Tools for Teaching

We appreciate it is sometimes hard to find the right support resources for digital learning tools so we have curated our favourites from around UWE. Below is a list of resources curated by Tom Buckley (Digital Learning Manager in HAS). ​ Please contact your campus ‘Online Learning Coach’ for further help.

If you are struggling to understand which tool you might need the university has curated a guide for which tool to use for which activity. This can be found on ‘Recommendations on bringing staff and students together in Office 365‘ webpage.


Blackboard Discussion Boards

Discussion boards or fora are one of the most common ways of using Blackboard where students create content online. FET have some great guidance on how to get the most from discussion boards . If you need support please contact your HAS TEL support team not the FET team.

We have synthesized the article ‘When the VLE becomes your campus: some thoughts on engaging learners‘ by Anne Hole into a shortened ‘Tips for Discussion Boards‘ document . Both in long form and short form this is a useful source of guidance for your use of social tools on the VLE.

There is of course the official Blackboard Discussion guidance but please be aware this addresses different versions of Blackboard in the same place. So not all guidance will be relevant.

Blackboard Tests

Blackboard Test is the test system within Blackboard. We use it within the Faculty for formative and summative tests. Blackboard Test could be described as a quizzing tool as it allows the instructor to assemble question types such as Multiple Choice (MCQ), Short Answer etc into a test with the results feeding through to Blackboards Grade Centre. This way the instructor can see student performance and provide feedback.

Tests can be used on online courses to: measure engagement; test knowledge before and after an activity; & at a cohort level see whether there are particular areas that everyone is struggling with.

Blackboard has a really simple introductory video on tests which is really helpful. With formative assessment it is tricky knowing how much feedback to give students and to navigate the options of types of feedback. This Feedback help sheet for staff‘  covers how the feedback options you are given when setting up a Blackboard Test actually manifest themselves to students.


For anyone who is new to making Panopto recordings at UWE Bristol we have the following support resources:

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Moving student focus to Blackboard Collaborate might highlight how little experience of using Blackboard students have. If you feel it would be beneficial we have a Blackboard Collaborate Participant Tour Video for student inductions which you are free to use how you see fit.

For those looking to get started with Collaborate the LDC host a comprehensive guide on using Collaborate on Blackboard Train .


Mentimeter is an audience response tool that doesn’t require clicker handsets. It is accessed via a browser and stores information and activities online. We have an institutional license which means you already have access to this service. As it is cloud based we are able to use it within our online teaching through Collaborate. You may have seen it used within the School of Health and Social Care engagement sessions over the summer of 2020.

Some good starter resources can be found below:

What our lecturers say …

In addition to the tips videos below we have some ‘Handy Hints‘ from our lecturers.