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June 18, 2012 / dlitgroup

Blackboard Connect Case Study Highlights GRCC

Grand Rapids Community College was recently highlighted in a case study on how GRCC uses Blackboard Connect.

Bb Connect was added to the Blackboard system in the Fall semester of 2011.  This tool provides a wide array of enhancements that improve faculty and student communication through email, text messages, and text-to-voice phone calls (including voicemails for unanswered calls).

With Bb Connect, faculty and organization site leaders in the Community System can:

  • Send critical messages quickly and easily.
  • Deliver timely, targeted, and relevant messages.
  • Extend communication beyond email and announcements.
  • Save time and effort by notifying either individual or multiple students.
  • Enhance student engagement and reach students quickly by sending messages via text and voice on the devices they prefer.
  • Promote active learning with automated alerts when course content, grades, assignments, etc. are updated.

Here is an excerpt from the white paper: “Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has facilities in several locations, and serves a large population of students with a wide variety of backgrounds and learning needs. To address the important issue of improved communication between increasingly ‘mobile’ students and faculty members, the institution added Blackboard Connect for Learn to their existing Blackboard Learn environment. With this new tool, instructors can deliver timely messages to students via text message, phone call and email, and students can opt in to receive those messages in the format they prefer, improving student engagement and achievement. According to Eric Kunnen, Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies at GRCC, “The system is streamlined for instructor efficiency. I think the ability for faculty to avoid getting bogged down in the details of communicating with students, but being able to send the students a message directly from their course, is very seamless and efficient. By offering this capability in an efficient way, more faculty members will use the system, and the effectiveness will increase as a result.””

I use Blackboard Connect to communicate with students in a way that works for them. I recently had a student who told me she didn’t have continuous access to e-mail, but she appreciated the phone calls and text reminders.
– Garret Brand, JD Professor, Business Law.

Interested in learning more about Bb Connect and using it in your course?  Check out the sample syllabus statements, tip sheets, and Powerpoint slides you can use in promoting this resource for students at:




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