Technology

Advanced Technology Classroom Laboratory

 What is ATCL-54? 

A gift from the USMA Class of 1954, the purpose of the ATCL is to be USMA’s “classroom of the future,” a place where faculty can explore the use of different classroom and online technologies for teaching and learning, and decide which of these will best enhance cadet learning. 

Instructional Technology Workshops

As part of the Center for Teaching Excellence mission, we offer workshops to faculty in the adoption and use of technology to enrich teaching in and out of the classroom.

Mobile Devices at West Point

The use of mobile devices at the U.S. Military Academy began with the iPad pilot Project in AY 2012. One hundred fifty iPads were obtained by IETD for experimental use as teaching tools in and out of the classroom.

Respondus

Respondus® is an offline editing tool for creating and managing tests and surveys that can be printed to paper or published directly to your Blackboard course. Respondus LockDown Browser™ is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard.

Blackboard

Currently, all West Point courses are able to take advantage of USMA Blackboard on the Internet, hosted by Blackboard.com. This site is available 24/7/365 from any Internet connection, making it accessible from computers and personal devices, (e.g., iOS and Android tablets). 

Blackboard FAQs

A powerful educational benefit of Blackboard is its ability to increase Faculty/Cadet and Cadet/Cadet communications. Studies have shown that increased interaction results in better learning. Blackboard tools such as discussion boards, chat rooms, exams, surveys, etc. provide many opportunities for this type of interaction. Another educational benefit of Blackboard is that instructors can set-up courses with content in a variety of formats, from text to video. This enables Cadets with different learning styles the opportunity to view a variety of material and therefore, maximize their learning potential. As a final example (although there are many others), Blackboard greatly reduces time spent on course “administrivia” - copying course materials, answering questions repeatedly, making course announcements, grading multiple choice quizzes, etc.

The wonderful thing about Blackboard is that it is a very easy program to learn and to use. If you use email, can find files on your computer, and can browse the Internet, you have all the computer skills you need to use Blackboard.

Because Blackboard has so many great features, the amount of time you invest in developing a course in Blackboard is entirely up to you. You may choose to use only a limited number of features in Blackboard, in which case the development time will be minimal. Adding a lot of content or using many features may take more time. However, many Faculty who use Blackboard feel that the investment of time is worth it because Blackboard saves them significant time overall. For example you can very easily place existing content, like syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, etc. in any format (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) in Blackboard for 24/7 Cadet access. This saves you significant time copying materials and makes it easy to continually update documents at your discretion. Other Blackboard features such as the on-line assessment tools can provide significant time savings by auto-grading quizzes and exams.

Blackboard is priority initiative at USMA and a major investment for the Academy. Because of its many benefits, USMA Faculty are strongly encouraged to learn more about Blackboard and become more familiar with its potential as a teaching and learning tool. That said, as with any instructional tool, it is up course instructor to decide if or how they will use Blackboard in their course.

Faculty who have used Blackboard have found that using the Blackboard toolset can offer significant educational benefits as well as time savings for both Faculty and Cadets. Because every course and instructional circumstance is unique, some Blackboard features may work well to support existing instructional methods, while other features may not be appropriate. As the course instructor, it is up to you to decide to what extent you would like to use Blackboard. Exploration and experimentation with Blackboard is strongly encouraged. Staff at the Center for Faculty Excellence are available to assist you as you consider how you might use Blackboard in your course.

Clicking this link  will take you to the Blackboard Resources page on the CTE Web site, where you will find links to instruction sheets, user's manuals, and online tutorials that will help you in activating your Blackboard course from AMS and in creating and managing your course in the Blackboard.com system. At USMA we are currently using Blackboard Learn, version 9.1.

Contact Us

 

 LTC Ben Wallen, Chief of FLICR (Faculty Learning, Innovation, Collaboration, and Research)

 Dr. Mark Evans, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

 Dr. Steve Finn, Associate Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

Suggestions for improvements to this website or best practices to capture? Please send them to Mr. Patrick Gill, Instructional Technology Director.