Instructional Technology Newsletter: What Instructional Technology Did This Summer

Beverly Riddell and Reid Oechslin, OIT

September 2017

Just a quick roundup of some of the changes / improvements in InstructionalTechnology.


The Instructional Technology staff installed a new teleconferencing system in ACA 208. This technology is currently being used by the MBA program.
The instructors use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to host synchronous seminar-style courses, where remote attendees can see and hear what happens in the classroom, and can also be seen and heard.
A video camera is mounted over the flatscreen display, and microphones are located in the locked drawer underneath the classroom computer.
If you are interested in using this room for educational teleconferencing, contact the Registrar’s Office during academic sessions or Physical Plant otherwise to schedule the room, and Theresa Jackson or Joe Sprangel for a system demo and a key to access the equipment.Miller Chapel:
Miller Chapel has long been a bring-your-own-device meeting space, but now there is a PC located in a cabinet in the front of the room, with a wireless keyboard that can be used anywhere in the room to control the PC, advance PowerPoint slides, etc. This means that faculty and staff with Mary Baldwin network credentials can use that PC rather than bringing their own, or checking out, a laptop.

PC lab in PSC has moved:
The student use PCs in Pearce Science Center have been moved from PSC 306 to PSC 206.

Student use Computers in Grafton Library:
We are looking forward to having new neighbors in the Student Success Center on the 1st Floor of Grafton. To help make room for them, ten student use PCs have been relocated from the Grafton Periodical Room on the first floor of the library in order to make way for the Student Resource Center. There are three PCs at a stand-up kiosk on the library’s main floor, and 7 more in carrels at the east end of the Mezzanine level (nearest Pearce Science Center).

DVD/VCRs in Staunton Classrooms
We have been working with the Library for several years to transition media required in the classrooms from VCR to other platforms. Most of the DVD/VCR players have been removed from the classrooms. You can play DVDs in the computer in the classroom, or if you need a VCR player for a specific course, please plan ahead at least two business days and contact OIT at

Automated Add/Drop Process:
Our new Student Information System is enabling us to make automatic adds and drops from Blackboard. This fall we were able to automatically drop over 500 students from courses automatically, which saved faculty from having to make those drops manually during Add/Drop.

Direct Copy of Blackboard courses:
Over the summer and prior to fall term we piloted an effort to solicit copy requests for Blackboard courses. This enabled us to process these requests in bulk rather than one at a time, and faculty had less tidying up to do subsequently. As this was well-received, we will be offering this service again in Spring 2018.

Faculty and Staff Orientation and Resources Course:
BB102 has been revamped, and now includes more resources for Faculty. BB102 now includes modules on Title IX, How to enroll in BAM, Grafton Library resources, etc. It is being continuously improved, and will have even more modules next Spring.

Previous Instructional Technology Newsletters are located here:

About the Committee:
The Instructional Technology Committee at Mary Baldwin College is a faculty committee made up of representatives from the faculty and Instructional Technology staff at MBC. Members of the Current Committee are:Doreen Bechtol
Paul Callo
Carol Creager
Doris Dodson
Emily Ely
George Guba
Joe Johnson

Carolyn Moore 
Reid Oechslin
Beverly Riddell
Kari Salois
Carey Usher
The charter of the committee is to:

  • Provide a forum for input to the Instructional Technology staff on the relative value of technological improvements from a pedagogical perspective.
  • Be a champion and example for technology enhanced teaching within their schools
  • Try out new technologies that seem promising
  • Develop and share best practices & rubrics for technology enhanced teaching
  • Recommend equipment and management for mixed use (instructional and non-instructional) space
  • This committee meets as necessary.