Dec 2017 Issue






We have some exciting news!


eLearning & Teaching Innovation has new home on the George Brown College website! Check us out at ! We have updates on Blackboard, eTexts, COMMS and more! We will be adding more resources in the coming months so keep checking!




An Update on COMMS: Course Outline Mapping and Management System

  • Improve course outline creation, version control and management;
  • Provide evidence for pathways, accreditation, curriculum renewal and quality assurance processes;
  • Define the curricular connections between program outcomes, course comes, EES, assessments and other governing body competencies. 

Change is ubiquitous. It is not always comfortable but it is inevitable. At eLTI we have been working on migrating from the current course outline system, COMeT to COMMS (Course Outline Mapping and Management System). The first wave of early adopters went live with COMMS in September 2017. Many different divisions and schools participated in this phase including the entire Centre for Business, School of Dental Health, School of ESL, Chef School and the School of Hospitality Management. We are currently ramping up phase two and are still accepting volunteers!!! We have begun planning for the next wave of migration with the School of Work and College Preparation, the School of Media & Performing Arts, the School of Nursing, School of Construction Management and English Communication.


As with all change it requires up-front work but in the long run, the transition to COMMS will provide many benefits. But don’t just take our word for it, early adopter Mark Simpson, Professor and Coordinator at the Centre for Business School of Management was an early adopter and said:


"The system is extremely intuitive and easy to use. In addition to course outline generation, we mapped the entire program to both the Ministry Outcomes and the competencies defined by the CMC (Canadian Association of Management Consultants) in preparation for our review. The reports that the system automatically generates provide more robust program analytics then we ever could have created manually while also saving us a tremendous amount of time. Adjustments to the management reports can be made at the click of a button, making them easy to maintain and use as we continue to fine tune and improve our program."


To date, we have migrated 1600 course outlines to COMMS. We have delivered over 10 course writer boot camps and numerous one on one training sessions with support staff and chairs. More training and boot camp sessions are coming up.


Anyone interested in finding out more about using COMMS should contact Debbie Plested, Project Leader, eLearning and Teaching Innovation or Lori Nave, Director eLearning and Teaching Innovation ASAP. 



Project Lead, eLearning and Teaching Innovation







Dear eLTI


Q: I just heard about the COMMS program. When will my department be implementing it and what do faculty have to do?


A: Your chair will work with eLTI to determine when your department is going to go live with COMMS. The first step in the process has been completed by eLTI…we migrated the content from over 1,600 COMeT outlines to COMMS.  The next piece of work is being undertaken by our tireless and dedicated team of support staff who are doing a “first wave” of quality assurance on the migrated course outlines and preparing them for faculty review.


Faculty will need to review their course outlines for accuracy in content, attend a course writer boot camp to learn how to enter and update outlines in COMMS (we’re told it is easy peasie), and then submit the course outlines to their chairs for approval.


While the COMMS user interface is extremely user friendly and intuitive, there are some changes that may necessitate discussion in your faculty teams. For example, ALL sections (CRNs) associated with a course outline must have the exact same course outcomes.  While the technology behind this is simplistic, the negotiations may not be!


Faculty will also work with the program review team during program review to integrate their program curriculum maps into their course outlines.






Tech Tips


Digi Know


How to track usage of individual content items in Blackboard


You might see the Track Number of Views option very often and even turned on, but where do you find the report?

Use the tools to establish a baseline of student performance. This baseline is invaluable as you compare it to how your students perform throughout your course. You'll see patterns and recognize when you need to help at-risk-students succeed and prevent high-performing students from getting bored. Student performance also provides insight into the overall design and effectiveness of a course.









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