A couple of weeks ago I attended the 2015 annual European Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference. This conference is a great place to connect with other Blackboard users. The presentations were an interesting mix with many institutions showcasing how they had customised their learning environments and others providing information on how they use the Blackboard platform to deliver innovative teaching and fully online courses.
Blackboard also used the event to present product updates. The CEO of Blackboard shared the company vision of how they are redesigning all their products to look and feel more like integrated solutions rather than separate standalone systems. It was good to hear details of how the company is working on making Blackboard more customisable to local environments.
Some of the highlights for me were seeing how MEF University in Turkey is delivering all of their courses via the flipped classroom method. MEF is a brand new institution and all their teaching spaces have been designed to facilitate collaborative group working.
Sheffield Hallam presented the findings of their project on how they are using technology to improve student engagement with feedback. More information on this project is available on their blog
I presented information on how the Sociology Division at Abertay has been using the Blackboard Wikis for assessment. There was good interest from the audience, in particular on how the module was using the sign-up groups for the students to organise themselves into the wiki groups – which saves a lot of administration on the part of the course tutors.
A full listing of the conference programme is available online at the conference website
If you are thinking of using new tools in Blackboard next year have a look at the range of courses TELs are providing over summer or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org