Here are some highlights from today's KCTCS Distance Learning Peer Team Meeting. . .
College Visits. Sandy Cook will be paying BCTC a visit on April 15. Sandy will be on hand to answer any questions/concerns you have about the state of online learning at KCTCS.
Spring Retreat. April 6-8 in Gateway. Ben will be meeting with the other online learning directors from across the system. Be sure to share with Ben any concerns you have about online learning and Blackboard.
Spring Bb Start. "Very, very rough start." Indeed. Main issues. . . (1) There are course removal issues including problems with deleting items from tests and surveys. The bulk delete is also not working. (2) Problems with course copies and broken links have also been identified. Fixes are in the works. Improvements were reported in service from the 24/7 Helpdesk (provided by Presidium) as well as fast turn around time for the bookstore (textbooks).
Proctored Exams. A reminder that BW classes (online and open across the entire system) should be limited to no more than two proctored exams per semester. For most classes, I think one is sufficient. Also, the exams should be submitted online (typically in Blackboard)--no faxing or scanning students notes, etc. I think this is a reasonable request for BW classes. It's another thing if we're talking about online classes offered locally. I also learned about Tegrity's test proctoring service which allows for webcams to monitor students. Tegrity is better know for lecture capturing. It's $$$. You can learn more about proctoring here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD57jjCpAWc
Pearson's MyLabs. More plans are afoot for Pearson's MyLab to be initially avaialable to all KCTC students for a few weeks at the start of the semester. This will give students time to pay for access while not interrupting that service. I also heard about MyLabs Plus, a more robust version of MyLab. There's also talk about making SoftChalk and Wimba Pronto more accessible to instructors, i.e. automatically available on workstations.
Transformation Papers. This will be a major topic for the Spring Retreat in April. I will be sure to gather feedback via the Distance Learning Advisory Committee.