Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Distance and Distributed Learning Committee
September 18, 2008 10am – 3:00pm
I. Call to order
Kim Blosser called to order the regular meeting of the DDLC at 10:00am on September 18, 2008 at PVCC in
II. Roll call
Kim Blosser conducted a roll call with some attending at PVCC and others connected through Adobe Connect meeting. The following members attended in person: Kim Blosser, David Carter-Tod, Jaime Shetrone, Derek Cooper, Jennifer Lerner, Adam Bryant (for Linda Claussen), Jan Klingberg, Marian Macbeth, Ashley Leslie, Colleen Bishop, Joan Osborne, Bill Hightower, Mike Williams, Ramona Coveny, Diane Tucker.
Special Guests attending in person: Donna Jovanovich, Marcia Harrington, and CJ Bracken.
Members attending via Adobe Connect: Susan Beasley, Ken Fairbanks, Leslie Smith, Bill Dey, Charles Boling, Susan Kennedy, Sheila Hobbs, Mark Nelson, Paul Weitzel.
Action Item 1-6
Election of 2008-09 DDLC Chairperson:
Kim Blosser was elected chairperson.
Election of 2008-09 DDLC NoteTaker:
Ramona Coveny was elected notetaker.
Election of 2008-09 DDLC Site Administrator:
Joan Osborne was elected site administrator.
Approval of Minutes:
Kim Blosser reviewed the minutes from the last meeting. The minutes were approved with one minor change.
Review/Approval of dates for DDLC meetings for 2008-09:
November 13, 2008 (eMeeting and phone conference) 9:00-11:30am
February 5, 2009 (eMeeting and phone conference)
* a request was made to have an in-person meeting (with phone conference). We will address this after the extent of the budget cut is known.
April 2, 2009 (New Horizons conference)
Chair’s suggested changes to term of membership/election process:
Kim will send items for considerations before the next meeting as to changes in the term of electoral officers and the election process.
III. Open Items
a) Action Item 7: Full committee review and approval of Best Practices for eLearning document
The Best Practices for eLearning document will be a dynamic document. It was noted that the section Online Delivery Standards (pg 8) could include content about secure login and best practices for design and integrity for students and faculty. The discussion about section Placement Testing and Advising clarified Compass testing being available at each VCCS institution. Students who take the Compass testing at a college will abide by the requirements of that institution even though they are enrolled at another VCCS institution (i.e. cost for Compass testing).
The motion was made to submit the Best Practices for eLearning document to the next ASAC meeting. The motion was approved by the committee.
b) Discussion Item 1: Focus on Student Success (Bill Hightower, Donna Jovanovich, Marcia Harrington)
Bill Hightower presented information from the system office. The VCCS Policy Manual sections 5 and 6 are being reviewed for student success. Some of the items mentioned in these sections were distance learning course peer review and academic advising online with a possible target for developmental and distance learning. Donna Jovanovich and Marcia Harrington presented on student success and told the committee that would receive corrected assessment data previously provided. The Chancellor’s Retreat document is available online.
c) Discussion Item 2: Blackboard
David Carter-Tod reported that the upgrade to Blackboard is on track with a proposed date for the upgrade of December 20 (which has since been changed to January 2, 2009 after the ASAC meeting). The BB8 test server Explore will be upgraded with the latest patches as soon as possible. MAESTRO (a video/audio software used at NOVA for foreign language) has a building block available for Blackboard. The order for installing BB building blocks will be reviewed at the next meeting. A sub-group may be formed to evaluate SIS and Blackboard integration so that students will be removed from Blackboard as they are in SIS when the student changes or drops a class. The SSL restriction cannot be removed until more colleges test and validate.
d) Information Item 1: Update on 2008-09 CEED Grant process
A new third track has been added to the CEED Grant process. The third track will target developmental, adult education, CTE, student advisement, and workforce development. The awards can be multi-year awards from $100,000 to $50,000. An institution can be a lead in two projects and additionally be non-lead participants in two projects. The RFPs are due in October and the awards are announced in November 2008.
e) Information Item 2: Deployment of Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) for every VCCS distance learning courses.
SREB has been given the information for all VCCS distance learning courses so they will be automatically updated from the SIS to the SREB website. Students who find a distance learning course on the SREB site will enroll through the offering college.
f) Information Item 3: Google Apps
Google Apps has been deployed successfully for faculty and student use. David Carter-Tod informed the committee that there is a free trial available for Google Video in a six-month pilot. Continued use of Google Video with 3GB of storage is $10 yearly.
A sub-group will be created to prepare Google Apps training materials which will posted on the VCCS Google Apps site.
g) Information Item 4: Availability of Course Content – Get Ready for A&P
A purchasing agreement with Pearson Publishing will allow VCCS faculty to have access to course content in A&P through a Blackboard course module called Get Ready for A&P. While the target audience is Allied Health, there are other content modules within the course that may be used outside of this curriculum. There are lessons, activities, practice, and assessments on Study Skills areas, developmental reading, and math that may be useful to many students. Have your Blackboard administrator contact Inez Farrell to use the content.
h) Information Item 5: TOP (Teaching Online Program), VFLA, and the life cycle of a CEED
This 3-credit graduate class (EDU 295) had impressive enrollments for the first offerings. More classes will be offered during Fall semester. The SO is working towards obtaining graduate credit for this class through VPI and/or ODU. Another successful CEED grant is VFLA (Virtual Foreign Language Group at NOVA), a collaborative effort using WIMBA.
i) Information Item 6: Security of Publisher Websites
The committee discussed possible issues with publisher websites where the course supporting materials are housed on the publishers’ website and not through Blackboard. The committee recommended that the concerns about grades and FERPA be taken to either the ASAC educational technology subcommittee or the Technology Council meeting on September 30.
j) Information Item 7: Wimba Classroom pilot project
LFCC asked if there were any colleges interested in partnering with them in the Wimba Classroom pilot project as they wish to continue it for another year.
IV. New business
There was no new business.
Kim Blosser adjourned the meeting at 3:00 pm on September 18, 2008.
Minutes submitted by: Ramona Coveny
Minutes approved by:
Thursday, June 05, 2008
As of this fall, Blackboard course shells will be automatically created for ALL academic courses!
- ALL courses in SIS on or before June 3, 2008 now have shells in Blackboard.
- All instructors that were assigned a course in SIS on or before June 3, 2008 now have access to their course shells.
- These courses are set to be "unavailable" to students, BUT not the instructors.
The next upload of instructors will be on Friday July 11, 2008.
- Instructors will be batch uploaded each Friday before 2:00pm.
- The course request form should only be used when a new courses is added to SIS.
- The request form will NOT open again until July 5, 2008.
- Do NOT use the request form without checking Blackboard first.
If you are new to Blackboard you will need to attend training on Blackboard.
- Training dates/times http://community.tncc.edu/faculty/klingberg/TNCC/_registration.htm or contact Jan Klingberg for more information about training.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Blue - My additional comments
- Blackboard Production is now optionally available via SSL. Please continue to test and report any issues.
- We will look into enabling WebDAV for a subset of users to test if that is technically possible, but we are not sure it is.
- There was reported an interaction between SafeAssign and SSL. Kristen Kelly has the details.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Dr. Farrell has created a short and simple form called “Taking Blackboard’s Pulse”. When faculty face a problem that is frustrating but not quite of the Issue Track variety, they can quickly fill out and submit this form by clicking the link below. In this fashion, she can see issues as they develop and either contact the college Bb admin for follow up for more information (such that an Issue Track would need) or directly alert ITS to the number and frequency of the anomalies. Faculty can also see what is happening across the state. Faculty, learning center and helpdesk personnel are encouraged to fill out this form when they meet a difficulty they do not consider Issue Track worthy.
Link for "Taking Blackboard's Pulse":
A new module has been added to the TNCC tab: Where Am I?
The Where Am I? modules tells you what server you are connected to for reporting problems. In the example above the server would be utbc01b02. Clicking on the Switch hyperlink will allow you to disconnect from a "sluggish" server (it kills the load balancer cookie), meaning that you stand a good chance of being assigned to a new app server.
Jan and I are also still filing Issue Track's as you report problem to us, but in order to fill out an Issue Track (system office) we need:
- the server you are on
- the date and time
- the activity you were doing
Other useful information is
- your browser (IE 6, IE 7, Mozilla)
- your operating system (OS 10, Vista, Win XP)
- your service provider
- screen shots of the error message (if applicable)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Blue - My additional comments
Did not attend:
- No-copy/no-print script issues
Please see the thread on VCCS discuss. We will put these in one spot that is accessible to faculty.
- Where is the Quick Enroll bookmarklet?http://learn.vccs.edu/bbcswebdav/users/wccartd/pub/quickEnroll.html
- Include some information on building blocks and order of priority
Our first priority is 7.3 sp1, but after that we will begin to focus on building blocks. In order, these are:
- SafeAssign – free replacement for Turnitin
- Respondus Lockdown Browser
- Some tests are not copying
Please file a ticket
We are working with Blackboard consulting to implement SSL. We will test the impact of this before any production implementation, and run SSL in parallel to regular access before any switchover.
- Discussion board performance is still an issue
SP1 will hopefully resolve some of this.
- Future schedule for audio-conferences
The consensus during the call was that we could shift to an every other week schedule from now on. The next call will be on 2/12/2008.
Blue - My additional comments
- When will Bb6 go down?
Close of business on Friday, January 25.
This was done. We do have the backup archives.
- Self-assessments problem – hiding the grade from the gradebook
There is a combination of checkboxes that if the instructor is not careful, will prevent them from seeing student grades. There is no simple resolution to this at this time.
- Some reports of slow-loading graphics and in faculty courses
Please see the threads on troubleshooting Blackboard in VCCS Discuss.
- Some HTML is disabled by Blackboard
Yes. BB 7.x is very assertive about not allowing potentially harmful HTML through its filters.
- What are the best options on no-print/no-copy?
Please see thread on VCCS Discuss.
The Princeton code is an evolution of David Carter-Tod's original code (bb6) with a forced submit of tests.
Implementing this code is best done by placing in the instructions of the test with the WYSIWYG editor turned off. Even if you do implement this code, there are risks (see the caveats on the Princeton page), particularly with essay questions, and no-one would claim that these make tests completely secure.
They don't deter the determined.
- What is the Building blocks schedule – e.g. Classtop, SafeAssign, Facebook integration?
The first priority is 7.3 Service Pack 1. We are making significant progress with this. Inez Farrell is coordinating Building Block priorities.
Scheduled to be implemented on Feb. 14, 2008 – midnight to 2am
- Impatica – jar versus zip
Not sure what the issue was here. One format was working better than the other
- Changes not sticking or appearing later
There have been a couple of reports of changes not appearing immediately, but at a later time. There is no technical reason why this would happen. If this can be reported via Issuetrak, we’d be happy to investigate.
- Can server bounces be documented in the current performance ticket to facilitate responding to students?
We will attempt to do so.
- Request module deletion
While modules can be added by admins, deletion must be requested via Issuetrak. This is to prevent inadvertent deletion of shared material.
- Large discussion boards appear to be slow
Please point us at specific boards, but we also expect SP1 to provide a performance boost for discussion boards.
- Module movement
Colleges can easily administer their own tabs, but should request via Issuetrak any changes to shared tabs.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Blue - My additional comments
Blue - My additional comments
We have been alerted to a security issue with WebDAV for the content system and will be turning off this functionality until we can implement SSL. A separate communication will be forthcoming, but this will be done on Friday, 18th January.
Question: Dates of availability in announcements and chat don’t seem to work.
Question: Students are confused by the discussion board calendar thing.
Answer: What discussion board calendar thing?