What Learning Management System Tools Are Available?
This is probably the question we encounter most with new faculty teaching online. Depending on what you plan to do you have a couple of options. "Online" is just another location where your class meets either as an enhancement to your classroom or the exclusive place learning takes place for your Students. Typically there are two environments faculty utilize to support online learning, 1) Atlas and 2) Blackboard.
What is the difference between Atlas and Blackboard?
Atlas is Valencia's online learning community that connects faculty, students and staff to the resources they need to succeed at Valencia:
- E-mail & Calendar
- Course Information
- Online groups with chat, message boards & group news
- Up-to-the-minute college announcements
- LifeMap resources, and more
- You cannot move content from one course to another or one semester to another
Blackboard is Valencia's Learning Management System, an integrated set of tools for developing and delivering interactive courses or course components over the Web.
It allows for the distribution of many types of content.
- Email & Calendar (linked directly to assessments and assignments
- Online assessments (can be self-grading or manual)
- Online chat, threaded discussion boards, blogs, and journals
- It provides access to interactive tools
(e.g., discussions, whiteboard, live chat, and online assessments).
- Easy access to course information and learning materials (e.g., syllabi, schedules, announcements, and lecture notes, presentations, videos)
- Blackboard allows an instructor to easily organize and distribute course materials and grades in a secure environment.
- All materials are available in a password protected environment.
- Secure gradebook where you can provide feedback and help students track their own progress.
- Easily able to transfer content from semester to semester to multiple courses.
Why Use These Tools?
Valencia College supports Blackboard for online course development and delivery. The course management system creates a course development environment that includes:
- Consistent delivery of online student content.
- Assessment tools to measure student mastery of learning (quizzes, assignments, project spaces).
- Communication tools to enhance the building of online learning communities (e-mail, threaded discussion boards, chat, whiteboards)
- Repository of online content files and learning objects (narratives, learning objectives, presentations, multimedia objects, streaming video content)
Valencia relies on standardization of the online learning environment to ensure consistent support, interactions and navigation for our students.
Server hosting policies/procedures
The following is an excerpt from the collegewide "Alternative Delivery Standards Plan". Fore more information: Steering Committee
Content development in the course management system consists of a shell created when the course is coded in Banner. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to prepare content or arrange for use of an approved course shell before the official course start date. Course shells and content are archived by the Office of Information Technology. Assistance in developing course shells and content will be supported by The Office of Learning Technology Services.
Faculty wishing to utilize course management systems hosted on servers outside of Valencia must be pre-approved by both their Academic Dean and the Alternative Delivery Standards Committee.