Dr Andrea Chester demonstrates how she uses Blackboard to support her psychology course.
Welcome to the Blackboard site for first year Psychology.
What I thought I'd do is take you through the menu items on our Blackboard site talking a little bit about how we use each of them.
But first, 'Announcements'. As you can see, I take a fairly conversational tone in the announcements I post, and I post fairly regularly so students might expect to see new announcements when they log on. Some of these announcements are crucial. They are about pieces of work that are due. Others are more of general interest, eg, guest lectures that are coming up.
Under 'Course information' we provide some general information about how we think the different components of the course are best used. We also provide some information about access to different aspects of the course.
'Staff information' contains as you can see some very attractive photos of staff members in the team as well as, importantly, some information about how to contact us outside lecture times.
'Course documents' contains really the bread-and-butter of the course. The first year teaching team has worked considerably on online modules, and over several years we've collated some very extensive material here – so that's the key to the course in some ways. But you can also see ... let me show you under 'Course docs' that we keep a fair bit of material in here ... and release it in a 'just-in-time' kind of fashion. So some of this material won't be released until the students need it.
We do the same kind of thing under 'Assignments', where we release material to coincide with work that's being done in tutorials so you can see we have information about each of the pieces of assessment, and in folders, information related to that piece of assessment.
We use the 'Discussion board' fairly frequently in first year psychology. At the start of the semester I set up discussions on each of the modules, and as you can see they tend to not get used all that frequently. Again in that sort of 'just-in-time' process, I set up discussion boards on the key pieces of assessment and as you can see they get used much more frequently and students tend to answer their own questions there.
Last semester we were podcasting our lectures so we have a menu item for 'Podcasts' where students can find recordings of all of the lectures.
We also use the menu to have links to key pieces of assessment so students who might not find lab report material in assignments can find it as menu item as it becomes relevant to them during the course of the semester.