This presentation refers to the use of Blackboard as a
Virtual Classroom. Virtual Classrooms are more than a
place to store resources,
it is a place for
students to interact and
each other, respond to stimulus
and reflect on their learning.
Motivation is a key component to effective learning
within an online learning environment.
Often students may be alone in front of the computer
rather than in a classroom with a teacher prompting
them to stay on task or the encouragement of
A successful strategy to increase motivation and
engagement is by providing an interesting, attractive
and challenging environment (Holmes and Gardner,
2006). This can be achieved by providing visual images,
videos, podcasts, diagrams, learning objects,
communication tools and easy navigation. A
motivational environment can also be created by
delivering constructive, meaningful feedback and
recognising student achievement.
Holmes, B. and Gardner, J. (2006). E-learning Design: Concepts and Considerations in B. Holmes, and J. Gardner (Ed.), E-learning : concepts and
practice (pp.90-112).London: Sage.
the look of
Here you can
buttons or a
When you have
can select the
You can add a course banner with the title of the subject or you could
create a word cloud using www.wordle.net and add text which is
relevant to the course.
You can create a banner image many different ways. PowerPoint is a
good alternative because it is quick, easy and effective.
These slide dimensions work well for a Title Banner
Width: 35 cm and Height : 10cm
Save the image as a . jpg file.
Here is an example of a
word cloud which could
be used for a
To add a Course
the same steps
control panel and
Tables are great
to use in Wikis.
It adds structure
and makes it
easier to use and
Here is one which
was used as a
survey to collect
information for a
You may wish to create a wiki
or blog for students to add
questions or give feedback.
You could use one of the
Collect information from students by creating an online survey.
You can add the link to your survey in the virtual classroom.
Students can also create their own surveys and add the links.
You can add interesting items to your Virtual Classroom.
This can be done with basically anything that has an embed code.
Copy the embed
code from the
website and then
click on Toggle
Mode icon, then
paste the code and
then click on
Create a talking avatar,
Add text and the voice is
Students hear the voice
when they press the play
You can give a welcome,
Xtranormal is a fun and easy site to use. You can create
animations and it also converts text to speech.
Students can create their own or you could make one to add
to your VC by pasting in the embed code.
To see an example go to
Embed virtual posters
This allows creativity and
adds interest to your
virtual classroom. create
a poster to provide links
(such as the one shown)
or even use as a task
Students can create and
embed their own.
create a word
cloud. The words
You can add links
to a research site
such as google
Add the words
Add a map by going to
Google maps, click on
Links and copying the
Add an interactive
time line, choose
one from the site
or create your
create their own
and have them
Add interest by
adding a prezi.
one or create
Create your own ebook or browse for others
Add Mind Maps which students have created using any software or
You can save as a jpeg, do a screen shot or embed if given the
Add comics which you find or
For more information on the use
of comics in the classroom go to:
Students can create their own profile and create an avatar