Monday, November 10, 2014

Blackboard Grader App Available on iPad Air, iPad 2, 3, or 4

The Bb Grader App provides teachers with a mobile solution for reviewing, providing feedback, and grading student submissions to Blackboard Learn Assignments.
Key Features
  • Inline viewing of student submissions for supported file types
  • Gesture-based interactions for grading and feedback
  • Support for audio and video-based feedback
  • Course and assignment level views
  • Integration with Multiple Attempts, Group Assignments, Rubrics, and Anonymous Grading
For instruction about installation and usage, go to Blackboard Help.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

2014 VaBug Conference Announced! Call for Proposal Open!!


The Virginia Blackboard Users Group (VaBUG) announces its fifth annual conference, to be held at the Holiday Inn at Valley View in Roanoke, VA on Friday, October 24, 2014!

The conference will once again have free registration.


The VaBUG Conference Committee is now accepting proposals for the 2014 Annual Conference.
The VaBUG conference is a great opportunity for Blackboard users to discover, discuss, learn, and share best practices. In order to afford its members the best possible personal and professional development opportunities, they are asking instructors, administrators, staff members, and any other interested members to submit proposals for concurrent sessions for this year’s conference. What exciting ways have you been utilizing Blackboard in the past year?
The concurrent sessions will be scheduled for 50 minutes (this includes time for questions and answers). Sessions will be organized along the following tracks:
  • Blackboard administration
  • Instructional design
  • Faculty best practices
  • K-12 best practices
Please consider participating as a presenter, and pass this message along to someone you feel may be interested in participating.

For more information, please visit their site at

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Free to VWCC Students

VWCC is happy to announce the new Microsoft Student Advantage program: Office 365 ProPlus.  Current students are able to download and install Microsoft Office desktop applications for no cost. Detailed information, go to Software Available for Home Use.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to Embed a YouTube Video in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010/2013

Previous versions of Microsoft PPT allowed you to embed Youtube videos directly in to a presentation. Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 don't have this feature. The work-around is a simple use of Visual Basic to insert the file as a Shockwave Flash object.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New License for Respondus and Studymate

New License as of the end of July now available in Blackboard. To find the new license information: Go to Blackboard > Teach tab > Faculty/Staff Instructional Software > Respondus or Studymate > Download and Install. The new password is valid through July 31, 2015. For questions, please contact

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Instructional Technology Mini-Conference - Friday, July 25, 2014

The eLIT office and the VWCC Plus 50 Initiative are co-sponsoring the 2014 Instructional Technology Mini-Conference, a free one-day conference and professional development opportunity for all Virginia Western faculty and staff. The Mini-Conference will include a full day of sessions delivered by outside professionals on a broad range of topics: Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard IM, Flipping the Classroom, Atomic Learning, Blackboard Learn Roadmap, and Instructional Technology for Adult Learners (Plus 50 learners).

VWCC faculty who complete the full-day mini-conference will receive a certificate equivalent to the completion of two-weeks of TOTAL workshop credits.
These credits will contribute to satisfying the “Professional Development Objectives for Faculty Teaching Hybrid and Online Courses” as outlined in the new Faculty Evaluation and Development Plan (see page 9). 

For faculty anticipated to teach only on-campus courses, these credits will also be considered “appropriate training in teaching with technology” that will contribute to meeting professional development objectives in the teaching domain of the new Faculty Evaluation and Development Plan (see page 9).

Time: Friday, July 25, 2014 from 8am to 4:15pm
Location: HP Multipurpose Room
Registration is now open at:
Conference Flyer:

Conference Agenda

Pre-Conference Workshop (Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 2pm to 4pm in HP208):
Title: From Pedagogy to Andragogy: Best Practices for an Engaged Learner
Presenter: Dr. Melissa Maybury Lubin
Description: In this interactive session, participants will: Understand the meaning of andragogy and how it aligns with 21st Century learning; Learn the principles and processes of andragogy; Share best practices for embracing a philosophy of adult learning for participant engagement

Presenter Bios:

 Dr. Jennifer Brill is an Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences and Technologies department in the School of Education. She earned a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Georgia and an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Brill’s professional interests include the design and evaluation of learning and performance support experiences, resources, and environments; research design, with an emphasis in qualitative inquiry; and doctoral program development. Read more

Dr. Peter E. Doolittle is Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER), and Professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. His academic background includes 25 years teaching undergraduate and graduate students in public and private universities; using traditional, blended, and online formats; across several subject areas, including advanced educational psychology, cognition and instruction, constructivism and education, and college teaching. Read more

Kari Houle is Implementation and Account Manager at Atomic Learning. She has over 15 years of experience in providing customer support and over a decade specializing in technology training and coaching. In her role with Atomic Learning, Houle has partnered with educational institutions around the world to create and implement successful technology training, support and integration initiatives.

Ken Martin brings over 18 years of educational technology experience to his job as Senior Consultant at Blackboard Collaborate. For nearly 10 years, Ken worked at Harvard University with a focus on integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. He played a key role in building strategy for educational technology and establishing programs to support faculty in their use of that technology. Ken collaborated closely with individual faculty members to effectively integrate technology into their curricula, and worked with key stakeholders, programs and departments to build technology infrastructure to support blended, synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. Read more

Dr. Melissa Maybury Lubin is director of the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Centers and the Virginia Tech Richmond Center, where she is responsible for the university's graduate and lifelong learning programs. In addition to managing a portfolio of continuing education programming, Melissa creates, customizes and facilitates a series of human development coursework for organizations in the private and public sector. Her expertise is in coaching, sales, management development and personal strengths assessment and development. Read more

If you have any questions about conference registration, please contact Carrie Halpin at

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Panopto Lecture Capture System and Flip Classroom Instructional Design

Designing Flipping Classroom using Panopto Lecture Capture System:
  1. The Standard Inverted Classroom: Students are assigned the “homework” of watching video lectures and reading any materials relevant to the next day’s class. During class time, students practice what they’ve learned through traditional schoolwork, with their teachers freed up for additional one-on-one time.
  2. The Discussion-Oriented Flipped Classroom: Teachers assign lecture videos, as well as any other video or reading related to the day’s subject — think TED Talks, YouTube videos, and other resources. Class time is then devoted to discussion and exploration of the subject. This can be an especially useful approach in subjects where context is everything — think history, art, or English.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring 2013 Blackboard Course Deletion

All Spring 2013 (and prior) courses will be removed from Blackboard on May 2, 2014. Blackboard is not designed as a permanent historical archive of course activity. It is a production system for current classes. Keeping old courses can have a negative effect on the performance of the system for current courses and current students. This is why all courses are constantly archived and then eventually removed.

The criteria for removal at this stage:
  1. Course ID ending in "SP13"
  2. Or created before January 1, 2013