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BbWorld Devcon Session Post: Easing Migration Tension with an Effective SaaS Testing Plan

Access Blackboard Org for PDF handouts referred to in this post:

https://gannon.blackboard.com/

ID: easing
password: bbworld18

Agenda

  • Explore your needs
  • Pertinent Gannon project mgmt steps
    – Project desc and scope
    – Business Obj.
    – Measure of Success
    – Stakeholders
  • Testing Plan
    – Mapping Key processes
    – Creating testing list and plan
    – Choosing a team
  • Coordinating Events
  • Pre and Post-testing
  • Questions
  • (Thursday afternoon – full workshop session @ BbWorld)
  • Gannon Project MGMT Approach
    • Choosing a Team
      – See the Gannon Charter (found in Blackboard Org – access credentials at start of post)
      Project Description
      – Scope
      Business Objectives
      Measures of Success

    Stakeholders

    • Define ‘key stakeholders’ who need to be aware of project (those doing the work and those affected by the work)
    • Notify and verify role
    • ID Replacements to represent key areas of university where needed
  • Examples: faculty, student, Instructional Designers, support desk, accessibility rep, LMS admin, IT
  • Implement a kickoff meeting with stakeholders (include gimmes, snacks, food)
  • Testing: Multi-phased (Planning to test)
  • Phase 1
    • Map Key Processes (single sign-on, flat file uploads from sis)
      Ask: What external entities will be affected?

    Phase 2

      Create testing list and plan
      – Review list and plan to ensure completeness

    Phase 3

    • Team Identification Process (Testing team)
      – ID Team members
      – Notify and verify
      – roles for testing
      – their responsibilities
  • Coordinating Events
    • Coordinate events for limited disruption
      Follow SaaS Testing plan (document in organization – link above)
      – Serves as communication plan

    Pre and Post Testing

    • Test your TEST instance
      – production will be identical
    • Keep a record of any changes
    Advertisements

    BbWorld18 Devcon Session Post: Collaborate Ultra: WebRTC and our MCU

    What is WebRTC?

    WebRTC is an open source project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs. The WebRTC components have been optimized to best serve this purpose

    • Web Real-time Communication
    • Interoperation across vendors
    • Standards managed by W3C and IETF
    • Open-Source Mobile
  • Why use WebRTC
    • Gets audio/video to/from a and b fast
      Critical mass across browsers and devices
      – no need to reinvent the wheel
      – lower friction due to “no plugin” installation
      – User control over permissions
      Easy to work with
      – Leverage HTML5/Javascript
      – Lots of APIs (getUserMedia,RTCPeerConnection, RTCDataChannel, getStats)
      Click a link: connected!
      A lot of hype but perhaps not overhyped

    Collaboration WebRTC Adoption

    • Collab’s choice of WebRTC was not so straightforward
    • in 2014
      – Poor browser support (chrome early Firefox)
      – Codec wars in effect
    • Collaborate’s choice: Use WebRTC to deliver browser-based conferencing
      – What about Collaboration original
      – Only Chrome was mature enough at the time to meet market expectations
      – Multiple HQ videos with good sync
      – Desktop Sharing
      – Other browsers use flash required (one video no desktop sharing)
      – We’ve been adding additional browsers as they mature Firefox in 2016, Safari 11 and Edge are on the way)
      – Flash end of life: 2020
  • Browser Implementations
    • Codec Wars
      SDP vs ORTC
      Browser Compliance
      Browser Permissions

    Codec Wars:

    • Audio agreed to: OPUS
      – High speed collision between technologies
      – Low bit rates for speech
      – High bit rates for music
      – Forward Error Correction
    • Video- not so much
      – VP8 from the Google Camp
      – H.264 from the Cisco/Apple/Microsoft
      – No significant performance difference, we don’t care!
      – Patents main blocker for H.264
      – Finally Solved by MPEG LA (via Cisco) giving it away.
  • SDP vs ORTC
    • How to describe the details for the media session?
      – Capabilities and connectivity between peers
      Session Description Protocol
      – Text-based and very complex for multi-channel
      – Existing browsers use SDP
      – Even here, two different versions: Unified Plan vs Plan B
      Object Real-Time Communications
      – Simpler and less proscriptive
      – Microsoft used ORTC and not SDP for Edge

    Browser Compliance

    • After years of in-fighting we have a standard: WebRTC 1.0
      – Working Group first created in May 2011
      – Originally expected to finish end of Feb 2013
      – Last call Started October 2016
      – First candidate Recommendation: November 2017
    • Browsers have different degrees of adherence to standards
    • Adapter.js Serves to normalize subtle browser differences
  • Browser Permissions
    • Microphone/camera access
      The camera light
      User fingerprinting
      Local IP address enumeration

    WebRTC Connections

    • We’ve exchanged SDP; now how do we connect to send/receive audio and video?
    • Simplest case almost never works – users are very rarely connected to directly to the internet
    • Need to handle a wide range of possible network configurations
    • Network Address Translations
    • IPv4 address limitations: running out of IP Addresses
    • Works fantastically well for normal web requests
    • Terrible for real-time media
    • User Datagram Protocal
      – fast, buy lossy “best effort”
    • Transmission Control Protocol
      – reliable, but slow “guaranteed”
    • For real-time media, time is king: prefer loss over delay
    • Transport Layer Security
      – Encrypted, secure, private
      – For UDP or TCP
  • Collaborate’s MCU – Core Technology
  • Peer to Peer – WebRTC is about connecting two endpoints with media. How do you create a conference?
  • Multipoint Conferencing Unit
  • Selective Forwarding Unit
    • Hybrid
      Adaptable

    Bandwidth adaptation

    • Packet Loss: sequence Numbers
    • Latency: time stamp
    • How our MCU technology improves the experience
      – Differing bandwidth
      – Quantizing Modes
      – Three Bands
      – High bit rate (pass through)
      – Low bit rate
      – Ultra low bit rate

    Key Differentiators

    • prioritization
      – audio: by adapting quickly, we can ensure that video bandwidth does not interrupt audio traffic
      – video: high quality video for primary speaker and/or desktop sharing
    • Customization
      – Each viewer gets the best quality available to them,based on their bandwidth
    • Scale
      – Collaborate supports 500 users in a single session.
  • Future of WebRTC
    • Scalable Video Coding: VP9 vs H.265 -> VC1
      Data Channels
      – Chat/Subtitles
      – File transfers
      – Synchronization/Gaming
      An enabling technology: endless applications
      – AI agents: bots!
      – Internet of Things

    Future Adaptations for Collaborate and WebRTC

    • Prepare for Flash EOL (2020)
      – Safari 11 and Edge native support (on the roadmap)
      – Plugin for Safari 10 and IE11, and/or end support
    • Example feature Requests
      – Dedicated video channels (sign language, labs, presentations)
      – More Videos
      – Primary limitation is available bandwidth
      – Desktop Cursor Control
      – WebRTC desktop sharing is not VNC

    BbWorld18 Devcon Session Post: Integrating Learn with LTI and REST

    HOW TO INTEGRATE AN APPLICATION WITH LEARN USING LIT AND REST APIs

    Note: most of this session is in the “coming soon category”

    What are we trying to solve?

    • Integrate ISV(independent software vendor) tools with original and ULTRA Learn
    • Access to content
      – Publisher Text books
      – Open educational resources
    • Use of specialized “tools” not built by Blackboard:
      – Assignment
      – Test
      – Grading
      – Video Creation
      – Course Evaluation
      – Games
    • Better Security!!
  • Content Market (built into learn experience)
    • Publishers, LTI tools.
      Links bring up ISV UI
      Getting 3rd party content into LEARN seamlessly

    Your Experience

    • Tool Developer
    • Learn Administrator/Instructor/User
    • Ultra Experience
    • Building Blocks
    • LTI
    • REST API
  • LTI Advantage – four new specifications that work together
  • New Security Model based on existing standards
    • OAuth 2.0
      OpenID Connect (OIDC)
      JWT (JSON Web Tokens)
      Library support for most languages (see jwt.io)
      Better security (harder to crack)
      Asymmetric keys (not sharing keys between tool and LMS)
      New terminology to better match OAuth 2 terminology:
      – Tool (tool provider) – Client in OAuth 2.0
      – Platform (tool consumer or LMS) – Resource Server
      – Users
      – Grades

    New Security Model & Contract

    NEw Deployment ID for Tools

    LTI Resource Link (Formerly known as Basic LTI Launch)

    JWT and OpenID Connect Fields

    LTI 1.3 Core in a Nutshell

    LTI Deep Linking 2.0 (Formerly Content-Item Message

    LTI Deep Linking Request (from Platform)

    Assignment and Grades Service 2.0

    • Post a score from tool
    • Get result from platform
      -result does not necessarily equal score
    • Create line items (grade book columns) by the tool in the platform’s grade book
      – may or may not be associated with a resource
    • Requires OAuth 2.0 security model (bearer token, scopes)
  • Developer Portal – developer.blackboard.com
    • Rich set of RESTFUL APIs
      Well documented
      Use in conjunction with LTI
      – get information about a course
      – Gradebook schemas
      – Attempts for a user
      – Group Information
      – ETC.

    BbWorld18 Devcon Session Blog: Introduction to Attendance

    • Overview of attendance functionality
    • Feature/service architecture
    • Integration architecture
    • Impact and future guidelines
  • Attendance shows up in a roster view with students on left and tabular content on right with the Day, if they were present, late, absent and excused columns.
  • A grade can be calculated for it and it is added to grade book.
  • Principles for New Solution
    • Foundation for future integrations into product portfolio
      Separate application and data store, singer source of truth
      API First
      Take advantage of latest tech

    Service Architecture

    • Multi-tenant service, data serrated by unique user I’d
    • Application tier developed in java
    • Dropwizard library for API/controllers
    • JDBI for data access
    • Flyway for database scheme management
    • Deployed as docker containers on Kubernets
    • Postgres 9.6 for database
  • Integration Architecture
  • Security Architecture
  • Why did we choose this architecture?
    Building Functionality as a separate service has advantages.
    • Separate application & database adds no load to learn
      Natively built on REST API, easy to integrate into other products
      Standalone, small service can choose the most appropriate technologies for a given function
      Separate service can be tested and deployed in isolation.

    Integration Architecture

    • Standalone SaaS easily integrated across portfolio
    • integrate 3rd party services through developer portal (future)
    • API first (REST) enables complete access to service functionality through APIs
  • Blueprint for future work
    • Building services as separate has advantages can can be applied to broad set of problems
      Important architectural pattern that will help apply on larger scale over time
      Leads to tighter integration and more consistent functionality across product suite
      Services can be gradually rolled out and integrated Bb applications
      Scalability of entire eco-system will improve over monolithic application: more stable, more consistent and predictable performance
      Used in other areas besides attendance, box integration, cloud storage integration, Ultra institution pages.

    General Impact

    • Service based architecture is mostly transparent to end users, but affects developers and integrators.
    • Not all data I contained in LEARN anymore
    • Not all functionality is available via Java API anymore
    • Data will be aggregated into data lake
    • Functionality is exposed through REST APIs
    • Use REST APIs to future prof customizations and extensions.

    When you Pack Your Bags for BbWorld18…

    When we think of thought-leading eLearning conferences that we attend like Blackboard World, we often think of them in terms of things we will come back with. There is good reason for this, as there are so many takeaways that a conference like Blackboard World provides. For the purposes of this blog post however, we will be focusing on what we should bring with us to Blackboard World 2018.

    So when you pack your bags for BbWorld….

    …..Pack a way to share what you learn:

    For every oSharing Gadgetsne of us who are fortunate enough to attend this tremendous eLearning event, there are many, many more of us who cannot be at BbWorld. Since we all know that “sharing is caring,” bring a way to share what you’ve learned with your coworkers back home and your colleagues across the world. Whether you are live tweeting by phone or mobile device, live-blogging from your tablet or laptop, or maybe just taking notes to present, blog, or post later, you will be helping your coworkers at home and your peers across academia benefit from what you are picking up from colleagues, professionals and thought leaders.  Remember the hashtag: #BbWorld18

    …..Pack a charger (Mobile or otherwise):

    Portable ChargerIf indeed you are sharing your experience, or just trying to stay in touch with events back at home, you will definitely need a charger. I would suggest bringing one of the mobile chargers that you can keep in your pocket/purse/backpack. During the hectic schedule, you may not get a chance to go back to your room, and you may not find an open plug where you can “juice-up”. *As an addendum to this packing tip, bringing a small power strip is also beneficial as you can share one plug with a number of your peers.

    …..Pack a desire to meet people and make connections:

    Make ConnectionsPossibly the biggest benefit to being at Blackboard World is the ability to meet your peers and form connections that you will maintain and use throughout your professional career. At your home institution you may be the only person who does what you do, but at Blackboard World you are a small fish in a big pond. There will literally be hundreds of people with your same type of job. What better way to pick up best practices and learn what is working and not working for your colleagues, so that you aren’t stumbling around on your own when it comes to your learning management system or eLearning in general.

    …..Pack some tennis shoes or at least comfy dress shoes:

    ShoesBbWorld has possibly the largest population of slacks/skirts and Nikes in the eLearning universe. For a conference this large, you may be walking a quarter of a mile just to get to your next session. You also have vendors to see and colleagues to touch base with, so comfortable footwear is a must. Some of you may even spend time at Hogwarts working on your patronus, so you will most assuredly  need shoes for your journey!

    Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

    Seeing is Believing: Let Students See How Online Tools Work

    I have posted previously on the importance of showing students what success looks like in an eLearning environment.   Whether via a rubric or by the example of a previous student submission, letting students see how they can be successful with an assignment or activity in your course is generally a good idea.

    This post will help you discover how to utilize a tool that your students will use in their activities by employing it to display course content or provide course communication. That’s right, you are getting two for the price of one!

    WikisThe Wiki Tool

    The wiki tool can be the most rewarding/frustrating tool in your arsenal of activities that you have in your eLearning courses. Providing students with instructions on how to use the tool is definitely important, but many times they don’t end up using it the way you intended. This may be because they didn’t have an example or the 1 page example didn’t really show how a completed wiki should look.

    Example: Use a wiki to display course topic or content.

    Let’s say one of your course modules deals with Jean Piaget and Cognitive Development/Learning. Create a Wiki to display the content across multiple wiki pages:

    • Page 1 – Wiki Home – Overall introduction of unit
    • Page 2 – About Piaget – Biographical/historical look complete with picture
    • Page 3 – Cognitive Development: Explainer on Piaget’s theory
    • Page 4 – Cognitive Learning Today: Embedded video and text

    Leave one page with places for your student to add their own text to the wiki demonstrating how a wiki should work in practice.

    BlogsThe Blog Tool

    In today’s day and age it easy to make the assumption that all students know how to use a blog or are familiar with journaling due to social media. However, this is generally not the case as most social media posts are micro-blogs (very short 126 characters or less) and full of emojis, text-speak and hashtags.

    Example: Use a Course Blog to summarize the week/topic/module, provide commentary on student performance and provide a look into the next week/unit/topic.

    This example allows you to demonstrate how a blog works and allows you to communicate important news and information to your students.

    Each week make a blog post that:

    • Summarizes what the students went over
    • Provides kudos for student performance
    • Provides encouragement for student struggles
    • Allows for commentary to point out important details about the course content.
    • Gives students a preview/intro into the next unit.
    • Be sure to use multimedia so that students see what the blog can do.

    *Use other communication tools in your course (announcements, e-mails, calendar entries) to remind students to check the blog. Be sure to encourage students to comment on your blog posts (a few bonus points for your top 3 commenters across a semester).

    Both of these activities will give your students a good idea about how they can use these tools to complete the activities/assignments that you have placed in your course.

    This strategy works with multiple types of tools/activities in and outside your LMS. Things like VoiceThread, GoogleDocs, course hashtags and many others are easy to pair with the “Seeing is Believing” idea.

    Hopefully, by employing these types of strategies in your online/hybrid/web-enhanced courses, you can reduce student anxiety and increase student success!

    BbWorld16 Session Blog -Online Student Orientation: the impact on grades, retention, and preparedness

    July 13, 2016
    3:30pm – 4:20pm
    Bellini 2003

    Tahnja Wilson, Strategic Design Initiatives
    Arizona State University

    ASU’s online campus created a 1 week online student orientation course.

    Objectives of Orientation Course

    • Explore academic and career resources
    • Recognize value of degree
    • discuss academic integrity
    • demonstrate ability to navigate and interact
    • Use results of various assessments to becomee successful student
    • Create a personal work/school/life balance plan

    Started as only for Starbucks students.  But went to all online students.  (good for at risk students, adult learners, degree-completers, online)

    Student feedback – After completing orientation I’m prepared to take college courses online (96%) before orientation number was 46% , 94% would recommend to other students.

    Retention – Those that do not pass orientation or did not take it retention from term to term is lower than those who did by as much as 12%.

    Grades are better for those who do the orientation.

    Setting Expectations

    • encourage taking prior to courses start
    • stress time commitment of 10-13 hours
    • Dailey assignments, meant to get students into habit of being a student in compressed online environment
    • Review objectives of course with students
    • Ensure that university e-mail is working properly.  Test sending/receiving email
    • Monday through Sunday Course; course loads on Friday.  First assignment due Monday
    • First assignment due on Monday is the syllabus quiz – requires lockdown browser.
    • online ed is not self-paced
    • does require interaction with peers/instructions.
    • office hours will not be at their convenience
    • iPads, Chromebooks and smartphones are not compatible for everything that students need to do in class

    Managing Commitments

    • expectations
    • classes with limited flexibility
    • Technical difficulties

    Professor Communication, Course Structure

    • Grades not being posted
    • faculty not getting back to students
    • Books, due dates not updated or changed

    Orientation is part of larger student success initiative.  ASU wants to improve freshman persistence to 90%, identification of systemic, cultural, social and political obstacles that interfere with successful course completion are key to exploring new ways to remove barriers and help students understand, apply and make course content relevant to them.

    First Year Student Success Initiative

    Identify freshman level ASU courses with high DEW rates, faculty rotation, freshman presence

    Phase 1 – focus on popular degree programs
    Phase 2 – include 100 level SQ (science quantitative) courses

    11 credit limit on first-time-freshmen

    Enrollment to Success Coach handoff – earlier to work on:
    – Orientation
    – Financial Aid
    – Advising
    – Mindset

    Fall Focus: Course/Faculty/Dept 

    • Course focus/360 evaluation
    • master class – faculty bootcamp
    • master faculty
    • ID Meeting July/August
    • Lead/QM Webinar September
    • Faculty Lead/Faculty: July/August/September+
    • First Year Student Success Initiative/Success Center Official kickoff: August

    Student/Coach

    • Success Center
    • Success Coach
    • Success Tips
    • Success Site/ASU Online

    Student Facing

    • Success Coaches
    • Success Site
    • Success Tips
    • Succeed Online
    • Online Tutoring
    • ASU Orientations
    • Assessments

    BbWorld16 – Building student connections when teaching high enrollment online courses.

    student_connectionsVenetian H
    Tuesday 7/12 @ 1-1:50pm

    Jody Lester, Associate Professor
    Boise State University

    Connect students with course and the online environment
    Week Zero: Do not assume students will already know how to learn online.  Welcome them to the experience.  Create a warm, supportive environment where they can learn.

    • Direct them to Blackboard Help Documentation for students
    • Send an introductory e-mail through blackboard before class begins.
    • Include a short 5 minute or less video introduction that introduces you and the class, setting a positive tone.
    • Let students know when the course will open (first day of class) and when their first assignment will be posted/due.

    Make the course site easy to navigate:

    • Keep the navigation elements simple
    • Use sub-header and divider elements to visually organize the course menu items
    • Use a course banner

    Establish predictable patterns: For the student, an established pattern of course activities allows for planning and management of other non-course activities around their online activities.  For the instructor, establishing and communicating a course schedule and pattern of work serves to define the boundaries between the online class and the rest of life.

    • Clearly label content areas, folders and identify the reasons for assignments
    • Provide a checklist for each assignment so that students can clearly identify whether they have completed all the required work (rubric)

    Connect the instructor to the students and students to the instructor
    Create a “we are in this together” atmosphere:

    • Thank students for questions/suggestions, empower them to help improve the online experience in the course (maybe a survey)
    • Acknowledge that life happens and consider awarding one “late pass” over the semester.
    • Include “what’s in it for me” information in the introductory e-mail.

    Get to know students individually and recognize them individually:

    • Have students post about themselves in discussion board/blog posts/introductory activity.
    • Post personal feedback to each student after their introduction.
    • Create a “goes by” interesting tidbits column in the gradebook
    • Keep notes that help you remember each learner’s interests, experience.
    • Construct answer keys/feedback documents that use student answers
    • Name Names: publicly praise exemplary work.  Send personal e-mails, recognizing great work or offering support
    • Sort the “last access” column in the gradebook and send out “I see you working” or “I wonder what’s up” emails
    • One on one communication – individual feedback
    • Sort using ascending and descending feature in Bb Gradebook to send out “I bet you didn’t earn the grade you expected” or “Way to go!” e-mails.
    • Use the “grade questions” option in the gradebook – grade and create feedback/answer key
    • Use “grade history” option to re-use common statements
    • Keep a record of individual contacts-column in the gradebook

    Let students get to know you

    • Set the tone with your personal intro
    •  Use video – let them see you
    • Keep it real-we are fallible.  Don’t spend hours re-recording videos if there are minor errors.
    • Post interesting info about your University and your community.

    Connect students to other students:

    • Form small groups to build a sense of community
    • Have a clear purpose for group projects
    • Use group tools such as file share, collaborate, email, discussion board
    • Be creative – journal club or group meetings using collaborate

    Connect students to the content:

    • Really think about how the Bb assignment and test tools can be used and about how assignments can be modified when used with high enrollment courses.
    • Have Bb grade when possible but consider using at least one instructor graded item for each assignment.
    • Create relevant assignments (focus on learning, not superficial (busy work) activities: Strive to create effective and efficient teaching and learning experiences.
    • Create rubrics for assignments – student can then use rubric as checklist to ensure that assignment is complete and in some cases determine their grade.
    • Don’t reinvent the wheel, link to quality resources.  Encourage students to send you links to sites/material they found helpful.
    • Re-use where possible.  Use the “copy” options to copy assignments from one course to another
    • Teach students (video or screen capture) how to see if their assignment was received and how they can view feedback.
    • Post video instructions for various assignments to increase engagement – discuss the previous week, discuss the current assignment and include tips for success.
    • Streamline feedback – use audio/video feedback group answer keys, encourage personal responsibility for checking grades.  Set and publish thresholds for receiving individual feedback.  Use feedback templates.
    • Use the feedback sections in tests to provide feedback – consider including occasional extra credit points
    • Change it up but don’t add several new things at once – remember predictable patterns help
    • Save examples of excellent student work from a previous semester (get their permission to use) so students can see what the assignment might look like.

    Take Notes: Over the semester, note what worked well, what needs changes and identify “time drains”; plan ways for dealing with these.  Refining course management should be a continual work in progress.

    Packing your Bags for BbWorld16?

    When we think of thought leading eLearning conferences that we attend like Blackboard World, we often think of them in terms of things we will come back with. There is good reason for this, as there are so many takeaways that a conference like Blackboard World provides. For the purposes of this blog post however, we will be focusing on what we should bring with us to Blackboard World 2016.

    So when you pack your bags for BbWorld….

    …..Pack a way to share what you learn:

    For every oSharing Gadgetsne of us who are fortunate enough to attend this tremendous eLearning event, there are many, many more of us who cannot be at BbWorld. Since we all know that “sharing is caring,” bring a way to share what you’ve learned with your coworkers back home and your colleagues across the world. Whether you are live tweeting by phone or mobile device, live-blogging from your tablet or laptop, or maybe just taking notes to present, blog, or post later, you will be helping your coworkers at home and your peers across academia benefit from what you are picking up from colleagues, professionals and thought leaders.

    …..Pack a charger (Mobile or otherwise):

    Portable ChargerIf indeed you are sharing your experience, or just trying to stay in touch with events back at home, you will definitely need a charger. I would suggest bringing one of the mobile chargers that you can keep in your pocket/purse/backpack. During the hectic schedule, you may not get a chance to go back to your room, and you may not find an open plug where you can “juice-up”. *As an addendum to this packing tip, bringing a small power strip is also beneficial as you can share one plug with a number of your peers.

    …..Pack a desire to meet people and make connections:

    Make ConnectionsPossibly the biggest benefit to being at Blackboard World is the ability to meet your peers and form connections that you will maintain and use throughout your professional career. At your home institution you may be the only person who does what you do, but at Blackboard World you are a small fish in a big pond. There will literally be hundreds of people with your same type of job. What better way to pick up best practices and learn what is working and not working for your colleagues, so that you aren’t stumbling around on your own when it comes to your learning management system or eLearning in general.

    …..Pack some tennis shoes or at least comfy dress shoes:

    ShoesBbWorld has possibly the largest population of slacks/skirts and Nikes in the eLearning universe. For a conference this large, you may be walking a quarter of a mile just to get to your next session. You also have vendors to see and colleagues to touch base with, so comfortable footwear is a must. Some of you may spend the evening at Freemont. Let me speak from experience, walking the strip + the hotel can cause blisters in the wrong shoes!

    Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

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