As we are using more and more functionality in Blackboard modules, how they are organised has become increasingly important. We receive quite a number of queries from students struggling to locate various items or submission points in Blackboard.
To assist with navigation, we’ve pulled together our top tips on content organisation.
If you’ve got any questions about this or want to request a module MOT, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for Organising Blackboard Content
Before you start creating content on your Blackboard modules, think about how it can best be arranged so that students can easily access it and that learning resources and activities are in a logical place.
1. Content Organisation
|Choose the correct menu item for your content||Each department has its own template. Make sure that you are placing content in the most logical place for students to find it.|
|Use a folder structure to arrange your content||Use folders to prevent students from scrolling down a long page and to help them find content more easily. Have a different folder for each week or topic.|
|Limit the number of clicks to content||Be mindful of too many clicks - a student should be able to get to the content they need in no more than 3 clicks.|
2. Content Naming
|Use familiar naming conventions and terminology||If you are adding a link to a Panopto recording, make sure you amend the lecture name.|
|Be consistent with naming conventions||Use the same terminology throughout your module and give items meaningful names.|
|Use descriptions on content folders||Outline the contents of folders in the file descriptions so that students know what to find in them|
3. Content Orientation
|Create a Blackboard item with an overview of the module||Use a week by week structure to let students know what they can expect. Include any key dates for assignments or tasks. This can be in the form of a table.|
|Use Panopto to record a video tour of the module||Screencast a module tour highlighting key areas for students. Create a link to the recording under Module Information.|
|Use Announcements with links to the course to highlight to students||Using a course link will allow students to navigate to that area from the announcements. Use this to draw your students' attention to a particular item, folder, or tool such as a submission point.|
4. Content Review
|Use student preview||Once you have created your content, use the student preview function to see how it looks to students.|
|Move content that students are struggling to locate||Even after you’ve created content, you can still move it. Ask your students whether they are able to locate content and learning activities and make adjustments if necessary.|
We’ve got an updated Required Minimum Presence for teaching in our current context.
For further ideas on how to arrange your modules, see some of our Exemplary Course Award winners.