Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1/12 Peer Team Meeting

The KCTCS Distance Learning Peer Team met this afternoon.  You can see the full agenda here.  A couple items struck me as significant:
  • Blackboard has purchased Presidium, the company that KCTCS currently contracts with for Bb support.  Click here for more information.  Maybe this will mean better support for students and instructors needing Bb assistance?
  • The Online Barnes and Noble Bookstore (housed at Ashland) cotinues to make improvements.   Better commuucniation with KCTCS Financial Aid has reduced delays in processing vouchers.   B&N has a new facility at Ashland which is a significant difference and orders are going out much more quickly.  I know that on my end, I'm hearing fewer complaints about textbooks--but that doesn't mean I'm not hearing anything.  If you have students with difficulties getting textbooks, please let me know.
  • There was a System firewall was interrupting some Wimba functionality at the start of the semester; that has been fixed.
  • If a student is not in Bb but is in PeopleSoft, 99% of the time their PeopleSoft record is incorrect. . . so the fix is on the PS side.  Usually waiting a day until PS reloads info into Bb solves everything but ocassionally data in PS needs to be edited.  
  • Pearson Open Access Initiative. The idea here is seamless access to content--namely, the MyLab products offered by Pearson. The plan is to have Pearson provide students with days of free access to the materials at the start of the semester. Students have a period of time to purchase the materials and will lose access unless they pay.

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