One of the great new enhancements that we’ve got in Blackboard Ultra is the ability to embed collaborative documents.
For those of us who did much of their teaching online during the Covid pandemic, you will recall us espousing the benefits of loading a collaborative document in the chat. We’ve now been working to enable this on our Blackboard Courses and we are pleased to say that they are available for you to use on your 2023-24 courses.
This means that your students will be able to collaborate together outside the classroom, on Blackboard in their own time. There are 3 types of document available for students to collaborate on:
We’re going to be using the collab docs for blog and wiki alternatives. But, if you want to maybe get your students to mind map, generate ideas, or build on each other’s notes, take a look at the collab docs. You could also use it to get students to sign up to groups. You can use the group feature in Ultra courses to limit the item to a specific student or group of students.
This blogpost outlines the solutions that the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit are working on for Wiki activities. Once these solutions have been tried and tested, we will work on providing guidance for colleagues.
Wikis are a collaborative tool used for a number of assessed and unassessed activities at Aberystwyth University.
The tool is not currently available in Blackboard Ultra (despite our enhancement requests) and is not on Blackboard’s roadmap of development.
The unavailability of the Wiki tool has been included in all parts of the decision-making process to highlight it as a risk in the move to Blackboard Ultra.
In their very nature wikis are collaborative giving students the opportunity to contribute as part of a group. Students can produce media rich resources linking to external content, videos, and images. The content can be arranged over a number of pages, with a structure pre-given by the tutor.
This blogpost outlines a number of options for Wiki equivalences. The options are listed in order of LTEU preference.
This case study is based on and includes extracts from the Student-led Planning of Tourism and Hospitality Education: The Use of Wikis to Enhance Student Learning book chapter written by Dr Mandy Talbot (Aberystwyth Business School) and published in the Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Hospitality Education.
What tool do you use and how?
Dr Mandy Talbot used Blackboard wikis to facilitate ‘a student led, collaborative learning project (…) on the second year, bachelor degree module: international tourism development. (…) The module course work required students to work in small groups to identify and evaluate the tourism development strategies that were being followed in given tourist destinations and to compare these with approaches being taken elsewhere. Due to the collaborative and interactive nature of the assignment the most suitable web tool was the wiki.’
Why did you choose this tool?
Before implementation of wikis ‘students undertook the exercise by creating and delivering a group PowerPoint presentation of 15 minutes to the class, with a further 10 minutes for questions.’ Dr Mandy Talbot changed the format of this assessment in order to:
‘Improve the cohesiveness of student group work: The wiki format provides a collaborative work space for students to develop their work’
‘Provide students with more opportunity to interact with the work of other groups: The wiki format enables students to visit each other’s’ presentations over an extended time period. Wiki pages also have comment boxes which enable students to pose questions and engage in discussion on the other sites.’
‘Develop student IT skills: Students will learn how to create and structure web pages’.
We are looking for staff who would like to share their experiences of using Blackboard interactive features, e.g. blogs, journals, wikis, tests, discussion boards. We welcome case studies in any format, e.g. short text, a video, voice memo. These case studies would be included on our blog and used in future training sessions. Please sent your case studies to email@example.com
To learn more about different interactive Blackboard features:
The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to be running our E-learning Enhanced training sessions again this semester.
We’ve got a session scheduled for each of Blackboard’s Interactive Tools: Discussion Boards, Wikis, Tests & Quizzes, and Journals & Blogs. In addition to this, we’ve got a number of Welsh Medium workshops on ‘What can I do in Blackboard?’ as well as some more CPD opportunities.
Blackboard Tools are incredibly versatile and can be adapted for a wide variety of different learning activities: from formative and summative assessment to peer and online learning community building, from reflective activities to the creation of resources. As with all technology enhanced learning, the key is the design of the activity and how that is linked to learning outcomes. Putting the teaching need first and choosing the most appropriate tool will result in meaningful engagements with the task.
These sessions have been designed in such a way to foreground the learning design of the activity as well as the technical creation. Participants will be given the opportunity in these sessions to design a learning activity using the relevant tool and will be provided with technical videos and tips for best embedding their tools in their teaching.
See below for dates and times:
Designing and Using Blackboard Discussion Boards
Beth allaf ei wneud gyda Blackboard?
Designing and Using Wikis for Online Collaborative Activities
Creating Blackboard Tests and Quizzes
Using Blackboard Journals and Blogs for Learning Activities