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News from 2009-2010

Click the appropriate month below for archived information and news from the Technology and Learning group.

December 2010

Blackboard Will be Decommissioned in Less than 30 Days.

On December 31, 2010, the University will decommission Blackboard. Courses, powered by Sakai, has been chosen as the University's official learning management system. Pepperdine faculty and staff members who are still using Blackboard are encouraged to download any content that they wish to use in future semesters. This content will not be automatically transferred to Courses. In case of grade disputes, an institutional archive of all Blackboard materials will be created, however, this archive will not be available until January 31, 2011.

Courses Now Populated with Spring 2011 Course Information.

Faculty members are now able to upload syllabi and materials to Courses in preparation for next semester. Faculty may also view photographs of enrolled students if those students have existing Pepperdine ID cards. Please note that the spring 2011 course sites may displace existing tabs, however, faculty have the ability to restore order by customizing the order and appearance of course site tabs inside Courses. Spring classes include the suffix "Sp11" in the course site's tab name.

November 2010

Technology and Learning Group Helps Faculty Transition to Courses.

On December 31, 2010, the University's contract with Blackboard will expire. Faculty who are still using Blackboard are encouraged to begin their transition to Courses this month. To ensure a smooth transition, several resources are available to faculty including those listed below. For questions, please contact techlearn@pepperdine.edu.

October 2010

Faculty Encouraged to Join Educational Technology User Group

Faculty members are encouraged join the Educational Technology User Group (ETUG) supported by Information Technology's (IT) Technology and Learning group. ETUG meets monthly to explore technologies used to enhance learning, identify instructional technology needs, and share new developments to the University's current educational technologies. Visit the IT website to learn more about meeting times and to opt into the ETUG listserv. For more information, contact Hong Kha at hong.kha@pepperdine.edu.

September 2010

Find Additional Support for Courses Online

The Technology and Learning website contains self-help documentation for faculty on Courses. The documentation includes a getting started guide, migration support for faculty who currently use Blackboard, and step-by-step procedures for using popular Courses tools including the gradebook, announcements, and assignments. Visit the Technology and Learning website to access Courses self-help documentation.

iPad Research Study Begins at Pepperdine

Information Technology is conducting a study to assess the effectiveness of the iPad as a learning tool for students. In May, four faculty members applied and were selected to participate in the first phase of this three-part study. Throughout the summer, IT staff worked with the faculty members to help choose iPad applications that could be used to support, disseminate, or enhance their course content. In late August as classes began, students in two undergraduate courses in Seaver College, one course in the Graziadio School of Business and Management (GSBM), and one course in the School of Law were loaned iPads for the duration of the fall term as part of the study. The study will conclude in December 2011. Read more about the study.

Pepperdine Officially Announces New Learning Management System - Courses

Pepperdine University has announced the adoption of Sakai, an open source learning management system (LMS), to replace Blackboard as the University's official learning management system.

"With the adoption of Sakai, the University will benefit from a tool that is more aligned with our needs, that provides a better user experience for our faculty and students, that is easier to administer and support, and that is far more cost-effective," says Timothy Chester, vice provost for academic administration and chief information officer. Learn more!

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August 2010

Courses Workshops Now Available for Faculty

The Technology and Learning group is encouraging all faculty to prepare for the fall term by posting course materials online using Courses. Staff has partnered with Seaver College technology liaisons and graduate campus support staff to provide numerous workshop opportunities for faculty. Workshop topics include:

  • Getting Started: A 90-minute Introduction to Courses
  • A Closer Look at Courses: A Half Day Workshop
  • Migration: Moving Your Blackboard Material to Courses

Workshop registration is required because seating is limited. Visit http://community.pepperdine.edu/techlearn/events/ for the full schedule and registration. Contact Hong.Kha@pepperdine.edu for more information.

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July 2010

Pepperdine Adopts Sakai as Official Learning Management System

On Friday, July 9, 2010 all Pepperdine faculty and staff were sent an email about Pepperdine's decision to adopt Sakai. This decision was based on data collected during a 13-month study conducted by Information Technology's Technology and Learning group. The collected data and feedback indicated that Blackboard was not meeting the needs of many Pepperdine faculty members and that Sakai could not only meet those needs, but do it with greater ease and flexibility. The University's contract with Blackboard will expire on December 31, 2010 and will not be renewed. All faculty are encouraged to begin using Pepperdine's version of Sakai, named "Courses," for their fall 2010 courses.

An executive summary of this study is now available. For questions about the transition to Courses, please contact the Technology and Learning group at techlearn@pepperdine.edu

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June 2010

Learning Management System Study Concludes

For the past 14 months, Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group has been investigating faculty use and satisfaction of the University's learning management systems: Blackboard, Sakai, and TWEN. Several rounds of surveys, focus group meetings, and presentations were conducted throughout the academic year. In addition, over 40 faculty officially participated in the Sakai pilot study. An executive summary of the study's findings was presented by Gerard Flynn to the Pepperdine Deans' Council, Seaver Cabinet, and Seaver Faculty Association Executive Committee this May. A final report will be published on the Technology and Learning website in June.

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May 2010

Pepperdine Faculty and IT Staff Present at Sakai Conference in June

Several faculty and staff members have been accepted to present at the national Sakai conference in Denver, Colorado from June 15-17. Click the links below for more information about their presentations at the conference.

"An Introduction to Sakai for Faculty" will be presented by Stella Erbes, assistant professor of Teacher Education, and Hong Kha, team leader for the Technology and Learning group.

"Paperless and Plugged In: Religion 101 for the 21st Century" will be presented by Chris Heard, associate professor of Religion.

"Pepperdine's Pilot Test of Sakai" and "Sakai Community Documentation" will be co-presented by Gerard Flynn, director of institutional technology support, and Alan Regan, manager of institutional technology support.

"Using Project Sites for Executive MBA Programs" will be presented by Linda Wallace, senior e-learning specialist for the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.

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April 2010

Learning Management Systems Study Begins to Wrap Up

Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group is investigating faculty use and satisfaction of Blackboard, Sakai, and TWEN. As part of this study, 19 faculty members participated in 90-minute focus groups recently held at the Malibu and West Los Angeles campuses. Faculty from all five schools shared their thoughts on these learning management systems, identified the critical and desired features required in an LMS, and expressed how they would feel about adopting a new LMS.

Subsequent to the focus groups, "Blackboard vs. Sakai" information sessions were held at the Encino, Irvine, Malibu, Westlake, and West Los Angeles campuses. During the sessions, faculty asked questions and expressed opinions about the uses of these systems at Pepperdine. The Technology and Learning group is presently interviewing faculty who are extensive Blackboard users to determine their opinions about adopting Sakai as their new LMS.

Faculty feedback from the focus groups, question and answer sessions, and Blackboard outreach will be incorporated into the LMS study report and presented to faculty and deans this May. Faculty members who want to contribute comments and suggestions to the LMS study are encouraged to contact Gerard Flynn, director of Technology and Learning, via email at Gerard.Flynn@pepperdine.edu.

Pepperdine Faculty to Attend Sakai Conference in June

As part of the LMS study, IT has implemented a pilot test of Sakai, a collaboration and learning management system that provides users with a suite of learning, portfolio, and project tools. To help faculty learn more about Sakai, several faculty members from each of Pepperdine's five schools were invited to attend the annual Sakai conference in Denver, June 15-17, 2010.

Several Pepperdine faculty and staff will be presenting at the conference. Dr. Stella Erbes and Technology and Learning team leader, Hong Kha, will present on Sakai's collaborative learning tools and Dr. Chris Heard will present "Paperless and Plugged In: Religion 101 for the 21st Century." Technology and Learning program manager Alan Regan will present on documentation for the Sakai community, and Linda Wallace, senior e-learning specialist from the Graziadio School of Business and Management (GSBM), will present on using Sakai project sites for executive MBA programs.

SCCUR 2010 Conference Update

This fall, Pepperdine University will host the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research (SCCUR). The conference draws awareness to faculty-mentored undergraduate research and other scholarly activities within academic institutions. The Technology and Learning staff will join Dr. Stephen Davis of Seaver College on Saturday, April 10 at the SCCUR board meeting at Cal Poly Pomona to unveil an IT-developed web application that will allow undergraduate students to submit conference presentation proposals online. Technology and Learning staff members will demo the application, answer questions, and collect design feedback from SCCUR board members.

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March 2010

Faculty Focus Groups Discuss Learning Management Systems

Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group is investigating faculty use and satisfaction of the following learning management systems(LMS): Blackboard, Sakai, and TWEN. Faculty are invited to participate in a 90-minute focus group to discuss the likes and dislikes of the current systems, the critical features required in an LMS, a wish list of desired features, and how they would feel about adopting a new LMS. All participants will receive a Starbucks gift card. Seating is limited.

Faculty and instructors are encouraged to register on the Technology and Learning website for sessions beginning this week.

Faculty who cannot attend the sessions are encouraged to contact Gerard Flynn via email at Gerard.Flynn@pepperdine.edu to express interest in participating in future feedback sessions.

Technology and Learning Group Consults with GSEP Program

The Technology and Learning group is working with GSEP's Educational Leadership Academy (ELA) to learn more about their program, curriculum, and blended teaching style in order to provide consultation on which technologies best supplement each faculty member's classroom. The ELA program is a one-year, masters of science in administration program wherein students meet 60 percent face-to-face and 40 percent online.

Winter Technology Learning Workshops End, Individual Consultations Available

This winter, Technology and Learning offered several faculty workshops on topics such as "Getting Started with Sakai" and "Using Technology to Enhance Learning." Faculty who were unable to attend or would like a follow up meeting may request a one-on-one consultation by visiting the Technology and Learning website.

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February 2010

Learning Management System Student Survey Results

Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group administered a survey in December 2009 to obtain feedback from undergraduate, masters, law, and doctoral students about the learning management systems used at Pepperdine University. Over 900 students responded to the survey. Eighty-nine percent of the students had used Blackboard, forty-four percent had used Sakai, nine percent had used TWEN, three percent had used other systems, and one percent had never used a learning management system. Seventy-seven percent of students self-identified as intermediate or advanced users of learning management systems.

The survey showed that the top five tools currently used across all systems are course documents, grades, announcements, email, and TurnItIn assignments. The top five technologies that students identified as critical to course-related activities are learning management systems, group calendar, and online quizzes/tests, file storage, and collaboration.

The results of this student survey will be used to help inform the larger learning management system study at Pepperdine. Student use, satisfaction, and expectations of the systems will be compared to faculty use to determine if Pepperdine is providing necessary and appropriate tools to enhance teaching and learning. The raw data from the survey may be downloaded in PDF format.

One-on-One Faculty Consultations for Educational Technologies

The Technology and Learning group offers free, one-on-one consultations for faculty on all educational technologies offered at Pepperdine. To learn more about Sakai, Blackboard, PowerPoint, and other technologies that can be used to enhance teaching and learning, request a consultation online at services.pepperdine.edu/techlearn/training/request.htm. Faculty members may also contact Gerard Flynn, director of Technology and Learning at (310) 506-7264 to set up individual consultations.

iPad Deployment in Education

The Technology and Learning group is monitoring the deployment of Apple's iPad in education environments and is considering ways in which the tool may be helpful to Pepperdine in the technology and learning space.

New Sakai Tool Allows Facebook-style Interface

Faculty and students now have access to Profile2, a tool that provides users with a "Facebook-style" interface for managing profiles. The new tool allows users to limit viewing of their profile, post personal updates, search for people with common interests, view profiles and connections, and integrate with Twitter. To learn more about this tool, contact Gerard Flynn, director of Technology and Learning at (310) 506-7264.

MyLibrary Tool in Blackboard and Sakai Now Updated

The MyLibrary tool, available in Blackboard and Sakai, helps students find contact information for the Pepperdine subject librarian associated with each class, along with helpful links to research wikis and other library resources. The recent update ensures that students have the latest library resources for their classes.

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January 2010

Register Now for Spring Faculty Development Workshops and Seminars

The Technology and Learning group is offering three new seminars and workshops in January and February: Beyond Bullet Points; Cheater, Cheater: Technological Tactics of the Dishonest Student; and Using Technology to Enhance Learning. Workshops on Sakai and Elluminate will also be offered this term. Seminar descriptions and registration (by campus) is available on the Technology and Learning website. Read event descriptions and register now.

Learning Management System Student Survey Results Available

Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group administered a survey in December 2009 to obtain feedback from students about the learning management systems used at Pepperdine University. Over 900 students responded to the survey, which will be used to help inform the larger learning management system study. The raw data from the survey can be downloaded in PDF format.

Spring Course Information Added to Blackboard and Sakai

Courses for the 2010 spring term have been added to Blackboard and Sakai. Both learning management systems contain the full set of courses offered through the University Registrar's office. Faculty are welcome to use either Blackboard or Sakai for the upcoming academic term.

Sakai Pilot Continues to Gain Momentum

Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group is investigating faculty and student use and satisfaction of learning management systems. As part of this study, IT has implemented a pilot test of Sakai, a collaboration and course management system that provides users with a suite of learning, portfolio, library, and project tools.

Since the inception of the pilot test in August 2009, 66 faculty members have published one or more sites in Sakai. There were 140 course sites and 110 project sites published in the fall semester of 2009. Course sites are intended for class materials, whereas project sites are intended for collaboration and sharing of project resources. Sakai is freely available to any faculty or staff member. To log in. visit http://sakai.pepperdine.edu/.

The following resources are available for current and future Sakai users:
Sakai Workshops: http://community.pepperdine.edu/techlearn/teaching/workshops/
Faculty members are encouraged to contact Gerard Flynn, director of Technology and Learning at (310) 506-7264, to set up individual consultations about Sakai or other technology and learning tools offered at Pepperdine.

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December 2009

Faculty Development Workshops Offered for GSEP Faculty

The Technology and Learning group conducted four workshops for the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) faculty teaching in the Educational Leadership programs. The workshops were conducted in
Pasadena, West Los Angeles, and Irvine and covered the following topics:

  • Translating teaching styles to an online environment
  • Determining best practices for using eLearning tools versus educational
    technology tools
  • Using Sakai tools such as blogs, assignments, and the grade book

To request a workshop by the Technology and Learning group, please contact Hong Kha via email at hong.kha@pepperdine.edu or by phone at (310) 506-4257.

Register Now for Spring Faculty Development Workshops and Seminars.

The Technology and Learning group is offering new seminars and workshops in January and February of 2010.

  • Beyond Bullet Points
  • Cheater, Cheater: Technological Tactics of the Dishonest Student
  • Getting Started with Elluminate
  • Getting Started with Sakai
  • Using Technology to Enhance Learning

Read event descriptions and register on the Technology & Learning website.

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October 2009

Sakai Presentation at the All Faculty Conference

Nearly 40 faculty members attended the Sakai presentation at Pepperdine University's all faculty conference on Friday, October 2, 2009. Gerard Flynn, director of Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group, facilitated the presentation along with three Sakai pilot faculty members. Dr. Stella Erbes of Seaver College demonstrated key features and talked about how she is using Sakai in her undergraduate class this fall. Dr. Margaret Riel of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP), discussed how she is using the Sakai environment to share a syllabus and materials with a colleague who is teaching the same course to a different cohort. She also demonstrated how to customize the Sakai menu and integrate third party tools, which she uses for her graduate class taught primarily online. Dr. Michael Williams of the Graziadio School of Business and Management (GSBM) concluded the presentation by comparing the philosophical and economic differences between Sakai and Blackboard. Faculty members who are interested in learning more, receiving support, or joining the pilot in January should contact Gerard Flynn at Gerard.Flynn@pepperdine.edu.

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September 2009

Sakai Pilot Underway

The Technology and Learning group is investigating faculty use and satisfaction of learning management systems (LMS) and is collaborating with faculty about the implementation of future LMS features. As par t of this study, IT has implemented a pilot test of Sakai, a collaboration and learning management system that provides faculty and students with a suite of learning tools. Thirty-seven faculty members are piloting Sakai this semester; all ?ve schools of Pepperdine University are represented in the pilot. A list of participating faculty include:

  • 7 GSBM faculty
  • 5 GSEP faculty
  • 23 Seaver College faculty
  • 1 SOL faculty member
  • 1 SPP faculty member

Sakai documentation resources include faculty development workshops, self-help documentation, and a Pepperdine Sakai listserv for faculty to share best practices and report issues. Faculty members are encouraged to contact Gerard Flynn, director of Technology and Learning, at (310) 506-7264, if they are interested in piloting Sakai next semester or if they would like to be added to the Sakai listserv.

Faculty Development Workshops and Seminars

This September, the Technology and Learning group is offering free faculty development workshops and seminars on learning technologies like Sakai, Blackboard, and Elluminate.

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