IL2011: Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn: Partnering to Integrate Resources
Anita R. Dryden and Christina H. Gola, University of Houston Libraries

University of Houston: 40,000 students, commuter campus, high # of transfers, decentralized, Tier 1 aspirations.

Pre-Blackboard Learn partnership were sort of embedded. Some liaisons were doing it, inconsistent though. Also more than one LMS being used on campus.

Faculty Development and Instructional Support (FDIS)  – instructional designers who managed Blackboard Vista & were slowly convincing depts using other systems to switch, but were understaffed and underfunded. Library efforts were actually (& unintentionally) working against this.

Trying to show them the value of embedding the library into the LMS — discovered that the FDIS folks were really annoyed that librarians were becoming course builders without asking. Librarians were unintentionally stepping on toes.

FDIS suggested that they create a library course that students could self-enroll in. It’ll be great! Librarians: let us tell you how this won’t actually work.

Duke! Emily Daly’s article in C&RL News about what they did. Used this as a model. Pilot worked out well. But . . .

Blackboard isn’t going to support Vista after 2013 so let’s not pursue this since it’s a lot of work. Library was pulled into implementation team for Blackboard Learn. Attended all four days of training. Not all relevant for library BUT identified a LOT of areas to help.

Two embedded components: Campus level and course level.

Blackboard Learn has spaces for student orgs, campus homepage, etc. There’s a library tab – BB team and instructional designers created it. Visible to all BB users, library folks have admin privileges to do what they need to do.

Research Guide links – discovery at point of need. BB is a good place for the course-specific ones especially. Use an automated process (1800 courses/semester) to spit out dynamic links that pass subject code & course number that directs to either course guide or general subject guide. Hope to get a high percentage of courses this way.

Library tab – high level of control over content. Entire page, fill with HTML modules. Dynamic content from other library systems; focus on point-of-need research help. Trying to point out to resources to avoid duplicate spots to keep content updated.

E-reserves “content collection” in BB. Folders automatically created for each course, expire each semester and content is embargoed for reuse. Just like we do it!