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June 17, 2010 / dlitgroup

DLIT Weekly Updates – June 18

The following items are updates from the Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Department for the week ending on Friday, June 18th.

  • Georgetown University – Szymon Machajewski developed our custom photo roster in Blackboard.  He has share this Building Block with Georgetown University.  As a side note: Georgetown is already on production with Blackboard 9.1.
  • Starfish Early Alert – Szymon Machajewski, John Cowles, and Eric Kunnen conducted an online meeting with Starfish Inc. to review the training that is planned on June 21st with the counselors. A pilot is beginning in the 2nd session of summer. Eric Kunnen and Szymon Machajewski reviewed, tested, and evaluated the system to ensure training was ready.
  • GVSU & GRCC Blackboard Lunch – Szymon Machajewski, Eric Kunnen, and Garry Brand met with Kim Kenward and Katie Clark from GVSU. We had the opportunity to compare notes and share best practices. GVSU upgraded to Bb 9 last Fall and they shared many strategies with us as we work to implement Blackboard 9.1 this Fall at GRCC.
  • Space Planning – Eric Kunnen met with Patti Trepkowski, Laurie Foster, Ric Underhile, Liz McCormick, and Moss Ingram to discuss future plans for 316M, 351M, and 347M. A dedicated faculty professional development lab has been requested for 351M with dedicated workstations (16) being ordered and supported through Peggy Gorno from IT.
  • DL Online Course Development Process – Garry Brand, Eric Kunnen, Laurie Foster, and Bill Faber met to discuss streamlining the process for course development and approval. A draft suggestion is being authored to better connect online course development to existing course development and quality processes.
  • DL Reports – Bruce Morrison from institutional research prepared the following reports which show a 47% increase in enrollment growth from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010. In fact, the overall percentage of online courses (compared to all courses on campus) has also from from 4.9% in 2009 to 7.2% in 2010.

  • DLIT Web Page – The Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Web site has been updated, however, much work is yet to be done. The home page is available here: (Also, work is still in progress in moving the DLIT web site to the new Percussion cms.)
  • Blackboard Team Meeting and Bb 9.1 Upgrade – Work continues on the Blackboard 9.1 Upgrade. The upgrade page has been updated: and the next steps around the upgrade include communicating to leadership and the faculty around the planning and timeline. The Bb Team Meeting Minutes are located here. Szymon Machajewski presented the infrastructure plans around the Bb upgrade to Donovan Wallace, Erich Flynn, and Ed Walker.
  • Bb Mobile Learn for BlackBerry, iPhone, Droid – We tested the mobile features of a brand new offering from Blackboard that provides access to students and faculty to access their Blackboard courses easily from a BlackBerry or Android phone on the Sprint Network, along with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch on wifi. This is currently on our Bb 9.1 test system and after testing is complete, we plan to install this feature into production. Here are a couple of screen shots of the iPhone app connected to our Blackboard 9 test environment. What is notable here is that instructors can post announcements and reply to discussion board posts through the app, which wasn’t possible in the old Blackboard Sync iPhone app.

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