Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blackboard World '07 - Boston July 10 - 12

I recently attended the Blackboard World '07 Users Conference. It was the first combined users conference in North America for both Blackboard and former WebCT clients.

Over 2000 participants representing 850 institutions from 26 countries attended in Boston, MA.

One of the common threads I heard throughout the conference and the various sessions is the call to ensure that the instruction we are providing as instructional designers, educators, instructional technologists, etc. is first and foremost useable and relevant to the student.

Recall the early days of desktop publishing: we quickly learned that just because the software was easy to use, the final product produced often left much to be desired. We see a similar situation today; tools like Blackboard and WebCT make creating online instruction a relatively straightforward practice. But what is the instruction's inherent worth? Does it hold to the standards set forth that identify good, solid, effective instruction, whether traditional, or online?

It seems we can sum it up easily: Let's not worry about providing good e-learning; let's be sure we are providing good learning, period.