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Thank you everyone who organized GEC and helped presenters and participants to get through it.  My special thanks to Nicki Ugalde for her great help in preparation for my session. I am happy that my feedback of being a presenter last year was helpful. It was easier for me this year. I have some more suggestions of how to make better our experience of using the Blackboard for online conferencing.

1) I think presenters would appreciate if the reminder note “start recording now” will be on the top corner on the page with presentation title, not on the next page. So presenters won’t get confused that they have to introduce themselves again after recording started.

2) Before the organizers put recorded sessions on the web would be nice to delete confusing moments when something did not go right at any particular session. It will make a recorded session easier for watching and listening, and it will create a better impression of experiences of using the Blackboard features.  The organizers can do it themselves, and then put the recording links on the web; or they can send a link for each recorded session to the presenter, and give him/her the opportunity to cut what did not work out good, and then confirm that their presentation is ready to be put on the web.

3) Would be nice to have a list of minimum skills which is necessary to use the Blackboard: 1) for a participant, 2) for a presenter, 3) for advanced users, and have these lists easy noticeable on GEC website.  Participants should be able to “raise their hands” and also undo that, vote, use chart, click the “talk” button for asking questions, and undo that when they finished.  Presenters should be able to upload their whiteboard files, use arrows to go from one slide to another, turn on and off permissions for the participants, start and finish recording. After a presenter’s proposal is accepted would be nice to examine shortly presenters’ ability to get through their presentation using the Blackboard tools. If someone could set up a short self-examination program in vroom, similar to examining audio settings, that would be great. A moderator is still needed for the assistance to allow a presenter to focus on his/her presentation and not be distracted with possible extra problems.

4) To encourage presenters and participants to be more interactive on sessions would be nice to include special interactive workshops/seminars sessions on certain global topics for advanced users along with traditional lecture style sessions at the conference.  Each of the participants-moderators in such a session should be able to show slides, and all of them should be able to use the Blackboard features in the same time, for instance draw pictures together. Everyone else can join and just watch the session just to watch it as a non-moderator participant, and join their activities when ready. I think it is a great way to show people the maximum of the Blackboard features at work during the conference.

I hope that would help all of us to enjoy the Conference and the Blackboard!

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