Of Course you Can!
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Of Course you Can!



Presentation delivered at BbWorld in Orlando, 15th July 2010. Explores the possibilities offered by Blackboard's course module page feature in 9.0, some of the pitfalls of this early implementation ...

Presentation delivered at BbWorld in Orlando, 15th July 2010. Explores the possibilities offered by Blackboard's course module page feature in 9.0, some of the pitfalls of this early implementation and ways round that.



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  • Uservoice – Bb Bug Squad; Michael Wesch’s Netvibes site; Facebook; feedkit traffic widget; gForge: oscelot projects site; flickr
  • Engagement, dynamic content, scope for contribution and acknowledgement
  • Student can see and vote from another course

Of Course you Can! Of Course you Can! Presentation Transcript

  • Bring portal module into the classroom
    Of Course You Can
    but keep your wits about youDr Malcolm MurrayDurham University
  • Overview
    Why deploy Modules in Courses?
    Exploring the current implementation
    Common “Gotchas”
    Building Blocks the Answer?
    Looking Forward
  • Origins
    Why bring Modules to a Course?
  • In the beginning
    Most Blackboard courses looked like this:
    Bb Version Spotter? then you knew that didn’t you
  • Other sites are building communities
  • Blackboard’s Community System
  • What could Modules do for courses?
  • What couldn’t Modules do for courses?
  • What could Modules do for courses?
    Increase Engagement
    Support dynamic content
    Highlight recent changes
    Facilitate (and acknowledge) Student contributions
  • Having a Go
    Using the built in Module Types
  • Modules to deploy in Courses
  • Not a very exciting set of Modules
    But you can also deploy custom models
    • Polls
    • HTML modules
    • Images
    • URL
  • But only a Sys Admin* can do this...
    Create Module button is on the Sys Admin tab
    * Or a Portal Admin.
    Ever met one?
    Me neither...
  • Don’t get tripped up!
    Gotchas when deploying modules in Courses
  • Access all Areas
    Two courses:
    • Fabert
    • Fabien
    • Fabrice
    • Mary
    • Mungo
    • Midge
  • Polls on the French Course
    Note that the Poll had to be created by a Sys Admin...
  • Student votes in both polls
  • Another student votes in one
  • Polls created in the Scottish Course
    So far so good...
  • Add Scottish poll to French course
    Any guesses?
  • French students can vote too!
  • Deploy the module on a Portal Tab
    Any guesses?(a different user)
  • Finally back to either course...
  • Picking up the Tab
    Why do we see this strange module behaviour in courses?
  • Portal Perspective - Control
    Create a module
    Set access rights and an admin
    Deploy on a tab – possibly as default content
    Move it from the default bottom left position
    User can configure the module (e.g. number of channel items) using the cog wheel icon
    Admin uses the Module Administrator button
  • Doesn’t really fit with Course Logic
    Instructors in charge
    Content largely not re-used
    May change frequently
    May want students to edit too
  • Boxing Clever
    Using Building Blocks to do more
  • Rotating Images Module
    This module overcomes two problems:
    Lack of Course/Group information in the Context
    Exposing Management within the Course
  • Editing Options
  • Space for Pedagogy!
  • Controlling Student Access
  • Rotating Images Module
    Not perfect:
    Single Instance
    Adding another Module creates a clone
    Can’t change the Title
    Management “challenges” existing UI paradigm
  • What might be better
    Allow staff (and students?) to create Modules in a Course
    Display an extra button in the module when the current user can edit it
    Allow developers to define custom modules that only appear in Courses/Organisations
  • Summing Up
    Almost there!
  • Conclusion
    Adding a Module Page feature to courses is a great start
    Scope to change the way students interact
    Existing Module tools drawn from portal paradigm
    Can be used with care
    Only Sys Admins (Portal Admins) can create modules
    Need one custom module for each course or problems result
    Course Modules probably shouldn’t be discoverable
    Can use building blocks as an interim solution
    Worthy of further development!
  • Please provide feedback for this session by emailingBbWorldFeedback@blackboard.com.
    The title of this session is:
    Of Course You Can!
    You can contact the author at