Learning Analysis - HRD

Topics: E-learning, Virtual learning environment, Learning management system Pages: 8 (2849 words) Published: October 22, 2013

Assignment #3 Learning Analysis
“The Blackboard Experience”

Matthew B. Miller

HRD 5336: Adult Learning
Fall 2010
Dr. Andrea Ellinger

For the past ten years, I have been involved in the development of Navarro College’s online program. When I arrived at Navarro College in the fall of 2000, we had approximately twelve online course sections, with just a little over 100 students. At the time, Navarro College had a total enrollment of approximately 3,800 students. Today, the online program alone has approximately 3,500 students during the fall and spring semesters out of a total college enrollment of just below 11,000. The growth has been phenomenal, and I am fortunate to have been a part of the success of this program. The following narrative explains the personal growth and development I underwent in this process, as well as which specific theory that is most applicable to my learning experience. I became involved with Navarro College’s online program from the beginning. I was a one-person department (called Collaborative and Educational Media), and among my duties were media and presentation support, coordination of the college’s videoconferencing (ITV) program, administering the college’s participation in the Virtual College of Texas program and helping faculty integrate technology into their classes. As I previously mentioned, Navarro College offered only a handful of course sections; however, enrollments were nominal. The college had not yet developed an infrastructure for the purpose of administering online courses – this instructional modality was still in its infancy and perhaps viewed more as an experimental novelty as opposed to a viable learning solution. This is not to say that the college administration did not see the potential of online instruction, it is just that the concept was still relatively new. As such, my background with distance learning sort of made me the default authority of online classes even though I had only a theoretical, working knowledge of this learning approach (in my defense, I probably had just as much knowledge as anyone at Navarro College with regard to online instruction at this time). My involvement with the Virtual College of Texas certainly provided me the opportunity to cultivate relationships with cohorts at other Texas community colleges – many of whom were in the embryonic stages of their respective online programs as well. I quickly learned that the logistical concerns facing Navarro College with regard to testing, textbook acquisition, access to course materials, learning resources for online students and general acceptance as to the legitimacy of online instruction were not exclusive to my institution. In fact, I was delighted to discover that in many ways we were ahead of the curve by comparison. One of the key components that facilitated the enormous growth of online instruction at Navarro College was the adoption in 2004 of a course management system known as Blackboard. Blackboard provides faculty with an online platform for sharing course content with their students, and contains a number of features which allow students and faculty to engage in collaborative experiences through discussion boards, live chat, e-mail and an interactive grade book. Before Blackboard was introduced, faculty who wanted to develop an online course had to have knowledge about building a website, which translated into faculty knowing how to write HTML scripts and managing a domain. Needless to say, this proved to be a rather daunting task for most of Navarro College’s faculty (most of whom did not grow up with a computer in the home much less access to the Internet). In addition, administrators found it difficult to oversee course quality and providing technical support for students and faculty was difficult and inconsistent. The adoption of Blackboard provided the college with a unified system of course...

References: Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner (2007). Learning in adulthood. Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Conner, Marcia (2007). Learning from experience. Ageless Learner. Retrieved from the website: http://agelesslearner.com/intros/experiential.html
Dunlap, Dobrovolny and Young (April/May 2008). Preparing e-learning designers using Kolb’s model of experiential learning. Innovate. Volume 4, Issue 4. Retrieved from the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University website: http://www.innovateonline.info/pdf/vol4_issue4/Preparing_e-Learning_Designers_Using_Kolb 's_Model_of_Experiential_Learning.pdf
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