Designing Exemplary Online Courses in Blackboard

Bb Exemplary Course RubricDuring this presentation by Jason Rhode at the 12th annual SLATE Conference on 10/23/14, we explored suggested best practices included in the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric for designing engaging online courses. Jason shared practical tips from his experience building a course in Blackboard that meets the established ECP quality benchmarks. We also covered the steps and associated deadlines for faculty interested in submitting their course for consideration as a Blackboard Exemplary Course. This session was geared toward an audience already familiar with the basic online teaching tools available in Blackboard Learn. While the examples shared were specifically of courses in Blackboard, the principles can be applied to developing quality online courses in any learning management system.

Resource Links

My Presentation Schedule at 12th Annual SLATE Conference, Oct. 22-24, 2014

SLATE14On October 22-24, 2014, I’ll be attending and presenting at the 12th Annual SLATE (Supporting Learning And Technology in Education) Conference, hosted at Northern Illinois University, Naperville. This conference invites all faculty, system administrators, CIO’s, Web developers, instructional designers, librarians, students, and user support staff from institutions that are deploying and/or currently using any Web-based tools, applications or programs, in their teaching and learning. Presentations offer a wide variety of best practices for incorporating and supporting technology in teaching and learning.

I’ll be involved in giving three different presentations during the conference. For those who will be attending the conference, I hope you’ll join me for any of these topics that may be of interest to you:

Designing Exemplary Online Courses in Blackboard

Presenter: Jason Rhode, Northern Illinois University
Thu, 10/23, 11:00-11:50am, Auditorium
Join us to explore suggested best practices included in the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric for designing engaging online courses. The presenter will share practical tips from his experience building a course in Blackboard that meets the estab- lished ECP quality benchmarks. We’ll also cover the steps and associated deadlines for faculty interested in submitting their course for consideration as a Blackboard Exemplary Course. This session is geared toward an audience already familiar with the basic online teaching tools available in Blackboard Learn.

Contemporary Issues in Higher Education and Online Learning

Presenters: Carol Scheidenhelm, Loyola University Chicago; Jason Rhode, Northern Illinois University
Thu, 10/23, 2:00-2:50pm, Room 162
At a recent meeting of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association Center for Online Leadership & Strategy, the presenters participated in a roundtable discussion of issues relevant to online teaching and learning in higher education. Participants had the opportunity to share their experiences with issues, policies and road blocks to educating “contemporary” students, resulting in a recently-released federal policy brief. We thought it would be productive to bring this type of discussion to our SLATE Conference participants and provide them an opportunity to come up with a listing of the most pressing issues in higher education today. The list will be shared with the SLATE leadership and may help guide topics for discussion in the 2014-15 SLATE meetings.

Where eLearning Meets Faculty Development: Providing Seamless Online Program Development Support Services

Presenters: Aline Click, Northern Illinois University; Jason Rhode, Northern Illinois University
Thu, 10/23, 4:00-4:50pm, Room 162
While there is no single strategy for effectively supporting online teaching and learning, common faculty support needs related to online teaching practices and online course development exist at every institution. Join us for this panel presentation to learn about one institution’s collaborative approach to providing comprehensive support for new online program development. The conversation will focus on the specific online course development services as well as online teaching support programs, resources, and services offered for faculty.

For those in the Chicago area, there is still time to register to attend the conference in person, details at slategroup.org/conference/register. There is even a single-day option available for those who want to just come for 1 day. For those who can’t attend in person, feel free to follow the conference @slateconference and hashtag #slate14

2012 SLATE Conference at NIU Naperville – Call for Proposals Open, Deadline July 20th

SLATE Celebrating 10 Years
The 10th Annual SLATE Conference will be held on October 11-12, 2012. For the first time, this year the conference will be held at NIU Naperville and allow for an expanded number of sessions, including hands-on technology sessions!

My colleagues from NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center are providing logistical support for the conference and look forward to participating in the conference, having already submitted several presentation proposals.

This conference has become a premier event in the Midwest and has attracted participants from around the world in higher-ed, K-12, government, and the corporate sector. Realizing that everyone has the same challenges and issues (no matter the platform) this conference reaches out to institutions and individuals that are using and supporting technology and web-based teaching tools tools such as Blackboard’s family of products. Here is your opportunity to share your experiences and expertise with friends and colleagues and learn from each other.

Call for Papers

Submissions are invited for presentations, panel discussions, or working group activities (now through July 20, 2012) which can cover a broad range of topics that relate to best practices, innovative, engaging, and pedagogically sound uses of technology in teaching and learning, etc. The conference theme of “build it better,” hopes to ask the next question, explore new possibilities, and develop sound models that can be implemented in online, distance education, and classroom instruction. If you have an idea for a panel discussion and need some help in getting people together, contact the conference coordinator, Ken Sadowski, and he can help to connect you to others who may have already expressed similar ideas.

Some of the topics presented in past conferences included:

  • Using Podcasting to Meet the Needs of Millennial Students
  • Platform-Independent Course Design
  • Teaching Writing Using Blogs and Wikis
  • Student GPA and Course Delivery Methods
  • Using Technology Tools to Ensure Faculty Success
  • Online Assessment Strategies
  • Using Your CMS as a Retention Tool

More detailed information can be found at the following:

Key Dates

Initial Call for Proposals: May 11, 2012
Submission Deadline: July 20, 2012
Notification of Paper Acceptance: August 3, 2012
Conference dates: October 11-12, 2012

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact:

Ken Sadowski
SLATE Conference Coordinator
email: ken@slategroup.org
cell: 708.744.9448

2011 SLATE Star Award

My colleagues and I with the NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center received the 2011 SLATE Star Award in recognition of outstanding contributions and dedicated service to SLATE – Supporting Learning And Technology in Education. We were recognized and presented with the award at the 2011 SLATE Conference at the University of Chicago.
Stephanie Richter, Caroline Conlon, Ken Sakowski presenting award, Jason Rhode, Olga Urban
SLATE – Supporting Learning And Technology in Education, the Midwest Blackboard Users Group, was created from the concept that all institutions that are deploying and/or currently using Web-based components to enhance their teaching and learning activities, have the same questions, the same challenges, and the need for the same solutions. By drawing together the expertise of the people involved in the entire academic experience and those designing, supporting, and using these applications; faculty, support staff, systems administrators, instructional designers, librarians, and students – a broader and more accessible and dynamic support system could be established. The current membership of SLATE encompasses over 80 institutions including K-12, Higher Education, and the Corporate sector.

The SLATE mission is: To support learning and technology in education through communication, collaboration, and innovation while developing a community of practice.

The SLATE Star Award was established in 2004 as a way to recognize an individual who has shown leadership, demonstrated initiatives, presented new ideas, improved procedures, established effective relationships or provided substantial resources that have effected the success and promotion of SLATE, the educational experience, and/or the general Blackboard Community of Practice. For more information about SLATE, visit slategroup.uchicago.edu

LMS Upgrade: Roadmap for Successful Implementation

Panel Discussion
The most recent upgrade to Blackboard 9.1 at Northern Illinois University has proven to be very successful and has been receiving a lot of positive feedback from faculty and teaching staff. This panel discussion led by NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center staff at SLATE 2011 explored the strategies and practices that made the upgrade a success. We shared the logistics of the support plan, implementation timeline, and the publicity plan. Additionally, we discussed the testing strategies, approach to documentation and the training support offered to NIU faculty, staff and teaching assistants.

Those planning an upgrade for the own institutions can download copies of the upgrade documents from j.mp/NIULMS to customize and adopt them for their own needs.