Introduction to Blackboard
Blackboard (Bb) is the Learning Management System (LMS) at Loyalist College. It is a software application that helps make learning more effective in and beyond traditional walls. Blackboard empowers faculty and instructors with tools to engage every learner by promoting collaboration and streamlining processes, as a result, educational content is enhanced and day-to-day tasks are more efficient.
Blackboard is a useful tool for both online and face-to-face courses. When you adopt Blackboard (Bb) as part of your teaching environment you will soon find ways to use its components to save some time. However, the substantial gains in time come about by restructuring the procedures of your course to take full advantage of these components. That requires rethinking the ways you choose to communicate with your students and how you will build the expectation or behavior in your students so that they are in sync with your communication process. Now, with Blackboard use more common than ever before among blended classrooms, many students will come to class prepared for and expecting revised course structures and methods that incorporate the use of Blackboard components.
Getting Started with Blackboard
Blackboard (Bb) has many options when it comes to developing courses and creating content. When a new course is created in Bb it is blank and only the Announcements, Bb Help for Students, and My grades exist on the course menu.
However, courses in Bb can vary in design and many programs have specific course menu templates that should be followed. It is recommended that you speak to the program coordinator or office coordinator to determine if your course(s) have a required program template.
If your program is not using a standardized menu template, the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) has created a standard course menu template based on best practices that should be considered when organizing your courses. This will provide a starting point for course development so that you can then focus on creating interactive and engaging learning materials.
The standard course menu template breakdown includes five main content areas: Stay on Track, Course information, Course Materials, Communication tools, and My Grade and Bb help for students.
If you would like to start your course development with a copy of the standard course menu template, you can find more information about downloading and importing the standard menu template to your course(s) by clicking here.
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