This blog post will look at some of the more common things with regards to setting up your module for the new academic year.
A module is created with one module leader. This will be the module leader as recorded in SITS. So, that module leader will need to add extra academics to the module. To add other staff members:
- In the Control Panel, click once on Users and Groups
- Now click on Add Module Leaders
- Either type in their U number directly into the Select Staff section, or search for them.
Alternative, use the Add Module Leaders form found on the Home tab in Blackboard.
If you believe the module leader in SITS is recorded incorrectly, your admin team will be able to help you.
Copying Standard Content
A new module is created based on a school template, so modules have a consistent feel. You also have a clean slate to populate it with learning materials and activities. But there are times when you might want to copy content over from previous years. This guide explains the process fully:
Copying Video Content
If you were using video content in previous modules, ideally this has been uploaded via the ReView system. You can roll video content from one module to another using this guide:
Customising Your Module
The next items look at some of the basics of changing your module. Ensure Edit Mode is switched ON before attempting any of the following. You can find Edit Mode in the top right hand side of your module.
Modules are created based on the school template. However, you can configure many of the elements of the module. For example, you may wish to change the banner, the colour scheme, as well as menu items. Be mindful that many menu items (such as Learning Materials) are used across the University in other modules. Making Blackboard modules consistent will ensure students can locate content.
This guide explains how do customise your module in more detail:
Folders allow you to structure learning materials, and other content. Examples of structure include: weekly; topic or by staff. Folders help students navigate through the module and locate the material they need quickly and efficiently.
To add a folder:
- In your Content Area (for example, Learning Material), hover your mouse over Build Content
- Under the New Page sub-menu, select Content Folder
- Give the folder a meaningful name, and ideally a description to aid navigation
- Click Submit
Uploading Module Guides
Navigate to the Module Guide section.
To add an up to date guide:
- Hover your mouse over Build Content
- Under the Create sub-menu, select Item
- Give the item a meaningful name. In the text box give the item a description to explain the purpose of the guide
- In the Attachments area, locate the guide as appropriate
- Click Submit
Adding Contact Details
Contact details allow students means to communicate with their tutors. You can also explain to students when you are contactable. In most modules, there should already be a Contacts area in the menu. Navigate here, and you will most likely see some generic contact information to Library and Admin staff.
To add your own contact details (from within the Contacts page):
- Click Create Contact
- Fill in the Profile Information as appropriate
- Add a photo if appropriate
- Ensure Make The Profile Available is set to Yes
- Click Submit
Make Your Module Available
New modules are unavailable to students, so you need to make them available.
To do this:
- From the Control Panel, under Customisation select Properties.
- In Set Availability, change Make Course Available to Yes.
- Click Submit.
Adding A Welcome Video
Consider a welcome announcement – it is as a great way of introducing the module to the students. As advocated in the Principles of Course Design for Hybrid Learning Toolkit, it is recommended to add a Welcome Video when your module is released. You can read more about it here:
LTE is here to support you with a range of services. The LTE Team is fully committed to doing everything we can to support colleagues with transitioning their teaching and learning. We aim to support staff by offering online drop-ins for one-to-one or small group bookings for tailored support and guidance. We can develop your expertise and understanding relating to assessment and feedback, learning spaces and active learning. There is a wide spectrum of digital tools and solutions we can support you with to facilitate the design and delivery of modules and courses. In addition, we can offer guidance with learning activities, digital communication, collaboration initiatives, practical work and digital solutions for assessments.
We offer 30-minute bookable slots with a Principal Lecturer, Digital Learning Developer or Online Learning Designer. For more information on Online Digital Learning Drop-In Sessions, please visit: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/03/20/online-digital-learning-drop-in/