Instructors: using Blackboard?

Editorial Staff and Editorial Staff

Reading and written assignments, external links, syllabi and quizzes.

All of these require paper and resources you can hold in your hand …. right?

Not necessarily.

Thanks to investments in technology at the University, all of these services and more are available for instructors to implement in their courses by using Blackboard.

It seems that more instructors are taking advantage of the service accessed through the MyBGSU portal.

According to Terry Herman, director of IDEAL-Distance Education and online learning, 689 instructors are currently utilizing Blackboard. During spring semester 2003, 1,148 instructors were enrolled in the service. Every course offered at the University has a “shell,” or area to provide information online, available to them, according to Executive Vice President Linda Dobb.

We applaud these instructors and encourage others to give it a try.

While it may not be feasible to fully utilize this service in every course, attempting to do so is in the best interest of students and instructors alike.

The Blackboard system also allows students to stay connected with their classes. Ever come back from a long weekend trying to remember what you did in a class the week before, and what is due?

Blackboard solves the problem.

The system provides a safety net for students who have had to deal with an emergency. A student who is away from their syllabus has a way of knowing what is due at all times.

Blackboard also allows instructors to post grades online. Imagine being able to head into finals knowing exactly what grades you need on each test.

Blackboard makes that possible.

So far this semester 1,546 course “shells,” or areas where course information and services are offered online for students, increased from just 995 shells from the spring 2003 semester.

The number stood at 746 for the fall 2002 semester, Herman said. The success with online University services has also led to a doubling of online course offerings–the number currently stands at 60 courses with 999 students enrolled, Dobb said.

Though using Blackboard may become more complicated if a substitute instructor needs access to the online information, Blackboard provides more advantages than disadvantages–including saving paper.

During inclement weather, the service is useful for announcements and technology officials hope to see an increase in usage then, Dobb said. But we hope they don’t wait.