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March 7, 2012 / dlitgroup

Going GREEN for Spring… with Blackboard!

Brian Morgan is an Assistant Professor at Marshall University and a member of the Ask Dr. C Blackboard Program.  He shares some great thoughts about going green with Blackboard in a blog post.  This inspired us to create a post also!

At GRCC, the Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Department is focused on encouraging and promoting the use of “green” technologies.

Here are just a few ways that you can use technology such as Blackboard to reduce your carbon footprint and to create instruction that is sustainable, conserves resources, reduces waste, and overall minimizes the impact on the environment.

Existing Practice Green Technology Solution
Printing handouts, course materials, syllabi, etc. for distribution in class. Use Blackboard to post your syllabus, handouts, and course materials rather than printing them out or selling them through the bookstore.

  • There is the potential for reducing paper costs, staff time, landfill, energy, water, C02, ink, etc. if all instructors simply posted their syllabus electronically.
  • You also don’t have to waste time in the classroom handing things out, photocopying things, etc.
Requiring students to write a paper or complete an assignment and then print it out to hand it in to you. Use Blackboard’s assignment tool to have student submit their assignment to you electronically. You can also grade the assignment electronically (and write on it with a Tablet PC) instead of printing it out and returning it to the student.

  • No more lost or late work!
Requiring students to drive to campus for office hours.  Or having staff drive to a meeting on another campus. Use Blackboard IM for online office hours or meetings so that students and staff don’t have to drive to campus to meet with you. Bb IM can be used for video/audio conferencing, text chat, and application sharing.

  • There is an added bonus here, because Bb IM servers are powered by green electricity credits!
Face to face classes. Consider teaching your class online or in a reduced seat time hybrid modality so that you don’t have to drive to campus… and your students also don’t have to drive to campus.

  • There is a potential added bonus here because students will spend less time waiting (with their car idling) to enter the parking ramp on busy days.
Printing documents for departmental or staff meetings. Use email, the campus network, or even a Blackboard organization site to store, share, and collaborate on files.
Printing the gradebook for records and to share results with students. Use Blackboard so that students can check their grade at anytime, and also you can download your gradebook and save it electronically to the campus network for long term and secure storage.
Students driving separately into campus for class. Students can sign up for Greenride through Blackboard to easily find other students to car pool and share a ride with.

Read more ideas from Brian Morgan at Marshall University here!  Let us know how we can help you help the environment too!  Post a comment or send us a note at: dlit@grcc.edu

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