Incorporating Blackboard into a face-to-face course has many benefits. Organizing files and content within a Blackboard course site creates a concrete course organization for students. It also becomes the central hub of information for students and faculty through the use of Grade Center and other communication tools. We’ve listed a few ideas in this post. For further support, contact an instructional designer at your campus or visit our blog tutorials: Blog Blackboard Tutorials.
1. Grade Center
Keeping records of individual grades and final averages keeps students informed and accountable of their success. This allows for important decisions and changes to be made by learners. Actively using Grade Center also allows for more efficient use of instructor’s time. Rather than manually keeping students aware of grades, it will become the norm to rely on Blackboard for such information. At the end of the semester, grades are automatically averaged and can be printed out in an Excel file for a much smoother semester checkout experience.
Training is available via SPARK; below are the course descriptions:
• BKBD 9081 – Blackboard: Getting Started
• BKBD 9084 – Blackboard: Setting up the Grade Center
• BKBD 9095 – Blackboard: Using the Grade Center
2. Attendance Tool
A new feature is the “Online Attendance” tool in Blackboard. Instructors simply set up the semester range and meeting dates, then submit attendance online in each class. Students can view their attendance records, allowing for the transfer of responsibility to them. Attendance records can be printed out for semester checkout, another timesaver for faculty.
Bb Attendance Tool Tutorial
3. Communicating with Students
Using Blackboard as the central location for class messages is possible through the use of “Announcements”. Every faculty is provided with an announcements tab in their course shells. Instructors can disseminate information via an announcement that is not only posted in Blackboard, but automatically sent to student’s San Jac email.
Bb Announcements Tool Tutorial
Another great feature for face-to-face courses is Blackboard IM. This is an instant messaging application that is downloaded and allows faculty and students to communicate instantaneously online. Collaboration occurs either through text or voice and screen-sharing can be allowed to view content together.
Bb IM Tool Tutorial
Assignments can be uploaded via TurnItIn in Blackboard, which then checks for originality. The exact source is provided if material is copied verbatim from other works. Previously submitted assignments are also checked for any sharing of work between students. Instructors can highlight and annotate areas of work for students to view. Each assigned grade is also automatically sent to Grade Center. Using an Apple iPad, an app allows instructors to read, annotate and grade papers through their tablet. Turnitin has extensive training resources which can be accessed via their Getting Started page.
TurnItIn Getting Started Training Resources
5. Online Tutoring
One student resource available via Blackboard is SmartThinking, an online tutoring session available at no cost. Students can request an appointment or drop in for a live assistance with English, Math, Science, History and more. Smarthinking can be accessed via the Tools menu on the MySanJac tab in Blackboard.
These are only a few ideas of how Blackboard can be integrated into a face-to-face course. For further help, see an instructional designer at your campus or visit our blog tutorials: Blog Blackboard Tutorials.