Academic Technology @ Palomar College

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Blackboard Adventure Time

Blackboard Adventure Time
Hi, this is David the human, and today I’ll be telling you a bit about my adventure last week in Las Vegas, at the BbWorld 2013 convention. (Okay, technically I attended both Blackboard’s Developer’s Conference, DevCon, and the main BbWorld conference, but the content from DevCon is uniformly tech in nature so likely nobody here cares.) Some of the BbWorld sessions were about esoteric topics, such as how to optimize the integration of data from the Palomar eServices system into Blackboard, or how to crawl around in the databases looking for diagnostic information to help make the...
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Blogging and Journaling in Blackboard

Blogging and Journaling in Blackboard
One of the most common objections I hear from instructors about teaching online is the lack of interactivity between students. The most popular tool in Blackboard for student to student (and instructor to student) interaction is the discussion board. I recommend considering the blog and journal tools as well as they are also great ways for students and instructors to interact with each other. The blog tool is best for student to student interaction. It allows students to submit entries (posts) consisting of text, links, and images which can be commented on by other students. The blog can be setup as a...
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TED Talks

We are busily preparing for our annual summer tech camp which begins next week.  The detailed agenda is published and now we are going through our materials to be sure we are prepared.  Our tech camps are inspired by TED talks.  If you are not familiar (I suppose this is possible) TED talks are a forum for the world’s brightest people to present their best ideas in 18 minutes or so, more or less.  A speaker stands in front of a largish audience and usually uses PowerPoint, Prezi or some speaker’s aid to present cogent, brief, brilliant ideas.  The whole thing is filmed and the videos are...
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Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP5 Notes

So at the end of last week the Palomar Blackboard system went though an upgrade process to the most currently released version of the Blackboard Learn software.  (For version number hounds, we were at 9.1 Service Pack 3, and are now at 9.1 Service Pack 5.)  Most folks would respond to that with a rousing cry of “so what?!”  Here is what Palomar faculty should be aware of regarding this new version of Blackboard: File size limits: For years I’ve been warning faculty about a limit in Blackboard, where course archives and imports over 250 Mb in size would simply not import into a new...
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Good Teaching – What Do Students Say?

Palomar College is certainly not alone in devoting time and resources to document the variables involved in effective teaching and learning. Instructors are being asked to include student learning outcomes (SLOs) on all class syllabi. We have a Learning Outcomes Council (LOC) as well as a Palomar Outcomes Database (POD).  This issue of learning outcomes and how best to promote them was the topic of a number of studies presented and discussed at the 2010 Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning. While some have argued that students are not effective judges of what teacher variables promote...
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