Blackboard is our current learning management system and all modules are required to have an instance on BB that follows the standard module template, this is essential for student satisfaction. The site is is used for module information, learning materials and scaffolded learning activities, communication and assessment.
In summer 2020 we moved to Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation. It has a modern new look and is easy for students to see their up-coming deadlines and assessment outcomes.
- Login to Blackboard via the Portal
UWL Blackboard Baseline
The UWL Blackboard Baseline is a set of requirements that all modules should follow. The Blackboard Baseline has several components:
|UWL Replay Recordings|
Why do we have a Baseline and a Template?
- The Blackboard Baseline and the module template provide consistency for students across modules and help ‘scaffold’ their learning outside scheduled face to face hours.
- Scaffolding is essential for many students who have little understanding of the transition to Higher Education or limited experience of accessing courses online.
- The template is based on good practice in learning design and web design as well as feedback from staff and students.
Blackboard courses are created automatically 6-weeks before the module start date. See How to get access to your Blackboard course.
All the elements of the Baseline should be in place and visible before enrolment so that student see their modules when they login for the first time. This includes Week 1 Learning Materials.
Make the course available before enrolment How to make a course available
- Post announcements to keep your students up-to-date
- Post a ‘welcome’ announcement at the start of the module
- Using Announcements keeps all your messages in one place and allows students to revisit them easily.
- An announcement before teaching starts will make students feel welcome during their first week on campus.
- Add the Module Study Guide as a PDF How to upload content / How to edit an item
- Peer Support Forum – see Discussions below.
- Module Outline – Complete the table for all weeks How to edit an item
- A PDF of the MSG is recommended as the format works well both online and for printing.
- The Module Outline provides students with an overall structure and a summary of the independent learning required. It is no longer included in the MSG, so it’s essential to include it here.
- Add all relevant staff including subject librarians. How to add/edit contact
- Although Contacts duplicates information in the MSG it can be adjusted during the year and includes photographs.
- Add Content Folders for each week corresponding to the structure in the Module Outline How to add a content folder
- Learning Materials must be available the week before the learning session to help students prepare.
- Students will come to class better prepared if relevant materials are available in advance. Not all materials must be available in advance; it remains a pedagogical decision.
There are two discussion forums:
- Peer Support Forum is for students to answer each other’s general questions about the module.
- Assessment Support Forum is to enable students to seek clarification around the assessment requirements from each other and (if needed) the Module Leader.
- Subscribe to both forums so that you receive email notifications and encourage your students to subscribe. How-to subscribe to a forum
- Edit the forum description &/or post an introductory message to explain the forum’s purpose and manage student expectations. How-to edit a forum / How-to start a thread
- Monitor both forums for activity
- Contribute to the Assessment Support Forum when required. How-to reply to discussion posts
The forums are intended to help provide better online support to students, particularly around clarifying assessment requirements. The advantages over email are: information is more visible and more easily accessed by all students, reduces necessity for individual emails.
- UWLReadingLists should be the definitive source of reading list information for prospective students, current students, module study guides, validations, course approval processes etc.
- The UWLReadingList should be available before the module starts
- The Reading lists needs to describe resources as essential reading, recommended or further reading
- Reading list can be split into themes, weekly readings, type of resource etc
- UWLReadingLists improve student learning experiences, student satisfaction and support teaching and learning strategies
- They are a guide to help students understand the relevance and importance of suggested readings
- They provide an up-to-date link directly to the right resources at the right time
Contact your Academic Support Librarian for assistance in creating your online UWLReadingList.
UWL Replay Recordings
- If your module has UWL Replay lecture recordings the ‘UWL Replay Recordings’ link in the navigation panel will be configured automatically and visible to students. No action is needed.
Assessments and Grade Centre
- Complete the Module Assessments table with information from the Summative Assessment Grid in the MSG How to edit content
- Edit the Content Folder names for the Assessments
- Add further folders if there are more than 2 summative assessments. How to edit content folder
- Turnitin Assignments – if you are using Turnitin to collect and mark coursework you should follow the UWL Required and Recommended Settings.
In each Assessment folder you should:
- Keep either the coursework or exam and delete the other How to delete an item
- Complete all the information
- For coursework add the relevant assessment tool How to add an assessment tool
- For coursework outside of Blackboard (e.g. performance or CampusPress site) create a manual column in the Grade Centre for the grade and feedback How to add a manual column / How to record grades and feedback
- Grade Centre Totals – these must not be displayed to students. Blackboard should only display the marks for individual pieces of work. Totals are displayed to students in My Registry.
There is some duplication with the MSG but clear information and support around assessment is essential for students to understand what is required of them to meet the module learning outcomes. Exams are included so that students have the whole picture in one place.
The display of Grade Centre totals (included weighted totals) has caused problems in the past and confused students. Definitive totals are available in My Registry.
External Examiners Instructions
- If this is being used, the link must be kept hidden. External Examiners can see hidden items. You must not show this link to students.