Friendly Reminder: TechTube is Dying Soon…So Get Ready

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Critical Announcements, General Information, Teaching with Technology

This is a follow up post to our announcement about TechTube. The service will end in December and it is imperative that you begin moving your content (if you want it) off of TechTube and into Office 365 Video. Office 365 Video is part of the other apps you have as part of your Office 365 package. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Announcement regarding TechTube transitioning to read-only status
First announcement regarding its end (may require you to login to Techlink)

Resources to Begin the Transition

A New Method to Request and End Instructor or Course Observer Access

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Blackboard, Critical Announcements


In an earlier announcement, we mentioned starting a pilot to test if the course copy process could be self-supported where faculty could complete them on their own. Ultimately, this would eliminate the need for the course request form; however, we are well aware that certain circumstances may require us to support the process on a case-by-case basis. We have not set a due date yet for when the course request form would expire, but one important part of the form includes requesting instructor access or course observer access.

Why Do I Need Instructor or Course Observer Access

A person would ask for instructor access if more than one instructor is assigned to a single course, such as in a team-teaching scenario. A person would request course observer access if they are supervisory faculty and need it for evaluation or emergency reasons.

New Process

In order to keep the integrity of instructor access and the course observer role, we are now transitioning to email requests for this process. To request instructor access or course observer access, email us at and put instructor access or course observer access in the subject line. We need accurate course section information for this request to be successful.

Removing Course Observer Access

If you would like for us to remove course observer access for a specific course(s), you must send another email and state this in the message. It is EXTREMELY important that you ask us to remove course observer access when you are finished. This will help rectify an ongoing issue with Blackboard courses not appearing in the My Courses list for faculty due to being enrolled in over 100+ courses. As we remove access to the courses that you do not need in your My Course list, other courses that were not visible will begin to show.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact James Cook or Helen Dollyhite.

TechTube Transitioning to Read-only Status Today

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Critical Announcements, General Information, Teaching with Technology

This is a follow up to the announcement on May 12, 2017 about discontinuing TechTube. TechTube will be switched to read-only status today as part of the next phase to end services. If you need help on how to use Office 365 video, please let members of the CTL know. You can also receive help during our Copin’ House event.

Click here for the original announcement
Click here for information about Copin’ House

Both links may require you to log into TechLink.

Getting Started with Blackboard for F2F Classes: Five Basic Functions to Be Successful

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Blackboard, Critical Announcements, Teaching with Technology

The Center for Transformative Learning developed a course to assist you on how to create a companion site for your face-to-face class:

  1. Navigate the Blackboard course menu;
  2. Update your instructor information;
  3. Upload a syllabus;
  4. Create an assignment; and
  5. Set up the Grade Center.

To access this online training, faculty need to self-enroll in the Blackboard course by following the directions in How to Self-Enroll in Blackboard Training or by watching the video below:

If you have any questions with How to Self-Enroll in Blackboard Training, the Basic Blackboard Course Requirements training course, or the face-to-face training opportunities, please contact Learning Technologies via email:

Changes to Learning Technologies

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Our Mission

Learning Technologies continues to evolve from being solely an instructional technology support group to an instructional development center. We introduced our first group of instructional designers in 2013 and today, through Title III funds and other campus initiatives, we are happy to announce our new direction for supporting your teaching and learning needs.

We outgrew our division name. Learning Technologies was a name that originally aligned with the direction of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) several years ago, but the name does not accurately capture the plethora of services we provide today…especially to those that are unfamiliar with this jargon.

The Center for Transformative Learning (CTL), an existence made possible through the leadership and work of the late Dr. Bonnie Pope, former Dean of Heath Technologies, is the hallmark of Learning Technologies. As an instructional development center, we are confident that the CTL is the mechanism for “providing students, faculty, and staff with an environment that fosters student success.” We have ingrained this mission at the core of our support services because it is at the heart of transforming teaching and learning at Forsyth Tech.

Our Personnel

To address the challenges and barriers to student success in online learning for credit and non-credit courses, Learning Technologies will embark on a continuous improvement journey during the 2016-2017 academic calendar year. This begins with how the CTL utilizes its instructional design and technology personnel. First, we are structuring job titles to clearly define what each person manages or supports in the CTL by making them more actionable:

  • Director, Center for Transformative Learning is now Director, Faculty Development & Instructional Design (Stephen Chan)
  • Operations Specialist is now Instructional Technology Specialist for Operations & Implementation (Brent Cooke)
  • Our three Instructional Designer positions have lead designations: 1) faculty development, 2) learning management, and 3) learner engagement (vacant, Helen Dollyhite, Lucious Oliver)
  • Coach for Technology & Success is now Coach for Learning Management Systems (Kevin Labore)
  • Instructional Technologists are now Technologists for Learning Management Systems (Leah Adkins, E. Ashley Holdren)

The Faculty Development Lead (vacant) will be responsible for coordinating faculty development programs for the CTL. This program will introduce the principles of Quality Matters through workshops and as an instructional design practitioner for online and blended course development.

The Learning Management Lead (Helen Dollyhite) is a Title III position and responsible for educating faculty and staff on how to demonstrate best practices for teaching and learning through our learning management systems (Blackboard and Odigia). This position supervises support staff which includes a Coach for Learning Management Systems, a position responsible for coaching on the effective use of learning management systems and the tools within them for the betterment of student success. Another position in the Learning Management Team is the Learning Management System Technologist, a position responsible for the day-to-day operations of Blackboard and Odigia such as answering general questions on the use of LMSs from a faculty and staff perspective. This team will serve as a cohesive support ecosystem for supporting and training on the use of Blackboard and Odigia for the goal of student success in these platforms.

The Learning Engagement Lead (Lucious Oliver) will supervise activities that promote learner engagement in regards to use of multimedia in teaching. This Designer supervises our New Media Team, a group responsible for developing templates for faculty and staff to use for teaching and/or support services. In addition, the Team offers video recording and production services for faculty and staff to use for their online and/or face-to-face classes, promotion of services, and other instructional or marketing needs. Other services included voice narration, development of interactive content (if approved), and workshops that promote DIY (do-it-yourself) audio and video recording.

Finally, a critical piece missing from the CTL is a digital collection of instructional development resources. Resources include tutorials for operating Blackboard, Odigia, Skype for Business (as it relates to teaching), classroom technology, etc. In the past, we’ve built these resources by request; however, we will make this a primary focus for enhancing our teaching and learning support ecosystem. This effort will be made possible by the Instructional Technology Specialist for Operations and Implementation (Brent Cooke). This position is also responsible for consulting with faculty and staff to learn of their instructional technology needs. Also, the Specialist is in charge of managing interactive television (iTV) facilitation for the broadcasting of classes from campus to centers. This includes supervising Part-time Instructional Technologists who facilitates these iTV classes. The Specialist will also be available to set up instructional technology demos for faculty and staff. This position, along with the Director of Faculty Development & Instructional Design and the Dean of Learning Technologies, will be the front line for collecting pertinent feedback and bring more instructional technologies and other learning tools to our online and physical classrooms…all to provide students, faculty, and staff with an environment that fosters student success.

Please follow us this year as we keep you updated with our continuous improvement journey.

Creating a Course Entry Assignment

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Blackboard, Critical Announcements

In the fall semester of the 2013-2014 academic year, a standardized course entry assignment was introduced to satisfy auditing of attendance in online classes. The assignment was also placed in hybrid classes in case students accessed the online portion of the course first. The Learning Technologies Committee, which consists of faculty and staff, was charged to update parameters for the assignment in a way that provides flexibility for faculty. This post explains the purpose of the course entry assignment and its importance for audit tracking.The Learning Technologies Committee re-evaluated the course entry assignment during the Fall 2015 semester. After extensive work with committee members and faculty feedback, we are happy to introduce updated parameters regarding the assignment.

Process Summary

  1. The course entry assignment for each Blackboard online and hybrid section (Sections 800-949) must be ready and available for students on the first day of class.
  2. You may use the discussion board icebreaker, which is the default course entry assignment, or any assignment in your course as long as it is due on or before the census date (your course’s 10% point). To learn more about the Course Entry Assignment parameters, view this PDF.
  3. For efficiency, it is highly recommended you use features in Blackboard that requires students to submit something such as a test, graded discussion, document upload, etc.).
  4. You must change the grade center column name to Course Entry Assignment. For a tutorial on how to do this, view this PDF.
  5. To verify student enrollment, assignments must be submitted prior to the census date. This does not mean graded, which can be done later. Please adhere to your respective division policies if there are different requirements.
  6. Use Blackboard as your guide for marking No Shows and enrollment (E) dates in Web Attendance. Due dates for marking these are dispersed by your respective divisions. To find submission dates in Blackboard, view this PDF. To learn how to mark No Shows and E’s in Web Attendance, view this PDF.
  7. Students marked as No Shows will not change in Blackboard until the Record’s Office and Snapshot runs their respective processes. For more information about Snapshot, please view the information on this page.

What is a Census Date?

  • The census date, also known as a course’s 10% point, is the last day students must verify enrollment (E) in their course. Failure to do so will result in a No Show (NS). The census date can be found using the Class Roster in Web Advisor for Faculty on Techlink.
  • Enrollments and No Shows must be accurately reflected in Web Attendance.
  • When a student submits the Course Entry Assignment, the date of their submission is the enrollment date and must be entered in Web Attendance with an “E” to show the first date of course attendance.
  • If a student does not complete any course work by the end of the census date, you must mark this student as a No Show by placing a check in the appropriate box in Web Attendance.
  • Enrollments and No Shows must be marked by the due date, often shared by the division’s administrative staff, because a process is ran by the Record’s Office to capture notations in Web Attendance.
  • Once the Record’s Office completes the above-mentioned process, students who were marked as No Shows are removed from your Blackboard course.

Tutorials Regarding the Course Entry Assignment