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Ways To Jazz Up A Virtual Classroom

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Ways To Jazz Up A Virtual Classroom

  1. 1. 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 collaborate with each other, respond to stimulus and reflect on their learning.
  2. 2. 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 surrounding classmates.
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. To change the look of the button panel, click here
  5. 5. Select Course Design
  6. 6. Select Course Menu Design
  7. 7. Here you can decide whether to have buttons or a panel of colour with text When you have decided, you can select the colour and style here.
  8. 8. You can add a course banner with the title of the subject or you could create a word cloud using and add text which is relevant to the course.
  9. 9. 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 Professional Development Blackboard Community
  10. 10. To add a Course Banner, follow the same steps through the control panel and select Course Banner.
  11. 11. Browse and upload your Banner image
  12. 12. Create a banner image for each section or folder. You can add it as an item or add the image to a folder. An example of a Title Banner
  13. 13. Here are examples of Folder Banners. you can click on the link and see the section indicated
  14. 14. It is useful to create a Glossary section within a Virtual Classroom. This can be in the form of a wiki where students can edit and add to the list as they learn new words.
  15. 15. Paste in a table and add a letter per row.
  16. 16. Tables are great to use in Wikis. It adds structure and makes it easier to use and edit. Here is one which was used as a survey to collect information for a Games Unit.
  17. 17. You may wish to create a wiki or blog for students to add questions or give feedback. You could use one of the above titles.
  18. 18. 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.
  19. 19. 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 HTML Source Mode icon, then paste the code and then click on submit
  20. 20. Create a talking avatar, Add text and the voice is generated. Students hear the voice when they press the play button. You can give a welcome, introduction or instructions.
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. Create interest by adding fun animations and add dialogue using speech bubbles.
  23. 23. Embed virtual posters using Glogster. 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 sheet. Students can create and embed their own.
  24. 24. Using Tagul, create a word cloud. The words become links. You can add links to a research site such as google or visuwords. Add the words you want students to research.
  25. 25. Add a map by going to Google maps, click on Links and copying the HTML code
  26. 26. Add an interactive time line, choose one from the site or create your own. Students could create their own and have them added.
  27. 27. Embed slides, find presentations on related topics or create your own.
  28. 28. Add interest by adding a prezi. Search for one or create your own.
  29. 29. Embed a video or upload your own.
  30. 30. Create your own ebook or browse for others
  31. 31. Add Mind Maps which students have created using any software or websites. You can save as a jpeg, do a screen shot or embed if given the option. Such as: Mind Maps
  32. 32. Add comics which you find or make yourself: into-the-world-of-comics-2comic-version For more information on the use of comics in the classroom go to:
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  38. 38. Students can create their own profile and create an avatar ggins/index.pd ng=eng maker