Why we don’t provide Blackboard training for students

CELT does not provide Blackboard training for students. One reason for this is that we don’t have the resources. But more importantly because of the wide range of possible tools that instructors might be using. We couldn’t devise a general course that would meet the needs of a particular student without knowing the context – how the instructor is using the course and what tools they are using. Therefore, any training is best done in context, by the instructor him or herself.

Most online/blended programmes, or those that rely heavily on Blackboard, have built in a learning-to-learn module or initial activity to allow students to familiarise themselves with what they are expected to do on Blackboard (which will be particular to the module or the course). Sometimes these will include a practical demo, for example where the instructor walks through the course on-screen showing the different areas and including time for students to e.g. create a first blog post or add to a discussion forum. Another option is to do a screen recording where you step through the course, talking about the setup and what activities will be expected.

Don’t assume that your students know how to use Blackboard, and do provide signposts for where you place materials. Don’t just use your Blackboard course as a repository. Where suitable, you can point your students to online help which is available on the ISS website or the Blackboard student help.

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