Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Removing Spring 2015 Course from Blackboard

All Spring 2015 (and prior) courses will be removed from the production Blackboard environment on May 6, 2016.

The criteria for removal at this stage is:
    Course ID ending in “SP15”
    Or created before January 1, 2015

- On April 19 or 20 - Title of courses is changed to include "Will delete May 6, 2016" and courses are made unavailable
- All courses are archived (this is an ongoing standard procedure)
- May 6, 2016 (and following) - all flagged courses will be removed from production

Courses that are “deleted” will no longer be accessible to the instructor for access in Blackboard. The current VCCS policy allows courses to be accessible to instructors in Blackboard for three previous semesters and then the courses can be restored only by a Blackboard administrator. This is done by instructor request. So if you should need course content from an earlier semester, it can be restored.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Online Academy Workshop: Community-Building, Engagement, and Meta-Cognitive Support Strategies in Online Learning Environments

VWCC Online Academy Cohort is hosting a workshop about “Community-Building, Engagement, and Meta-Cognitive Support Strategies in Online Learning Environments” on Monday, April 4, from 12 to 1 at HP208. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please register at: http://tinyurl.com/hotvbvu

Presentation Title: Community-Building, Engagement, and Meta-Cognitive Support Strategies in Online Learning Environments
Presenter: Dr. Greg Sherman from Radford University (https://www.radford.edu/content/cehd/home/teacher-ed/about/staff/greg-sherman.html)
Workshop Description: This workshop presents an overview of best practice strategies for online learning in the following areas and provides research results and specific examples of these strategies, designed to improve the overall effectiveness of online learning environments.
  • Building community in online teaching and learning environments
  • Defining strategies for cultivating communities of practice among adult learners
  • Strategies for managing group interactions
  • Scaffolding strategies for supporting the learning of metacognitive skills
  • Strategies for promoting active processing conditions in synchronous and asynchronous environments

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Online Academy Workshop: New Instructional Technologies for Online Learning

VWCC Online Academy Cohort is hosting a workshop about “New Instructional Technologies for Online Learning” on Monday, Feb. 29, from 12 to 1 at M306 (Business Science Building). If you are interested in attending the workshop, please register at: http://tinyurl.com/gqjfdj9

Time: Monday, Feb. 29 from Noon to 1pm
Location: M306 ( Business Science Building)
Presenter: Dr. Carrie Halpin
Session Description: Several new and upgraded instructional technologies have been provided at VWCC to support online teaching and learning. This workshop will focus on the demonstration and discussion about these new technologies:
  • Grade Center Manager: Batch create and delete Grade Center columns
  • Qwickly: Make courses available; send emails; post announcements; and post content to multiple courses AT ONCE.
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: This new version has many of the same features of the original Blackboard Collaborate application (an interactive Web conferencing tool specifically designed for online teaching and learning). Most important, the process of joining a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session has been simplified - Ultra opens up right in your Web browser, so you don’t have to install Java or download any special software to join a session.
  • Films On Demand: The leading source of high-quality videos and multimedia to support online teaching and learning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Online Academy Workshop: Strategies for Preventing Online Cheating and Plagiarism

VWCC Online Academy Cohort is hosting a workshop about Strategies for Preventing Online Cheating and Plagiarism on Monday, Nov. 16 from 12 to 1 at Webber 310. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please register at: http://tinyurl.com/pg8hh5y

Title: Strategies for Preventing Online Cheating and Plagiarism
Time and Location: 12:00 to 1:00, Monday, Nov. 16 at Webber 310
Guest Speaker: Dr. David Halpin
Description: We all know that our students would never do anything that would violate their school’s Honor Code... That being said, there are strategies and tools available that will help discourage those students who might feel an urge to do something unethical. And if you do suspect a violation, there are ways to the gather information to support any action you need to take. Join us in this session to learn about these best practices for preventing cheating.
Speaker Bio: Dr. David Halpin is an instructional designer at Carilion Clinic who assists faculty at Jefferson College of Health Sciences and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine with employing research-based learning principles and best practices related to technology and instructional design. He also serves as an adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech and Jefferson College of Health Sciences. Dr. Halpin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s Degree and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. He has over 25 years of experience in course design and media production.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

VCCS Magna Commons

As a Virginia Community College faculty, staff, or administrative leader, you have access to the latest faculty and staff development resources on-line, on-demand, system wide, anytime, anywhere. Magna Commons is a library of professional development seminars for all faculty, staff, and administrators, including adjunct and dual enrollment faculty. Sessions feature leading educators and consultants delivering thought-provoking, content-rich presentations on key issues in higher education. And it is available to every VCCS employee!

Here is the link for instructions on how to access VCCS Magna Commons.

Please note: Magna Commons is for internal use only by VCCS faculty, staff, and administrators. The VCCS access code is a professional resource afforded only to VCCS employees

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 Instructional Technology Mini-Conference

The 2015 Instructional Technology Mini-Conference will be held on Friday, July 24 here at Virginia Western. This is a no-cost, one-day conference and professional development opportunity open to all faculty (full-time and adjunct) and staff from Virginia Western Community College, New River Community College, and Central Virginia Community College.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Online Academy: Improving the Quality of Online Courses at VWCC

Online Academy is an innovative train-the-trainer program for faculty focusing on online course design, pedagogy, and best practices. This program is sponsored by Educational Foundation Faculty/Staff Innovation Grant. About twenty faculty who are currently teaching and/or developing online, hybrid, or web-enhanced courses are invited to participate in this program. Participants will represent multiple disciplines and help establish, implement, and maintain an entity to support and mentor faculty who develop and deliver online credit courses. This program will prepare faculty to positively impact the design of online/blended courses, ultimately leading to student learning and success.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fall 2013 Course Deletion

All Fall 2013 (and prior) courses will be removed from Blackboard on December 15, 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 "FA13"
  2. Or created before August 1, 2013

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.