What is Blackboard and why would I use it?

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Blackboard is an online platform designed to provide faculty with a method of distributing learning materials, assessments, and interactive opportunities to their students online. Blackboard is one brand of many Learning Management Systems, or LMS.

Courses do not have to be completely online in order to take advantage of the tools that are in Blackboard. Many Faculty teaching face-to-face courses use Blackboard to simply post copies of their syllabus and handouts. Other Faculty use Blackboard to not only provide classroom materials but to assess learning outcomes.

Here are some ways in which you might use Blackboard as a supplement to your course:

  • Post copies of classroom documents (syllabus, handouts, assignments sheets, grading rubrics, etc.)
  • Provide a means of communication with your students (e-mail, chat room, virtual office hours, and discussion boards)
  • Provide timely and accurate grades on assignments (use of the online grade book)
  • Post online tests, quizzes, exams, and written assignments (these can also be graded online and automatically added to the online grade book for very timely feedback)

This tutorial is NOT designed to make you into an online teacher. It WILL, however, introduce you to some of the basic tools that both face-to-face and online teachers use to enhance their classes with Blackboard.