FET Blackboard Module Template 2016-17

Please note! This post is out of date.
Please refer to the FET Blackboard Module Template 2017/18 instead.

The Faculty introduced a Blackboard module template for all modules in September 2013. The use of the template is reviewed annually, with changes made if considered appropriate for the following year, and staff development guidance offered to staff from the Learning Innovation Unit where appropriate. A review of the template for 2017/18 has been carried out by FET’s Learning and Teaching Student Experience Executive committee, with the only change being the addition of a Reading List menu item. Information about this will go out with a reminder about the use of the module template for 2017/18 modules when the new module runs are created (around mid March 2017).

FET’s Learning and Teaching Student Experience Executive committee agreed that there should be no major changes to the module template for 2016/17.

Just to note, it is evident from previous Blackboard module reviews that justification for the Assignment tab name and clarification of its purpose is required.

The justification for adopting Assignment for the tab name is because ISIS generated assignments are automatically created under an Assignments tab: see Blackboard Support’s webpage on ISIS generated assignments for more details. Although it would be more intuitive to call it the Assessments tab on the FET module template, this would result in two assessment-related tabs on the majority of modules because of ISIS generated assignments.

The purpose of the Assignments page in FET Blackboard module sites is to include all summative assessment information in one place, i.e. the formally assessed work that counts towards the final mark for the module (including coursework and exams). It is not just for Blackboard assignments. Details about how the module is assessed should be added to this page by Module Leaders and must be consistent with the module specification, including:

  • the assessment specification/brief, which incorporates assessment criteria for the particular task
  • information on each element/component of summative assessments
  • the weightings between elements/components
  • the nature of controlled components e.g. presentation requirements, exam duration, number of questions, seen or unseen, etc.
  • assessment timings – hand in dates should not be referred to directly here but a link should be provided to the definitive sources on dates (currently the Courses: Coursework subtab in myUWE)
  • assessment briefs and assessment criteria, or the schedule for publishing these

The purpose of the template

From top to bottom this includes Announcements, Module Introduction, Module Handbook, Module Schedule, Learning Materials, Assignments, Contacts, Study Skills, Learner Support, Communications Policy and Module Enhancement
Main menu on FET Blackboard modules

The purpose of the template is to provide a good starting point for module leaders setting up a module site and encourages good practice from the outset. The module template is to be used in conjunction with the following guiding principles, which are critical elements for effective communication with students.

  • Currency and activity: Students respond best to environments which appear ‘live’. They will engage more readily with a learning environment if it is updated regularly, has immediately relevant information and encourages activity.
  • Organisation and clarity: Feedback indicates that students value consistency in the layout of Blackboard sites; if it is the same across their modules they know where to find key information quickly. Information about the module should be easy to find and learning materials should be clearly organised and easy to navigate.
  • Content and guidance: Any Blackboard site must be populated with good quality learning materials, but it is also important that learning materials are clearly labelled and instructions and guidance provided on how students should use the materials. All Blackboard module sites should convey the minimum levels of information described in the Faculty’s existing guidance on writing a module guide, which includes an introduction to the module, learning outcomes, a schedule of the teaching programme, and staff contact details. Any materials used in a Blackboard site must also comply with copyright law.

Using the new template for the first time

The following guidance material is provided to help staff use the template. Further support, including one-to-one help setting up a new module, is available on request from the LIU in FET (room 3Q64). [For general Blackboard guidance and support, contact UWE’s Blackboard Support team.]

This guidance provides detailed information about each part of the template, and includes advice on how to organise content in the Learning Materials section of the template: About the FET Blackboard Template 2016.

Copying content between old and new module runs

For guidance on how to set up your new module run by copying over existing content from a previous module run, see: Copying content to a new module run.

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