The MiBUG (Michigan Blackboard Users Group) was established by Donna Wicks and Jon Kowalski of Kettering University in 2002. A lot has happened in MiBUG’s brief history, including annual conferences, special interest group meetings, collaborative sessions and seemingly countless updates to Blackboard. Sharing ideas and information has proven valuable to MiBUG members and created an organization of which its members are all proud. Membership includes faculty, instructional designers, IT staff, instructional administrators, and other Blackboard users from K12 school districts, community colleges, and universities across the state (and parts of Canada) who continue to benefit from one another’s experiences and shared resources.
The group is currently co-chaired by Adam Authier (Instructional Designer, Schoolcraft College) and Jerry Todd (Associate Director, Applications and System Integrations, Central Michigan University). Although their areas of expertise and home institutions differ, Adam and Jerry actually grew up less than two miles apart from each other and have been friends since they were in first grade. Their mutual desire to improve the educational experience for faculty and students ultimately led them to their current roles, and they are excited to be in a position to facilitate the truly excellent group of educators that make up MiBUG.
The members of MiBUG communicate regularly through a listserv, but also hold monthly online meetings during which users share specific technical and instructional strategies, projects, and practices that their institutions are implementing to get the most out of Blackboard. The group also has a Spring Conference that rotates between member institutions. The 2017 Spring Conference will be held at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan.