Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bb SP8 Training: Asynchronous

For those of you unable to attend the May 4 Workshop, I am making available a number of sources on Blackboard Service Pack 8:


Please see the information below concerning a FREE course involving “Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success”. 

This is a FREE 5-Week course and involves the new MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) that is gaining popularity at many colleges and universities.

Please consider enrolling in this wonderful and FREE opportunity to learn more about motivation, retention, engaging and diversity issues of online learners.

Friday, April 20, 2012


As part of a large grant to support Learn on Demand, the system office entered into a short term contract with a tutoring service called Brainfuse.  KCTCS is, essentially, piloting this for the next year, and the service is available to all students on Blackboard.

Brainfuse provides asynchronous as well as live tutoring support.  They also offer tutorials, flashcards and other kinds of study aids covering a wide array of disciplines.  More information is available here:

Any of us can add a link to Brainfuse in our Blackboard course shells.  It is available in the “Tools” area.  Insert a link in the Course Menu by pressing: + / Create Tool Link / Brainfuse Help Now SSO.  Insert a link in a folder, by clicking Add Interactive Tool / Brainfuse.  The tutorial below illustrates how to do this:

Since this service is free, I encourage you to provide this link to your students.  If you get any feedback from students, be sure to pass it along to me.  You can also offer feedback by replying to this post.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 KCTCS Distance Learning Peer Team

The 2012 KCTCS Distance Learning Peer Team meeting concluded today in Somerset.  It was a sad farewell to Bill Wade, WKCTC Distance Learning director who was real pioneer in online learning.

My notes from the meeting are linked below...


Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring 2012 Workshop Announcement

Here is the text of the announcement of the Spring 2012 Workshop.  This was sent out on the BCTC Faculty Distribution list on Friday, May 13:

I am writing to invite you to the 2012 Distance Learning Workshop, scheduled for Friday, May 4 (the final Friday of Finals Week) in the M-Building on the Leestown Campus.  Our focus this year is Blackboard Service Pack 8, which will roll out on the weekend of May 19.  Blackboard will be getting an exciting new facelift; come and learn about all that Bb can do you for.

I want to stress that this event is not just for online instructors.  All of us---whether we teach online or on ground—can benefit from what Blackboard offers.  Starting in the Fall semester, all classes will store course syllabi in Blackboard.  But there’s so much more to Blackboard than file storage.  It can manage your gradebook, facilitate out-of-class discussions, and administer quizzes and tests.

Additional information about the Workshop is provided in the link below:

New this year is an Open Lab.  We ran one successfully during the February Changing Classroom Cultures conference.  The Open Lab allows instructors to work on their Blackboard Course shells with eMentors at the ready to assist and answer questions.

Register for the Workshop here:

Lunch is provided.  Please register by Tuesday, May 1 so we can have an accurate head count.  The Workshop is open to all BCTC faculty, full-time and part-time alike.

Note: This email is archived on my Distance Learning Blog (see link in the signature below).  Links to the Workshop appear on the Distance Learning Web site (see link at the very bottom).

See you May 4 at Leestown.  Coffee and bagels at 8.  First session starts at 8:30!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Summer I Faculty Announcement

I sent the annoucement linked below today to Summer I BCTC Faculty.  It includes tips about how to get ready for Bb SP:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bb SP8 Training Opportunities

eLearning Services will be installing Service Pack 8 the weekend of May 18. To help you prepare, we are offering 3 regional sessions in April showcasing the enhancements and improvements.

This isn't a brand new Blackboard, it just got a make-over, new outfit and manicure. Many of the items are "see what is new" or "see what it does now" types of changes so we will begin with a show and tell session of what's new. You will then have the opportunity for some hands-on if you are interested.

What's new/show-and-tell
This session will repeat approximately every 30 minutes from 10am - Noon.

During the afternoon from 1pm - 3pm stop by the computer lab to get a first-hand look and try out sp8. eLearning Services will be on hand to answer any questions.

We hope this flexible schedule will allow more faculty and staff from across the state to join us and get excited about Blackboard sp8.

April 16, 2012 (incorrect date sent in first email)
Registration: email gwyn.sutherland@kctcs.edu

April 24, 2012
Registration: email melissa.hunter@kctcs.edu

April 26, 2012
Registration: email tim.trice@kctcs.edu