Monday, April 11, 2011

KCTCS Peer Team Retreat

I attended the KCTCS Distance Learning Peer Team retreat/meeting last week and brought back a number of announcements...

  • KCTCS Transformations hold real changes for developmental studies.  You will hear more about this if you attend New Horizons this Spring. Expect to see growth in KCTCS Learn on Demand for developmental students with MAT 055 and MAT 065 coming as early as Fall.
  • The Department of Education has recommended changes for how online instructors determine student attendance.  In the old definition, a student attended if they entered the Bb course shell; the new definition requires student to interact with this course.  No action is needed for Spring but in the FAll expect new procedures for reporting last date of attendance.  This all has to do with R2T4 compliance.
  • The Center for Rural Development  has made significant changes to improve Bb reliability, adding "fiber channel adapters" and more and faster servers. Hopefully, this will resolve the access problems that plagued us last Fall.
  • Bb will be putting out upgrades on a regular basis (every 6 weeks). KCTCS will not be upgrading each time. Instead the Peer Team will evaluate the upgrades to determine system viability. Whenever possible, I will include DLAC in these evaluations. For now we are sticking with SP3.
  • Bb has purchased Wimba and Elluminate. These products will be rebundled into Bb Collaborate.
  • Bb has also purchased Presidium, which provides Bb Tech Support.  Read more about this here.
  • KCTCS has made arrangements with Pearson to provide immediate access to MyLab courseshells at the start of the semester; students will still have to pay but will be given a grace period.

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