I had the good fortune to attend the Bb Certified Trainer summit pre-conference workshop as a Bb Certified Trainer.  I was invited to present by my mentor and 2013 CTP facilitator Craig Agneberg from Blackboard.

1st Presentation – Lessons Learned From the Trenches – Online Faculty Certification
Jacob Spradlin | Assistant Director of Training & Developemnt | SHSU Online

My presentation consisted of Lessons we learned in Implementing our Teaching Online with Bb Faculty Certification cohort. In the interest of brevity, I’ll skip all the introductions and get right to the lessons.

Lesson 1: Do Chunk it ‘Like A Boss
Packing almost everything you’ve wanted to know about Blackboard, but were afraid to ask” into 8 weeks, you need to find ways to make the material digestible. Our certification is chunked across 4 courses:

  1. Blackboard Learn – Course Building
  2. Blackboard Learn – Communication
  3. Blackboard Learn – Assessment
  4. Teaching Online – Strategies for Success

Each course is divided into no more than 7 and no less that 5 modules that covers topics. Each Module is divided into Objectives, Content (Learning Unit) & Assignments (Content Folder).

*One of the big lessons learned for us is to “chunk” the cohort by doing more than one section of each course if the enrollments get to high.

Lesson 2: Don’t Always use the Same Feedback
Engaged your participants in different ways by using different feedback methods:

  • Audio/Video (in Grade Center and throughout the course)
  • Weekly Announcements/E-mails summarizing what they went over and previewing what comes next.
  • Summary Discussion Posts
  • Chat Sessions
  • Peer Feedback
  • Text

Lesson 3: Don’t Assume They Won’t Enroll if it Isn’t Mandatory

How did we garner enrollments?

  • Peer Pressure (Beta Cohort with early adapters, and “Squeaky Wheels”) They went out and sold it for us
  • Certificates & Badges – Certificate for completing cohort and badges upon each course completion.
  • Partner With HR – We use Talent Management and faculty can record external training for PD.
  • Positive Attitude – Work on Relationship with Faculty/Departments/Deans get them excited about the prospect

Lesson 4: Don’t Assume Tech Fluency

Your faculty, just like your students, don’t come into Blackboard with the same technical skill sets. Find ways to make the process of navigating and using Bb tools “snag free” by providing:

  • Mechanical Instructions – How to use the Tool
  • Contextual Instructions – Place academic and mechanical instructions at the point of the assignment as well as in your syllabus
  • Demonstrate Success – Show the participants what success looks like upon assignment completion.

Lesson 5: Be Present in the Course

  • Have Virtual office Hours
  • Be more than text on a screen – Ensure your photo is in your courses, place yourself in audio an video in your courses and interact with your students (Its not correspondence!)
  • Give individual Feedback (Use Student Names)

Lesson 6: Develop a Routine

  • Use Expectations to let students know how often you will be in the course
  • Check your course before you wreck your course!
  • Check your Virtual Office
  • Limit your Availability (you need time for you)
  • Grade Turnarounds
  • Give individual feedback but not on everything
  • Leverage canned generic text where you can place student name

2nd Presentation – Faculty Training Evolution: An Institution Case Study
Kesha James | Instructional Technologist/Director of Distance Learning
Lawson State Community College

(Ice Breaker)
Handing out Pennies as an ice breaker – say something interesting that happened during the year on the penny.

Kesha described how her office/job formed and how the evolution of faculty training has grown from hey we probably need to do this, to creating a position/department that handles it.

To help bootstrap her way into the game Kesha earned a Certificate in Distance Learning – University of West Georgia, leaned on the resources of the Instructional Technology Council.

Where to Begin – Needs Assessment (Survey)
From the survey, they found the courses that they were lacking and placed them into a Summer Bb Insitute (2 month)

Planning – ADDIE Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate

Preparation – Training Material, Eventbrite (Scheduling Registration Software)

Go to Bb to update Materials. (Purchased training materials from Bb)

3rd Presentation – Is Your Course “Badge Worthy” – Rita Thomas, Frostburg State University



  • Understand Evolution of Teaching Online Training at FSU
  • Produce & Discuss creative motivators (group activity)
  • Understand need to develop cert. process
  • Review the rubric to evaluate a course at fSU

Background –

F.O.C – Faculty Online Certification
(stipend) after completing cert
Hotel California Feeling – You can enter but you can never leave

How to get faculty to keep improving their courses & to eventually develop courses according to Quality Matters rubric? Credentials?
What happens after Certification? What’s Next?

Faculty have to apply to attend Online Cert. Training
Badging for Tech Evaluations –

Put Badges on course banner, badges for competency, skill/ability/knowledge

4th Presentation – Tech Tools I (We) Cannot Live Without – Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo, University of Cincinnati

Can’t live without iPad

  • 1to1 iPad requirement
  • Closed Operating system,
  • industry leading battery life,
  • app volume purchasing program,
  • revoke and reuse app redemption code
  • mobile device manager – give out apps at scale
  • Standardized suite of apps, (Apps organized by Bloom’s)
  • apple tvs everywhere – wirelessly project ipad change dynamic of classroom freedom from lectern
  • Content Delivery with iTunesU (optimize content for ipad)

redid content with iBooks – everything that was PowerPoint was redesigned in multi-touch ibook – SAMR MODEL technology driving toward

Every student has a virtual computer (remote access) – students purchase IPAD as part as program – Devices managed – air watch $100 in apps.

Can’t live without Technology kits for faculty (using faculty development dollars)
eLearning backpack – Apple TV, iPad Air, intelligent backpack, wacom tablet (Kahn academy videos), styles, wireless usb mic, wireless headset, camtasia studio (about $2000 in equipment) (20 hours of consultant who work with faculty)

I Can’t Live Without
Snagit, Camtasia – Scorm Created Objects, Webcam, Wireless headset/Mic (explain everything – Videos) $5 dollars, (Jott Stylus)