As I announced this past summer, DoIT is no longer using Presidium Learning for Blackboard faculty support (it is intended only for 24/7 support of students). Instead, DoIT's Help Desk and Instructional Technology & New Media (ITNM) unit are providing basic and advanced Blackboard faculty support, respectively. After consulting the Blackboard Help site, the best way to reach both groups is to submit an RT (Request Tracker) "ticket" by logging into http://rt.umbc.edu or using the myUMBC "help" link. Apart from not sitting in any one person's email inbox, using RT helps us triage and collaborate on your support request.
In addition, we are down a staff member for the start of Spring 2011, following the retirement of Debra Arnold at the end of the Fall 2010 semester. Deb worked at UMBC for 30 years, but spent her last few years focusing a lot on Blackboard faculty support, and working closely with Karin Readel, Director of Instructional Technology. We are optimistic about replacing Deb in time for the start of summer classes, which can help prepare for the busy start of Fall 2011.
In the meantime, here are some key tasks that every faculty member can do to help sustain and even improve Blackboard support:
|Use Jing to show AND tell IT problems.|
- Export your old course
- Import the resulting file into a new, empty course shell
- Make your new course available
- Consult the Blackboard Help tab (and "Faculty/Leaders" link) inside Bb or directly at www.umbc.edu/blackboard/help.
- Consult the list of faculty in your discipline who are using Blackboard
- Use Jing to create and include free, still "screen captures" or "screencast" videos when reporting technical problems or requesting help through RT.
We are going to be stretched this semester, but we are committed to helping faculty be successful in using Blackboard, and appreciate your patience and cooperation.
Asst. VP, Instructional Technology & New Media
410.455.6596 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.umbc.edu/oit/itnm