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October 28, 2010 / dlitgroup

Weekly Updates – October 29

The following updates are from the DLIT department for the week ending October 29th.

  • Faculty Tickets – DLIT responded to over 60 faculty email, dropin, and phone calls occurred during the past week.  The majority of these requests were related to Blackboard. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]
  • Blackboard Tutorial Created – A new Blackboard journal tutorial was created.  This tutorial describes how to take advantage of the journal feature in Bb for self-reflective practice and for use as an assignment.  Here is the video: [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform]
  • Blackboard Executive Meeting – Time was spent in coordinating a campus meeting with Blackboard Inc. and our academic and administrative staff, including the CIO and Provost. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]
  • Blackboard Patch for Double Click Issue – A patch was installed and tested on our test environment for Blackboard.  After testing and working with Blackboard support, this patch will not be placed into production as an new issue was discovered that was caused by the patch.  A new patch will be coming from Bb support in the near future. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform]
  • ETOM Conference – DLIT participated in the ETOM Fall Conference.  A full report of this is available at: [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]
  • Blackboard Patch for 0 Bytes Issue – A patch was installed and tested on the Bb test environment related to group assignment file submissions being saved as 0 bytes.  Further testing is still needed to confirm this fixes this issue before placing this into production. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform]
  • Student Life Mock Election – Blackboard is currently being used for mock election.  More information about this is available here:
  • GRCC in the News – Campus Technology magazine and Seton Hall refer to GRCC’s Bb Building Block Photo roster in the following article:
  • GMAIL approved Single Sign On – In an IT meeting at the beginning of the week, the use of Blackboard as the college campus portal was mentioned.  Szymon Machajewski received approval for creating a SSO integration between Gmail and Blackboard and he has already programmed a demo.  In addition, a seamless Peoplesoft login process was created on the Blackboard test system. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform]
  • 351M is done! – GRCC’s first ever faculty professional development computer lab is finished. This will be an outstanding resource that will enable the CTE and DLIT to provide effective and efficient Blackboard and online/hybrid course training. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]

    351M Faculty Professional Development Computer Lab

  • Blackboard GUEST Connection Fix – Szymon Machajewski and DLIT installed and tested a fix to Blackboard to address the large number of guest connections that has been a problem since the semester start.
  • XID Blackboard Building Block SQL Support – Szymon Machajewski fixed the XID Building Block for a school in the Netherlands (ROC Midderland).  The community shared Building Block can now work on both Oracle and SQL-based Blackboard systems.
  • Issue with Starfish Early Alert – An issue with Starfish Early Alert occurred last Saturday.  This issue caused approximately 700 emails to go out to students that shouldn’t have been sent.  The emails were caused by the Blackboard test environment that was recently setup.  This issue was detected quickly and resolved on Saturday, howeve,r the emails had already gone out. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]
  • Blackboard McGraw-Hill Connect Integration Field Trial Evaluation Webinar – DLIT participated in a webinar to evaluate a new  McGraw Hill integration.  This integration will allow embedding in Bb the “Create” and “Connect” McGraw-Hill products that provide a create your own textbook concept and also provide a direct connection to assignments/assessment in the “Connect” system, respectively.  There is also single sign-on and gradebook integration from the “Connect” product directly into the Blackboard Grade Center.  This call was with Valencia Community College, University of Saskatchewan, Bucknell, and several others. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]
  • Pharos Testing – GRCC will be testing an integration between the Blackboard Transact system for printing and the Pharos system which is a system for managing printers on campus.
  • Project ASTRO – This $25,000 Blackboard Greenhouse Grant Project was created by GRCC and Seneca College. The product has been downloaded by over 230 institutions. Here is a map of the locations that have downloaded the Building Block:
  • Blackboard Scholar Building Block Issue – An issue was identified and reported to Blackboard support regarding the Scholar feature with provides social bookmarking in Bb.
  • MCCVLC Updates – Misty McClure uploaded GRCC’s Winter/Spring 2011 courses to the MCCVLC. [Linked to DL CAP]
  • Calvin’s Teaching Learning Technology Showcase – DLIT participated in Calvin College’s showcase event.  There were interesting sessions on Wimba Classroom, clickers, and Google Apps.
  • Capacity Study Documentation and Report – Eric Kunnen is working on creating a capacity study and report to identify faculty expectations, workload, and the staff to support the work of the DLIT department. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]
  • Wikis, Blogs, and Journals Blackboard Session – DLIT delivered a session in the brand new computer lab in 351M on the topic of leveraging social media tools like blogs and wikis in Blackboard. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform]
  • Instruction sheet for 351M – Eric Kunnen and Garry Brand authored a procedure checklist for starting and ending a session in the new 351M computer lab.
  • Freeware Project Invitation – The following invitation was sent out to all online/hybrid instructors.  5 faculty are interested in participating in this FIPSE grant.  This project will require coordination. If we join this project, they will provide a grant-funded instructional designer to assist in the organization and/or implementation of the courseware into Blackboard during the project. [Linked to Extending Bb Learn Platform and DL CAP]

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