Blackboard is the course level online learning and teaching platform used at RMIT.
Blackboard is the course level online learning and teaching platform used at RMIT. You as the teacher and your students will have access to an online Blackboard shell for your courses. All undergraduate courses and many post graduate courses have Blackboard shells which can be used for a variety of learning and teaching activities including:
- Creating and distributing interactive course activities and content (multimedia content, documents, presentations, web links, etc.), using customisable course areas and folders
- Engaging and communicating with students through social learning using announcements, discussion boards, and virtual classrooms
- managing student collaborative and reflective activities using wikis and blogs
- conducting online assessment with tests, quizzes and assignment submission
- storaging assessment to comply with assessment requirements
- recording and distributing student grades.
ITS applies updates to the system twice a year as part of routine system maintenance of Blackboard.
Blackboard in Vietnam
Blackboard 8 is the current version available to RMIT Vietnam staff. Courses cannot be exported out of v9.1, which is used in Melbourne, and imported in v8. Individual files need to be sent to Vietnam staff.
RMIT teaching staff access Blackboard courses from the Learning Hub. Once logged in, you will see a list of courses you can access.
The term “Learning Hub” is relevant to RMIT staff only. When addressing students you should always refer to “myRMIT studies”.
RMIT students access Blackboard courses from the Studies tab in myRMIT (student log in required).
Java is required to run Blackboard on your computer. RMIT computers should have Java installed, but you may need to install it on personal computers, e.g. laptops or home computers. Java is a free download.
Enhance student learning through incorporating the following good practice principles and strategies into your online teaching practice in Blackboard.
Develop a learning community
- Build rapport with your students: welcome students to your Blackboard site, provide staff contact details and availability, and details of how regularly you will give feedback, etc.
- Include online community building activities.
- Provide links to support resources, e.g. help files.
- Include an ungraded discussion board for general course questions and let other students answer the questions.
- Ensure there is a tight relationship between course objectives, course activities and content, and course assessment.
- Have a clear learning pathway through the course e.g. Week 2: Now watch this video, do this quiz about the video, now add to this discussion board question on the video, read this article before our next workshop.
- Ensure that students have access to all course readings. Ensure all print based materials have been placed in eReserve and digital readings use authenticated links so they can be accessed both on and off campus. Contact the Library eReserve and Reading List service for further information.
- Supplement your weekly course content with additional resources, e.g. websites, news articles, videos, publications etc. These can be found with the help of your Liaison Librarian.
- Link your students to Library tools that will help their study, e.g. the Ask a Librarian service, Subject Guides, and Referencing Guides. You can tailor content to your course by creating a Library Course Page using a simple online form.
- Ensure you do not breach copyright (text, images, video, etc.). For further advice on copyright, contact the copyright management service.
- Structure your course using student centred, activity-based learning design principles.
- Include activities that allow the student to engage with and explore the content.
- Using quizzes regularly to check understanding and provide the opportunity to correct misconceptions.
Maintenance and quality
- Check all links every semester, and update as required.
- Check announcements and discussion board questions every semester.
- If possible, talk to other teachers in the program and implement a consistent course structure for all Blackboard classrooms in the program.
- Get feedback from students on how to improve the course.
- Manage assessment through your Blackboard shell using quizzes, electronic submission (e-Submission), and collaborative tools such as blogs and wikis.
- Provide model answers and assessment rubrics.
Dr Andrea Chester demonstrates how she uses Blackboard [MP4, 10.0MB, 00:03:15] to welcome her students and explain course navigation to support her psychology course.
IT Training and College level assistance is available to support teaching and assessment with Blackboard, as well as an extensive range of text and video tutorials from Blackboard On Demand.
The Learning Systems Technical Support (LSTS) site provides support material and ‘how to’ guides for Blackboard. It is available to all staff through the Blackboard ‘Program(s) offerings’ listing.