Friday, February 25, 2005

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Email Problems

I've received emails from several faculty (from non- TNCC accounts) reporting that email is not working. (Thurs. 10:30p).

I have reported the problem and will follow up tomorrow.

Email from your student is queuing and should be available when you are able to login again. On campus email is working.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Free Online Blackboard Training

Comment from aTNCC faculty memeber:

"I was not too happy about the testing that was done before I could get to the course. It seemed to be an intelligence test, and with the demographic questioning that preceeded it, I am wondering how the data will be used. I'll tell you more after I have had time to go through all the units."

My response:

  • I noticed that too.
  • I didn't give "real" info... I used one of my alternate emails.
  • I didn't like the questions so I answered one and skipped the rest and it let me in to the tutorial.
  • The tutorial (after the info) was in QuickTime and loaded so slowly that it made me think it wasn't worth it.
  • It was okay once it was loaded but definitely not worth the hassle and the questions.
  • I'm surprised that the VCCS disseminated that tutorial and I'm sorry I disseminated it without trying it first.
  • I'm going to forward this to the Bb group (I'll strip off your name).
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 1:01 AM
To: Carole Schultz; David Carter-Tod; Sue Ann Curran; Robert Vawter; Timothy Tirrell; Glenn DuBois; Rose Johnson; Leonard Sledge; Gloria Westerman; Elizabeth Creamer; Mindy Fast; Heather Felts
Subject: Free Online Blackboard Training
For my dissertation I designed a Web-based Blackboard Release 6 course to test a theory of learning. I am now trying to locate schools or organizations that would be interested in providing Blackboard training to their employees or graduate students free of charge.
I have attached an announcement that provides information about the course and the steps for completing the training process. The course takes about 2-3 hours to complete and covers many of the features of Blackboard including placing course materials online, adding users to a course, adding course announcements, creating and using Lightweight chat, etc. The course will be available online until at least March 11. In exchange for the participating in the course, instructors need to spend 20-30 minutes filling out surveys before beginning the course and complete a test at the end of training.
Feel free to forward the announcement to anyone who may be interested in receiving training or who may be able to help me recruit schools or individuals who may be interested in training. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Traci Sitzmann
I/O PhD Candidate
University of Tulsa
Lorton Hall Rm. 303
600 S. College Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74104
Phone: 918-631-3105
Fax: 918-631-2833Overview

There are many tools available to help its instructors be more effective and more efficient in their classes. One such tool is Blackboard, a class management system that allows you to disseminate handouts and readings to students, conduct tests online, maintain gradebooks, organize chat rooms, and more!

If you have never worked with Blackboard, you will find it a very effective method for communicating with students and helping you focus on the aspects of teaching you like best. If you have used Blackboard in the past, you may be surprised by the vast numbers of tasks you can perform in the system.

Blackboard Training Available
To help you master Blackboard Traci Sitzmann, a training expert and a doctoral psychology student at the University of Tulsa, designed an online course as part of her dissertation research. The course can be accessed at any time and will be available online until March 11th.

I strongly encourage you to register and complete the training. The course is free, and your time spent in training will save you many hours in the future in working with Blackboard or communicating with your students. In addition, your participation in the course will provide necessary input to help the course designer, Traci Sitzmann, complete her dissertation requirements. Many of you have advanced degrees and can appreciate the difficulties in data collection. Traci has worked hard to develop a useful, professional training program; it would be great to provide her with data that helps her complete her degree.

Getting Started
Before you can access the Blackboard course, you will need to spend about 20 minutes completing a survey to indicate your beliefs about learning and cognitive ability. This information is completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone at your school. To access the survey, click on

Once you have completed the survey, you will receive a Web address to access the Blackboard training course. The training is designed to take 2-3 hours, but you will have control over the amount of time spent reviewing the material. Please note that the training course includes videos demonstrating skills in Blackboard. Thus, to access the training you will need to have high-speed internet and a computer with sufficient RAM. After training there will be a brief test over the material. Completing the test is critical to testing the theories underlying the course design.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Selected Notes from the Blackboard Administrators Meeting (February 9, 2005)

Blackboard Upgrade:

  • The 1st set of courses to be migrated has been identified (about 3000 courses) and the migration process is starting today. LSA’s will be getting an e-mail from ITS with any problem course ID’s encountered
  • The TRAIN instance is now online, MIGRATION is online, and the PRODUCTION instance will be available around March 7th.

How Do we upgrade?

  • Take a snapshot copy and migrate from that copy
  • Take new snap shots along the way for further migrations

What’s the difference between Test and Development?

  • Test is a clone of the production environment for pre-production testing.
  • Development is an experimental environment for "fooling around".

Contingency and Risk Planning:

  • VA Tech recently upgraded and will share their experience with us (along with other colleges). They encountered issues with hardware and performance.
  • ITS has contacted consulting resources to proactively plan for the upgrade and mitigate risks.
  • ITS has come up with a Plan B, which is to fall back on BB Question: When should Plan B go into effect: Consensus: After one week of down time in the summer.
  • ITS has spent time identifying and evaluating other risks, as well.
  • New features should be introduced as the user comfort level rises (i.e. Content System).
  • The BB 5 server will be running until the end of December 2005.
  • We should continue to share ideas and provide recommendations.


  • Most colleges will go live on BB 6 for summer. NOVA will go live for fall.
  • Cannot guarantee any changes made after today will be included in the BB 6 implementation (the initial 3000 courses that are being migrated).
  • If colleges archive course information, they can upload to BB6.
  • A preferred method for LSA’s to limit course access is to flag courses as unavailable - please do not remove them.
  • All user accounts created as of today will be pushed over. Any new faculty accounts created will need to be sent to Matt. Please create a list of these new accounts (the BB ID) to by around March 1st. After March 7th, faculty will be added directly via DS2.
  • If you have additional course ID’s you would like to pass along to Matt for inclusion in the migration, please get them to him no later than Feb. 15th. If you would like to include any courses in the NOVA migration, please provide these course ID’s by June15th

Blackboard Training at New Horizons:

  • will be at the Hotel Roanoke starting Thursday afternoon. All sessions will be held at the Higher Ed. Ctr. on Thursday morning, because space is not available at the Hotel Roanoke. An online signup form will be advertised about a month before the training. There will be a waiting list, and if space is available, we will accommodate as many people as possible.

    Note: If you come on Thursday and Friday hands-on sessions will be at the Higher Education Center. Presentations Wednesday, the college must pay for that night. A final schedule will be posted on VCCS Discuss as soon as possible.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Bb Hands-on Training at New Horizions

The session topics and schedule for the Blackboard faculty training at New Horizons have been finalized. There will be both hands-on and presentation-style sessions all day on Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8. Sessions will be repeated. The session descriptions and schedule are attached.

Faculty who are attending New Horizons are encouraged to sign-up to attend a hands-on workshop. The sign-up form will be posted the first week in March. An email will be sent to all registered attendees notifying them about this opportunity. Concurrent (arena) sessions do not require a sign-up.

attachment: New Horzions Hands-On Training PDF

Breeze Live Web Conferencing Webinar

Macromedia Breeze Live enables meeting attendees to participate in an interactive, dynamic online meeting from any computer, at any time. As a participant you can enjoy a wide range of capabilities such as viewing presentations or videos, sharing desktops, participating in polls, chatting with other users, and much more.


The purpose of the webinar is to view the product; ask and have questions answered; and to decide if we, as a college, would like to ask the Technology Committee to consider this in the next budget year.

Who Should Attend?

Faculty/ Adjunct Faculty / Staff / Administrators


We will host the webinar 3 times:

  • 02/22/2005 (Tuesday)
    12:00 PM -1:00 PM
  • 03/01/2005 (Tuesday)
    12:00 PM -1:00 PM
  • 03/15/2005 (Tuesday)
    12:00 PM -1:00 PM


Diggs Hall, Room 158 (The Commonwealth Classroom)

Do I need to Sign up?

No, but it helps us if we get an estimate of who will be attending so we can send a reminder. So, even if you’re not sure, you should sign up for the webinar.

Want to know more about it?

View the online View the online Demonstration or contact Ruth Smith

Thursday, February 17, 2005 for College Faculty and Staff

(The link to is currently unavailable-- it will go live with the launch of PeopleSoft 8) provides a common point of entry to access Blackboard, Student Email, and academic information via our Student Information System (PeopleSoft).

How do I use it?

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your username
  3. Enter your password
  4. Click Log In
  5. You can now access all your college tools with a single click

What is My Username?

If you have used Blackboard, use the same username you have used for that service. If you do not know your username, you can look it up using your Emplid
other identifying information.

What is my password?

If you have previously used Blackboard or
the Student Information System, use your current password. If you are
new to your college, the password will default to your date of birth in the
format MMDDYY.

What if I forgot my password?
(757) 825-2709

Why do I have a link to Student Email?

All students, faculty, and staff now have accounts on the student email system. Faculty can use this account to view the email interface from the student perspective. This link will not provide access to your primary email account.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Innovative Teaching Strategies for Faculty Using Blackboard

Save the Date!

We’re planning a productive and informative 2-day conference designed to help faculty use Blackboard more effectively. As you struggle to stay current in an era of tight budgets and limited time, it’s even more important to make a sound investment in Professional development and networking. This event will provide you with opportunities to learn, share, and connect with others to help you help your students learn more effectively.

Join us!
April 7 & 8, 2005
Virginia Commonwealth University

To learn more about the conference, receive Updates via email and registration materials when They are available, register at our Web site at

This event is sponsored by Academic Technology at VCU with the cooperation of other Virginia Blackboard-using institutions.

Academic TechnologyVirginia Commonwealth University
P.O. Box 843059
Richmond, VA 23284-0359

Understanding Directory Services 2

What is Directory Services 2?

Directory Services 2 (DS2) is a redesign of the way in which user information is stored in the VCCS. At the core, it is a single, central database storing user information, which is tied to PeopleSoft, Blackboard, the Email system, and other systems, using WebMethods.

From a technical perspective, DS2 allows for instant updates of user and password information across all our systems. It also allows for a user’s ID to be treated separately from their underlying key to our systems. The (infamous) EmplID becomes a hidden key that people no longer have to memorize, and a person’s VCCS Username becomes the critical piece of information they need to know. One of the other critical changes is that we no longer use a student’s birth date as their default password for access to our systems.

DS2 will go into production at the same time as PeopleSoft8 (March 7th).

What does this mean for Students, Faculty and Staff?
Most students, faculty and staff will experience DS2 through

Directory Services Background
Currently, if students are not told their VCCS Username by their college, they look it up using the WhoAmI web service: This same service will also tell them their EmplID.

Faculty and staff are typically told their EmplID to access PeopleSoft and manually assigned a username for Blackboard by their local Blackboard Administrator. Typically neither faculty nor staff can access the student e-mail system.

Faculty and staff taking courses as a student do not automatically have accounts in either the Blackboard or E-mail system created for them and Blackboard administrators have to run special processes to identify them.

Passwords in each system are currently changed using the confusing CAAM Pin Request form:

Directory Services 2 – Improved and Enhanced Services
In response to feedback from the colleges, the student experience will now change. Some of these changes are usability improvements, some are process improvements, and there are also new features and services for faculty, staff and students.

The core location for looking up information and logging on to our systems will now be:

At that site, people may look up their VCCS Username here:

If they need to know their EmplID, they will look it up here:

They may change their password here:

When a student looks up their VCCS Username for the first time, they will automatically be taken through the process of creating a new, secure password. They will not be able to access any systems until they have done this.

Students with duplicate information, e.g. multiple EmplIDs, duplicate SSNs, will need to contact their college to get their information.

New features:
Single sign-on
After a person logs on to, they are presented with links to the systems to which they have appropriate access. Typically, students will see PeopleSoft, Blackboard and E-mail. From this page, they can click into each system without having to log in again. They can still
choose to access each separately, but they will need to use their VCCS Username to access Blackboard and Email, and their EmplID to access Peoplesoft.

Once someone knows their username, they will not need to know their EmplID. Instant Account Generation Usernames are generated the moment someone is entered into Bio/Demo in PeopleSoft. It is recommended that their username is the critical piece of information that colleges give to students. All new PeopleSoft entries, whether faculty, staff or students, will have Blackboard and E-mail accounts created for them.

Controlled Access
Students will be able to access PeopleSoft once they are term-activated. They will be able to access Blackboard and E-mail as soon as their username is created. This may be changed in the future to depend on term activation.

Password Security
A student’s first access to will lead to a new password creation process with secure constraints on what is allowed and not allowed. This is no longer a number and should be a mix of numbers and letters and of a minimum length.

Separate IVR/Phone registration access code
Students will need to designate a separate numerical access code for IVR. The advantage of this is that they will have a much more secure password for web-based access, but they will need to be informed of this change.

New usernames are not as overtly tied to surnames, but are still memorable. Existing users will keep their username, but new users will have a new username based on their initials and a number. This is shorter, still memorable, but not as immediately revealing as the former option.
Usernames can also be changed (by an administrator) if a student changes their name, e.g. due to divorce, without affecting their underlying records.

Other My.VCCS.Edu Services
There are also other services at that can be made available to selected personnel:

Person Info/Lookup
This is a read-only interface designed to help student support personnel troubleshoot student problems. As of this writing, it has screens with data from: directory information, enrollments, Blackboard, the Email system, and the online application (if it exists). It is recommended that college support personnel, including Learning System Administrators, be given access to
this tool.

Directory manager
This is an interface designed for College Security Managers. It has an interface for resetting passwords and setting PeopleSoft security levels.

Web Security Manager
Designed for IT security managers, this allows them to control who at their college can access which applications.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Distance and Distributed Learning Committee Meeting

February 4, 2005
Charlottesville, VA

In attendance:
Dr. John Downey (BRCC), Susan Beasley (CVCC), Rebecca Blankenship (GCC), Kristen Kelly(JTCC), Sara Brown (LFCC), Susan Kennedy (MECC), Linda Claussen(NRCC), Steve Sachs (NVCC), Mary Clare DiGiacomo (PVCC), LeslieSmith (RCC), Stacy Harris (SWCC), Scott Langhorst (TCC), RuthSmith (TNCC), Charles Boiling (VHCC), and Inez Farrell (VWCC). From the System Office: Dr. Charlie White, Dr. Neil Matkin, Dr. Carole Schultz, Tim Tirrell, Bob Vawter, David Carter-Tod, Sue Ann Curran, and MattLawson.

Reo McBride(DSLCC), William Dey (DCC), Mary Kay Mulligan (ESCC), Shelia Hobbs (PDCCC),Carolyn Bird (PHCC), Bill Hightower (SSVCC), and Maureen Murphy (WCC).

I. Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Downey,Committee Chairperson, welcomed the group to the meeting. He then introducedDr. White and Dr. Matkin. They were invited to present to the committee theirvision of how they see the DDLC best functioning to implement their charge.

II. Remarksfrom Dr. Charlie White, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Services

  • views Academic Services and Research (AS & R) and Information Technology Services (ITS) working together as ITS manages the infrastructure and AS & R manages academics.
  • Wants faculty, when they come up with ideas or projects, to present them to their DDLC member. The DDLC member can then share the idea with the rest of the committee and the group decides if they want to take it on as a project. If so, then it is brought to ITS and AS & R to determine if they have the resources. Projects originate at the colleges rather than being driven top down from the VCCS.
  • Goals from teleconference meeting on the Federal Earmark:
    • Enhancement of course management system (Blackboard)
    • Learning object repository (Gives him heartburn but will support it if the colleges want it.)
    • Enhancing the System Office role in maximizing resources.
    • E-learning goal - wordy (not sure what it means).
    • Promoting more college choice in curriculum development.
    • Seeking additional federal funds
    • Developing a VCCS portal (Chancellor likes this idea).
  • Colleges need to decide what they need to support excellence in distance and distributed learning.
  • VCSS needs to have a professional development program to meet faculty where they are (provide either training or resources for training)
  • The Chancellor has asked Dr. Matkin and the Technology Council to look at IT staffing on the campuses. (issue: equipment rich, staff poor?)
  • How do we provide for our smaller schools as well as our larger schools?

Commentsby committee members:

Problem identified by Charles Boling: We are good on the information side of IT, butnot the instructional side of IT. What are the minimum standards for staffingfor distance learning? Can the committee define the roles and responsibilitiesof an instructional technologist?

CharlieWhite: Can the DDLC make that recommendation?

John Downey: In order to do so, we need toarticulate our needs as a system, not as individual colleges. What support dowe need at the colleges to meet the vision of Dateline 2009? What supportshould be centralized? Our immediate need is to organize ourselves as a DDLCto most effectively make recommendations on these and similar topics to the ViceChancellor for Academic Services and Research.

III. Remarksfrom Dr. Neil Matkin, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Services

  • When he first arrived, all of the IT staff had not met each other. His direction has been to have the IT staff focus on two goals:
    • 1) Put students first.
    • 2) Service without excuses.
  • All students and faculty care about is whether the technology works or does not work.
  • A major goal is to have data-driven strategic planning and accountability.
  • Brought in Michael Dickson, a nationally known Distance Learning expert and facilitator to work with a group of Presidents and other college administrators. In the short term, they are looking at how to use the federal earmark, and more broadly at future directions for distance learning in the VCCS.
  • The Chancellor has stated that colleges should develop/deliver/own their course offerings rather than having such courses developed at the System Office. He is concerned about programs funded out of federal dollars or other grant funds that will eventually go away and leave an unfunded mandate for the colleges to continue the programs. He has also stated that the System Office must show accountability for the tech fee funds and demonstrate that they are being employed to provide efficient and effective services.
  • The VCCS distance learning infrastructure is a half-billion dollar industry.
  • Our mission is “not about ownership, but about service”

We need toknow when to think as a system and when to think as colleges and become forward-looking. The System Office has too often over-promised and under-delivered.


Leslie Smith noted that although transfer was a core concern of the VCCS, somecolleges (William and Mary and Mary Washington) do not accept distance learningcourses for transfer credit. They make their students sign a form stating thattheir courses are not distance learning courses.

A motion was made and seconded to ask Dr. White to present this issue to the Chancellor to address with the presidents of Mary Washington and William and Mary. The motion passed.

IV. Updateof DDLC Membership

John Downey asked the group to make anycorrections to the membership list in the meeting packet. He made thecorrections and told the group that he would send out an updated list.

V. WebConferencing Pilot Update

A sub-groupof the DDLC has been investigating Web Conferencing systems as voted upon atthe prior meeting. Inez Farrell presented the results of a survey of VCCS colleges. While there appeared to be general interest in an audio plug-in to Blackboard, suchas Wimba, there did not appear to be an overwhelming interest in an enterprise versionof a conferencing system.

It was suggested that the some of the smaller colleges who cannot afford to purchase asystem should form a consortium where they come to an agreement between themand the System Office to share hardware and support. The challenge is infinding a middle ground between every college sharing an enterprise system andmany colleges having nothing.

The DDLC couldidentify critical functionality (needs assessment) and put out an RFP. Theproblem is that we often find the product first and then shape our needs to theproduct’s functionality. The system needs to get beyond product-specificevaluations and conduct formal evaluations and needs assessments.

LindaClaussen made a motion to advise the VCCS according to the wording of item #1as listed in the agenda packet: There does not appear to be a widespreaddesire for an enterprise version of web conferencing software at most collegesin the VCCS.) Inez Farrell seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

The discussion then turned to Blackboard building blocks and how, without knowingwhat is out there, it is difficult to determine what faculty needs are notbeing met. An example was given about a building block that grades discussionboard participation. Other building blocks being looked at include Turnitin, aplagiarism detection software, and Wimba.

Since theLSA’s have a building block work group, it was suggested that the DDLC workwith them. Scott Langhorst also suggested that Blackboard Users Conference participants should examine and evaluate Building Block demos.

Sara Brown made a motion for the DDLC to work with Jennifer Smith (CVCC), leader ofthe Building Block work group, and with Blackboard Users Conference attendeesto evaluate Building Blocks. Charles Boiling seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

VI.Blackboard Update

Matt Lawsonprovided the DDLC with a demonstration of Directory Services 2. Directoryservices 2 provides an enhanced service to students, faculty and staff whichwill be available at the same time as the PeopleSoft upgrade. Next, DavidCarter-Tod gave an update of the Blackboard 6 Migration timeline and Sue AnnCurran presented the training opportunities and schedule for Blackboard SystemAdministrators, interested faculty at New Horizons, and through informalmeetings at during the Blackboard Users Conference in Baltimore.

VII.Election of Representative to the Technology Council

JohnDowney was elected as representative to Tech Council. Inez Farrell was electedto serve as the alternate. Both were elected unanimously by the committee.

VIII.VCCSOnline Status

The groupdiscussed the online application and students taking classes at more than onecollege. Despite the perception that there is a VCCS policy to the contrary,many students wanting to take classes at multiple VCCS colleges are asked tofill out the application for admission multiple times. The student must alsobe term-activated at the each college in order to register.

Carole Schultz suggested the group draft a position paper on how to remove barriers forstudents taking courses at more than one college. This suggestion wasdiscussed further at a later point in the meeting as a method for advising theVice Chancellor on the thoughts of the DDLC in helping the System meet thegoals of Dateline 2009.

Inez Farrell shared a story of a student wanting the e-rate for an online biologycourse. Since it is a science course with an in-person lab, it was not codedfor the e-rate. They had to create a separate section and register this onestudent so that he could get the e-rate for the online lecture portion of theclass.

Steve Sachs asked if there was a market for the e-rate.

Carole asked the group what courses they want to list in VCCSOnline. They need toknow what data to pull out of PeopleSoft so that students are clear regardingthe delivery method of courses. The basic challenge is regarding how manycampus meetings are required for any course listed in VCCS on-line. Studentshave the assumption that courses listed there are 100% web based. The coursecoding issue is related to this issue in that the definitions we employ forvarious courses are used by students for planning schedules across colleges. Thisissue will be discussed further at a future meeting when Rebecca Kittelbergeris present. Some of the issues may also be addressed as part of the positionpaper idea advanced by Carole Shultz.

IX.Course Coding Status

Tabled until Rebecca Kittelberger is present.

X. Learning Object Repository (LOR) Steering Committee Representation

  • Carole Schultz said that the status of it is “up in the air.” The LOR is part of the first phase of the federal earmark which must be spent by September. The Chancellor wants an RFP to go out in March for an LOR that handles two facets: structured content and unstructured content.
  • They want to form a steering committee with vice presidents, two members of the DDLC, ITS, and faculty.
  • Inez Farrell asked how an LOR compared to the Blackboard Content Manager (Bb CM). Carole Schultz stated that the Bb CM would not have everything that an LOR does, such as intellectual property rights. She asked Tim Tirrell to explain issues with video. Tim stated that Bb CM does not “ramp up” and that not every VCCS faculty member is using Blackboard (limiting faculty access). There is also an issue of how you search for video. The VCCS needs something that will tie all these things together.
  • Tim and Carole participated in a project with other colleges and systems regarding the use of LORs. The project participants tended to avoid evaluation of Blackboard and WebCT since they are proprietary products, and a goal of that group was to make LOR content accessible by the widest possible range of faculty end users.
  • Ruth Smith stated that a content system such as Blackboard is good for sharing content, but totally different from an LOR.
  • The difference of indexing and searching capabilities was brought up.
  • Steve Sachs also mentioned that many faculty do not want content that is only accessible from Blackboard.
  • Carole stated that the DDLC needs to reconcile what meets the VCCS needs. She also stated that we need to pull librarians into this group.
  • Rebecca Blankenship volunteered to represent the DDLC on the LOR steering committee.

XI.Other Business

Portal –Scott Langhorst

Scott stated that TCC will have a working portal by the end of the semester. TCC hasa “portal engineer” and they have a Campus EAI grant from Oracle, but they arenot sure if they are going to accept it, because the grant requires a five-yearcommitment. They have a 60-day prototype period now. They have a contentmanagement team for this portal project and they will also be giving apresentation at New Horizons. What Matt Lawson has done with Directory Services2 is very helpful for the portal project – the underlying single login.

Mary ClareDiGiacomo shared information regarding a proposed bill in the General Assembly suggestingthe creation of an Office of Learning Technology at SCHEV. At the moment,there is a learning technology advisory committee to SCHEV. Carole Schultz, Tim Tirrell, Scott Langhorst, and Laura Franklin represent the VCCS on it. MaryClare noted that the proposed legislation is currently tabled in a Housecommittee.

Inez Farrell stated thatshe is doing a survey for here college looking at attrition and withdrawalrates to determine problem areas. She indicated that a similar survey at theVCCS level would be helpful to determine success rates across teachingmodalities.

Carole Schultz stated that asimilar report is run every year at the VCCS that indicates withdrawal and grade distributions for distance learning courses. This year Bob Vawter built queries to compare full-time faculty and adjunct grade distributions. Carole indicated that they are planning on presenting their preliminary findings tothe Council of Presidents (ACOP) in February and that it is on the Vice Presidents’agenda for March. John Downey suggested that after presentation to ACOP andthe VP group Carole may want to present the results to the DDLC as well.

John Downey also mentioned that the BRCC’s Educational Foundation Board found the data from the VCCS blackboard survey administeredlast summer to be very interesting, especially in regard to the numbers ofstudents still using dial-up etc. John asked whether the VCCS had plans toreplicate that study. Carole replied that it was part of a pilot study and theywould like to replicate it. In the survey, students generally stated that instructorsare the primary source of help for students with technology questions. Therefore faculty have a great need to know where students can be referred toget additional help for complex issues.

XII. Dateline 2009 and VCCS Distance Learning Plan – Where are we heading?

John Downey asked the group to review Dateline2009, the Chancellor’s current goals, and the VCCS Distance Learning Plan from2001. John suggested that the DDLC ought to advise the System regarding howcolleges could best be positioned to respond to the objectives outlined inthese documents. In John’s view, the DDLC has a role in advising the systemwhat needs to be done in order for colleges to effectively contribute to thosegoals. John suggested that Carole’s idea of a position paper might be aneffective tool for outlining for the Vice Chancellor the perspective of theDDLC relative to Dateline 2009. It was suggested that DDLC volunteers formwork groups and write a position paper on the suggested resources required atthe colleges and the VCCS to accomplish Dateline 2009 goals. The groupagreed that the next meeting could be devoted to a work group drafting and/orediting a position paper. John Downey agreed to solicit volunteers to work onthe project to produce a draft for committee members to react to, debate, editand revise at the next meeting.

XIII.Next meeting:

The TechnologyCouncil meets April 4-5 in Charlottesville. Members suggested that the DDLC have an electronic meeting a few weeks before the next Tech Council meeting todiscuss relevant issues and work on the position paper draft. One memberadvised John to work around the blackboard training scheduled for March. Therefore the next meeting of the DDLC will be on Friday March 25, 2005, and it will bean electronic meeting. Details on the technology that will be used for themeeting will be sent out in early March.

At the end of the meeting Tim Tirrell gave the group a handout from the Alliance of HigherEducation Competitiveness with a summary of findings for what makes internetlearning successful.

There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

No more SP05 containers

In preperation for the migration from Bb v5 to Bb v6, we are no longer processing requests for courses in Blackboard v5.

We will begin processing Summer 2005 requests when the new Blackboard v6 server is in place (target data: end of February).

Thank you for you cooperation.