Center for Information Technology Services

Blackboard Steering Committee
Minutes for 5/1/2001

Attendees: Brent Nickles, Kent Buckingham, Tom Connolly, Brook Botvin, Kay Kazinski, Marian Jackson, Carolyn Waltz, Russ Russo, George Gilmore, Nola Stair, Irene Nagaraj, Harry Debusk, Barbara Zirkin, MJ Tooey, Alexa Mayo

Blackboard Agenda

• Meeting Times: As originally planned, Tuesday/Thursday morning no longer works with some of our steering committee members, let’s come up with a set date for this meeting.
(Outcome)   2nd Thursday of every month is the proposed meeting time.   The Richmond conference room has been reserved from 9:30 – 11:30 for the remainder of the year. See you all June 14th!

• Enrolling users into Blackboard update:  Brent Nickles and Kent Buckingham
- The automated piece of adding Blackboard accounts when a Umnet account is created has been implemented.
- All student groups (except those graduating in 2001) and most of the faculty currently with a UMnet account have been uploaded into Blackboard bringing our total number of users to 5600 +.
- UMnet disk space has been increased to accommodate for the next step which is to add all remaining students/faculty onto UMnet.

• Status of FAQ:  Brent and Kent
- Brent Nickles will be the point person for this process.  Please send any FAQ’s to WITH the answer to the question! 

• Training from Blackboard:  Kent
- Training looks like it will cost approximately $55 - $65.  Kent passed out “Blackboard Training Services” which contains the courses offered through Blackboard Inc.  The committee will determine the need for these courses.

• Dummy student accounts to test your course:  Brent
- Many of you requested “test accounts” so you can view what a course looks like in student view.  These accounts have been created.   Remember, this is a generic account and will be used by ALL faculty/staff members (example, demossw) for your school.  If someone changes the password, make sure that is communicated with your faculty/staff!
If you still need a test account, please give me a call at x67262. 

• Administrator Blackboard Steering Committee: Brent and Kent
- This committee is made up of Blackboard and WebCT administrators in the University of Maryland system.   The goal is to create a relationship with Blackboard Inc., (which is located in Washington D.C.) help in training of the administrators, and discuss product development and needs with the technical staff of Blackboard.

• Reorganization of the Media Server:  Tom Connolly
- This is for users who have used Samba to place the files on the media server.  The file structure has been reorganized into folders where a folder represents each of the 7 schools. 


Questions to/from the users:

1. Requests for summer/fall courses – will the course creation form have to be resubmitted again?  (Nola Stair)
(Answer)  Yes, course forms must be submitted to create a course.  If you want the course content to be copied forward, please specify the course ID on the course creation form.   The reason for this is each course and section number is unique. Even though NURS700 section 1 is being taught in the spring 2001 and fall 2001, they are different courses and may have different instructors!  
• Brent will look into the default course activity length.  We can discuss who should be responsible for making a course inactive at the June 14th meeting.

2. Discussion on the current enrollment process, and do we want an open enrollment period?  (Nola)
(Outcome)  No need to have open enrollment at this time.  Continue to send class lists to  (or fax to x64191).

3. Late enrollment of students issue.   (Nola)
(Answer)  You can still send to bbsupport, but a quicker resolution is for the instructor to enroll the user.  All you need is the userID of the student!

4. How are students with newly created UMnet accounts notified (Nola)
(Answer)  Currently there are two ways.  The first is the mass-add process, the schools provide a list of all the incoming students and a UMnet account is generated and passed out during the orientation.  The second is the student can show identification at the Commons area of HSHSL.
• Distance Education is still an issue. We will look at the University of Phoenix for a possible solution.  Authorization numbers at the time of signup, notary and/or registered letter may be another solution.   More to come at the  next meeting.

5. How are student evaluations being handled for online courses?  (Harry Debusk)
(Outcome)  Currently, evaluations in Blackboard using surveys are anonymous, but School of Social Work doesn’t allow the instructors to read the evaluations until the results are tallied.  Blackboard evaluations may not be the solution.    Can we use something else?  

6. Introduction to Blackboard….Blackboard 101.   (Alexa Mayo)
(Outcome)  The committee feels that the library offering an introduction course to both instructors and students at a nominal cost is a great idea.  Thanks Alexa and MJ!

7. Follow up discussion on how we handle the issue of CE and registration of CE participants in Blackboard  (Barbara Zirkin)
(Outcome)  Funding for a separate server from the schools?  This CE issue is out of the scope for this committee.  Another committee/subgroup will be created to discuss CE.  
Current signups are:  Barbara Zirkin (and 2 others), Gary Coleman, Russ Russo, Nola Stair, Harry Debusk, and Julee Kryder-Coe.