Background to Blackboard Activation
Why should all courses have a site on Blackboard?
All courses having sites on Blackboard is intended to:
- Enhance communication between course teams and students
- Provide easy access for students to relevant course documents
- Establish the minimum requirements for all courses on Blackboard to provide equity in the student course experience
This is being done in response to feedback from students on the National Student Survey (NSS) as well as the Blackboard student survey and focus groups. Many students have indicated that they have trouble accessing course information in a timely way and that Blackboard is or could be a valuable source of information for them.
Below are a few examples of feedback from the 2008 NSS.
My only complaint is that the organisation and communication, it isn't as sufficient as [it] should be especially with all the facilities such as blackboard
The tutors need to use the systems in place such as blackboard, to communicate with the students in time
Make more use of blackboard as a means of providing handouts and lecture notes
Research also indicates that use of VLEs in promoting student discussion and collaboration can increase the participation of students who may be inhibited in engaging in more traditional teaching settings. This may be the case for many students but may be more common in international students or first generation entrants into University (Dengler, 2008).
The decision to activate all course sites was taken by the Rector's IT Steering Group earlier this year. The minimum course content was discussed and agreed at Academic Standards and Development Committee and at HE Quality Co-ordinators' Group, two UAL committees whose membership includes representatives from each College. The course template has been designed with input from course teams and students.
- Dengler, M. (2008), Classroom Active Learning Complemented by an Online Discussion Forum to Teach Sustainability. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 32(3), 481-494.