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May 23, 2011 / dlitgroup

Weekly Updates – May 20

The following updates are from the DLIT Department for the week ending May 20th.


This area includes international, national, regional, state, and local activities.

  • ETOM Board Meeting – Higgins Lake Retreat is coming up and GRCC will be hosting the Fall Conference in October.
  • Online Community Meeting – Investigating a possible meeting between Davenport, GVSU, Calvin to have a dialogue about online teaching and learning.
  • EDUCAUSE Mobile Sprint – Eric Kunnen was recognized as a Twitter contributor during the mobile webinar series.  See:
    Mary Al-Saleh, Faculty, Mesa Community College
    Stephen diFilipo, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Cecil College
    Anne Driscoll, ETDL, George Mason University
    Diane Ernst, Nursing Faculty, Regis University
    Ann Doty, SunGard HE
    Stephen Landry, Chief Information Officer, Seton Hall University
    Robert McDonald, Associate Dean for Library Technologies and Digital Libraries
    Willie Miller, Librarian, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
    Mike Richichi, Director of Computing and Network Services, Drew University
    Eric Kunnen, Director of Distance Learning & Instructional Technologies, Grand Rapids Community College


This area includes College work related to teams and committees.

  • Reflection on Learn Labs in Sneden – Eric Kunnen and Ric Underhile attended a meeting at the Devos Campus to hear from faculty in regard to their reflection on their experiences teaching in the LearnLab style rooms at Sneden Hall.  The key questions discussed included:
    • Understand how the rooms worked for you and your students?
    • What were the positive aspects of teaching in the room?
    • What were the challenges to teaching in the room?
    • What would you like to see changed in the rooms?
    • How should your experiences influence design of classrooms and learning space in the future?
    • How do we introduce other faculty to what you have learned in these rooms?

School of Arts & Sciences, Student Affairs, Workforce Development, and Instructional Support & Interdisciplinary Studies.

This area includes participation in the above schools as a representative of DLIT.

College Action Projects

This area includes participation in any CAP work related to the college.

  • DL CAP Meeting – The task of writing a business plan is the focus of the team.  Each member of the team will be focusing on generating the narrative for specific sub section of the report.  Sections for early college enrollment and expanding accelerated courses will be included.

Department Action Projects

This area includes accomplishments or milestones regarding Departmental Action Project(s).

  • Project 1 – Extend DL Program
    • DL CAP Meeting – Notes in the section above.
    • OHCC – The OHCC is in week 2 with Tim Koets facilitating the face to face sessions and Garry Brand as the lead online facilitator.
  • Project 2 – Enhance Classroom and Instructional Technologies
    • LearnLab Recap – Eric Kunnen and Ric Underhile attended the faculty review meeting regarding the design of the LearnLab classrooms at Sneden Hall.  Additional notes located in section above.
  • Project 3 – Extend Blackboard Learn, Content, Community
    • bbStats Dashboard – A new dashboard view was added to the bbStats Building Block by Szymon Machajewski.
    • Bb Connect – Investigating the Blackboard Connect product to extend academic text messaging opportunities for faculty and students.
    • Blackboard Survey – Please see the links below for the extended Winter 2011 Blackboard survey results.  We survey faculty and students each semester on their use of Blackboard in teaching and learning.Key Highlights:STUDENTS
      N = 676
      * What modules are most useful: Faculty Absences, Important Notices, GRCC Events, Weekly Polls
      * Using Bb made the classes I am taking a better learning experience: 77% agree
      * It would improve my learning experience here at GRCC if more of my instructors would use Bb to deliver course materials: 92% yes
      * What advice would you give instructors: (Wordle words used most frequently: Grades, use, Blackboard, students, class, post, assignments)
      * Does GRCC provide adequate tech support for students? 96% yes
      * If GRCC offered more online/hybrid courses, from what department would you like to see courses: English, Computer Apps, Math, Business, Psychology, Social Sciences, Science, and Biology
      * What services have you used this semester that integrate with Bb: Bb Mobile Learn, Rave Wireless, Wimba Pronto, NBC Learn
      * What technology would be most useful to you in your studies: Lecture Capture and Podcasting, Text Messaging and Mobile, Live Online Lectures, Social Networking
      * Describe Bb in one word: (Wordle words used most frequently: Helpful, Useful, Convenient, Awesome, Easy, Efficient, Beneficial)
      Full report:    [Word Document]

      N = 232
      * 69% of faculty use Blackboard every day
      * Top Bb 9.1 advanced features used: Bb Content System, NBC Learn, Mashups, , Wimba Pronto, Blogs and Wikis
      * Top services used that integrate into Bb: Starfish Early Alert, NBC Learn, Wimba Pronto, Rave Wireless
      * Does GRCC provide adequate tech support for faculty: 92% yes
      * What emerging technologies would be most useful: Student Response Systems, Lecture Capture and Podcasting, Text Messaging, Live Online Lectures
      * It would improve the student learning experience if more instructors would use Bb to deliver course materials: 92% yes
      Full report:    [Word Document]

Other Work within Your Department

This area includes accomplishments or milestones within the department.

  • Instructional Designer/Technologist Interview – A recommendation for the selected candidate was submitted.
  • Enterprise Analyst Interview – This position will provide support for Blackboard and the focus will be on operationalizing the upgrade process, issue investigation, and workaround list as well as known issues.  Interviews were held and the recommended candidate will be put forward.
  • Web – DLIT web pages are being updated.  The goal is to improve delivery of information to faculty and students regarding instructional technologies and distance learning opportunities.    The inability to: 1) add inline graphics, 2) add embedded videos, and 3) access html code has been challenging in the process of fully transitioning our pages from the old web site to the new website.

Learning Plans/Evaluation Plans

This area contains information related to Learning Plans or Evaluation Plans.


Additional noteworthy items.


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