Please note: for this year we are recommending that staff do not perform a ‘course copy’ but instead follow the new guidance to create an uncluttered module site: Copying content to a new module run.
After a review process involving FET staff and students, the Faculty’s Learning and Teaching Student Experience Executive committee gave approval (4 February 2019) for a new Blackboard module template, which will automatically be applied to all newly created module runs. These will start to appear on staff Blackboard lists around mid-April (six months before the official start date of a module run).
The main changes for 2019/20 are:
- The content areas for Module Introduction, Module Handbook and Module Schedule have been merged into a new Module Information content area.
- For staff who want to include a module handbook, there is a link to an accessible FET Module Handbook template (using minimum font size and Word styles).
- The Study Skills link and the Learner Support content area have been merged into a new Study Skills & Support content area.
The purpose of the template
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. Any materials used in a Blackboard site must also comply with copyright law.
Using the template
- For details about each menu item and what content should be included, and also advice on how to organise content in the Learning Materials section of the template, please refer to the About the FET Blackboard Template 2019/20 guidance.
- Further support, including one-to-one help setting up a new module, is available on request from the Learning Innovation Unit in FET (room 3Q64). [For general Blackboard guidance and support, please refer to the Blackboard Support Staff Guidance or contact UWE’s Learning & Research Systems].