Houston-Downtown (UHD) opened its doors in 1974. The school is located in the heart of the dynamic city of Houston, Texas. UHD serves 14,000 students across 44 bachelor programs and 8 master programs.
Impact at UHD
At the start of 2015, The University of Houston-Downtown implemented Impact’s reporting and messaging for Blackboard Learn. According to John Lane, the Director for Technology Learning Services, UHD was not getting enough information on student and faculty usage from the Blackboard system. After the implementation of Impact, John was finally able to gain insight into user activity on the Blackboard system throughout the academic year.
Using Impact to Improve Faculty Training
The reporting capabilities of Impact allowed John to get specific information on the use of Blackboard. By establishing a baseline for tool usage, John was able to identify which departments and colleges may need more help in LMS adoption.
According to Devin Dabney, Assistant Director for Technology Learning Services, Impact provides the means to find problem areas within the institution. Devin is responsible for faculty and staff training and his biggest challenge is that Blackboard training occurs in a single facility on campus, so it has to be as efficient as possible.
By using Impact’s reporting, John and Devin easily identified these neglected departments and organized targeted training for instructors. With Impact, the team could deliver targeted communication promoting professional training to increase turnout and also encourage faculty to practice their skills within the LMS. With Impact’s reporting, John and Devin are able to assess the effectiveness of the training they offer and implement changes when necessary.
John used Impact’s messaging to place proactive messages within the institution’s Blackboard LMS. With Impact’s targeting and campaign structure, John and his team can be sure that they are delivering messages to relevant users in the most effective contexts. In addition, by analyzing frequently asked questions or support requests with Impact’s insights, the in-app messaging can continuously be adapted to address the most relevant information. For instance, Impact messaging can be used to periodically inform students about where they have to go within Blackboard to enroll for next semester’s courses.
Vital information about the use of EdTech tools can be communicated through in-context messages as well. For example, instructors at UHD use a third-party tools such as LockDown Browser to administer tests. This tool allows instructors to lock assessments with a password, which is known to confuse students. With Impact’s messaging, John was able to place a message on the password field element of the page to prevent instructors from using it and prevent many unnecessary support calls.
“It is better to get information about issues that students are having right there and then instead of them having to wait for the next day.” – John Lane
Streamling Support Escalation
If users cannot find what they are looking for they can put in their support ticket directly through the Impact Support Escalation forms. The unique feature about this ticketing process is that it collects all relevant information about the user and delivers it to your Impact dashboard in order to reduce the need for back-and-forth emailing or calls. For example, the ticket will contain information about the user role within the LMS, the browser and operating system used, and any other relevant information about the access that the user has to each LMS element. This collection of information reduces the time to resolution and results in more precise support.
“The customer support provided to us during our initial launch and the period afterward has been extremely satisfactory. The Contact the Expert feature also provides us with additional information that helps track down the problem when students or faculty use it to request assistance.” – John Lane