Instructional Cuisine

from Chef Antoine

What's cooking in the Web Kitchens of

St. Louis Community College


What the Chef has been up to: 2003- the year from HELL

I put this together in the midst of 4 student pleas for help so hope it makes sense!

Accomplishments-Anthony FY2002-03

Situation: My main charge is to continue to design, develop and deploy instructional technology media tools for the college classroom setting.

Tasks: Leadership role in the analysis of needs, audience, goals, resources, and alternatives in the development of multimedia instructional materials, online instruction, and collaborative projects.
*Develop courseware and new media, establish protocols for evaluation of instructional technologies.
*Develop and deliver training for faculty and staff in pedagogy, new media, and instructional technologies.

Actions: To begin the year I conducted summer Blackboard training for ten faculty.
Conducted a 2 hour "Hands-on" Blackboard session for 5 new faculty
10 faculty trained in Photoshop Elements
I created several props for the theatre's production of A Raisin in the Sun.

Worked on several PPT shows for CTL Lunchtime series that won Innovator of the Year award.

Created ten different presentation CD's for Lisa Jacobsen in class presentations
Major work on PPT presentation for League For Innovation '03.
I also created CD/video training media for basic Blackboard concepts for League presentation.

I helped with the Archway portal redesign for the Library.
Maintained a Travel log for Mike Fuller while out of country
Theatre Sound effects CD
Mosley Pottery Techniques DVD
Biotechnology at St. Louis Community College DVD
Sculpture Critique DVD
North County Cares DVD
Successful migration of old ChemTech CD into new format.
Design of ChemTech Assessment and Gap Analysis website.

Results: I was able to generate and complete the above tasks in accordance with the charge.I am fast becoming a one man show. With cutbacks, I am without help and had to also take a cut in pay since teaching courses for the college is no longer viable given the demands on my time.Clients are happy and I am overworked.


Situation: A Blackboard migration of data goes awry two weeks after our Blackboard Administrator leaves the district.The process involved a month of identifying courses that needed to migrate and copying courses by hand in preparation for the December 2002 migration to 5.5. This process was a disaster and a lot of wasted effort as scripts provided by BB did not run properly and the ensuing first three months of the semester was one long stint as a faculty and student help desk.

Tasks: Things took quite a nasty turn this year: Search and rescue of lost data and indiviuated interventions, troubleshooting and manipulation of courses in Blackboard which I was assigned when Campus LMS administrator left.

I also inherited the dubious Blackboard Faculty/Staff and student pages


Dozens were helped individually with Blackboard course design and media production. Also many users who want to use Blackboard in a non standard fashion were accommodated. This will not continue if I have any say in it.

I redesigned the hundreds of Blackboard help pages that have been created over the past two years and wrestled them into a manageable form after much effort.At the district programming level new scripts and confliting commands were fixed with the help of a reporting system I devised to get information to the sysop with enough context to allow him to track recurring issues.

Spring training offerings were not well attended due to ongoing Blackboard issues that stymied most users. I completed Photoshop Elements training for 4 individuals and worked with hundreds of Blackboard issues.

Student helpdesk work went into hundreds of phone, web, and personal contacts from students having difficulty accessing the new system. These were dealt with on an ad hoc basis. Contact with the other BB Coordinators required many meeting and close to thousand email messages. I also spent lots of time troubleshooting and beta testing the migrated mess on the fly-while it was online- which should never have happened if proper testing had been done and which I would have recommended if I had been part of the process at that time. Ideally a second pilot site with advanced users as testers of simulated courses would have aided in isolating the broken scripts in a secure environment.

Results: We weathered the storm and the new version of Blackboard is gaining approval slowly. We saw our user base double with the transition to Bannerweb generated course shells and population with student information. Our early adopters are unhappy with the level of control they lost, but the corruption of data and redundancy of student records will subside with the new system.

While I realize we were between a rock and a hard place with a major migration happening when the person responsible left us, and I was likely the only person who could pull this off, I look forward to the new SID taking over Blackboard Administration and any web maintenance duties asap.

Commentary from Evaluation for the year by me:

"I am a creative individual at heart with rather extraordinary skill set that is not being utilized. Such work has caused me on several occasions to consider changing jobs to a location where I can continue to produce and grow professionally and help people learn. The thing that has kept me here is the hope that things will change coupled with the slow market. I have had a number of bad jobs in my life but my present duties as Blackboard administrator/ student helpdesk is not in keeping with what I view my purposes to be. Hopefully next year will hold a better horizon for me personally and professionally."

Other projects:

Currently designing training in IMovie and SmartBoard for Faculty as well as a new round of Blackboard and advanced MS Office training.

Continuing with a new semester of BlackBoard course copying and daily student help.

Evaluators response comments:
"I will try to help find outlets for Anthony’s creativity and extraordinary skills. Now with another person to help carry the load this may be a little easier."

2003 Performance evaluation comments:

Job Performance

Forecasting and Planning-“Anthony has filled the void left when Ron Farson left for Webster just before the move to the new edition of Blackboard.”
Organization and Administration-“Keeps many activities in the air and in order at the same time. His organizational skills are good models for others.”
Follow-Up and control-“Monitors activities and follows up with clients. Clients frequently comment on his ability and quality of Anthony’s work.”
Communications-“His communications are clear and patiently delivered.”
Problem Solving-“Anthony seeks new creative and innovative solutions while keeping in mind the student user.”
Relationships with superiors-“Well respected throughout the college and has done much work on the other campuses.”
Relationships with Peers-“Works well with and is respected at all levels. Forges college wide relationships.”
Goal Orientation-“Hard working and dedicated, Anthony also continues to provide instruction for faculty and students using Blackboard. Rarely equaled.”
Training an development of Others-“His workshops and individual training efforts are well respected. Rarely equaled.”
Stimulating Motivation in Others- “He is a positive influence by his attitude and drive.”
Job knowledge- “Seeks out training and professional development. He is a production software expert.”

Personal Performance

Creative ability-“Anthony finds fresh approaches to the different problems brought by clients.”
Cooperativeness and adaptability- “Works well in the light of conflicting schedule demands and desires of client faculty and staff.”
Initiative- “Very professional.”
Leadership ability- “Works well across the district. A good example of the one college attitude is his work with campus ID’s from the other locations.”
Personal development- “A model for lifelong learning.”
Mission-“Mission focused, Anthony is a positive influence on the college.”
Ethics-“Clearly respects the ethics that bind our profession. Rarely equaled”

Tracking with the Magic Chef

Questions or Comments?Contact: Anthony Foster -Senior Instructional Designer

St.Louis Community College - Florissant Valley