Would being Blackboard certified help someone land online teaching jobs?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by SurfDoctor, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I noticed that you can take online classes at the Blackboard site and it looks like you can earn a certification in using Blackboard. I'm not actually looking for any kind of job currently, but I was curious to know if this sort of thing would help someone be more attractive for an online teaching job. Lets assume that the individual was qualified in all other ways as well of a given job. Would being Blackboard certified help someone land online teaching jobs?

    Here' the link:
    Blackboard Learn Training | Certified Training
  2. Go_Fishy

    Go_Fishy New Member

    Hm...I may well underestimate the complexity of Blackboard, but I've always been under the impression that teachers are expected to learn their LMS as they use it. I know many schools have tutorials and in-house training, so a certification may look a little unnecessary.

    Edit: Maybe if you want to work as an administrator or training manager.
  3. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Yes, this sort of training would be helpful for landing online teaching positions, if an instructor has never taught online before.

    The reason is that if you have never taught online, you are not familiar with instructional differences and how those affect student learning styles; assuming you have taught face-to-face, teaching online is very different. Any online instructional training would help build the case that you are better equipped than the next guy/girl to teach online.

    So if you have some spare cash and are new to online teaching, a couple of those course might be helpful.
  4. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Hello Michael,

    To be honest, I'm not sure whether Blackboard's certification is worth the return on investment. When I was at my former institution, Blackboard fell under my jurisdiction, so I sent myself to training at Blackboard's facility and was not that impressed (especially for the price). Later, I created in-house Blackboard training for our faculty that covered twice the content in less than half the time. Now, you can do a Google search and find all kinds of training materials for Blackboard.

    The initial certification that they now offer consists of three 2-week courses at $390 per course. For six weeks and $1170, you can learn one LMS (Blackboard). For institutions like mine that do not use Blackboard, having Blackboard certification honestly does not mean much.
  5. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Agreed. However, if you had to choose between hiring one of two instructors of nearly identical qualification who had never taught online, and one of them had the Blackboard trainings, would it make a difference on which one you would hire?
  6. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    It does seem like it would help to me, but I don't actually know much about it. I'm not sure if it would be worth a great deal of expense, especially if the school you were applying at did not use Blackboard. I will likely attempt to teach online 4 or 5 years in the future, so I'm interested to know the opinion of you and others, like Dr. P, who have experience in this area.
  7. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I've taught with Blackboard a few times. I taken classes at Fort Hays and Liberty with Blackboard. I can't imagine what the Blackboard courses would be about, because it is pretty straightforward to learn. That said, if you've never tried to apply your teaching skills to the online modality, it would helpful take one of these classes at Blackboard, to show you've thought about teaching that way. However, I'm wondering whether the price of those courses justifies taking more than one or two classes; $390 per course seems very pricey for continuing education hours, etc.
  8. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Yea, $390 seems really high, especially since it appears that there is not that much to it. Maybe it has more to do with course development than it has to do with simply facilitating an online class.
  9. cravenco

    cravenco New Member

    Yea, I would not worry about it, for from my understanding the school you are going to teach at gives you some type of basic class in it.
  10. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Exactly, but we were sort of talking about whether taking a Blackboard class or two might enhance your attractiveness as a faculty candidate.
  11. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I suppose it might be a good strategy to check the platform used at a school you were hoping to work for and then to take a Blackboard class if it is used there.
  12. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    The Blackboard training does not really cover instructional/course design or how to be an effective and interactive online teacher. It's primary function is to get users competent in the various features of the Blackboard LMS.

    Several colleges offer courses to train instructors in online teaching strategies, communication and assessment skills. Again, the Blackboard training in these areas are on how to use the Blackboard discussion boards, quizzes and grade book, not on teaching and assessment skills. Frankly, someone with certification from Illinois Online Network, LERN, University of Wisconsin, or other non-vendor training on the resume or vita would catch my attention far more than Blackboard product certification.
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Very good info. I'm going to archive that info and I may look into those programs in the future. Thank you.
  14. yuccabrevifolia

    yuccabrevifolia New Member

    Platform specific issues as well.

    I really can't add much to this conversation in terms of pros and cons, but I think I do have one more insight. I took the advanced teaching certification series last year when our school went over to BB9 from WebCT 4. I was surprised to find that several of the features covered in the training were not available in our version of BB. Schools can buy different levels of the software with varying levels of functionality. So your return on investment also is dictated by which level of BB your school buys.

    My feelings on it are essentially the same as my feelings about my Microsoft Certified Professional certifications. They augment your resume, but do not take the place of actual experience and education from an accredited school.

  15. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Yes, yes, yes. They might only be useful for those teachers with no online experience but are seeking to enhance there resumes to obtain online teaching positions.

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