FHSU to expand Blackboard 
teaching capabilities

Fort Hays State University's Virtual College will soon give another benefit for its students. An agreement with Blackboard Inc. will improve reliability and add online teaching tools to FHSU's education platform.

Starting this summer, FHSU will switch to Blackboard's Managed Hosting. The change will be most noticeable by the improved performance, but it will also add features such as Blackboard Collaborate, which will allow for multiple functions such as videoconferences and instant messaging through Blackboard.

This upgrade to Blackboard is an outgrowth of the university's commitment to continuous improvement, evidenced by the creation two years ago of the Student Engagement and Advisory Center.

Recent continuous improvement initiatives from the Virtual College include:
-- Working with the Student Government Association to establish the Virtual College Student Advisory Committee;
-- Conducting a student affairs and Virtual College taskforce on areas for improvement;
-- Adding a student authentication tool to identify cheating;
-- Online teaching/adjunct resource center and training site;
-- Working with the Enterprise Leadership Committee to create a wait list for the online TigerEnroll system.

"FHSU's commitment to continuous improvement will keep the university as the leader of high-quality distance education, and providing a support network of faculty, staff and alumni that we are all proud of," said Dennis King, director of the Virtual College and learning technologies.

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