Update to “Your Blackboard Site May be Viewable”

This October 22nd Lounge post informed us that our course sites are now viewable to anyone logged-in to Blackboard, unless the settings have been changed to not allow guess access. For comparison’s sake and because I can be nosy about certain things, I spent some time poking around the syllabi from different campuses. I did the same for CDL syllabi. Guess what I found in the CDL syllabus for one of the courses I teach at HWC? An entire section of my syllabus pasted into theirs–390 of my words, verbatim, that explain the different types of assignments students complete in the course.

After seeing this, I remembered a phone call I received from a CDL instructional designer early last year. He explained that they were updating the syllabus for this class because the textbook they had been using had gone out of print. He then asked me if I would email him my course materials–syllabus, assignments, rubrics, everything I had. I said no, explaining that CDL course design or redesign is something faculty are paid for. A few days later, I received an email from one of the deans at CDL, asking if I would be interested in redesigning the course for a stipend. I respectfully declined. And that was the last I heard about it, until last week when I took a peep at the syllabus on Blackboard and saw that imitation–I mean duplication–is apparently the sincerest form of flattery.

I guess the moral of this scene from Bizarro World is this: don’t ask for what should be offered; just take it.

My dream for CDL

When she was the Dean of the TV and Distance Learning classes, Pam Lattimore gave me my first chance to teach a class, so I will always have a soft spot for what we now call the Center for Distance Learning (CDL). I know there are a lot of good people over there who work hard to provide affordable, quality (distance) education. I also know they’d be hurt by a decision like the one the Texas Universities made last week, but heavens to Betsy, I do believe that if I had the chance to do it, I’d vote for us to do exactly what Texas did with their distance learning shop.

Check this out. The University of Texas system apparently decided to close down its central office for distance learning. From the article:

“The decision has been made to cease the operation of the UT system administration TeleCampus, yes. And the reason for that primarily is because the sophistication of distance-education courses at the various UT institutions has really matured and grown over the last 12 years since the TeleCampus was created.”

He added, “Their mission is completed and has been successful. … There’s no need for the current structure of the TeleCampus and what it currently offers with regard to services to the campuses.”

Boy howdy, wouldn’t that make sense for us, too?