May 19, 2011

Blackboard: The time to Learn is now

by Erin Rosacker

Learn more

More Blackboard Learn (BbL) information, including tips, announcements and resources, is available on CELT's eLearning website. Or contact CELT's support team by phone (4-5357) or email.

Instructors are running out of time to make the switch from WebCT to Blackboard Learn. Iowa State will completely transition to Blackboard's new course management system at the end of next spring semester.

The WebCT system (Blackboard Vista) is being discontinued by the Blackboard company. ISU has been piloting the Blackboard Learn system on campus since last fall. CELT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) is offering several Blackboard Learn summer workshops, including an introductory overview and several hands-on sessions for beginners.

"Many instructors and course designers may be able to take advantage of extra time or lighter course loads in the summer months to transition their WebCT content to the Blackboard Learn system," said CELT director Steve Mickelson. "We've designed a series of short workshops to help make that transition as smooth as possible, especially for first-time users."

The workshops are being offered multiple times over the next four months. They are designed for beginners and can be taken independent of others in the series. The topics include:

  • Introduction to Blackboard Learn (one hour)
  • Organizing Course Content (one hour)
  • Developing Learning Activities (1.5 hours)
  • Grading Student Work (1.5 hours)
  • Communicating with Students (1.5 hours)

Attendees can bring their own course content to use during the workshops, or use the generic content provided. The workshops are free of charge, just register in advance.

In addition to the workshops, CELT offers online Blackboard Learn tutorials and one-on-one appointments. A Blackboard users group meets monthly to discuss teaching and learning topics, and is open to all instructors and course designers.