Blackboard is a full-featured Learning Management System (LMS). All courses offered at UNO are automatically set up with a shell for faculty to use and all enrolled students are added to the courses. Key features include an integrated Grade Center, ability to construct online assessments, and flexibility in how courses are structured.
- All courses offered via MavLink are created in Blackboard and enrollments are added automatically
- Courses can be copied from one semester to another, eliminating the need to rebuild every time the course is offered
- The Assignment feature allows for electronic submission of student assessments
- Blackboard includes a Rubric feature which can be attached to Assignments, Discussion Boards, and certain types of Test questions
- Date and Time Restrictions allow content items to become available to students at specific times and then access can be removed when the content is no longer necessary
- Multiple sections or listings of the same course (undergraduate/graduate/honors/etc.) can be merged into a single course on Blackboard so that only one course has to be maintained
- The Grade Center allows faculty to provide up to date grade information to students as well as setup Weighted Grades without having to perform any calculations
- A robust online course takes time to develop
- It is difficult to grant access to people who don’t have a UNO account
- Course Copy, if not done properly, can create excessive duplicates in a course
- Virtual Classroom is not reliable
Pedagogical goals best served by Blackboard include:
- Build Community and Foster Collaboration
- Improve Course Management
- Utilize Authentic Assessment and Evaluate Learning
- Develop Effective Communication
- Enhance/Expand Literacies
- Support Cognitive Processes
Information Services’ Academic Partnership for Instruction (API) offers an Introduction to Adobe Connect training session in both the Fall and Spring Semesters, or one-on-one sessions upon request. Check the API Calendar for upcoming training or contact API at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-554-2024.
- Getting Started with Blackboard video from the official Blackboard Help site
- Blackboard 9.1 Resources
Recommend Level of Technical Competency
The level of competency recommended will depend on the goals a faculty member has for their course. At a minimum, comfort with the basic functions of personal computing and working with the internet is required.
Learning Curve for Instructors/Creators
Due to the highly flexible nature of Blackboard it is possible to begin by uploading documents and then transitioning to more interactive features. API recommends starting with the basics and building gradually.
Blackboard has a built-in testing feature. There are 17 different types of questions; the system will grade 14 of them automatically. Included with the tests is an Item Analysis features which allows faculty to determine how effective test questions are.
Common FAQs, Tutorials, and Troubleshooting
- Is there a Blackboard app for my smartphone or tablet?
- Making a Blackboard Course Available to Students
- Copying Blackboard Course Content from Semester to Semester
- Getting Started with the Course Environment document from Blackboard
- Adding an Item to a Content Area video from Blackboard
For more FAQs, tutorials, or information on troubleshooting issues please search the Information Services Knowledge Base in Request Center.