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August 24, 2011 / dlitgroup

Weekly Updates – August 26

The following updates are from the DLIT Department for the week ending August 26th.


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

  • miBUG Meeting Announced – Save the date for the Fall 2011 miBUG (Michigan Blackboard Users Group) Meeting on Friday, November 11.   The meeting will be hosted by Davenport University, in Grand Rapids, MI.
  • 9.1 SP6 Blackboard Support Forum – There were “all hands on deck” for a Service Pack 6 conference call hosted by Blackboard.  Topics discussed were known issues and course copy permission concerns.

    Eric Kunnen, Garry Brand, Meegan Lillis, Szymon Machajewski, and Mark Nordblom participating on a Bb SP6 conference call.

Department Action Projects

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

  • Project 1 – Extend DL Program
    • Orientation Letter Sent – Misty McClure emailed all DL students the orientation welcome letter for online students.
    • Blackboard Orientation – All students were enrolled into the Bb orientation site on Blackboard.
    • OHCC Final Presentations – Last Friday the OHCC final presentations were held.  Garry Brand and Meegan Lillis facilitated the session in 316M.  All participants in the session provided a presentation that demonstrated their development of a week of instruction tied to GRCC DL standards.
    • DL Faculty Email – All online certified instructors were emailed with highlights for the upcoming semester.  Highlights provided in this communication included: student orientation letter, Starfish Early Alert use, Blackboard IM for online office hours, Blackboard Connect for student communication, Testing Center information, and how to get help with Blackboard.
  • Project 2 – Enhance Classroom and Instructional Technologies
    • 351M Software Updates – The 351M lab wasn’t correctly updated with Blackboard IM or Relay software.  A request was sent to IT Help.
  • Project 3 – Extend Blackboard Learn, Content, Community
    • All Faculty Email, Back to School DLIT Blog Post, and Website – A new blog post was created to highlight Blackboard resources and help provided on the DLIT back to school web page ( See:  This was communicated to all faculty.
    • Bb Connect Short Code Enabled – The short code was enabled on Wednesday to provide true SMS messaging for the new Blackboard Connect functionality in Blackboard.  A text message was sent to all users with a mobile number in the system.
    • Blackboard IM Building Block Update – Mark Nordblom updated the Blackboard IM Building Block to remove references of Wimba Pronto in the tools area of courses.
    • Summer Technology Institute – The 6th Annual Summer Technology Institute was held this week with more than 45 faculty in attendance.  It was an outstanding event and a huge thank you goes out to the Center for Teaching Excellence for the logistics, the Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Department facilitators (Garry Brand, Meegan Lillis, Ann Alexander, Diane Sparks, Luann Keizer, and Tim Koets), and most especially the faculty attending the Summer Technology Institute.  This event was featured in GRCC Today (thanks to Ric Underhile) and a recap of each day is provided here:

Other Work within Your Department

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

  • Final Professional Development Session List – Garry Brand shared the final session list for DLIT sessions offered through the CTE with Penni Weninger.   Meegan Lillis also provided Lunch&Learn session information.
  • DIT Memberships Page – A memberships page was created to include EDUCAUSE, ETOM, ITC, MCCVLC, and SLOAN-C memberships:
  • Syllabus Template Update – Garry Brand and Meegan Lillis worked on the online and campus syllabus templates and updated them to include this language:”The IT Customer Support Team can assist with Blackboard, password resets, Novell and student e-mail accounts. Hours and other helpful information is at Students are encouraged to submit the Customer Support Form.”The latest versions of the templates (and some optional language for Blackboard) are at:

    An example of an html version of the template in the new website format (Drupal), can be found at:


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