eLearning support and resources for the University of Southampton
Call for volunteers: Pilot into virtual spaces for programme-level information
Do you have programme-level information available for your students on website or another digital platform? Do you wish you had a better solution for your programme-level information for your students? If yes, colleagues in iSolutions need your help.
We are looking for colleagues charged with coordinating programme-level information to take part in a pilot project which uses Blackboard Organisations.
Similarly, if you are a student who has opinions on how to receive and access programme-level information, you are very welcome to get in touch.
At the University, faculty members and professional support teams have access to Blackboard Organisations (access tabs below for descriptions). But we need to make sure that the support information on what Blackboard Organisations is and how to best use it in a way that fits with how staff and students need to use it… if indeed they do need to use it.
To that end, we are running a small-scale pilot to test our hypothesis about using Organisations for programme-level information.
Organisations are a feature in Blackboard. Blackboard Organisation have the same functionality as a Module Courses but the key difference is that there is no student activity in an Organisation that will contribute to their final grade.
Organisations remain in continuous existence until a request is made to close it down by the owner.
The Organisations students can access will depend on what they are studying and in which School.
Organisations are located under the Community tab:
At University of Southampton, we primarily use Blackboard courses for Modules. Courses are areas within Blackboard where students access information about their modules, and work on content that contributes to their final grade. A Course has a definitive start and end date.
An Organisation Course has the same functionality as a Module Course but the key difference is that there is no student activity in an Organisation that will contribute to their final grade. Organisations remain in continuous existence until a request is made to close it down by the owner.
Our current hypothesis is that Organisations could be a good fit for information at the programme level. Examples of sections within an Organisation could be: Programme/Course/Module leads, Induction timetables, How courses fit together and build, Mappings between courses and modules, …
Our hypothesis was informed from findings during the discovery phase of the project. During the discovery phase, the project team conducted these activities:
Desktop research exploring what Communities and Organisations are.
Informational interviews with internal and external contacts exploring usage and possible application.
Unpacking Blackboard arbitrary courses to see how they are being used.
Scenario Mapping e.g. what might Faculty of Medicine or School of Music need?
Our current thinking, based on what we learned during the discovery phase, is that:
Faculty/School information and communications = SharePoint or a website
Programme level information = Blackboard Organisations
The pilot will help us confirm/reject these broad divisions.