Organising your Blackboard course unit space
Below is a checklist you can use when planning or evaluating your course unit space in Blackboard. If you want further clarification or to view our training on particular points, links are provided.
Checklist for organising your course unit space (PDF)
Banners for new units or units where the title or course code have changed can be requested from the eLearning team. To aid consistency, template banners are available that can be used across a programme or school.
It is recommended that each course unit has a consistent entry point to assist navigability, for example: Homepage, Course Content or Course Information. Ideally, all units in a programme should consistently use this same page. The entry point of the course unit can be set in the control panel under Customisation > Teaching Style.
Remember that the Welcome page will represent the first impressions of your online materials to your students, so it should appear friendly and welcoming. Consider adding a Welcome message from the unit lead and a photograph or video.
Read more …
Students tell us that they value consistency of navigation features so that they know where to locate key elements when visiting a new course unit for the first time. By ‘consistent’, we mean recognisably similar, not necessarily identical.
More on navigation …
It is strongly recommended that each course unit sets out the ILOs the student can expect to have achieved upon completion of the unit, along with a description and general aims of that unit of study.
The recommended basic course structure features an Assessment menu item. It is a good idea to put everything related to assessment within this area and have it visible as soon as the unit space becomes available.
More on the assessment area | Assessment checklist
Details on assessment feedback should be provided, including: the goals of feedback, opportunities for feedback – how and when the student can expect to receive feedback and feedback mechanisms.
More on the feedback area | Feedback checklist
You should include information on how you intend to communicate with your students, to set their expectations.
More on communication …
Consider using Reading Lists Online, a service supported by the Library.
You can assign students or cohorts to groups in Blackboard and then use adaptive release to customise their view of the unit; for example, where T&L content, activities or assessment are slightly different and need to be tailored accordingly.
Read more on how to set up groups | Read more on how to adaptively release content
It is recommended that old grade centre columns and Turnitin assignments are deleted and started afresh each year, as column management can otherwise prove complicated.
More on the Blackboard Grade Centre
The rollover of course units year on year can result in your Blackboard course unit Files folder (or Content Collection) containing hundreds of unsorted items, many being duplicates or out-of-date. It is recommended that this area is regularly maintained and individual files sorted into folders, especially when there are several contributors to a course unit.
More on using the Content Collection area
You should delete all old Turnitin assignments and start afresh, as TII assignments created via a course copy can inherit unusual technical problems. These problems may only come to light when students start to submit, or even when marking begins, and often cannot be resolved.
The following pages provide further detail on the checklist above, as well as bringing together the drivers behind each point, for example, TLD guidance or NSS questions.