Featured Sessions

Details about the Higher Education Sessions

Check out a sneak peak of sessions at BbWorld: Higher Education

We’re doing a few things differently at BbWorld this year and want you to be as excited about the enhancements as we are! That’s why we’re offering a sneak-peak for attendees like you.


Featured Sessions for Administrative & Academic Leaders

Who should attend these sessions?

  • Chief Academic Officers
  • Chief Information/Information Officers
  • Senior Leaders of Academic Affairs
  • Senior Leaders of Enrollment
  • Senior Leaders of Online and Distance Learning
  • Senior Leaders of Student Services
  • Business and Finance Officers

If you’re planning to attend BbWorld for the first time, you’ll be in great company with thousands of your peers who gather July 15-17 to reimagine the future of education. Here are just a few sessions available to attendees.


Featured Leadership Speaker, Jeff Selingo
Journalist and Author of “College Unbound” and “Leadership for the Innovative University: What are the skills that colleges and universities will demand from their leaders in the future”

A contributing editor to The Chronicle of Higher Education and professor of practice at Arizona State University, Jeff’s work focuses on the innovative practices of colleges and universities and what they will mean for students in the future.

Reach, Engage, and Retain: A panel discussion on innovative student support
Dr. Gloria McCall, Vice President of Student Services, KCTCS
Kent Hopkins, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Services, ASU
Joan Zanders, Director Financial Aid, NOVA

Today’s students require a different set of tools and services to support their learning lifecycle. Mastering the ability to adequately serve the needs of this new diverse learner is difficult for any institution. However, failure to adapt is not an option and institutions must find ways to meet the higher expectations of today’s learner. Often this mean implementing new services and processes that continuously engage students in a personalized manner throughout the entire learning lifecycle starting with recruitment and lasting through graduation, job placement, and even advancement

Designing Custom Retention Strategies (one size does NOT fit all)
Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning, University of Illinois Springfield

Every college and university struggles with the loss of students. If only we could retain 100% of the students who begin a degree program, total enrollments would soar at most institutions. Strategies abound: better advising, early intervention, peer tutors, faculty development, engaging pedagogies, dashboards, analytics, and more. Yet, there is not one magic formula to achieve higher retention and completion in every program. This session will outline an approach to assessing the causes of drop/stop-outs and how to address them.

Policy and Practice Implications of Digital Badging
Deb Everhart, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University & Strategist at Blackboard Inc.
Cathy Sandeen, VP of Educational Attainment, American Council on Education
Deborah Seymour AVP, Education Attainment and Innovation at American Council on Education

Competency-based education (CBE) is an emerging model that is gaining traction and can offer learners an efficient, less costly path to a college credential, employability, and enhanced professional skills. This is particularly the case for those 36 million Americans who have achieved significant prior learning and/or some college education but have not completed a degree.

Blackboard has recently conducted research on CBE program growth and models. This research serves as a base for new, joint research with the American Council on Education to define a common vocabulary and shared frameworks for how CBE can effectively include assessing prior learning and the use of digital badges to record, certify, and accumulate evidence of a learner’s competency achievements. Join us to learn more about CBE, badging, and how evolutions in institutional and national policies and practices are changing the landscape of educational delivery and attainment.

Big Data in Campus Decision Making
Mark Askren, CIO, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln sought ways to better understand how well it utilized its general purpose classrooms and the technology in those classrooms. By combining data feeds from PeopleSoft, our technology utilization database, and the IT purchasing database, Nebraska is truly exercising the might of big-data by continually developing a complete longitudinal and near-real-time view of capex (Capital Expenditures) performance within scarce classrooms.

Strategic Leadership Hands on Workshop. Student Success: What does it mean and how does it happen
Darcy Hardy, Senior Director, Blackboard Strategic Consulting
Karen Yoshino, Director, Blackboard Strategic Consulting
Terianne Sousa, Director Blackboard Strategic Consulting

The link to student success is through purposeful and intentional program approaches combined with effective adoption and use of technology. In this interactive two hour workshop learn about the relationship and impact of faculty development, student outcomes, and student advising and how those relationships result in improved institutional performance.

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Featured Sessions for Education Technology Professionals & Developers

Who should register for these sessions?

If you’re planning to attend BbWorld for the first time, you’ll be in great company with thousands of your peers who gather July 15-17 to reimagine the future of education. Here are just a few sessions available to attendees.


A Comprehensive Approach to Technology Selection, Adoption, and Integration.
Matt Rota, Director of Technology-Enhanced Learning, University of Cincinnati

This session will discuss a comprehensive approach on how to select, adopt, and integrate information technologies in any education environment. The session will cover a variety of frameworks and models that together create a roadmap on how to successfully leverage technology to improve student learning. A key element to this approach is the interaction and collaboration between the instructor (content knowledge expert), instructional design services (pedagogical expert), and information technology (technology expert) services. This interaction is known as the Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) Model. In addition the session will cover topics such as 6S Model, Technology Adoption Lifecycle, Whole Product Model, Content Knowledge Export Development Curve, and Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR Model).

An Open Source Framework for Working with Blackboard Learn's Web Services
Kurt Faulknerloser, Analyst/Programmer, Riverside Community College District

Blackboard Learn's web services interface provides a rich, extensible interface to programmatically add, delete, retrieve and update data. Unfortunately, working with this interface can be more than a little challenging - especially for a programmer who has never worked with web services before. In this session you'll be introduced to a new open source framework that will allow you to quickly and easily access all of the power of Blackboard Learn's existing web services. The goal of this framework is to make working with Blackboard's built-in web services as easy as possible by abstracting out all of the complex virtual objects, WSDL, and session contexts; allowing programmers to focus on the task of integrating their information systems with Blackboard Learn. After a brief introduction, we'll go over how to download the framework and create a simple web service client application. Then we'll run that application against a Blackboard Learn host.

Hold the Winning Hand: Tools and Tips to Help Manage Blackboard Learn Environments
Terry Patterson, LMS Application Administrator, University of Missouri

Blackboard at the University of Missouri has always been a mission critical environment; however, it lacked the tools necessary to analyze and troubleshoot. Learn how Mizzou introduced third party tools and scripts that helped administrators better understand how users interact with Blackboard and improved troubleshooting issues within the application. Attendees will take away information about open source and proprietary software they can implement within their environments, along with tips and tricks to improve communications with Blackboard Support.

Blackboard Product Development State of the Union
Gary Lang, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Blackboard Inc.

Immediately following Blackboard's corporate keynote, this session will provide more specific information about Blackboard's long term vision for product development.

Supporting Your Academic Technology Enterprise
Doug Cohen, Associate Director, Academic Technology Services, SUNY Learning Network

The State University of New York (SUNY) Learning Network currently operates a centralized end-user support service for over 35 SUNY institutions utilizing a combination of ANGEL, Blackboard Collaborate™, Blackboard Learn™, Blackboard Mobile™, and Blackboard xpLor™. This session will focus on strategies for implementing enterprise-level support for online learning environments and Academic Technology initiatives. Topics covered will include sourcing options, hours of coverage, issue tracking, service expansion, and much more.

Blackboard Learn – Days of Future Past
David Ashman, Chief Architect, Blackboard Inc.

This session will cover the past, present and future of integration with Blackboard Learn. The session will include examples, best practices and sneak peaks for integrating tools and data with Learn.

10 Steps to Prepare Students for an Online Course
Kimberly Palencia, Manager of Distance Learning Support, QU Online Quinnipiac University

What do students need to do to prepare themselves to take a course in Blackboard Learn™? In this session Kimberly Palencia will discuss the ten steps she tells students to do before taking a course in Blackboard. This process prepares the student, the student's computer and Internet Browser so that they have a compatible and smooth experience while taking a course online.

Real Time Enrollments with IMS Learning Information Services
Nick McClure, Integration Development Systems Engineer, University of Kentucky

At the beginning of term, students are frequently shuffling courses around to get the schedule that works best for them. Unfortunately this can conflict with traditional data import processes that relay on lengthy batch jobs that run daily. LIS in Blackboard Learn™ also helps support the move to a less structured academic calendar; allowing institutions to bring students into courses immediately, and use self-paced learning techniques to deliver the content on the student’s schedule. The IMS LIS integration points allow developers to make rapid calls to the LMS and update student enrollments. In this presentation we’ll focus on the course membership service and examine how it can be called from external applications.

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Key Sessions for Faculty & Educators

Who should attend the these sessions?

If you’re planning to attend BbWorld for the first time, you’ll be in great company with thousands of your peers who gather July 15-17 to reimagine the future of education. Here are just a few sessions available to attendees.


Know your Student’s Expectations and Ensure Their Satisfaction in an Online Course
Laura Million, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Faculty normally conveys their expectations to their students. Information about communication strategies, classroom behavior, academic honesty, and course objectives is standard on a syllabus or in an overview module. However, students rarely communicate their expectations to the faculty. Also, more often than not, faculty never solicits this information from their students. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville conducted a survey in order to gauge student expectations of online and hybrid courses. While some of the results of this survey are obvious, others are quite unexpected. This presentation begins with a summary of the survey data. A lively discussion will follow with examples of Blackboard® tools that can be utilized to address these student concerns and better prepare faculty to meet the challenges of online/hybrid teaching. Faculty, course designers, and instructional designers will benefit from looking at new ways to anticipate and address student expectations.

Be a Better Online Teacher!
Paul Beaudoin, Assistant Professor Humanities/Music, Fitchburg State University

It doesn’t take long to discover that teaching in the blended or online learning environment is not a direct transfer of the traditional face-to-face class. The challenges of online learning often require a different set of skills and there is no single sure-shot way of solving those challenges. In this presentation, Exemplary Course award winner Dr. Paul Beaudoin shares five key class room tested strategies. Whether you are looking to flip your classroom or are ready to launch your MOOC, these five tips will improve your teaching efficacy and enhance the classroom experience for your learners.

Old Media to New Realities: The Power to Engage
Hall Davidson, Discovery Education

QR (Quick Reference) Codes, AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality)—is it Greek to you? Rest assured; you’re not alone. Learn the nuts and bolts on how to leverage new (and old) media to add greater dimension to your coursework. Hall Davidson, renowned educational innovator with Discovery Education, shares insights on the must-adopt practices that are driving student engagement (and outcomes) in the digital age.

Creating Rubrics that Work for Your Class: A Case in Point
Shaoyu Chi, Instructional Designer, NVCC

Creating effective rubrics can be difficult and time consuming. In this workshop, we will offer you some concrete tips that can help you create effective rubrics in three steps! We will also walk you through the process of creating, deploying, and using rubrics in Blackboard. At the end of the workshop, you will participate in a hands-on group exercise.

The Ins and Outs of Designing an Exemplary Course
Clients: Directors, reviewers, winners of ECP

Join the Directors, reviewers, and winners of Blackboard's Exemplary Course Program (ECP) as we focus on the importance of pedagogical best practices. We will discuss the design and teaching principles behind the ECP rubric; the impact of exemplary courses on the student experience; and how the ECP and its rubric can be used for individual course improvement, faculty training, and professional development. Several of this year's ECP winners will demonstrate best practices in their winning courses.

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Featured Sessions for Students

Who should attend attend the these sessions?

If you’re planning to attend BbWorld for the first time, you’ll be in great company with thousands of your peers who gather July 15-17 to reimagine the future of education. Here are just a few sessions available to attendees.


Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy (WISE)
Dr. Sandra Woodley, President University of Louisiana System

Does a certain major sound interesting in theory, yet make you wonder exactly how one might apply that knowledge in “the real world”? Hear how the Louisiana System leverages job market information to drive curricular offerings—and ensure that students graduate with the marketable skills needed to secure a job and succeed in the career world.

-A new program to drive better career outcomes for the 90,000 students in the Louisiana State system-

Increasing Job Placement Success with MyEdu
Frank Lyman, VP Consumer Products, Blackboard

Give students the tools and resources they need to connect with prospective employers. In this session, we’ll cover the fundamentals of creating enhanced profiles that help students transition from campus to the career world.

Student Panel: “The Role of Student Influence on Education: Power Players or Marketing Minions?”
Student Panelists

Join our panel and weigh in: Do you believe that students wield more power and have greater choice than ever before? Or do you question whether or not that’s actually true, perhaps feeling like the day is still yet to come where student needs and desires drive institutional change? Have your perspectives heard here.

Tour the Blackboard Store and Discover a New Kind of Convenience, Affordability and Flexibility
Ted Hopper, VP of Business Development, Blackboard
Dr. Rob Reynolds, Director, MBS; Client

Textbook prices are on the rise—but not here. The Blackboard Store has all your course materials at competitive prices in one location. Choose and store your materials, pick your format (used, new, digital, rental), even contact your instructor. Less time searching means more time studying. And that’s smart.

Faculty & Student Panel: Teaching or Learning: What’s Driving Change—and Student Success—in the Digital Age?
Moderated by Hall Davidson, Discovery Education

Change is inevitable. Educators must adapt to meet the evolving demands and needs of students or risk becoming obsolete. Join us for a candid discussion on what both sides of the teaching and learning equation value—and how each views the role that the digital revolution plays in helping them achieve their goals. Mobile phones, the cloud, and media are everywhere in the modern world. Does that include the classroom? Moderated by Hall Davidson, renowned expert in educational innovation, of Discovery Education.

Get Hands On with the Blackboard Roadmap, Frank Lyman, VP of Consumer Products, Blackboard;
Jon Kolko, VP of Design, Blackboard

Get a sneak preview of our new products designed for students. Tell us what you think and where we can do better. We want to know!

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