We’ve been busy! During the month of May the CSU Chico teams facilitating the campus move from Vista to Blackboard Learn have hit some major milestones in preparation for the software roll out that begins with 14 pilot faculty this August. Keep reading to find out how our teams are progressing.
Scott Kodai, Manager, Distributed Learning Technologies and Classroom Technology Services, reports that, “In May, the Distributed Learning Technologies team successfully created a command-line process to migrate a course from Vista to Learn. This is a key milestone in our ability to provide an automatic migration application for faculty to use to move their content to the new system. The hardware and databases for our production system have been provisioned, so we are on track for having our production system available for faculty to begin development by June 22nd.”
Kodai also says, “We’ve also been looking very closely at the available Building Blocks for Bb Learn. Building Blocks are ‘plug-ins’ for Bb Learn that allow for additional features and integrations. The challenge now is to identify the Building Blocks that enable key integrations and features that we need to have in place for the pilot this fall, as well as which Building Blocks to put on the roadmap for implementation in the future. Among the Building Blocks targeted for the pilot are: Wimba (which enables Wimba Classroom and Voice Tools), Turnitin (anti-plagiarism), and TurningPoint (for clickers). Other Building Blocks under consideration are: Bboogle (for Google Docs integration), McGraw-Hill (e-textbooks), Kaltura (video services), and Xerxes (for open educational resources).”
Claudine Franquet, who heads the Blackboard Learn Training Support and Documentation Committee, reports that dates have been selected for Chico State’s Blackboard Learn Pilot Faculty group’s first training workshops. The initial two workshops will first provide an overview of Bb Learn and followed by hands-on experience with structuring an efficient course menu and implementing the process of migrating class materials from Vista to Bb Learn. Training is scheduled for faculty in the Bb Learn pilot program on August 2 and 3 from 9-11:30 a.m. and 2-4:30 p.m.
At the TLP Empowerment Lab and Faculty Training Lab, supervisor Peter DiFalco says, “The TLP research team concluded its investigation into how different content types and options are interpreted by Bb Learn, and the two students leading the project, Chris Cole and Taylor O’Brien, have graduated from the University – we wish them well with their next endeavors! Their research is currently being matched up with support information, as well as helping the Chico team understand what new support materials they will need to start creating to help Chico faculty with this transition. Some foundation work has been done to begin creating the migration guide web application which will utilize all our research and materials to give faculty a complete picture of what they need to do, and how to do it, when migrating a course into Bb Learn.”
Ann Steckel’s Bb Learn Communication Team continues compiling and distributing information and working with staff and faculty to raise awareness of the ongoing transition from the Blackboard Vista learning management system (LMS) to the updated and improved Blackboard Learn LMS. The most exciting project this group is tackling is the web interface design color scheme and layout. Roberta Roebuck, ATEC Web Services designer, has been incorporating the new logo colors and working with the committee to get a professional and inviting look and feel to the interface.
This article compiled by TLP Student-Staff Carey Wilson.