Issue #5, October 2007


In this issue we announce a series of "webinars" for BIS instructors. These "webinars" are designed to introduce you to the e-learning technologies that our BIS colleagues have described in previous issues of The Blender (see for an archive). If you're thinking about blending Blackboard, Elluminate Live! or other technologies into your BIS courses, or just want to see what what makes them so important to our future plans, please read on.


Blended Learning and BIS - A Note from the Director

Blended Learning Webinars for BIS Instructors

Joiing a Webinar

Preparing Your Computer

Additional Resources

Blended Learning Training Schedule


Elluminate Live! screenshot from a
What's Elluminate Live? webinar

Blended Learning and BIS
Donna Plasket

Growth in BIS during our first eight years has been impressive and gratifying in numbers, but more importantly in program development.  Through experience, feedback, and reflection we constantly are learning about how best to create a high quality  learning environment that is challenging, effective, and nurturing.  It starts with faculty, and all of you have done amazing work in making it happen.

As we continue to grow and respond to the needs of an increasingly diverse and geographically spread student body, we need to be yet more flexible and facile in providing a top notch educational experience. What we are learning through e-learning is that flexibility and facility do not need to come at the expense of quality.  Quite the opposite.  Several of our colleagues have ventured forth, as complete novices, into some form, even modestly, of blended learning and have been astounded at the enhancements they have seen, both for students and for faculty.  Ask them. It's worth a look, and I would encourage you - urge you - to keep reading The Blender and to take advantage of upcoming "webinars".  They are convenient, easy, and eye-opening.

I assure you, BIS is not becoming an online program.  Far from it. Others do it fully and quite well.  We are looking for ways to enhance our current work, which is unlike others', and ready ourselves for expansion that surely is on the way.  Please join us in the exploration.  With thanks for all you do and contribute. 



Blended Learning Webinars
BIS Instructors

Tuesdays at 5:00 PM
Thursdays at 12:00 PM

BIS will offer a series of “Blended Learning Webinars” – online web-based seminars – to discuss our program’s commitment and approach to blended learning and to acquaint you with Elluminate Live!, our new web-based e-learning tool. Each seminar will last no more than thirty minutes. You can mix and match. Attend just one, a few or all of them – as many times as you like. They’ll be held on Tuesday evenings at 5:00 PM and Thursday’s at 12:00 PM throughout the fall and spring semester. The webinars will also be recorded and available at any time in a web-based archive.

The first webinar – “What’s Elluminate Live?” - is scheduled for Tuesday, October 16 at 5:00 PM. We’ll rotate through a series of topics including:

  • What’s Elluminate Live? A quick introduction
  • What’s Blended Learning? From chalkboard to Blackboard to e-board
  • Ten Ways to Use Blackboard in Your Classes
  • What’s Involved in Teaching a Distance Learning Course?
  • Integrating Blackboard and Elluminate: What you need to know.
  • Virtual Office Hours: Why and how?
  • “Elluminating” Mentoring: Mentoring online
  • Group Work at a Distance: Virtual breakouts and workshops
  • Pushing the Blackboard Envelope: Video, audio, wikis, podcasts and webcasts

All you need to join a webinar is a computer with a solid internet connection. If you would like to participate fully, you’ll also need a headset with a microphone. If you don't have a headset with a microphone, you can still join, listen and submit questions via the text chat facility. Loaner headsets are available at the BIS office. Contact for details. We hope to see you in the “webinar” some time this fall.


Joining a Webinar

To join a webinar, click on the following link

BIS Blended Learning Classroom

or go to

about 10 minutes prior to the meeting time. Enter your name when prompted. No password is required.

Once you're in the classroom, select "Audio" from the menu bar and then "Audio Setup Wizard" to adjust your audio. If you don't have a headset with a microphone, you'll be able to listen to the webinar but not actively participate.


Preparing Your Computer

If you’d like to insure in advance that your computer is ready for the webinar, simply go to

and complete Step1 and Step 2. That's it.




Blended Learning Training Schedule

Stay tuned for Blackboard, Elluminate and Blended Learning training sessions for the spring semester.
For more information, see our Blended Learning Project Website at



Additional Resources

Blackboard screenshot illustrating an Elluminate Live! menu link

Stay Tuned ....

In the next issue we'll discuss some Elluminate Live! presenter basics and ask the perennial philosopher's question, "What's a wiki?"

Please direct questions and comments to Glenn Kessler (