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Tips for Communicating Effectively Using Blackboard


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The announcement, discussion, and email features in Blackboard are just a few of the many tools available for faculty to communicate with students and foster collaboration during the course. What are the most efficient and effective uses of the Blackboard communication tools? This online workshop and discussion sought to answer this question and share tips and best practices for communicating with students using Blackboard. For the presentation handout and/or to share your tips, visit

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Tips for Communicating Effectively Using Blackboard

  1. 1. Tips for Communicating Effectively Using Blackboard Jason Rhode, Assistant Director Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center | | Handout available at
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Tips for email using Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for announcements using Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for asynchronous discussions using Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for synchronous presentations and discussions using Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. Email <ul><li>Compose emails in word processor and save for future reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Email students from Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Save a copy of Blackboard emails in a folder in your email client </li></ul><ul><li>Email students regarding assessment deficiencies directly from Grade Center </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using Blackboard’s built-in Messages tool </li></ul>
  4. 4. Announcements <ul><li>Compose announcements in word processor and save for future reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Post important news items as announcements in Blackboard and simultaneously email to all students </li></ul><ul><li>Do not make announcements permanent so Blackboard can organize </li></ul><ul><li>Include course links when notifying students of new course resources or assignments </li></ul>
  5. 5. Asynchronous Discussions <ul><li>Create “HELP!” forum and require students to post general questions there instead of sending via email </li></ul><ul><li>Enable subscription to “HELP!” forum and subscribe to be notified via email when new questions are posted </li></ul><ul><li>Create social forum for off-topic discussion </li></ul>
  6. 6. Asynchronous Discussions – cont. <ul><li>Specify due dates for required contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Include due dates for discussion contributions in forum description </li></ul><ul><li>Make discussion forums available as needed rather than all at once </li></ul><ul><li>Reorder discussion forums in reverse chronological order to reduce scrolling </li></ul>
  7. 7. Asynchronous Discussions – cont. <ul><li>Don’t remove past discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>Supplement text communications with audio </li></ul>
  8. 8. Synchronous Communications <ul><li>Offer synchronous chat options for Q&A </li></ul><ul><li>Archive synchronous sessions whenever possible to make available for those who can’t participate live </li></ul>
  9. 9. Session Handout
  10. 10. Contact the Presenter Jason Rhode, Ph.D. Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Northern Illinois University [email_address] 815.753.2475