Designing and Developing a MOOC: Lessons from Experience

Few current educational technology innovations have received the attention of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). However, most of the discourse is philosophical and hypothetical. So how does designing and delivering a MOOC actually work? This fall, NIU offered its first MOOC titled “Perspectives on Disability.” In this session at the 2013 SLATE Conference, my colleagues Stephanie Richter, Tracy Miller, and I shared the unique collaborative process we followed to design and develop the MOOC, including recommendations for other institutions beginning their MOOC journey. We will also discussed how we worked with Blackboard CourseSites to deliver the course. Slides are available here.

Thinking of designing a MOOC? Find more tips for designing a massive open online course here.

Honored to Receive 2013 Blackboard Key to the Community Award

Jason Rhode receiving key to community award

I was extremely honored and humbled to have been nominated and chosen as one of six inaugural recipients of Blackboard’s annual Key to the Community Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the Blackboard client community. I accepted the award at BbWorld13. The Blackboard client community truly is a collaborative and supportive network of colleagues and it’s my pleasure to continue to be a part.

Lessons from Tacos and Pizza: The Importance of 24/7 Access for Students

For students, the learning experience beyond lecture hour is just as important as what happens during class. Thanks to modern technology, it is now easier than ever to make academic resources available 24/7, and use them to enhance teaching practices and the learning experience. This presentation at BbWorld13 shared NIU’s current use of Blackboard Learn, Collaborate, and Mobile to provide 24/7 access to learning for students. Slides are available here.

Blackboard Enterprise Surveys and Course Evaluations: Features and Considerations for Institutional Adoption

With the release of Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 10, the “Enterprise Surveys and Course Evaluations” tool adds a robust and flexible set of new capabilities tightly integrated within Blackboard for conducting surveys and course evaluations on a wide scale. This session at BbWorld13 shared Northern Illinois University’s recent experiences exploring the new features and developing a roadmap for institution-wide implementation. Slides are available here.

Blackboard 2013 Catalyst Award Poster: Cross-Platform Strategy for Staff Development

My colleagues and I from Northern Illinois University Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center are honored to have been selected to receive two Blackboard Catalyst Awards this year, one for staff development and the other for teaching and learning. Both awards are in recognition of NIU’s first online teaching effectiveness institute that our center offered in 2013, the first of what we hope will be many such online professional development opportunities offered for NIU faculty and teaching staff in the future.

The poster below was shared during the welcome reception poster session at BbWorld 2013. Click here to enlarge.


The online course developed for this initiative, initially only available for NIU faculty and teaching staff, is now available on CourseSites here for anyone to self-enroll and view. The course is also shared as an open educational resource and may be downloaded as a Blackboard Package or Common Cartridge 1.1 Package.

Additional related resources shared regarding mobile teaching using Blackboard include: