashing to 375s/
  • Without level 3, LDAP comparisons will enable as many minimisations of workload as possible, adding together all batch files, comparing and then squashing to 375s/
  • Without level 3, LDAP comparisons will enable as many minimisations of workload as possible, adding together all batch files, comparing and then squashing to 375s/
  • Without level 3, LDAP comparisons will enable as many minimisations of workload as possible, adding together all batch files, comparing and then squashing to 375s/
  • Bringing Blackboard to Bath

    1. 1. Kate Boardman June 17 th & 18 th 2004 Blackboard: Getting Started Presentation
    2. 2. <ul><li>Background Institutional Implementation Decisions and Procedures Customisation </li></ul>
    3. 3. University of Durham <ul><li>670 academic / 280 academic-related staff </li></ul><ul><li>9400 undergraduates / 2400 postgraduates </li></ul><ul><li>Split campus </li></ul><ul><li>Research led </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional university </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Technologies Team </li></ul>
    4. 4. Learning Environments <ul><li>Develop your own </li></ul><ul><ul><li>high risk but flexible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nationally funded project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>high risk not flexible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>low risk but less flexible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to choose? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Evaluation Criteria (i) <ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>must link with student records </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Robustness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>large user base from many institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>easy to use for both students and staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only registered students should view material </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Evaluation Criteria (ii) <ul><li>Multimedia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>support different file formats </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accessible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>on & off campus. Web access? Client software? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>progress of students trackable by students and staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>must be possible </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Evaluation Criteria (iii) <ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>allow groups of students within modules </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discussion/chat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>must support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>good online help for staff and students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paper backup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>must be easily printable </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Decisions at Durham <ul><li>Commercial product </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard v WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>Cost - similar price </li></ul><ul><li>Deciding factor = ease of use </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility of progression (Level 3) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(NB. 4 out of 5 NE HEIs chose Bb independently) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Blackboard <ul><li>Academic staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ease of use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited choices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ease of use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ease of access </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Support / Training <ul><li>Demonstration course </li></ul><ul><li>A Test Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary training sessions x 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(200+ staff = c. 50% total) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instructional guides x 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>can use to self-teach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information sheets x 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Student demonstrations </li></ul>
    11. 11. Implementation Strategy <ul><li>Pilot - choose pilot courses carefully </li></ul><ul><ul><li>quality content, communication, images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>commitment, risk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Departmental </li></ul><ul><ul><li>create any courses requested - move to all dept/year. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>University wide </li></ul>
    12. 12. The Plan . . . <ul><li>3 courses, 3 departments, 200 students </li></ul><ul><li>Geography </li></ul><ul><ul><li>year 1 IT skills module </li></ul></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><ul><li>year 3 special subject ‘Mau Mau’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sport </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PGCE Physical Education </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. The Reality . . . <ul><li>383 courses, 23 departments, 6121 students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(data correct June 12th 2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All faculties </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-campus research groups </li></ul>
    14. 14. Expansion <ul><li>Module Resources to Online Community </li></ul><ul><li>Colleges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tutor/Tutee support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JCR / MCR / SCR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘Livers out’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Placement students – e.g. year abroad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Expansion (cont) <ul><li>University Administration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Admissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Widening Participation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Part-time students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior Tutors / Heads of Houses / Bursars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>University Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Careers </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Uptake by course
    17. 17. Uptake by staff
    18. 18. 2004
    19. 19. Gift-wrapping the box <ul><li>Freshers </li></ul><ul><li>International students </li></ul><ul><li>Careers advisory service </li></ul><ul><li>Library </li></ul><ul><li>Resit registration </li></ul><ul><li>Postgraduate training </li></ul><ul><li>University Office </li></ul>
    20. 20. Our model of implementation <ul><li>Presentation: 15-20 mins, 3-5 people </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration: 45-60 mins, 15-25 people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[ Departmental policy discussion ] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implementation: module codes, titles, staff </li></ul><ul><li>Development: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>training @ 1-2 weeks, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>follow-up @ 4-6 weeks, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>revision with dept @ 12 weeks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>QAA PRIORITY </li></ul>
    21. 21. Progress with duo? <ul><li>LTT looking at content/activity </li></ul><ul><li>Little initial change in teaching methods </li></ul><ul><li>Some staff aware of the potential </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning to move to online teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Any intervention encourages staff to think about their teaching </li></ul>
    22. 22. The Learning Experience <ul><li>University: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a community of scholars - sharing & refining knowledge & understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VLE > MLE > E-moderating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provide the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>let confidence grow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>offer targeted training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regular ‘health-checks’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gradual change in techniques </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Walk before you can run <ul><li>What am I saying? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add materials gradually </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do things that are NOT a leap in technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give students tasks involving appropriate use of Bb </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure sound pedagogy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep focus away from technology (especially where for technology’s sake) </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Community of Practice <ul><li>Horizontal </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical </li></ul><ul><li>Within </li></ul><ul><li>Without </li></ul>
    25. 25. Some ideas <ul><li>Raise awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Identify generic projects </li></ul><ul><li>Work in departments </li></ul><ul><li>Examine training & help </li></ul>
    26. 26. VLE: Valuable Learning Experience <ul><li>Promotion of learning through discussion groups </li></ul><ul><li>Self-test assessment with feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Media-rich content </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced use of existing CAL applications </li></ul><ul><li>Development of ‘e-tivities’ </li></ul>
    27. 27. Welcome! <ul><li> / </li></ul><ul><li>JISCMAIL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ASU mail-list: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blackboard UK Users </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    28. 29. SysAdmin? <ul><li>SysAdmin panel overview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration of gateway </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Course management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User management </li></ul></ul>
    29. 30. Getting Started <ul><li>Issues to consider when you start out: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional implementation/rollout </li></ul></ul>
    30. 31. Technical issues <ul><li>Do you have enough memory? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 quad processors, 4Gb RAM, 2x 137Mb hard disks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>> load balancing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Back-up procedures? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We close our system down entirely for 30 mins every night - a full back-up only if database is stopped (Unix) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virus protection? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worth ensuring virus-checker added to server </li></ul></ul>
    31. 32. System options <ul><li>Think about initial options before going live </li></ul><ul><ul><li>very messy to alter options after system in use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>options to ‘create’ need careful monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Admin roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>try to keep minimum staff with sys-admin authority </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>beware changing tab buttons! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>identity = strong focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>edit login page </li></ul></ul>
    32. 33. Courses <ul><li>Course IDs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use identifier for year - think rollover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use same identifier as student records for batch upload </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>departmental identifier first = easier to search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CAN NOT CHANGE even through snapshot </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Checklist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>consider a checklist for new staff when creating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>unavailable until satisfactory? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>available by default? </li></ul></ul>
    33. 34. Users <ul><li>User ID / Passwords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student – is it unique, secure? Do they know it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff - often don’t know email passwords.. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passwords at least 1 character, no spaces, special characters – link to IT change password </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Policy: change email allowed? </li></ul><ul><li>Change User ID </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only through snapshot </li></ul></ul>
    34. 35. Support <ul><li>ADMIN TAKES TIME!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Help queries to general IT help desk - fast! </li></ul><ul><li>Rolling programme of drop-in training sessions - not so much formal staff training </li></ul><ul><li>Good examples / best practice for staff </li></ul><ul><li>Students need little training using system </li></ul><ul><li>BUT do need guidance what/when </li></ul>
    35. 36. Institutional rollout <ul><li>Policy development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>email addresses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>printing credits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hard copy/photocopies ‘essential’ info </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student records data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is often unreliable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>batch uploads need constant verification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use roster to check </li></ul></ul>
    36. 37. Make sure… <ul><li>Catalog has enrol button in student view </li></ul><ul><li>Email send to self – audit trail </li></ul><ul><li>Address book – off </li></ul><ul><li>Removing system area removes content </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional announcements always top </li></ul><ul><li>Access to brief help documents </li></ul>
    37. 38. Tips & tricks <ul><li>Admin/communication course hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>HTML basics (even with WYSIWYG) </li></ul><ul><li>Test as ‘Joe Student’ </li></ul><ul><li>Create a ‘guest’ instead of guest </li></ul><ul><li>Add a course banner </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare an introductory email </li></ul><ul><li>Tools/links on menu </li></ul>
    38. 39. Rollover <ul><li>Process – through web forms </li></ul><ul><li>Removing users </li></ul><ul><li>New courses </li></ul><ul><li>New students </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic wherever possible </li></ul>