Leveraging Blackboard to Support Student Learning (In-Person and Hybrid Courses)
Whether it’s a snow-day, making up a missed class, the flu, or coronavirus, having a Blackboard site at the ready can ensure that your on-campus or hybrid class is able to carry on. Additionally, consult the FAQs for Faculty Going Online in a Hurry.
If you do not already use a Blackboard class site to support your course, here’s what you can do to have it ready as a potential back-up:
At a minimum:
- Post an announcement telling students where to find everything (you don’t need to check the email box unless you are actually ready to have students use the site)
- Post your syllabus and class schedule by uploading a file on the Blackboard class site.
- Create at least one discussion forum where students can ask questions (you can call it something like Ask the Professor or Q&A forum). You can easily add more discussion forums if they are needed.
- Let your students know that you have activated the site (make the course available in Blackboard) by sending an email from within Blackboard and how to access it, and that you would be emailing them announcements from the Blackboard course site in the event your class cannot meet on campus. Remember to notify your students to update their email in Blackboard.
If you have not logged into Blackboard recently, please use these step-by-step instructions to access your courses in Blackboard.
Note: Each course automatically gets a Blackboard course site when courses open for registration and students are automatically enrolled. Instructors need to manually make the course available in order for students to view course materials, resources and to engage.
A basic course set-up in Blackboard is relatively easy to do and should not take you more than 30 minutes.
Additionally, you can use asynchronous discussion forums to have a discussion, post your lectures, or even meet with students in real time on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a video conferencing tool and record the session.
If you are not familiar with basic Blackboard instructor functions, or have forgotten how to use specific tools in Blackboard, we recommend that you review the self-paced Blackboard tutorial. Please follow these self-enrollment instructions - you must self-enroll in this course in order to gain access. Please note that you will be prompted for the access code – you can locate the access code on the instructions.
Beyond Basic Blackboard Set-up
For those interested in engaging students by posting interactive lectures using slides, audio, or video, and enabling students to comment asynchronously, you might want to explore VoiceThread. This page contains tutorials on what it is, how to add and enable it in your Blackboard course site, and information for your students.
As always, if you have any questions or need assistance in how to set up your Blackboard site, please contact us in the Office of Online Education.