Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Bb 6 Training Server

This is just to let everybody know that sometime over the holiday
break, what we have traditionally called the "Bb 6 Test Server" will
be rebuilt and when it emerges from the ashes, it will known as the
"Bb 6 Training Server". This is your last chance to save off anything
on there that you may want to keep.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

RE: web conferencing software usage at VCCS colleges

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 2:26 pm:

For those of you who are not members of the DDLC, I wanted to make sure you were aware of the content of an e-mail I sent yesterday to members of the DDLC. The e-mail dealt primarily with a the needs analysis we conducted (led by Inez!) regarding web conferencing software usage at VCCS colleges. The text of the e-mail is below. If you would like to receive the two supporting documents that were attached to the e-mail simply e-mail me at and I'll be happy to send them out.

DDLC Members
As you are aware, the DDLC voted at our last meeting at Featherstone to research the possibility of implementing a series of pilot programs to investigate the utility of web conferencing systems in the VCCS. In that regard, we agreed to begin that process with a needs analysis to determine the current usage of web conferencing across the VCCS, as well as gauge the desire for increased usage or an enterprise system. With the help of Inez Farrell, we employed VCCS Discuss to survey both current usage and perceived need for web conferencing software at VCCS Colleges.

I’ve attached two documents to this e-mail. The first is a summary of the average results of a survey assessing the perceived need for an Enterprise version of web conferencing software. The second document is a first draft of a chart that shows which VCCS colleges currently using web conferencing, along with contact names of those who can describe how the products have been used at the various colleges.

Based on these two documents we will discuss at our meeting on February 4th the following points:

  1. There does not appear to be a widespread desire for an enterprise version of web conferencing software at most colleges in the VCCS.
  2. There are several colleges who are using different web conferencing software products currently. Those products are being deployed to meet a diversity of local needs at the various colleges.
  3. Several colleges are asking for an enterprise audio plug-in for blackboard that would allow faculty and students to increase interactivity in distance and distributed courses.
    Once again, at the next DDLC meeting scheduled for February 4th 2005 in Charlottesville, we can discuss further the results of these surveys. In the meantime, if you would like to add any information to the chart of current web conferencing software users, please let me know by e-mail right away. I hope to use that chart as the basis for a discussion as to whether to formalize a web conferencing pilot study OR to simply have individual colleges use the contact information to explore web conferencing options at the local level.

In early January, I’ll send you more details about the location of the February 4th meeting in Charlottesville. Both Dr. White and Dr. Matkin have agreed to attend that meeting so I am looking forward to hearing from each of them how the DDLC can best work to keep them informed regarding the needs of colleges in regard to the implementation of distance and distributed learning initiatives. In preparation for that meeting I think it would be helpful for each of us to review three important documents that guide us as we review

Distance and Distributed Learning Initiatives:

  1. The Chancellor’s goals for Dateline 2009 found at:
  2. The Chancellor’s specific goals for the current year found at:
  3. the executive summary of the VCCS Distance Learning Plan found at:

John Downey
VCCS Distance and Distributed Learning Committee



Friday, December 10, 2004

Blackboard Web Seminars

You are already advancing teaching and learning through technology on your campus using parts of the Blackboard Academic Suite. You may be looking for additional ways to maximize your e-Learning potential on campus by using the Blackboard Learning System and/or the Blackboard Content System. If so, Blackboard is offering free Web Seminars over the next few weeks (a schedule and sign-up is available at

The Blackboard Learning System: From Pilot Program to Powerful Enterprise
This 1 hour Web Seminars illustrates some of the advantages available by moving from the pilot stage of an e-Learning initiative to a more powerful, enterprise-wide program. The Web Seminar includes an Overview, Demo and Q&A. (Recommended for Learning System Basic Clients)
  • Tuesday, December 7, 2004 2PM EST
  • Thursday, December 16, 2004 10AM EST

The Blackboard Content System
This 1 hour Web Seminar explores how to centrally manage, store, update and share content. In addition, learn how to reduce content storage costs and use e-Portfolios. The Web Seminar includes an Overview, Demo and Q&A.

  • Wednesday, December 15, 2004 at 2PM EST
  • Tuesday, December 21, 2004 10AM EST

To participate in one of these Web Seminars, please sign up by going to and enrolling.
You will receive an e-mail confirmation with all the information you need.