From the Director’s Desk – Winter 2013

Winter - TreeMy, how time flies when you’re having fun! The start of the Winter term has come and gone and here we are more than week into classes. We’re running just a little behind with this newsletter edition, largely due to an extended transition from our previous 24/7 help desk vendor to our new partner, Blackboard Student Services.  We are so happy to announce that as of November 6, we are back up and running with full 24/7 Blackboard support for all our students. Students having trouble with Blackboard can call at 866-547-9192 or visit http://bbhelp.wbu.edu.

It’s been a busy fall, as always.  I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Texas Blackboard Users Group (TBUG) Meeting in San Antonio, where a sizable contingent of instructors, administrators and designers gather to share their successes and struggles with Blackboard. The best part of a meeting like this is the chance to learn you’re not alone!  This year, being in San Antonio, we also had several faculty and adjuncts from our Wayland San Antonio campus attend.  As the Director of the Virtual Campus, I often feel a little too virtual so it was very nice to move our interactions out of the inbox and meet face-to-face.

So, here’s my word of thanks to all who where able to come out at join us:
Linda Flores, David Maltsberger, Tim Parker, Charlene Smith, David Stamper, James Todd, Trish Trifilo, Charles Whitehead, and Ellen Walroth.

Another great advantage of gathering with fellow online instructors is that you accumulate some great new ideas to renovate your online course.  There’s no shortage of new tools becoming available in Blackboard.  Later in the this newsletter, we’re announcing some of these of new features that we’ve been rolling out.

Keep in mind that there are a number of places online instructors can go for more help in using all these features in Blackboard:

  1. Wayland’s Faculty Resource Site: Check out a whole series of just-in-time resources compiled by our own Dr. Trish Trifilo.
  2. VC Toolbox:  All of Wayland’s online instructors are enrolled in a course in Blackboard called the VC Toolbox. There is a lot of good information there about Blackboard and our Effective Design Initiative.
  3. Blackboard Help: Go straight to the source with the Blackboard help site.
  4. On Demand Videos: Blackboard also has an extensive library of videos to explore the new learning tools.

As always, when you run into trouble or need help, be sure to let us know.  We’re standing by to assist you at vcsupport@wbu.edu.

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