Blackboard’s discussion board feature allows participants to carry on discussions online, at any time of the day or night, with no need for the participants to be logged into the site at the same time. The discussion is recorded on the course site for all to review and respond at their convenience. The discussions may be graded as well. You may have multiple discussion board forums in your course – for example, you might choose to have a different forum for each topic. If you are using the Blackboard Groups feature, you may find it useful to have a discussion board for each group. A course discussion board can contain multiple forums; each forum may contain multiple threads; and each thread may contain multiple postings.
Some ways that discussion boards are used include:
- Instructors post questions on a course discussion board, which students respond to before a class session
- Instructors have students post their work to a discussion board so other students can see it
- Students post reading responses to a discussion board
A blog is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended to share with others. Most blogs also have a commenting feature, so that people can respond to others thoughts. Blogs encourage students to clearly express their ideas. Blogs also address the need to expand various aspects of social learning. From the instructor's point of view, blogs are an effective means of gaining insight into students' activities and provide a way to share the knowledge and materials collected.
In Blackboard Learn, instructors create and manage blogs, and only enrolled users can view and create entries and comments in them. Similar to journals, you can use blogs for a graded assignment or gather opinions and information without assigning a grade.
Wikis allow course members to contribute and modify one or more pages of course-related materials and provide a means of sharing and collaboration. Course members can create and edit pages quickly, and track changes and additions, which allows for effective collaboration between multiple writers. You can create one or more wikis for all course members to contribute to and wikis for specific groups to use to collaborate.
All course members can use the wikis tool to record information and serve as a repository for course information and knowledge. A course wiki is a vast source of information compiled by course members. Wikis can help build a community of collaboration and learning. Social interaction increases during the exchange of information.
Students use a wiki to collaborate on shared content from different times and locations. They can view previous changes, comment on content or changes, include new content, and revise existing content. Similar to the discussion board, you act as a facilitator instead of the provider of all course content. Unlike a blog, which can be quite personal, wikis require intense collaboration, where information is linked to and built upon.
You can grade student contributions to a wiki or use it solely for course content review. In either instance, a student can contribute multiple pages to a single wiki and make unlimited revisions to pages submitted by any course member. You can also enable the group wiki tool to help groups share and interact.
You can view all changes to all pages in a wiki. You can view the changes at a high level, and you can drill down to see information about contributions by any individual.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is an always-on, real-time, online meeting tool available in all Blackboard courses. It lets you share your audio and video, add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate Ultra opens right in your browser, so you don't have to install any software to join or manage a session.
Microsoft’s OneNote Class Notebook (a.k.a. OneNote Classroom) is now available in Blackboard Learn. The OneNote Class Notebook has all the features you expect with OneNote, plus it has private sections that only instructors and their individual students see.
See the Instructor Guide to OneNote Class Notebook for steps to the integration into Blackboard.