It takes a while to get accustomed to the many tools in Blackboard. When you first open a course you will notice that there is a two column layout. The narrow left column holds the menu. The wider right column displays the active page. This image provides a map of some important features.
Our online courses have specific features designed to help you and your students. The two main pages of your course are Welcome and Learning Modules.
Every course opens to a Welcome page. Here you will set the tone for the class and provide important information. Typically the Welcome page contains information that students will refer to throughout the term. The syllabus, course schedule, instructor information, course expectations and tips will go here.
Think of the Learning Modules page as the virtual classroom. This is where students go several times each week to participate in learning activities. You will organize your class activities by unit (topic or week). Each of these units will contain everything the student needs to be successful. An overview of the unit themes, learning objectives and tasks, instructor videos or lecture notes, web activities, assignments, and links to discussion forums, quizzes and any other activities.
Discussions - Regardless of the discipline of your course, interaction among students and with faculty is key. Online discussion provide students an opportunity to connect with peers, learn from other students’ examples, tryout their learning, bump up against other people’s ideas and reveal misconceptions so that the professor can clarify. Blackboard Discussion Board can serve as a platform for this exchange. Use discussion forums for classroom help, for introductions and for weekly or topical conversations about course concepts.
Announcements - The announcement tool is one of many useful communication tools in Blackboard. Announcements are one way communication from the instructor to all students. Announcements are sent to student's email while a copy is retained and visible to all on the Announcements page.
Tests - Tests can be used to create a variety of assessment activities: from self check quizzes, discovery scavenger hunts, to timed exams. Blackboard offers 17 question types. You can also import test banks from many publishers.
Assignments - Create individual or group Assignments. This tool provides an area for students to upload their work and for you to provide feedback on papers, Power Point presentations, even video assignments.
Grade Book - BB's Grade Center enables you to organize your grades, assign weighted values to assessments and categories of assessments, and provide regular feedback to students.
BB Email - This tool enables you to direct email to individuals groups or the whole class from Blackboard to student's Linfield email.
Library - Linfield libraries provide a wide range of research services and resources to online students. The Nicholson Library has an OCE dedicated librarian who can assist you and your class.