Early Start Mathematics Course Uses Bb Learn for Course Delivery

In January of 2012, CSU, Chico was charged with creating two remedial mathematics courses for incoming students whose entry test scores fell below the required amount to attend Beginning or Intermediate Algebra. This project, done in conjunction with a similar project developed for Remedial English, was headed by mathematics professor, Ted Cluver. Ted contacted the Chico Technology and Learning Program and soon a plan was developed to create a fully accessible online course that any incoming CSU student could take.

In order to lower the cost to students, a decision was made to develop the course using Blackboard Learn. Through the hard work of a team consisting of a math department student, Cluver and TLP, a well-developed accessible course was created. Students were enrolled during the months of June, July and August and participated in activities created to assist them with their math development as well as a retest to raise scores.

Cluver and Ann Steckel, project manager for the Early Start course development, recently presented their work at the 2012 CELT conference held on the CSU, Chico campus. The video of the presentation, embedded in this post, explains the history behind the project, the production of course content, and the successful roll out to students.

For more information about this program please contact Ted Cluver. For more information about accessible course creation in Bb Learn please contact Ann Steckel in the Technology & Learning Program.

Turnitin Originality Checker, GradeMark and PeerMark

Have you heard about Turnitin but you’re not sure what it really does? Turnitin integrates within Blackboard Learn and contains three components:

  • OriginalityCheck
    Checks student submissions for originality against Turnitin.com’s database of billions of Internet pages and essays.
  • GradeMark
    Enables instructors to grade student papers online using standard or customized marks that appear directly on the student’s paper.
  • PeerMark
    Facilitates peer review so that students can evaluate each other’s work and learn from their classmates.

Take a few minutes and watch these brief introductory videos.

OriginalityCheck Demo (02:54)

GradeMark Demo (03:35)

PeerMark Demo (01:32)

Ready to give it a try? Call Marjorie Shepard at 898-3159 for a consultation.

You can also view the tutorial Adding a Turnitin Assignment to Bb Learn.


Update on Organizations in Bb Learn

Do you need a virtual space to store documents or meet with group members in an online forum? A Blackboard Learn organization might be the solution.

One popular use of the learning management system outside of classes is the community or organization. Many groups at Chico State need a secure place for documents to be stored so that others can access them and collaborate. Currently TLP is in the process of helping community owners migrate the contents from Vista over to Bb Learn. To date 33 Vista communities have been migrated and 23 new organizations have been created.

A recent addition to speed up the process is a self-service application that allows for self enrollment for students using the student writing center and Regional and Continuing Education re-entry students. Others wishing to create a new organization should contact instructional technology consultant, Jim Aird. Once Jim receives a request for a new organization the turn around time for its use is about a week from request to completion. All enrollments for new organizations should also go to Jim and he will facilitate that portion of the process, however in the near future a self-service enrollment tool for everyone will be available.

Another tool available to organizations is Blackboard Collaborate, a virtual meeting software that is built in to Bb Learn. This tool will allow for guests to communicate to groups or group members to meet virtually with each other.

For more information about organizations and how they can be used please contact Jim Aird in the Technology and Learning Program. He can be reached via email at jaird@csuchio.edu or by phone at X3209.

Save Students Money while Transforming Teaching & Learning

CELT Presentation Next Week on Saving Students Money!

Please join us for a CELT session next week on new approaches for identifying affordable course materials:
Tap project banner
Save Students Money While Transforming Teaching and Learning
Friday, Nov. 9, 12:00-1:30 PM
MLIB Studio A
Brett Christie, Linda Riggins, James Tyler, Marc Langston, Jodi Shepherd, Laura Sederberg

In 2010, the CSU launched the Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) campaign to significantly reduce the cost of course materials for our students. The CSU has made significant progress toward this goal and momentum continues to build, as there are increasing free (open) and low-cost options. In addition to reducing the cost of course materials, newer technologies and formats are providing transformative possibilities for supporting teaching and learning. Given the changes afoot, the CSU is at an exciting crossroads to significantly change the way teaching and learning take place, while positively affecting both cost and quality. This session will provide an overview of AL$ and the resources and support available. In addition, this session will feature efforts at CSU Chico, including information about a new request for participation.

Please register at http://depot.csuprojects.org/registration?campusid=7. For more information, call Lee Altier at 898-3094.

The Wiki is back in Bb Learn – collaborators rejoice!

Wiki iconOver the last year, we were first thrilled to introduce the Wiki tool in Bb Learn and then disappointed that the Wiki tool suffered from a pernicious software bug which made the interface nearly unusable beginning in January 2012. At last, the Distributed Learning Technologies team and TLP are happy to announce that the Wiki has been fixed as of now! A wiki can be added to a content area from the “Tools” menu in your content area and it can also be granted as a group tool for your student teams to research and write collaboratively.

Bb Learn Wikis can be graded and will display individual student word counts to help you evaluate contributions. TLP’s Collaboration workshop will cover the Wiki tool and you can also get advice on how to use it with your classes by scheduling a consultation with an ITC or by watching Dr. Cris Guenter’s Bb Learn Spotlight presentation, where she demonstrates how her students used the Wiki to reflect on their explorations in Second Life.

Welcome back, Wiki.

Bb Learn wiki under the tools menu

Virtual meeting software, Bb Collaborate, is Here!

blackboard collaborateBlackboard Collaborate, virtual meeting software that can be embedded into any Blackboard Learn course or organization, is now available to any faculty member who wishes to connect virtually to students, colleagues, or guests. Bb Collaborate, formerly Wimba, enables an instructor and participants to communicate in real time using audio, video and text chat. During a session instructors can share PowerPoint slides, conduct polls, administer quizzes, tour web sites and share desktop applications. Additionally, sessions can be recorded and archived for playback at a later time.

Some highlights of Bb Collaborate:

– Faculty moderators can create virtual rooms for students to collaborate in a small group setting.

– Presentations by guest content experts who are located anywhere in the world, can be delivered live and recorded for future use.

– Faculty can use Bb Collaborate to create a recording of a traditional face-to-face lecture and add it to Bb Learn for students to view while the instructor is away from campus.

Currently TLP is offering fun, low-stress workshops during which participants first experience the software from a participant perspective and then as an instructor. Steps to create a Bb Collaborate session in the learning management system are also included in the workshop. To find out when the next workshop will be held please check the the TLP Workshop calendar.

For more information please contact instructional technology consultant, Marjorie Shepard, at mkshepard@csuchico.edu or at x3159. As always TLP is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday through Friday in the basement of Meriam Library. Walk-ins are always welcome, however consultants are available to meet by appointment.