Skip to content
July 27, 2011 / dlitgroup

Weekly Updates – July 27

The following updates are from the DLIT Department for the week ending July 27th.


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

  • Summary Post for BbWorld – Eric Kunnen authored a final summary post for the BbWorld conference.  This is available here:
  • BbWorld Daily Recap Video – Eric Kunnen was featured in the Day 3 recap video at BbWorld.  See:
  • DLIT BbWorld Presentation Available – Eric Kunnen, Szymon Machajewski, Garry Brand, and Bill Faber delivered a session at BbWorld with the session title: “Leveraging Academic Analytics in System Administration, Professional Development, and Course Improvement”.  The video recording of the session is now available here:
  • BbWorld Keynotes Available – The full video from the keynotes at Bb are available here and they are excellent and worth the time to review:
    • Michael Chasen, Ray Henderson and Kayvon Beykpour offered an overview of updates from the past year:–c
    • Steven Johnson delivered a keynote on “Where Good Ideas Come From” at BbWorld 2011:
    • Sir Ken Robinson delivers the BbWorld 2011 closing keynote discussing the “Learning Revolution” and how education can support the creativity in everyone:

Department Action Projects

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

  • Project 1 – Extend DL Program
    • New DL Information on DLIT Website – Nathan Schumacher and Penni Weninger have worked to make public the certified faculty for Distance Learning on the DLIT website.  This will provide more convenient access to Deans and Associate Deans as well as recognize the faculty that have achieved certification.  This page will also include approved online courses.  See:
    • GH 125 Course Review – GH 125, Intro to Health Care was reviewed for online development by the course review committee and feedback was provided to the course developer.
    • CO 155 Course Approval – CO155 was submitted as a new course to be offered online.  The Deans Council sub-committee approved this request.
    • Online Hybrid Certification Course – Meegan Lillis is participating in the current OHCC and supporting faculty at the optional Friday meetings. This week, participants are working on modifying their syllabus and Blackboard course for the online or hybrid environment.  There are 15 faculty enrolled in the OHCC course for this Summer.
    • HLC Substantive Change Application for Distance Delivery – Fiona Hert and Eric Kunnen met to discuss need for the HLC application for the new information security degree being implemented by the Computer Applications Department.  Additional information was requested and is being authored.
  • Project 2 – Enhance Classroom and Instructional Technologies
    • Summer Technology Institute Planning – In the ISIS project meeting, Penni Weninger, Meegan Lillis, Jose Mora, and Nathan Schumacher discussed planning for the institute.  Items discussed:  Postcards, Food, Door Prizes  The postcard will be modified to reflect the Center for Teaching Excellence and to graphically be in concert with an upcoming brochure to be created for the CTE.
    • Updates to DLIT Summer Tech Institute Website – Updates were made to the STI web page to reflect dates and registration.  See:
    • Faculty Professional Development – Ann Alexander, Garry Brand, Meegan Lillis, and Eric Kunnen will meet on Thursday to plan faculty sessions for the Fall semester that will be delivered through the CTE.
    • GRCC Digital Initiative – Meegan Lillis created an initial draft for a document that will be used to track the use of faculty that are involved in using the technology in the initiative.
  • Project 3 – Extend Blackboard Learn, Content, Community
    • Blackboard Team Meeting – Garry Brand, Meegan Lills, and Eric Kunnen met (Szymon Machajewski and Mark Nordblom are away on vacation) and discussed:
      • Strategies for training faculty on the new features.
      • Highlight resolved issues such as Discussion Board draft messages, course copy, etc.  With a full list at:
      • We need to adjust our assessment session to add the additional capability for the Auto-Submit for Timed Assessments feature.
      • Bb Drive – Testing during the meeting was completed on the integration between browsers and the Xythos Drive (to be known as Blackboard Drive).
      • Bb Connect – Testing during the meeting occurred to identify a few areas in which Bb Connect is not working correctly.  Eric will work with Szymon and Mark and Bb Support to identify and troubleshoot.  Discussion on how best to market Bb Connect to faculty.
    • Service Pack 6 Testing – DLIT (Garry Brand, Eric Kunnen, Meegan Lillis) for due diligence acceptance testing for SP6.  The upgrade will occur on August 1st beginning at 9PM.  This has been communicated to the campus via multiple channels such as email and GRCC Today.  It was also posted to the blog that feeds the Blackboard news, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
      • The following organizational details were communicated to the IT team:
        • Szymon, Mark, Jesse, and Eric will be spending Monday night, August 1st, on task to perform and work through the patch installation and Oracle upgrade.
        • Due diligence has been preformed with thorough testing of the SP6 patch for Bb.
        • Here are some highlights:
          1) Service Pack 6 contains over 250 fixes and addresses perhaps more importantly 10 issues that have been reported by GRCC faculty over the past year.
          2) Acceptance, functionality, and usability testing has been completed and verified on over 100 functional items.
          3) Confirmation of fixes to course copy permission errors that were reported by faculty last Winter and Spring.
          4) All Building Blocks have been evaluated and tested.
          5) Nearly 15 faculty/staff were involved in acceptance and testing of the patch on:  (Student views were also tested, including in the confirmation of course copy permissions.)
          6) No significant user interface changes are involved with this patch.  
        • Communication:
          1) A GRCC Today notice was posted.
          2) Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and GRCC Blog notices have gone out.
          3) A message is posted on the Blackboard portal.
          4) Faculty, Deans, Associate Deans, and Department ESPs have been emailed.
          5) A special targeted email was sent to faculty teaching online this summer.
          6) During the upgrade a message will be posted to indicate the downtime is in progress.
        • Training and Support:
          1) DLIT is finalizing and preparing training for new (opt-in) features that will be available to faculty in SP6.  These sessions will be targeted for the upcoming Summer Technology Institute as well as for the campus Learning Day and into the Fall semester.

          2) Self-Help Resources are also being added to the DLIT page.
          3) A back-to-school web page has also been prepared to promote the enhancements that have been put in place this summer: Thank you very much for your ongoing effort to enhance and improve Blackboard!  
    • F11 Course Creation Faculty Notification – The following email was sent to all faculty:
      • Dear Professor,According to our records you are assigned to teach a class in the Fall 2011 semester!

        As you may already be aware, just a reminder that the Blackboard system will be down for maintenance on August 1st beginning at 9PM.  The system is expected to be back online by 8AM Tuesday, August 2nd.

        Courses for the upcoming Fall semester will be available to faculty in Blackboard (based on instructor assignments in Peoplesoft) on Tuesday, August 2nd.  If you have questions or need assistance or support information for how to: copy your course, upload a syllabus, add faculty contact information, or in using the Blackboard grade center, check out the resources listed below!

        How to get help with using Blackboard:

        * Please send Technical Support, Problems, and Error Message Questions to: | IT Support
        * Please send How-To and General Questions to: | DLIT
        * Blackboard Self Help Resources are available at:
        * Training Opportunities are available through the Center for Teaching Excellence at:

        To provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding several enhancements and exciting new features that have been implemented over the summer, please visit the DLIT Back to School page at:

    • New Back to School DLIT Web Page – A new back to school web page was created by Eric Kunnen and Meegan Lillis that highlights improvements and changes over the summer related to Blackboard and instructional technologies. The page is available here:
    • New Rubrics DLIT Web Page – A new web page was created to host information related to new features in Blackboard and to serve as a potential repository for Rubric templates that instructors can use in Bb.  See:
    • Bb Connect Production Configuration – The system was configured on production and 5300+ mobile numbers were transferred from Rave Wireless to Bb Connect to pre-populate the service.  This system will provide faculty with the ability to send text messages and text-to-voice calls to students.
    • Wimba Pronto is now Blackboard IM – An upgrade occurred to Wimba Pronto on Monday.  This release of Blackboard Collaborate™ enterprise instant messaging, or Blackboard IM, provides the instant messaging capability for tutoring labs, live chat support for DLIT, online office hours, and staff communications campus wide.  This is the first release of Blackboard IM (formerly Wimba Pronto) focusing on improving overall usability and creating a consistent user experience for customers who are also using Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing capabilities.
      • Key features of this release include:
        • Unified collaboration window – Whiteboard, desktop sharing, and web tour collaboration functions are centralized in a “unified collaboration” window, where all shared content is displayed.
        • Instant launch of a web conference- Instructors can see their students and peers in Blackboard IM and immediately invite them to a provisioned web conferencing room. (GRCC is working to pilot Bb Collaborate in the Winter semester.)
        • Redesigned audio and video window – Single call button from the chat windows means no more separate buttons for audio and video.
        • Chat, call, conference “Quick Launch” buttons – Quickly start up a group chat, call or web conference, with the ability to select a single user, multiple users, contact groups, or entire courses to invite.
        • More information about the new Blackboard IM can be found here:

Other Work within Your Department

This area includes accomplishments, milestones, or comments from within the department.

  • Starfish Early Alert – A new Program Director of Counseling was hired and will be starting at the end of August.  This person will be assisting in coordinating and leading the direction and work for Early Alert along with support for the technology through IT.  Project coordination for this product is needed to best target functionality and to lead the implementation work.
  • Copyright and ADA – As online learning grows, the use of technology resources campus wide and the requirements rise regarding copyright and ADA, DLIT will need support for these areas in the training, awareness, and coordinating the work as it relates to technology and faculty/student support.
  • DLIT Dept Meetings – Meetings were setup for Eric Kunnen, Meegan Lillis, and Jose Mora every Monday into the future with the first meeting held on July 25.   These meetings will provide a weekly view of upcoming projects.  Discussed this wee was work for SP6 and Summer Technology Institute postcards and planning for upcoming training.
  • Faculty Development / Support Meeting – Meegan Lillis and Eric Kunnen met to discuss and layout plans for faculty development and support in preparation for meeting with Ann Alexander, Garry Brand, Tim Koets, Luann Keizer, and Diane Sparks.  Items discussed included sessions, live chat support through Bb IM, tutorials, tipsheets, minicarps, session outlines and pilots for Fall and Winter to include: Blackboard Drive, Bb Collaborate 11, McGraw-Hill and the GRCC Digital Initiative.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: