14th Blackboard Users Conference ticks the boxes and hides the car parking bay

Conferences are always valuable opportunities for reflecting on practice and networking with like – and lesser like – minded people. The 14th Blackboard Users Conference at Durham University 9-10 January ticked all the boxes, including one for the most hidden parking place ever (if you get Bay 25 I’ll give you directions but it’ll cost) – not to mention the challenging climb between car and the Calman Learning Centre. Working at Durham would be all the training I need for Camino Santiago next year. Must practice on Lincoln’s Steep Hill more often!

The Blackboard Roadmap was a useful presentation by Jim Hermens Rather than words, the key future developments are shown in images below. Intended more as a personal memory aid than for publication, but for the sake of clarity I must sit closer and use less zoom next time 🙂

Eportfolios continue as hot topic. The problem seems to be searching for a one size fits all solution when it might not exist. If anyone can find a workable answer you’d think Blackboard would have done so but it’s clear from the road map they haven’t stopped trying.

Lots of interesting ideas to think about with much context to reflect on. Conferences are a bit like teaching and learning. Doing it virtually is not the same. I’ll get the information from the conference website but it won’t be like being there. You can’t replicate the chance meetings or the buzz of an interesting presentation – yet face to face is more transient. Here today, gone in 50 minutes, the inspiring lecture or seminar is over and it’s back to virtual reality for capturing the experience and making it available 24/7. It’s clear we could do a lot more with Backboard at Lincoln. It could look different and have wider functionality. As the future signals change for how teaching and learning is resourced at the university, this is also an opportunity to look ahead in virtual terms. The past two days have offered lots of ideas. Thanks #durbbu 2014 – it was a good one 🙂


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