By Kim Scharringhausen, Instructional Liason
Learning Management Systems (LMS) have been around here at Saint Louis University almost from the time they first became available in 1995. SLU adopted WebCT in 1997 and launched it as a small pilot for the Nursing School and then made it available to the entire University. My relationship with WebCT – now SLU Global (the new Blackboard 9.1) – has been going strong since 2000, and I have supported the faculty and staff of SLU on WebCT/SLU Global ever since.
The nice thing about SLU Global is that it can be used in a variety of ways, and it has so many interactive tools and features to choose from. For face-to-face courses, SLU Global is a great place to post files, YouTube videos, web links, and grades in the Grade Center tool to give millennial students access to your course without having to carry a lot of paper work around (not to mention the ease of re-locating a misplaced assignment sheet or syllabus). Blended classes, where the course meets sometimes face-to-face and sometimes online, can benefit from communication tools like course announcements, discussion boards, blogs and journals.
Potential ways to leverage SLU Global in your course may include:
- Posting and/or Curating Content: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, audio files, image files, links to websites, links to videos, YouTube videos, Flickr images, link to library e-reserves
- Communicating with Students: announcements, external e-mail, internal e-mail, threaded discussion boards, blogs, journals, wikis, calendar
- Assessing Students: assignments, tests, rubrics
- Grading and Evaluation: gradebook that can be made available to students
- Fostering Collaborative Learning: student collaboration on assignments, discussion boards, journals, blogs and wikis
Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQs, about SLU Global tend to center around how instructors may gain access to a SLU Global course, how to enroll students in a course, and how to make a course available to teaching assistants and students. To find the answers to these questions (and many more), first consult the SLU Global Faculty Support Page. A great place to start with SLU Global is the Frequently Asked Questions page. More complete documentation is available on the Documentation page, which contains six manuals for different areas of SLU Global. The Blackboard Corporation also has a helpful website full of comprehensive training videos.
Still don’t have an answer to your SLU Global question? Please contact me (Kim Scharringhausen) at 314-977-2252 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also available for one-on-one consultations and departmental or group classes. Faculty support coverage hours span from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Additional support is available 24-7 on the SLU Global Faculty Support website.
Last but not least, supplementary SLU Global applications SLU faculty members find helpful in creating assessments, collaborative projects such as wikis, blogs, and journals, and lecture capture include:
- Respondus, a test creation and management tool that works with SLU Global is also supported by the CTTL. The website with information on how to get Respondus on your SLU and/or your personal computer is here.
- Campus Pack is a software package that is integrated through SLU Global. Campus Pack provides wiki, blog and journal tools.
- Tegrity, the University’s lecture capture tool, is also linked to SLU Global.