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Best practices collection


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Best practices collection

  1. 1. Welcome Page• What is it?– This is typically the “landing page” that students see each timethey enter your class.– We suggest including a welcome statement, yourintroduction/bio, and the syllabus, on this page.– If you use a “netiquette” document, it should go here.• Best Practices– We suggest setting up a clean Welcome page before the coursebegins, then you shouldn’t have to do much to it for the rest ofthe term.– Use the Announcements tool to post announcements (see Tasks& Announcements)eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  2. 2. Tasks & Announcements• What is it?– This is a “module” page that contains modules for variousthings – Announcements, Due Dates, and more.– The To Do module will automatically pull in due dates fromthe various items in your class (assuming due dates wereinputted).• Best Practices– Post announcements using the My Announcementsmodule.– Set due dates on items in your class, in addition to listingdue dates in your syllabus.eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  3. 3. Class Discussion Board• What is it?– The class Discussion Board is an area that all students have accessto, where they can engage in open dialogue with you and fellowstudents.• Best Practices– Create a discussion forum called “Questions about the class” forstudents to help each other with class questions. Make it clear howoften you will visit this forum (once a day, twice a week, etc.)– Use Group Discussion Board for group discussions (see GroupDiscussion Board).– Use another tool for private or confidential topics (Journal, Messagesor Send Email).– Use the Assignments tool when students will be submitting anassignment to the instructor (when peer input is not required).eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  4. 4. Group Discussion Board• What is it?– A space for students to discuss topics in smallergroups. Only members of a group have access to thegroup’s Discussion Board.– Students have more privileges in Group DiscussionBoards than in the class Discussion Board.• Best Practices– Use the class Discussion Board for class-widediscussions, and the Group Discussion Board forsmaller-group discussions.eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  5. 5. Assignments• What is it?– A space for students to submit their work forevaluation.– This could be a writing assignment or any other typeof student material (PowerPoint file, video, etc.)• Best Practices– Assignments are only visible to the student and theinstructor, so choose another tool if you want studentsto comment on each others’ work.eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  6. 6. Weekly/Unit Content• What is it?– An area that may have been created in your class tohouse your weekly or unit content.• Best Practices– Limit this area to content that is specific to each weekor unit; place items that should be visible throughoutthe duration of the class elsewhere (items such aslibrary of articles, final project, related links, syllabus).eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  7. 7. Messages• What is it?– A tool within Blackboard Learn that sends messages to studentswithin the course.– These messages never “leave” the course; students must viewthem within the course.– This tool is similar to the “Mail” tool in Blackboard Vista.• Best Practices– An advantage of using Messages (instead of Send Email) is thatmessages are saved within the course, which can be useful withsituations like grade disputes.– Using Messages is not recommended if you will need to sendand receive a lot of attachments with your students.eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  8. 8. Send Email• What is it?– A tool that sends email to your students’ external email address.– If a student replies to one of these emails, it will go to yourexternal email (UMail).– These emails are not stored in your class.• Best Practices– At the beginning of the semester, choose Send Email orMessages (not both), and then be sure to let students know howbest to contact you, and how you will be communicating withthem. Be sure they know whether they should check their UMailfor correspondence from you, or whether they should make it ahabit of checking Messages in the class.– Whichever tool you choose, leave the name as it is, to minimizeconfusion (i.e. don’t re-name Messages to “Mail”).eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  9. 9. Journals• What is it?– A self-reflection space for each student.– Often used for a student to share with you their experiencethroughout the semester.– Instructor can comment.– Only one grade can be assigned for a student’s entirejournal.• Best Practices– For dialogue between students, choose a different tool.eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  10. 10. Other Best Practices• Put all of your weekly content in one area on the left menu (such asWeekly/Unit Content).• Make sure each week’s content includes clear instructions on what isdue, when, and where to access and/or submit it.• In your weekly folders or learning modules, instead of linking to a specificassignment or discussion forum, direct your students to go to that area onthe left menu. Use date criteria to display items at the appropriate time(instead of having them all visible all the time).• Make it clear that students should contact the 24/7 Help Desk with technicalquestions.– If students come to you with technical questions, send them to the 24/7Help Desk.• Set due dates for assignments and exams to be due during typical officehours (M – F, 9 – 4, not holidays).• Allow two submissions for an Assignment.• If you use tests from an outside provider, take your tests ahead of time tocheck for problems.• Convert documents to pdf files when possible, for easier viewing bystudents.eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013
  11. 11. Tests and Quizzes• Best practices– Do not check Force Completion– Use Set Timer and Auto-Submit to enforce a timelimit.– Add 15 minutes to the amount of time you give.– Advise students that if they get kicked out of atest, the first thing they should do is attempt to accessit again. If they still have trouble, they should contactthe 24/7 Help Desk. Let them know that you allottedextra time to the test to account for technical issues.eLearning "Template" recommendations to School of Nursing, Mar 6, 2013