Four Planning Tips for Hosting Remote Guest Speakers

Don't worry, it doesn't take this many people to help you connect with a remote guest speaker!

It seems that everyone I talk to at William & Mary has amazing personal connections. Each faculty member seems to have at least one, but usually many, superstar advisors or academic colleagues that they keep in touch with. Students have parents and family members working in all sorts of interesting and influential positions. We are […]

Oops! Getting Help with Blackboard

Accidents happen. You clicked the wrong thing or dropped when you needed to drag, and now your Blackboard course doesn’t work right. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone, and IT is here to help. Here are the best ways to get in touch with us. Via Email The bbhelp@wm.edu email is monitored by the different […]

Collaboration Made Easy with Padlet

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Recently I became an Instructional Designer for William & Mary. My role involves assisting faculty with online course development and implementation. My background is in academic technology so I’ve been exposed to many e-learning tools and resources over the years. Some of those resources were amazing, but proved unreliable when integrated into the classroom or […]

Seven Life Hacks for Blackboard Grade Center

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Okay, so there was just another post by Rachel Kleinsorge about Blackboard Grade Center, but guess what? It’s the end of the semester and grades are on everyone’s minds. I’ve been talking faculty members through setting up their shiny new Grade Centers when they first set up their Blackboard sites now for many years, and […]

Our Top Two Blackboard Gradebook Questions, Answered!

Even if you're not teaching students about breakfast, you will still have to figure out how to best use Blackboard's Gradebook feature. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Students might worry about exams, but for professors the real problems come when it’s time to calculate and turn in final grades. While Blackboard can help, it can also cause confusion. Here are answers to two of the most common questions bbhelp@wm.edu receives this time of year: How Do I Turn in Final Grades? Final […]

Video Conferencing and Collaboration at W&M: A Follow Up

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A little more than a year ago, I wrote a post about the history of, the many uses for, and the potential good that video conferencing and collaboration can produce in the academic environment. Shortly there after, my good friend and colleague, John Drummond, published a post about many of the technology solutions we have […]

Student Perspectives on W&M’s First Online Courses

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This summer Randy Coleman (biochemstry) and Till Schreiber (macroeconomics) taught William & Mary’s first fully online summer courses in the Arts & Sciences. Once the courses were completed and grades were posted, we sent out a student satisfaction survey to all 22 students who completed the courses. We had twelve students complete the survey (a […]

Reflections on a Fireside Chat: “Managing” Versus “Teaching” the Online Course

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This past weekend, I had an interesting conversation about e-learning while sitting on a mountaintop, huddled around a campfire in the dark. (I promise, dear reader, that I won’t try to make a metaphor out of that.) I was having this conversation with an old friend from my undergraduate days who teaches history at a […]

Tips for Managing Laptops in the Classroom

Students looking very attentive to their work in the pre-laptop era.

News flash: Student laptops and phones can be annoying in the college classroom. Old news, right? But still news that instructors have to deal with more and more. We can ban devices, allow them, or figure out something in between — there’s no shortage of advice and policies in managing their use. Over the past […]

New Blackboard Features for Fall 2014

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Our Blackboard downtime on August 15th was a success. In addition to the needed security updates and patches, Blackboard added some two great new features. Student Preview Mode I’m most excited about the new Student Preview mode. In the past W&M professors who wanted to see what their class looked like to students or how […]