Introduction to Blackboard

Blackboard is the primary virtual learning environment (VLE) used here at the University of South Wales.

Each of your modules has a presence in Blackboard, and by effectively using the online area for each of your modules you will ensure that your students will have access to relevant and timely information, resources and announcements via the web, anytime and anywhere.

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What’s new in Blackboard 2018

A new look

Blackboard has a new, fresh and clean look and is using a new ‘responsive’ theme which will look better when used in a web browser on different sized devices. New icons will be used in the site as part of this new design.

Removal of old assignments

Previous year’s assignment links have been removed from newest 2018 version of modules.

Module/Course availability status update

Staff with a ‘Module Leader’ role in modules can see the availability state of the course and change the state from the main course view.

“Replies to me” notifications in Discussion Boards

Keeping up with large Discussion Board forums has been made easier by giving participants a count and filter to just look at new replies from others to posts made by the participant.

The Blackboard environment and layout

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VLE Minimum Requirements Policy

The University expects all staff to make appropriate use of the virtual learning environment (VLE). You will need to make sure that your module meets the VLE Minimum Requirements Policy. This sets out the types of content and tools that students must be able to access on any given module.

  • For practical help in developing the online elements of your module to meet the VLE Minimum Requirements Policy see Building your modules

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Blackboard Course Organisations

All courses within Blackboard should contain a minimum standard of information to ensure all students are receiving consistent and accurate details about their course. This is in line with the University’s Academic Blueprint, which highlights the need for students to identify with their course and cohort.

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USW Modules

Most modules created within Blackboard are based on the standard University of South Wales template. This is based on a pedagogic design and helps to provide students with a consistent experience. However, you may wish to structure your modules differently to the template provided ensuring that your module still meets the VLE Minimum Requirements Policy.

Read more about how you can organise your modules.

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My Blackboard

My Blackboard offers the ability to integrate selected social media functions within Blackboard. It doesn’t affect how you manage or deliver your learning materials but can be very useful for increasing interactivity and communication.

Important note: When setting up your personal profile and viewing certain Blackboard help pages you will notice a reference to ‘My School’. Unfortunately this term cannot be changed to reflect the meaning here which is ‘My Institution – The University of South Wales’.

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Using Blackboard on Mobile Devices

Mobile theme, When users log in to UniLearn on a mobile device or tablet, screen elements compress or change position so they stay visible. As the screen gets smaller, modules and tool tiles stack so the user still has access to them at their fingertips find out more

The Instructor App, Blackboard Instructor is a mobile app that enables you to view course content, connect with students in discussions, and interact with your class in Blackboard Collaborate. The app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices find out more

The Student App, The Blackboard app is designed especially for students to view content and participate in courses. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices find out more

Help for students when connecting and using mobile devices can be found here

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