Downselect Results – Which LMSs are still in the running?

LMS Review LogoNow (drumroll) – the results of the LMS Review downselect (we started with 5 systems and are down to 3 systems)!  We have officially come to consensus. We are moving ahead with Blackboard, Canvas and Desire2Learn/Brightspace.

I am thrilled to report that all full-time faculty Taskforce members weighed in.  Keeping the process focused on learning and teaching is the name of the game!  

Interested in the “official” consensus tally?  Find the results here:  https://breeze.tri-c.edu/downselect/.  Interested in knowing who is on the Taskforce?  Find that list here:  https://breeze.tri-c.edu/lmsreview_taskforce_membership/.  Want a video overview of the process?  Check that out here.

Want to look at the consensus tool we’ve used?  Find that here:  https://breeze.tri-c.edu/consensustool/.

What’s next?

Now, we’ll be entering the “Sandbox Phase”.  This means that the Taskforce and an additional 20 volunteer faculty will actually go into Blackboard, Canvas and Desire2Learn/Brightspace and “play” – testing out functionality.  In March, we will make our formal recommendation, based both on discussions of learning and teaching advantages, Tri-C culture, and the rubric results.  (The rubric is a tool in our process, not the decision).

How can you help?  How can you get involved?

  1. “Follow” the eLearning and Innovation blog for all LMS-related updates.
  2. Help us get the word out and avoid miscommunication!  Send other faculty, staff and students to the blog for accurate information.
  3. Check out the systems yourself!  We have vendor demos on the blog.
  4. Respond to our feedback form, which is always up:  http://elearningandinnovation.com/lms-review/focus-group-dates-times/.

We have been working on the LMS Review since January of 2013.  The full Taskforce was convened in May 2013.  Find all our meeting notes and working information here:  http://elearningandinnovation.com/lms-review/lms-process-and-documents/. What assumptions did we start with?  I’m glad you asked!  Find them here, or below.

There are several assumptions that are guiding the investigation into a possible new LMS implementation at Tri-C.  They are:

  1. The current LMS (Blackboard) may or may not be the best institutional fit for an LMS.  This can only be determined by a review of all feasible LMSs.
  2. There will not be an LMS that matches perfectly with the college’s needs.
  3. Only with a thorough review of enterprise-level LMSs can we determine what the best institutional fit for the needs of students, faculty, and staff will be.
  4. The process must be inclusive.  All are encouraged to participate and provide feedback as we conduct a needs analysis, prioritize our needs, and implement a rubric-based selection process.

This process is working well because it is participatory and transparent.  If you ever have questions, I am happy to answer them personally:) – Sasha.Thackaberry at Tri-C.edu.

Help Celebrate National Distance Learning Week

Did you know that it is National Distance Learning Week?  There are free professional development sessions galore – find links to webinars below from some great organizations like the Online Learning Consortium (OLC – formerly SLOAN-C), Quality Matters, Pearson and other publishers and colleges.

Check out this GREAT timeline that one of my students – Victoria Reed – created this past summer in my course at Kent State University.  (Also, this is a prime example of how student-generated content can be reused.  With permission of course!)history of distance learning timeline graphic - Valerie Reed

But let’s take a trip back in time.  Contemporary online learning was really born in the early to mid-1990’s, though it’s been going on with available technology far before that.  eLearning is no longer an add on to traditional education, or even a separate entity – it is embedded in education at all levels.  With 25 – 30% of public universities and community college enrollments from online and hybrid/blended courses nationally (Tri-C’s figure is 30% of FTE is from online and blended courses), new available technology and pedagogical focus areas are gaining traction including competency-based education, Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and integrated MOOC models (LOOCs, SPOCs, etc.), the use of game mechanics or gamification in college environments, adaptive learning and new social pedagogies  (i.e. connectivism, etc.).

The below Softchalk illustrates some developments in distance learning throughout history.  

https://tri-c.softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/ChyDQgTRLZqWKm/html

Check out these great (and mainly free) PD opportunities:

Updated LMS Review Timeline & eLearning by the Numbers

We have extended our timeline for the LMS review selection.  Find that new timeline here:  http://elearningandinnovation.com/lms-review/.  Scroll down just a little (you can expand the timeline to full screen).

Also, did you know that students who take one or more online or blended class graduate in greater percentages than those that do not?  And that the trend is increasing over time?  Find that data and more here:  https://breeze.tri-c.edu/elearningbythenumbers/

Thanks for following us!  Encourage other faculty to do the same to keep everyone up to date on our new LMS selection (or Blackboard hosted).

-Sasha

Learn how to use ShareStream to get the most out of video and audio in Blackboard!

sharestream

Come to the Open Lab and give ShareStream a try! ShareStream is a streaming media management solution.  It gives faculty the ability to place video into Blackboard without assistance, and without taking up tons of space.There were two ShareStream Quick Start Open labs this summer. The fall Open Lab is scheduled for November 12th at 2:00 pm in room 153 of the Metro Campus TLC.  Bring your video, (flv, swf, m4v, mov) and audio files, (wma, mp4, mp3, avi) so you can practice loading them!  Register in InSight today! See you there!

How Do You Find Help and Where? – Blackboard wants to know!

The Blackboard User Experience (UX) team is conducting a user research study to redesign and help improve the way you find help for all Blackboard products. After conducting the survey, you may be contacted directly for a more in depth focus group or interview.

Who do they want to hear from? Faculty and Students!

What are they asking you to do? Click on this link, or copy into your browser: https://bbuxresearch.wufoo.com/forms/survey-getting-help/

When can you participate? The survey will remain open for one week, and will close on Thursday, November 6th COB.

Comparison Doc on LMS Review – Who Has What?

Do you want to check out the different LMSs that Tri-C is reviewing?  The 5 that are involved in the LMS Review Process are Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn, MoodleRooms and Remote Learner.  Combined logos for LMS Review

But how do they stack up?

Truth be told, we don’t know yet!  We’re doing a “down select” – meaning narrowing the field to our top 2 or 3.  Then we will be “sandboxing” systems (aka testing and exploration) for several months before making a final decision this Spring 2015.

Check out this handy, hyper-linked document that looks at the features and functionality on each of those systems.

Come Join Our Sandbox!

**This message is specifically for Tri-C faculty.**

Blackboard LogoHere’s another way to get involved in the LMS Review!

We’d like to invite you to take part in our review of the college’s Learning Management System (LMS) by exploring or “sandboxing” . Currently, we use Blackboard, but a lot has changed in the nearly two decades we’ve been using Blackboard, so we’re considering the many options now available (including Blackboard, of course).

What would I have to do?

We want you to test, or sandbox, the Learning Management Systems under review. That will mean using the LMSs as faculty, as students, as someone who wants to learn how and how well each LMS does what you need it to do.

Will I be compensated?

Excellent  question. A full-time faculty member can receive two (2) service credits under 4.06: Bb Faculty Advance Preview Group.  As a participant in sandboxes (“fake” test courses) for each LMS, faculty will:

  • assess functionality
  • fill out rubrics as part of assessing that functionality
  • connect with and discuss the potential LMSs with colleagues

An adjunct faculty member can receive three (3) stipend credits. Contact Andy Pegman to confirm participation.

Sounds great. What do I need to do so I can play in a sandbox?

Respond to the person who contacted you. If you reply by email, please copy Pat Stansberry at patrick.stansberry@tri-c.edu.

I’d like to know more. Where can I get a big picture view of the project?

Simple. Check out the brief video linked here and below, and go to the LMS Review blog at http://elearningandinnovation.com/lms-review/

Video link for LMS Review update video

Update: Blackboard Stays or Goes? & Profile Pics Coming Next Week

Two important messages from eLi:

  1. LMS Review Update
  2. Profile Pics Coming Next Week

LMS Review Update:

Profile Pics Coming Next Week:

What does it look like?  Check out the example below from a discussion board post (from my fantastic students at Kent State University!)

profile pic example

Questions?  You can always contact me through the blog! – Sasha

New Next Week – Profile Pics aka “Avatars”

Next week, “Avatars” will be enabled in Blackboard.  “Avatars” are simply Blackboard’s fancy name for profile picture.  Students and faculty will be able to upload photos of themselves that will be seen on discussion forums.  Enabling this functionality within Blackboard can increase student engagement – shown to impact student success and academic achievement, which is what we’re all about!

On Monday, October 27, this functionality will be enabled.  It is entirely voluntary to use this feature.  You will find the below disclaimer in several locations, including on the Blackboard Tab.

You can now add a profile picture or “avatar”.   This profile picture will help your fellow students and instructors get to know you.

Profile pictures (or “avatars”) will be utilized by your instructor to identify you, ensure proper student enrollment, and to comply with the legal financial aid attendance guidelines. Any inappropriate picture uploaded/inserted will be removed. The use of inappropriate pictures is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and will be grounds for disciplinary action. Students and faculty can report inappropriate pictures to their respective campus’ Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

Uploading your pic (or “avatar”) requires just a few clicks.  We are strongly recommending resizing pictures using these directions.

Questions?  Contact us or reply to this post! – Sasha

cuyahoga community college

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