I’m a bit late in getting this post out, but as those of you who follow me on twitter will know, I was at the Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference in Dublin last week. It’s the first Bb conference I’ve been to and I have to say I found it really enjoyable. It was great to meet finally meet in person twitter buddies @sharonlflynn and @hopkinsdavid, and get to know some more of the Bb European community.
There does seem to be a genuine shift in emphasis from Blackboard towards developing more customer led and informed “solutions” in new releases of the system. The Bb staff are also being very supportive in terms of helping us (and others) investigate some of our more strategic issues around TEL. However it is sometimes the simple things that make the most difference, so like many others I gave a small cheer as we saw the long wanted (and needed) student preview capability. Other changes that will make a big difference to users included dragging and dropping artefacts into portfolios, improved assessment and feedback capabilities such as easy set up multiple marker roles, anonymous submission handling and searching. Unfortunately the much nicer interface showed in Jay Bhatt’s keynote is still “under development” but hopefully we’ll get that, and responsive design in the not too distant future. I’m also really thinking about templates and how we can revamp our installation over the summer as we move to the next upgrade.
Bb really do seem to be taking notice of there international market, and as Jay Bhatt put it, not be “a US company that happens to sell in other countries”. Still not sure if “countrification” is a word, or a very good way of describing this 🙂
Inspired by the fabulous sketchnotes from David Hopkins, I’ve also started to play around with more visual note taking (well it’s actually more like quite bad handwriting and some doodles on my ipad). So here is the visual view of my highlights from the conference.