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TTU Worldwide eLearning Staff Members Earn Blackboard Certification

By Trevor Hendricks, Marketing Student Assistant

Blackboard provides students with an immense spectrum of tools to better interact, communicate, receive news and updates, upload and submit documents and learn. When students need help they can easily contact their professor or teacher, but what happens when the professor or teacher needs support?

At Texas Tech University eLearning & Academic Partnerships, the answer is Leslie DeBusk, Assistant Director, Blackboard Support, and Chyrel Mayfield, Associate Director, Instructional Design and Curriculum. They have been tasked with assisting TTU Faculty to learn Blackboard's interface and provide user support to ensure that both the teachers and students can succeed.

Mayfield and DeBusk have recently received their Blackboard Trainer Certificate to better address questions and concerns, but also to improve their own teaching styles and become more involved with the faculty that use Blackboard.

Having completed the training program, DeBusk feels her teaching style has been strengthened and will make an even greater impact. "I always try to improve my presenting skills when I teach and like to keep it open to create a more hands-on interactive experience with my teachers. It also gives me a bunch of different options."

The Blackboard Certified Trainer Program can be an enormous challenge that combines learned material with extensive presentation skills. Mayfield and DeBusk each completed three weeks of at least 30 hours of online course learning, traveling to San Antonio, Texas to give two presentations, one of which was a 50-minute long teaching design plan. 

"The process of online coursework focused on how to teach as opposed to what to teach," Mayfield said. "I got to meet folks in similar and different roles while going through the program, and got to learn with them."

Mayfield and DeBusk's work was so exceptional, it is being used by Blackboard to strengthen their own teaching curriculum.

"Blackboard is a large company and it is an achievement that they're using our material, DeBusk said.

"We are doing what we're supposed to be doing, and that's a good feeling," Mayfield added.