UIW’s Blackboard Gurus

guru_colorBlackboard is among UIW’s most powerful online learning tools: it facilitates communication with students, discussion among them, and online delivery of course materials, important components when dealing with today’s “wired” students.

It’s used in more than 90 percent of our undergraduate classes, and Information Resources has introduced a new initiative to make it even more effective: Blackboard Gurus.

IR’s Kenneth Rogers has taken the lead in Blackboard development at the university, including the Blackboard Gurus program.

Blackboard Gurus include faculty showing exceptional skills in using Blackboard, and whose expertise is being harnessed to elevate other faculty to their level of knowledge.

“Our goal is to not only generate communication with faculty, but to have them serve as a resource for their fellow faculty members,” Rogers said of the program.

Comprising faculty from five schools, currently, and with plans to expand to all of UIW’s colleges and schools, the Gurus are available to help introduce new skills to others, and troubleshoot issues they might be having.

During the summer, the Gurus received additional training in pedagogy, video use, course organization, and, in conjunction with Mabee Library staff, copyright law.

Current Gurus include:

  • Dr. Maria Félix-Ortiz, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Leticia Harding, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
  • J.T. Norris, H-E-B School of Business and Administration
  • Dr. Marcos Oliveira, Feik School of Pharmacy
  • Brad Robinson, Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Susan Smith, School of Physical Therapy

Planning is underway for a Summer, 2014 Blackboard Gurus institute, possibly proposal based, Rogers said.

Interested in learning more about the program, or offering your services as a Blackboard Guru? Contact Kenneth Rogers at ksrogers@uiwtx.edu.

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