Used by more than 1,000 courses and 350 organizations every semester, the Blackboard Course Management System (CMS) can be used to simply reduce administrivia by posting announcements, syllabi or other documents. Or it can be used for self-paced, interactive learning through online discussions, assignments or quizzes. At the end of every semester, DoIT publishes UMBC’s “Most Active Blackboard Courses” reports so faculty can seek each other out about what works (or doesn’t) and why.
Through a partnership between DoIT, the Faculty Development Center and the Office of Summer & Winter Programs, faculty can apply for $2,500, one-time course development support to redesign an existing course for online or hybrid (part online, part f2f) delivery in summer or winter sessions. Training and support are provided to help faculty create two (2) learning objects or deliverables that are reviewed by a peer and student, and presented to the campus community in a fall or spring semester before the hybrid courses is delivered.
On behalf of the UMBC community, the Division of Information Technology has recently joined QualityMatters and the Sloan-Consortium, two national, online learning networks that specialize in faculty development, online training and research-based “best practices.” Membership in both organizations is made possible through a partnership with the University
System of Maryland (USM). UMBC has also been a member of the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) since 2006. While ELI does not focus exclusively on online learning, it provides excellent resources, including free webinars on timely topics, a very popular “Seven Things You Should Know About . . .” series, and the annual Horizon Report that looks at new and emerging technologies likely to be adopted in the next one to five years.
Through a partnership with Human Resources, DoIT supports SkillSoft self-paced, online training modules that are available to all UMBC faculty & staff. You can brush up on the basics of Microsoft Word/Excel/Access, enhance your customer service skills, or increase your knowledge in other areas such as management/supervisory skills, interviewing techniques, HR regulations, accounting, project planning, sales, marketing, and many IT specific courses.