OU Expands Blackboard LMS PlatformPosted by cservaes on July 19, 2013 in "Academic Programs" Originally used as the learning management system (LMS) for online courses only, OU’s Blackboard LMS is now utilized by approximately 80 percent of Adult and Professional Studies (APS) and College on-ground undergraduate courses, as well. The primary uses are for accessing the course syllabus and submitting/collecting assignments. Additional uses are the discussion forums and course materials. There are a number of reasons for the increase in use, including the addition of hybrid and MyChoice course options (see page 3), increased functionality within the LMS platform and wider student and faculty training regarding its capabilities. Since first highlighting Blackboard’s features in the 2010 Annual Report (www.ottawa.edu/About-Us/Communications/Annual-Report), a number of improvements have been made to the LMS to benefit both students and faculty.
• Free technical support, 24/7/365 • Free online, 24/7 tutoring in a variety of subjects using NetTutor • Addition of VoiceThread in some online courses, which allows students to interact via voice and video in discussion forums • Addition of LateNite Labs in some online science courses • Addition of instant messaging system known as BB IM, which allows students to text chat with instructors and fellow students in real time without exchanging user information • Vastly expanded training calendar for students and instructors, with such topics as Blackboard Grade Book Tips and Tricks, Myers Library Online Resources, and SafeAssign and Plagiarism Prevention • New self-paced APOS New Student Orientation course that students are automatically enrolled in upon acceptance to OU • Opening of courses in Blackboard two days before the start of each term to allow students time to become familiar with the LMS • Indefinite availability of Blackboard course files, which gives students access to prior work helpful in completing their capstone course and creating e-portfolios Coming soon to Blackboard: • University-wide Virtual Office Hours System to allow instructors to interact with students in real time via voice, video or text chat • On-demand web conferencing for facilitating student/instructor presentations, lecture recording, white boarding, virtual breakout rooms, collaboration spaces, and more • Simulations in OU’s new nursing program • Comprehensive E-portfolios • Community Engagement System, which provides a virtual space where students can interact outside of the constraints of their courses, i.e. for clubs and organizations to “meet,” post announcements, etc. • Notification System, allowing students and instructors to receive an email message when certain events take place, such as assignments submitted/graded, course materials added, etc.