What is the #BbTLCRMEA?
The Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference RMEA is a first ever organized 3-day event in Dubai featuring inspiring speakers, face-to-face networking with the Blackboard leadership team, industry experts, colleagues and partners who can offer insights and best practices to help institutions achieve their goals.
It was the first time this conference was held and we were very happy to attend this conference where we could speak with our current customers in the region, our partner BME, Blackboard staff and institutions who were interested in learning more about our solutions. For me personally this was a really good event, very well organized and it felt like this was not a first time event. The stories, presentations and conversations I have had with partners, EesySoft customers and institutions from this region really has helped me understand the requirements from the RMEA markets more and I cannot wait to join this event again next year!
What's new in teaching and learning?
The Middle East
The conference took place in Dubai where a lot of universities are expanding and even a number of new universities are being established. During this conference institutions from all over the RMEA area were represented.
Faculty development - the ongoing challenge.
Faculty development remains the number one issue in teaching and learning, as we discuss in our article on this years' Educause study (read it here). At the conference a lot of the presentations were also revolving around faculty development and how to make sure this is a process which is well thought through and brought to the faculty in such a way that it was widely accepted and built upon further. Because how do you make sure as an institution that you enable your faculty in such a way that they feel fully supported without pushing too much, or have endless training sessions? Making sure that technology is adopted well to increase overall usage of the LMS? Making sure that faculty is enabled enough so that the tool usage within the LMS also helps out students to use the EdTech better and more during the course of their learning journey? This was something that was discussed a lot, and in turn also what we got a lot of questions about so that we could show what we can do to enable faculty in their use of the tools within the learning eco-system.
EesySoft and Vaal University of Technology
How to improve support and drive LMS adoption with EesySoft?
I co-presented with Dr Pauline Machika (Director Academic Development @ VUT) and Tisetso Mohloai (Systems Administrator @ VUT) on their use of EesySoft at Vaal University of Technology.
The team from VUT discussed how EesySofts' LMS adoption tools were used to help grow the number of students and faculty that were active on their LMS. The first goals included ensuring that all 1400 modules were made fully available online in project espresso. From there, the university measured engagement and adoption rates and is planning to use EesySoft to monitor the further increase in usage within Blackboard for the courses and the EesyMessages to inform users of functionality.
A special thanks for Dr Machika and Tisetso for wanting to co-present with me, it was an absolute pleasure.
We will be posting our full presentation soon!
In the course of the next couple of weeks we will also share some more stories of regional EesySoft customers with you, but if you are based in the RMEA area or anywhere around the world and would you like to learn more about the EesySoft solutions? Feel free to reach out to us!