Blackboard Features that Make Your Students and Your Academic Life Easier

We all use apps that organize and enhance our lives in a variety of ways. There are many features in Blackboard that can organize and enhance the delivery of your courses. Here are three Blackboard features that when used, can organize and enhance the academic experience of your students.

One: Calendar

Blackboard has a real-time calendar right in the dashboard. As soon as you set a due date on an assignment, that date will appear on every student’s calendar. Due dates are colour coded to each course to alleviate confusion between courses.

Due dates can be set in almost every content item, assessment, or tool, so your students can quickly check submission dates at a glance.

UFV’s events will also be added to the calendar making it easier for students to keep in touch with activities going on around them.

Two: New Mobile Student and Instructor Apps

How essential is going mobile? Well, according to Sh!ft, 70% of North Americans report improved motivation to learn when they are able to use their mobile devices and navigate courses successfully; 72% noted increased engagement and they were 45% quicker to complete assignments! Two apps instructors and students can use to take their learning with them.

The Blackboard app (simply called “Blackboard”) is available for iPhones and Androids and truly enhances the mobile learning experience. It’s a quantum leap ahead of its earlier version, BB Learn. Recommend it to students so they can catch up on assignments anytime, anywhere.

The Instructor app (simply “Instructor”) is an app where you can make revisions to your content and do most of what you can do on the desktop Blackboard. Look for this icon in your app’s download store.

Three: Kaltura’s My Media

Finally, there is Kaltura’s My Media. My media can help add another dimension to your courses, whether your course online, hybrid or as used as a repository. Use Kaltura’s CaptureSpace to record bite-sized videos to add to your course, podcasts or introduction videos.

All data is stored in BC so you can add video assignments to your course and integrate the assignment directly into gradebook. Don’t worry about video files being too large to submit by email, or submitted in a format your computer can’t read. Those days are gone with Kaltura. Jump in and explore the possibilities.

These are just three useful tools available in Blackboard that can help students make their academic life easier. If you haven’t tried them yet, take them for a test drive and tell us what you think.

by:  Ken Harmel

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