Blackboard User Group Meeting

On 5th December 2014 a couple members of the LTT attended the BUG User group meeting. Sadly, we weren’t sitting around in a circle discussing our favourite insects – BUG actually stands for the ‘Blackboard User Group’ meeting. The meetings are held twice a year and are a great opportunity for TEL employees from local colleges and Universities to meet up and discuss great, and not so great, things about Blackboard. Not to mention it’s also a great opportunity to help ourselves to a yummy selection of sandwiches and snacks throughout the day!

The meeting was held at the Blackboard London offices which, believe it or not, are located on busy Oxford Street. Whilst we were tempted to make a start on our Christmas Shopping, we decided our day would be a lot better spent getting up to date with Blackboard.

Our very own Anu Sharma presented an interesting talk on how the Enterprise Surveys tool was piloted at Brunel to disseminate the 2014 PTPS (Postgraduate Taught Programmes Survey). The response rate over 4 weeks was 32% which is a very positive response rate for this type of survey. Students were sent an email to inform them that the survey was available and were able to click on a link in the email to access the survey directly. Agreed benefits of the survey tool were the ability to send the survey link via email, the ability for students to complete surveys on mobile devices and the fact that detailed analysis of results is possible. The presentation went down very well and many at the group were keen to find out more!

There was another interesting presentation on the Blackboard Catalyst Awards, which “honor those who push the boundaries of their educational programs and technology in order to deliver innovate and effective learning experiences”. There are five different awards available and more information on everything can be found here: http://www.blackboard.com/community/catalyst-awards.aspx

Whilst the BUG meeting is a great chance to celebrate our collective successes with Blackboard, it also gave us the opportunity to have a bit of a moan and groan to Blackboard representatives on a few of the features that we don’t think are working so well in Blackboard. This also helps us to find out when bugs are due to be fixed as well as any further updates we need.

There were a few more talks, a bit of discussion, and some networking, and the day was nicely rounded up with a bit of Christmas cheer to celebrate the festive season. The LTT look forward to attending further meetings in the future to forge ties with similar institutions and share good practice…and we certainly wouldn’t turn down a few more of those yummy sandwiches as well!

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