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Design at #BbWorld19

Posted by stolleb Jul 24, 2019

“I want to run an empathy map exercise with first-time online instructors.”

“You need to build out this concept, and I won’t take, ‘We will see,’ as an answer!”

“I don’t want students to see the ‘t-word’ [test] until I show it to them.”

“I don’t think that data has a downside.”

“Help me to not need you to help me.”

“In past experiences, products have not been this clear.”


These are just a few things the Blackboard Design Team heard from BbWorld attendees during the first two days of BbWorld 2019.


Group of workshop attendees sitting at tables completing empathy map canvases.


On Tuesday morning, we had fun and discovered rich insights thanks to participants in the workshop on Design Thinking and the Future of EdTech. We’ve also been running a variety of research projects in the UX Lab, so you can shape the Blackboard products you use—whether you have 5 or 25 minutes to spare.



So far, we've run usability tests on complex grading, a Box view replacement and Blackboard Data. Attendees have shared how they use release notes and given feedback on concepts for structuring course curriculum. Your input has helped us understand how to improve feedback in Ultra. We even had to print more forms because so many people stopped by to review and rate concepts illustrating possible future directions for Blackboard!


There's still one more day of BbWorld, and the UX Lab activities change each day. Swing by tomorrow (Thursday) to explore one or more of these topics: 

  • Embedded cloud assessments 
  • Group collaboration in Ultra
  • Discovery and adoption of integrations
  • Blackboard Data workflows and reporting needs
  • Blackboard Help content
  • Future-of-Blackboard concepts
  • Accessible Technology demos


If you haven’t stopped by the UX Lab in Community Live yet, don’t miss it! Even if you’ve already visited, come back again because we’d love your take on a different feature or concept. And don’t forget to sign up for the Design Research Participant Panel, so you can hear about ongoing research opportunities after BbWorld.


Think you know everything about BbWorld history? Test your knowledge here and share your score on social media! 



About the Scholarship

As a market leader in education technology, Blackboard understands the critical need for professional development in the workplace. We value diversity of perspectives, ideas and skills.


This year, we’re providing a scholarship opportunity to help add more diverse perspectives at our signature conference, DevCon + BbWorld. We are proud to accept nominations for the Diversity Scholarship, which will fund registration and travel expenses for two selected Nominees to DevCon + BbWorld in Austin, TX on July 22–25, 2019 (the “Event”).


Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a full-time employee or student at a Blackboard client institution;
  • Must be a member of an underrepresented group at technical conferences, including but not limited to women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBT+, veterans;
  • If employed, your employer cannot cover the cost of your conference attendance;
  • Must be at least 18 years old;
  • Must be based in the United States; and
  • Must be able to attend the Event in July 2019


If you meet the criteria above, we encourage you to nominate yourself for this scholarship! Or if you know someone who meets the criteria above, please nominate them! The deadline for nominations is midnight EST on May 31, 2019.


Blackboard will evaluate nominees based on a documented rubric that considers the responses to the questions included in in the Nomination Form and how impactful the scholarship could be for the nominees or their respective institution.


Blackboard will award full Scholarship to the two (2) nominees who have the highest scores based on the outlined criteria.


The full scholarship will include the following:

  • Flight, hotel, and expenses for the scholarship recipients to attend the Event up to $3,000.00.
  • Registration for the scholarship recipient for the Event
  • Attendance at client facing events, including the DevCon party on Monday night, the community event on Tuesday night and more
  • Bb Swag


Full retail value is approximately $5,000.00. The scholarship recipient will be announced on June 15, 2019.

Click here to nominate someone you know! 



BbWorld 2019 CFP Open!

Posted by vivek.ramgopal Jan 22, 2019

The 2019 BbWorld + DevCon Call for Presentations Window is Now Open


Presenting at BbWorld is a great way to network, promote yourself and your intuition and is a great resume builder. In addition, presenters also receive a discounted rate on registration.


Present at BbWorld - BbWorld 2019


And we have one new twist this year - Early Decision acceptances. Check out the page for more info.


Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.56.33 PM.png

Be one of the first to register and get $100 off! See you in Austin!


Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 2.24.02 PM.png


Calling All Heroes!!

Posted by scott.hurrey Jul 10, 2018

By now you have probably heard the DevCon party this year is themed. We are all superheroes at our various institutions, fixing issues where there seems to be no fix, or writing that integration that exceeds the vision of even the most visionary instructor. At DevCon 2018, you have the chance to leave the worries of your mild-mannered alter ego behind and show up in your best crime-fighting gear.


That’s right, the DevCon Party is a superhero party! Costumes are not required, but they are encouraged. And for those evil-doers out there, don’t fret. Come as your favorite villain! Every super hero needs an arch nemesis.


The DevCon Party is on Monday, July 16 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Of course, one of your crime-fighting accessories must be your conference badge, as the event is only open to those that are registered DevCon attendees. Meet us at the Grand Ballroom 7B and get ready to party like a hero!



Photo in header "Earth-Me versus Earth-TLC" by Julian Fong is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Back by popular demand!


This is an unofficial, unsanctioned challenge that runs from 7/16-7/20. (Your steps outside of Orlando count!).


The platform supports 90% of the trackers on the market today, like Fitbit, Nokia, Garmin, Misfit, Apple Watch, Xiaomi, Pebble, and Polar.


Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 6.37.54 PM.png

We had a lot of people on last week's "How to Create a Winning BbWorld and DevCon 2018 Proposal" session. If you wanted to jog your memory or missed the session, you can access the recording and also see the PDF slides.


Remember to keep the three points below in mind.


Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 3.57.36 PM.png


And your next steps?


Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 3.58.40 PM.png


Good luck!

reserve seat.PNG     Reserve your seat now

Reserve your seat now and take advantage of early registration savings. Don’t miss an opportunity to participate in engaging sessions, network with peers, and gain the insights you need to make a difference at your institution.

Click here to learn more and register

early bird pricing.PNG

Registration includes: access to keynotes, breakout sessions, exhibit hall, and other conference activities. Breakfasts, lunches, and opening/closing receptions are included as well.

Click here to learn more and register

There are three ways to get a free Amazon Alexa device at BbWorld this year.  Anyone can get one, and here is how:


1. Play the BbWorld Alexa game and the winner will receive an Echo Tap.  Download mobile app "MyGame" to participate in the fun: Gamification in Blackboard Learn session at BbWorld17  [ Wed 11:30am room 276 ]

One of the game missions is the Amazon Alexa game for BbWorld New Orleans


2. Build an Alexa Skill, Get a T-Shirt or Echo Dot - Alexa Skills Kit



3. [ this promotion may be back soon ] If you're not into code, you can get a free Echo Dot from Amazon by opening a Business Account.  This is a free account that can be joined with your personal account, or not.  However, Amazon does not give away socks to business people.  Only developers can look cool.

Amazon Business - Create a free account


4. A new promotion for a free Echo and $200 AWS credit is available for students (undergraduate or graduate for all you old folks writing dissertations!):

Calling all university students! Build an Alexa skill, get prizes.


5. Attend Tue session at 12:40pm by Amazon to get a free Echo Dot at the door.


So, to recap.  Got cold feet about coding? Join us for the how-to session and you'll get the socks along with a friend you can actually talk to.  Remember that now students can check their grades with Alexa: My Blackboard – Amazon Alexa Skill | Gamification and Play :: Experience Design for Learning


For anyone who does not want a free Amazon Alexa device, we understand.





Silent Echo

More about Alexa:

Free Amazon Echo at BbWorld.  Get yours and start sweet talking the AI.

From Automatons to Amazon Alexa – the History of Digital Assistants .

Amazon Alexa game for BbWorld New Orleans

Amazon Alexa for Blackboard Learn - BbWorld17 Teaser for Innovation Corner

Digital audio assistants in teaching and learning - Blackboard Blog

Source code: GitHub - OSCELOT/alexaFlashcardsBlackboardGame: Alexa Flashcards Blackboard Game: working version of the unavailable pro…

All right, let's talk about New Orleans.  First, when you get there make sure to attend the conference, a bit.  A few selfies on the vendor floor, make sure to take pictures of crowds in the hallway, and off you go.  Here is your main list:


1. Eat

2. Walk around

3. Let someone guide you


I'd love to see some restaurant and hole in the wall suggestions in the comments.  My recommendation, via Lisa - the best sales rep ever, would be:


     1. Annunciation Restaurant:

     2. Emeril's Restaurant:

     3. Cafe Adelaide:

     4. Mulates:


If you're not hungry here is a list of 10 essential French Quarter bars:


The 12 Essential French Quarter Bars - Eater New Orleans




Once you're done with walking around, try being guided by someone.  This is a great idea, because local people can put a story to the buildings, the food, the graves ... I think some of the cemetery tours, swamp tours, and French Quarter Jazz walking tours look awesome.  You can book through Expedia:

Things to do in New Orleans | Expedia


Finally, if you're not into any of the above, you can rent a car for about $100 a day on Expedia and drive to Empire, LA.  Do it your way, just like in a horror movie.

Google Maps


In conclusion, if my boss is reading this post, I'm just kidding!  Otherwise, I'll see you there.