Tag Archives: distance learning

Need help learning Blackboard basics?

In fall 2009 San Jacinto College began requiring all courses to have a presence in Blackboard to provide an additional avenue of communication between faculty and students and to assist faculty in preparation to continue instruction in the event of an unplanned college closure. To support this requirement, the Educational Technology Team  developed an online, computer based training resource to support the initiative known as ” Getting Started”.  The training is delivered through the college’s online  professional development management system (Avatar).

The “Getting Started” training was recently updated to align with version 9.0 of Blackboard currently being used by the college. This training is available to all full-time and adjunct faculty.  Faculty who completed the version based on Blackboard 7.1 are welcome to go through the updated version if they desire. (NOTE: All adjunct and full-time faculty who have been included in a payroll period during the last four months have access to Avatar.  New faculty or employees will have access approximately two weeks prior to receiving their first paycheck.)

The training should normally take 30-45 minutes.  This will help to prepare your course to have  the minimum required Blackboard presence for courses which includes faculty contact information and syllabus. The availability of the training in the Avatar system allows faculty to complete the training at their convenience. Directions to access Getting Started in Avatar can be found by clicking here.

If you are interested in additional training to learn more about Blackboard be sure to check out the upcoming class schedule found in Avatar.

If you need assistance logging into Avatar you can contact TechSupport at 281-998-6137 or via email at techsupport@sjcd.edu

Wimba: An Introduction

WimbaAs today’s students learning styles are changing, instruction should continue to evolve with them. Students want and/or need to be more engaged in the classroom, this being no different in online instruction. By engaging students in an active, collaborative, and authentic learning environment they will become more involved and invested in instruction. San Jacinto College is helping engage students with the use of Wimba. Wimba is a series of tools that integrates through the Blackboard Course Management System.  According to Wimba’s website (www.wimba.com), “Wimba focuses on innovative collaboration solutions that empower educators to engage students for enhanced learning, improved outcomes, and increased student retention.” Wimba has developed a multitude of products designed exclusively for education.

Over the next couple of months I will be blogging a new series of all Wimba tools San Jacinto College has purchased for use through Blackboard. I will talk about the tool, a basic overview of how it works, and ways each tool can be incorporated in a course.

Wimba tools available for use:

  • Wimba Authoring: Recording and listening to voice on a web.
  • Wimba Voice Discussion Board: A discussion board with the ability to post and listen to voice messages along with text.
  • Wimba Presentation: The ability to add web content along with a voice message.
  • Wimba Pronto (coming soon): An instant messenger that integrates text, audio and video conferencing,   application sharing, whiteboards, and is automatically populated of classmates from Blackboard courses.
  • Wimba Voice Email: Send and listen to voice through an email message.
  • Wimba Podcaster: Create podcasts for users to be able to subscribe to through an RSS feed, or listen to through Blackboard.

So, check back on a weekly basis for more posts on Wimba, and other tools and ideas that can be used in a face-to-face/hybrid/online course.

If you are interested in implementing any of the Wimba tools in your course and need training, please contact an Instructional Designer at your campus.

Need Distance Learning Certification Classes?

Are you in need of Distance Learning Certification Classes? The schedule for DL Certification Training Calendar / Jan-Feb 2010 is now available.

In order to obtain the certification in online instruction, it is necessary to complete 12 hours of face-to-face instruction. Faculty must attend the five (5) Required Courses (10 hours) and choose from one of the Elective Courses (2 hours). This certification must be completed in order to teach an online course for San Jacinto College. To have a basic online presence, you must complete the Getting Started in Bb session.

Faculty may attend training at any campus location. To register for a course, send an email to dist-learn@sjcd.edu and include the following information:

Þ     Full Name

Þ     G#

Þ     Department

Þ     Campus

Þ     Extension/Phone Number

Þ     Employee Information: Faculty, Full-Time Adjunct, Adjunct or Staff

Þ     Specific class(es) you want to register for including name, date, time and location

Or visit sanjacinto.avatarlms.com to self enroll!