Center for Information Technology Services

University of Maryland Baltimore
eLearning Steering Committee Meeting Notes

April 21, 2005

Prepared by: Chris Klimas

Attendees: Dave Pitts (SOWK), Bob Bennett (Dental), Eileen Patton (SOM), Sarita Sanjoy (SOM), Fran May (CITS), Jim Leoni (CITS), Brent Nickles  (CITS), Buzz Merrick (CITS), Shannon Tucker (PHARM), Chris Klimas (PHARM)


  • Blackboard Users Conference Findings
  • WebTycho visit/demo findings
  • CE Server payments
  • e-Learning@UMB initiative
Blackboard Users Conference Findings

Shannon noted some interesting free Building Blocks: one, Power User Enrollment, allows you to enroll users in courses quickly. This one seemed to have the most immediate appeal among the group. The others were BatchGE, which lets you set up student groups easily, and Blackboard Link Checker, which verifies links contained in a course's External Links section.

Bob took a look at anti-plagiarism tools that integrate with Blackboard -- the School of Nursing has used several in the past. Dave Pitts was interested in Tegrity, a company that offers lecture recording that coordinates with students notes taken with a special pen and paper. Coppin State has begun to use Tegrity.

Next steps: Brent will set up Power User Enrollment on the Blackboard test server. This may take some time, as some hardware upgrades are necessary to bring the dev server up to snuff.

WebTycho Visit/Demo Findings

It quickly became clear that before any serious evaluation of WebTycho or other Learning Management Systems (LMSes) can be made, a list of requirements should be drawn up. This not only includes problems we've have with our current Blackboard implementation (which we have explored in the past) but also basic requirements as well as blue-sky wishes.

Next steps: Please send your school's LMS requirements to Buzz, who will collect this information into a document.

CE Server Payments

The cost of the CE Server is now $9,500/year, up from $7,500. This price increase is in part due to the fact that we are running a development server alongside a live server, which is not possible with a Basic license from Blackboard. This works out to be $3,125/year for each school and $5/student/course.

Next steps: CE payments should be sent to Jean Stiffler.

e-Learning @ UMB Initiative

Posters are now up around campus advertising the new e-learning initiative aimed at faculty and staff. There will be two sessions on the 28th to introduce the concept: one at 10 am, the other at 2 pm. Taking a course is free. Each runs between two and four hours, though you are allowed to take more time if you like. To get a login and password for the e-learning site, you fill out a form, sign it, and fax it to Eric Danoff.

Next steps: Links should be added between this (eLearning) site and the new e-learning site, since the names are so similar.


Shannon explained that the School of Pharmacy will be testing Questionmark with a low-stakes exam in the early fall. Brent noted that a lot of unknowns remain on how well Questionmark will tie into our existing Blackboard setup, and the only way to find real answers is to test it in real-world conditions.

SSN Followup

Brent explained that the Social Security numbers in student accounts (see March minutes) are only used when students request a password reset.

Next steps: Brent will ask the DBAs to blank the SSN field in all student accounts, and a new procedure will be developed to handle password resets.

Next meeting: May 12, 2005