Monday, November 30, 2009

Nov. 1 BB Assessment Shows Much Improvement!

The Technology Applications Center (TAC) has completed its Nov. 1 review of Blackboard courses, and I'm very pleased to announce that 71.6% of NOVA's full-time faculty have demonstrated BB competence, which is a significant improvement from the 22.73% achieving competence in August. Nice going, NOVA faculty!

Monday, October 12, 2009

NOVA Faculty Members Make Huge Strides in Blackboard Skills!

TAC has just finished updating the faculty Blackboard competent list, reflecting data as of Oct. 1, 2009, and I am so proud of our faculty's accomplishments! Between Aug. 24 – Oct. 1, 2009, NOVA significantly increased its number of FT faculty who could teach online in an emergency.

In terms of BB competency for FT faculty, we moved from 22.73% to 44.23% -- an increase of 21.50%. Also, if we group those FT faculty who are BB competent with those who are almost BB competent, we see that on Aug. 24, only 35.93% of our FT faculty met those criteria. However, by Oct. 1, 67.29% of our FT faculty achieved BB competence or near competence, which represents an increase of 31.36%. The MEC leads the way in this initiative with 80% of its FT faculty achieving BB competency. Kudos to that campus! :)

Although our FT faculty members are making huge strides in their BB skills, other groups at NOVA are also gaining competence in Blackboard. I was pleased to see so many other groups taking TAC training and using their BB skills. This includes our adjunct faculty, continuing education faculty, librarians, and computer lab staff. We are moving forward in BB competence as a college!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

NOVA Go! Kit Goes Online

To help you prepare for teaching online in an emergency, ELI and TAC have prepared the NOVA Go! Kit, your place to turn in case you suddenly find yourself teaching online. You can view (and print!) this kit here

The kit is divided into the following broad sections:
  • Prepare in Advance
  • Ideas for Moving Classroom Activities Online
  • Online Teaching Expectations
  • Key Resources
  • What to Do When the Time Comes

The "Prepare in Advance" emphasizes the importance of having a plan in the event of an emergency and communicating your plan to your students. It includes an emergency statement you should post as a permanent announcement in your Blackboard course or distribute on paper to your students if you are not currently using Blackboard to supplement your face-to-face teaching.

Please be sure your students know your plan.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

You probably have noticed a flurry of activity at NOVA this semester as the college increases its ability to continue with operations in the event of an emergency. Evidence of this activity can be seen in our new Emergency Preparedness website at

If you are a faculty member, your preparations most likely have included refreshing your Blackboard skills. Comparative data between F08 and F09 demonstrate that the Technology Applications Center (TAC) offered 8 Blackboard workshops the first three weeks of F08 but 78 workshops during that same time frame in F09. Our training enrollment numbers show similar growth. While TAC enrolled 20 participants for the first three weeks of F08, we had 478 people attend our workshops the first three weeks of F09. Because some people might have attended more than one of our workshops, those numbers could be duplicated headcounts.

Will you be ready to continue teaching online in the event of an emergency? You might want to check out TAC's online Blackboard tutorials at Likewise, please be sure your students know how to use Blackboard. We have tutorials for them at

TAC will collect baseline data regarding faculty Blackboard skills on Oct. 1, with our official F09 review of Blackboard usage data scheduled for Nov. 1. More information on NOVA's Academic Recovery Plan can be found on the TAC site.

Stay tuned for our "Go Online in a Hurry" handbook, the NOVA Go Kit. In the meantime, to be prepared, stay informed. Please also follow NOVA's Emergency Planning blog at