Communication and Collaboration

The following guides and areas will explain some of the many tools and methods you can use to enhance and encourage communication and collaborative working on your modules. Communication between you and your students, and between groups of students, is of key importance to good teaching and learning experiences.

The University is committed to using social software as a key means to enhance learning, teaching and assessment. For further details please read CELT’s Social Software Policy guide.

Blackboard’s communication tools

This page introduces and provides guides to using the many tools and features within Blackboard for communicating with your students, and encouraging communication between them.


Collaborate is an online virtual classroom/meeting space which allows users to talk via audio, see each other via webcams, use a chat tool, collaborate on documents and view presentations, as well as offering other features.

Working with Blackboard Groups

This page introduces the Blackboard Groups tool and explains the different ways it can be used to facilitate group work, allocate marking, and manage large cohorts of students.


Blogs can be a useful tool for encouraging student expression, reflection and communication. There are many blog platforms available online but Blackboard has its own blog tool that can allow you to set up blogs that are specific to your module rather than public to the world.


Wikis are great tools for encouraging collaborative working. This page introduces the wiki tool available within Blackboard:

Blackboard Journals

Blackboard Journals is a private tool used between student and teacher that allows students to reflect on their work and progress without others on the module being able to see.

  • COMING SOON: Read the guide to Blackboard Journals.


Online conversations are different from those held face-to-face. In a face-to-face conversation, body language and facial expression constantly supplement, support and qualify the words used. Without this physical dimension of communication, words can be more easily misconstrued. It is very important to the maintenance of good working relations with your colleagues and other internet users that the language you use in online exchanges is appropriate and unambiguous. It is therefore important to have a good understanding of Netiquette.

Social media

This page discusses various social media tools and how they can be used to enhance teaching and learning:

  • COMING SOON: Find out more about social media for teaching and learning.