Creating your modules in Blackboard

This page will guide you through the steps needed to create a basic module that fits the VLE Module Minimum Requirements Policy. The sections are designed to reflect the sections that appear on the navigation menu for all modules. Follow each of the steps to find out what to add and locate guides for the necessary tools.

Once you’ve got the basics done you may also want to consider enhancing your content with media, and adding more collaborative and communication tools.

Contents


Planning your module

Before you start adding content to your Blackboard module it’s a good idea to plan how you want to use it to make sure that you’re enhancing the teaching and learning, and that everything functions smoothly even when you’re not around to help your students. You will also need to ensure that your module meets the Minimum Requirements Policy. To support you with this we have created a range of resources designed to help you design and plan the best possible online materials.

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The navigation menu is the way that your students get around your module so it’s important that you understand it. The default links provided here reflect the essential items in the VLE Minimum Requirements Policy so by going through them one by one you should find it easy to ensure your module meets the required standards.

Learn more about the navigation menu, including how to add new menu items, by watching this video.

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Announcements

Announcements are used to send out important information to students enrolled on your module. Announcements are emailed out to students and visible in the module so they can be viewed at any time. Clicking the Announcements link will take you to your Announcements area. Here you’ll be able to see any previous announcements and create new ones. Only staff can add announcements.

  • Find out more about adding, editing, managing and deleting Announcements

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Module overview

The module overview was implemented to give students an introduction to the module and provide all the essential information in one place.

  • The aims, learning outcomes, and assessment overview are pulled directly from ICIS and cannot be changed within Blackboard. If any of this information is incorrect it will need to be updated on ICIS.
  • Learning Materials Overview adds a row and the title from each folder added in the Learning Materials area. Other columns can be edited.
  • Additional Information – can be edited.

Editing the Module Overview
You cannot edit the module overview from the navigation link. Instead click the Course Tools menu and select Module Overview. This will open the overview with clickable text boxes for you to edit as needed.

Learning Materials Overview
The Learning Materials Overview area is connected to the Learning Materials area in the module. Each folder you create within the Learning Materials area will be listed in the Module Overview.

  • Please note: only folders are reflected in the module overview, not individual files or other items.

You are therefore advised to structure your learning materials into a logical system of named folders. These could be named for the weeks of teaching, subjects to be covered, or other system that suits your module. You can edit the start and end dates, tasks, and additional information columns to give extra information if needed.

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Folders and Learning Materials

The learning materials that you add to the Learning Materials folder should, ideally, be arranged into folders. These could be based on the topics, themes or weeks over which a module is studied. The titles given to these folders be automatically show up in the Module Overview which helps students see at a glance what will be studied in the module.

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Upload files

Within your Learn Materials folders you can add all kinds of content and activities as required by your module. The most common is adding files. There are are two options for adding files. Click the links below to learn about how to add files.

Please note: If you want to add media files such as images, audio, or video then please read the Media pages.

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Staff Information

The staff information area is used to add information about all staff teaching on a module so that students know who/how to contact you in case of difficulties. It is up to you how much information you want to provide but we recommend that all tutors on a module try to add the same levels of information (e.g. name, office hours, email).

Step 1
When you click the Staff Information link you will open the contacts page. Click the Add Contact button.

Step 2
Add your information – it’s up to you how much you want to fill in. Then you will need to make sure that Make the Profile Available is set to Yes or nobody will be able to see the information. Click Submit to save your profile.

You can copy your profile to another module to save time.

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Communication and Tools

The communication and tools page provides links to many of the available tools that you and your students may make use of in the module. Some of these tools are things you will need to set up or enable before students can access them and some are links to areas/tools/activities students can use without you needing to do anything.

You can choose to hide some of the icons from students if you want to highlight some specific tools that you’ll be making use of, or you can just leave them all there. To hide a link simply the click Hide Link button.

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Reading List

The Reading List link opens a new window to the library’s online reading lists system. You will need to set up your reading list there.

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Assessments

The Assessments link opens an area where you should put all information about assignments or other assessment that will happen as part of the module. You can upload files as usual and you should also create all online assignment submission links here. Most assignments, grading and feedback should now be submitted or performed online using one of our assessment tools. Guides are available for each tool.

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Module Evaluation

The module evaluation link opens the module evaluation system. Student will be able to fill in the survey at specific times of the year. You don’t need to set anything up for this to happen. Evaluation reports are accessed from the course tools.

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Discussions

The discussions link will take you to a Discussion Forum area. You can use this create one or more discussion forums for use in the module. We recommend setting up at least one forum to allow students to ask questions or discuss the module.

Find out more about Discussion Forums

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