Where has the time gone? I can hardly believe that it has been almost a full year since I took the position of Director, but on November 16, I will “celebrate” my one year anniversary. Maybe the old adage holds true, “Time flies when you’re having fun!
As the Winter 2012 term approaches, I’d like to take just a brief moment to let you know about some exciting things that have been happening within the Virtual Campus.
The month of October was a busy travel month for several of our staff. Mrs. Jennifer Brown, Dr. Trish Trifilo and I all traveled to Killeen, TX to participate in the Texas Blackboard Users Group (T-BUG). We were all able to give presentations on teaching and learning technologies.
Mrs. Brown’s presentation covered using Folders, Lesson Plans and Learning Modules to organize your course. Dr. Trifilo gave an in-depth pre-conference workshop on “Finding our way through Blackboard Testing tools and Grade Center” and presented a talk on using Blackboard Collaborate. I had the opportunity to present to a room of system admins and directors on using a new analytics tool, Advanced System Reporting. In addition to all of the great presentations, this meeting also allows Distance Learning leaders to sit down with representatives from Blackboard’s various services and discuss the future of those tools and the impact on each of our schools.
I’m also very proud to announce that Mrs. Brown, our Instructional Assessment Coordinator, was elected to serve as the Secretary for the T-BUG Board for the upcoming year, while Dr. Trifilo will serve her second term as President. l will also have the opportunity to serve has a representative on the board for Management.
Just shortly after our return from Killeen, Dr. Trifilo and I were able to attend the Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA) Leadership Meeting in Austin, TX. This is the largest regional group of the US Distance Learning Association (USDLA). Probably the most exciting outcome from that meeting was the “Oscar” for Best Actress that our own Dr. Trifilo won for her performance in a team building activity in which various groups wrote, filmed and produced their own short film. I hope to post her flick to the blog soon! But more seriously, Wayland is using these meetings to strengthen our own online programs by cooperating with other schools and learning together what makes a successful online program.
Before I wrap this up, there are a couple of announcements you should be aware of. First of all, if you haven’t taken the time to do so yet, please log in to the Instructor Portal and view your EDI reviews for the previous Fall 2012 term. If you don’t have one there and you taught in the Fall, that means your course has passed the EDI rubric within the last year. Thanks to all of you that have taken those reviews and used them to improve your online courses. We are seeing the signs of continued improvement and are grateful for all your hard work.
Last of all, I just you to keep your eyes open for announcement that will be coming out soon about an online webinar schedule where our Distance Learning Specialist will be leading a series of trainings. These trainings will cover various tools within Blackboard and how to use those technologies to improve the learning opportunities for your students.
Dr. Scott R. Franklin
Director of the Virtual Campus
Wayland Baptist University