Blackboard VLE

Overview

Blackboard is UWE’s virtual learning environment, and is a key part of every module and programme. Blackboard courses may also be requested (via the ISIS student groups page) for other non-standard teaching and learning activities. 

Blackboard is linked to the Ingres Student Information System (ISIS) so module and programme enrolments happen automatically, and summative assessment marks from standard assignment submissions in Blackboard are fed back into ISIS.

Blackboard is not just a content repository for learning materials. There are many tools within Blackboard (discussion boards, wikis, blogs, tests and surveys) and tools accessed through Blackboard (Panopto, Kaltura, PebblePad, Reading Lists, Dewis (an e-assessment system) and YouTube. These can all be used to provide active learning opportunities for your students. 

If you are a member of teaching staff you will be introduced to Blackboard as part of your role. You should be automatically enrolled on the modules you teach. 

Good practice

There may be faculty guidance and/or templates for setting up your modules and programme in Blackboard, so check for these first. The following guiding principles will enhance your students’ experience.

  • Currency and activity: Students will engage more readily if the content is up to date, relevant and encourages engagement.
  • Organisation and clarity: Consistency across modules helps students find the key information quickly and easily, as does a well-structured layout and clearly labelled materials.
  • Content and guidance: Learning materials should be good quality, and instructions and guidance on how students should use them should be provided. Content also needs to be accessible and comply with copyright law:
    • Blackboard Ally is a tool that shows you how accessible your content is by displaying a ‘fuel gauge’ next to each item. See UWE’s Blackboard Ally page and the Xerte resouce on Blackboard and Accessibility, which includes practical guides on how to create accessible content and how to fix the top ten Ally issues. If scores are low, try to follow the advice to improve them.
    • For guidance on copyright, please refer to the Library’s Comply with copyright law page.

You may also want to consider using adaptive release to show information during a certain timeframe – when it is relevant – and hide it when no longer needed. And to keep your Announcements list short and current, use the date restriction option. 

Getting started

You can access Blackboard from inside UWE by following the myUWE link on the UWE Intranet homepage, or from outside UWE by following the ‘Log in’ link on the homepage and selecting myUWE, or by typing http://my.uwe.ac.uk and clicking on ‘Blackboard’. 

UWE’s Learning Development Centre runs training on Getting Started with Blackboard.

You may find it helpful to set up a test course to get used to using the Blackboard interface and try out some of the features. 

Support

There is comprehensive Blackboard guidance on the Intranet and also on the Blackboard Help site. 

If you are teaching on a programme and/or module, and you can’t find it on your list of Blackboard courses, please contact your Faculty Student Administration Team (SAT) – see the Student Administration (Service and Operations) page for contact details. 

For more support, please email learning.systems@uwe.ac.uk or phone them on 0117 32 85735.

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