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October 16, 2007

GES Faculty Show and Tell How and Why They Use Blackboard

Karin Readel
Karin Readel
Chris Swan
Chris Swan
OIT has published two inaugural "Show & Tell" screen capture videos by Geography and Environmental Systems (GES) faculty Karin Readel and Chris Swan, whose courses are among the top five Most Active Undergraduate Blackboard Courses for Summer 2007 and Spring 2007 respectively, as measured by average hits per student on the UMBC Blackboard Reports site.

In addition, OIT has published pilot reports for some of Readel's and Swan's recent courses showing student activity by final grade distribution:

  • Readel: SCI100_7050_SU2007 "Water: An Interdisciplinary Study"
  • Swan: GES302A_0101_SP2007 "Applied Issues in Ecology"
  • Swan: GES408_0101_SP2007 "Field Ecology"
  • Swan: GEOS206_0101_SP2006 "Ecology"

    While this kind of individual course report is not yet available (faculty can do it manually), OIT intends to provide this service to faculty who wish to view it privately (or eventually post it inside a Bb course for future students to monitor and benchmark their own activity).

    OIT will also be publishing a similar, public report that summarizes student activity and tool use by grade distribution in the top 25, 50, 75 and 100 percentile ranges of all UMBC Blackboard courses. The goal is to see what difference, if any, exists in student grade distribution across a range of Bb courses and activity levels.

    UMBC on iTunesAfter watching Readel and Swan show how they use Blackboard in their actual course sites, faculty may want to check out why they do so in two new "Q & A" video interviews on UMBC's iTunesU service (for more information about UMBC on iTunes, see

    OIT plans to publish more "Show & Tell" (how) and "Q & A" (why) videos from faculty teaching active Blackboard courses in other disciplines, but if you or a colleague has an effective practice or insight you'd be willing to share, send email to Please include a short description of the pedagogical problem that is solved or the new learning opportunity that is created in using Blackboard.

    Note: To protect the work and identity of students who may appear in the "Show & Tell" videos, only UMBC faculty can access them with their myUMBC userid & password. These videos are intended for collegial, professional development only, so all faculty are reminded that any medium containing identifiable student academic information constitutes an "educational record" that is protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

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