Blackboard Teaching and Learning conference 2013 - LJMU Mobile Learn presentation

I recently attended the Blackboard Teaching and Learning conference in Aston University. This is only my second time at such an event, and my first presenting at it, but I would definitely attend again. There was a great programme of speakers and the chance to speak to Blackboard representatives, as well as peers in other Higher Education institutions, was invaluable.

Blackboard Teaching and Learning conference 2013 #BBTLC2013

Alice Bird and myself were presenting our experiences of implementing the Blackboard Mobile Learn application into Liverpool John Moores University.  The session was surprisingly packed, standing room only and a few didn’t get in.(The myth making can now begin!) 

You can view the slides from the presentation here. You might also be interested to read the LJMU evaluation report.

During the session we used the Socrative app to gather some feedback from attendees. The tool allows you to create a series of questions which you can release one by one or all at once. There is an app available for iOS, Android as well as a web version. I used the former approach to pose questions to the participants in the room to try and capture practice and ideas during the presentation. Chrissi Nerantzi introduced me to this app at a recent MELSIG event in Sheffield. This was only the second time I’ve used it ‘live’, so it was a bit rough and ready but great fun to do and the responses have proved revealing. During the session, I said I would share the results with the community. So here they are!

Question 1: Does you institution have Blackboard Mobile Learn? (Yes/No)

Total Respondents: 26
Yes: 19
No:  7

Question 2: If yes, What were the key reasons for choosing it? (MCQ)

Total Respondents: 31

1.    Students were asking for it 14
2.    Keeping up with the rest of the sector 8
3.    Something interesting to play with 3
4.    It was a good deal 1
5.    Other reason 2
6.    Did not answer the question 3

Question 3: What would be your top tip for launching Blackboard Mobile Learn at your institution? (Open text question)

Total Respondents: 35
Did not answer the question: 14
•    Ensure SMTG are fully supportive of the venture.
•    Setting expectations
•    make sure students have something they can gain from when using it on the modules they are studying
•    Tell everybody! And pick out keen staff to pilot mobile learning projects
•    Involving the students
•    Academics need to understand benefits, and communicate this to students
•    Involve students
•    Buy-in (on ground & exec)
•    Find out what your students need first and use this in the marketing
•    Advice on creating mobile accessible courses
•    What you need to do that was not standard setup?
•    Involve student union
•    Academic staff actually have something relevant (fail) when students flood in, as they did.
•    Communicate with staff and students
•    Keep it simple, can be successful with very little effort!
•    Give it some time .. We saw a Big usage increase after about 12 months
•    Get the SU (student union) involved
•    A hard launch rather than soft. Does soft equate to no launch/limited resource to promote it? Involve students
•    Involve students
•    Make sure student expectations are managed because parts of it don't work well
•    Make sure that help resources are available and that staff are aware of them as well.
•    Make a simple and clean on boarding process

Question 4: What do you students use Blackboard Mobile Learn for? (open text question)

Total Respondents: 35

Did not answer the question  18
•    Image capture for vocational work and sharing through discussion boards.
•    Notifications and content
•    Announcements, notifications, accessing content....based on anecdotal evidence
•    Notifications
•    mainly information with some good use of module interaction starting to be seen.
•    Checking announcements and what's new, making sure they haven't missed anything
•    Notifications
•    Don' t know exactly, but probably mostly viewing content
•    Discussion boards
•    We don't have the app
•    Information
•    Get informed!
•    Catching up on content and notifications. They want email in it!
•    As a quicker way to access course info
•    Mainly accessing content, some use of Blogs/Journals. Push notification is a major plus for all users
•    Students on work placement submit evidence via Blackboard journals
•    notifications
•    Ask for admin info rather than learning activities

Some interesting points. I'll post my thoughts about this later