#BbWorld15 + DEVCON – B2s for Blackboard – Understanding the Role of Faculty in the Integration Process

Speakers: Allison White, Associate Professor/OTEC Program Coordinator, Ohio University; David Dixon, EPIC/TAACCCT Project Team Leader, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Incorporating powerful integrations that meet QM and OLC design standards to promote collaboration, manage curriculum, and support student learning is vitally important to faculty in higher education. Today’s hybrid and online course designs must meet high standards to achieve positive student outcomes. The role of faculty in the implementation of building blocks (B2s) to their LMS is often unclear or overlooked in technical environments. Ultimately, faculty are not only users but also pseudo business analysts and subject matter experts who recognize the tools that best promote learning objectives and course goals. As subject matter experts they will take an active role from start to finish to ensure these B2s reach production. Faculty from two different institutions share how they choose, leverage, test, and support the B2 process and use B2s to create powerful e-learning ecosystems. These faculty will demonstrate tools used in their course designs and explain how they meet the standards.

  • Ohio University Perspective – Integration requests and the implementation process from a faculty point of view.
  • KTCS Perspective – Quality Matters/Online Learning Consortium Standards and Integration Basics

Ohio University

  • Core features of Bb are used by faculty including: assignments, assessments, communication tools such as discussions, announcements, blogs, wikis and journals.
  • Panopto has been popular for lecture capture.
  • B2s OU uses: McGraw Hill, Turnitin, Panopto, SafeAssign (Popular!), VoiceThread, Learning Objects Campus Pack, WebAssign (Popular!), and TurningPoint Clicker.
  • Faculty allow 3 months to test and pilot a proposed new B2
  • Faculty must be willing to help test & promote new blocks
  • Faculty are the subject matter experts (SMEs); often take on a Business Analyst role
  • Building Block Implementation Process includes: 1 – Request/Review, 2 – Testing and FAQs, 3 – Installation/Production


  • Current B2 Requests: Pearson MyLab & Mastering, Wiley Plus, Top Hat, Macmillan, and Class Climate
  • Most FAQs/Tickets: Turnitin and Panopto
  • OU is using Campus Pack Journal as ePortfolios.

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Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

  • QM/OLC Standards are linked to KCTCS Evidence via solutions or services and Building Blocks.
  • Courses must go through a quality assurance process at the college.
  • Courses are revised a minimum of of every 3 years.
  • Each course at KCTCS uses a uniform syllabus with outlines that include: course objectives, outcomes, grading, any needed materials, and required texts or software.
  • Softchalk is used to create syllabi and upload these enhanced syllabi into the courses.
  • Each learn-on-demand course includes: online tutorial services (Brainfuse) and an online retention system (Starfish)
  • Starfish allows instructors to raise flags, kudos, to dos, and referrals for students academic performance.  It also provides virtual appointments.

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In short, connecting faculty to feature requests and involving them in the process of enhancing the system provides a unique opportunity to increase engagement.

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