So, you have been given the keys to someone else’s Blackboard page and you have just moved in. You might find that they haven’t been the best tenants and have left things in a bit of a mess. Or maybe everything appears to be ship-shape, until you discover the dodgy wiring and the funny smell coming from the cupboard under the stairs. You don’t know which problem to fix first or even how.

Having extended this metaphor further than is feasible, we thought it would be useful to prepare a list of six things to check when taking on another tutor’s Blackboard page.

1. Welcome Message

Check that the Welcome message has been updated (the default message begins with “This module is not using Blackboard”). Update the welcome message and add your contact details so that the students can get in touch with you.

2. Links

Check that all of the links on the module are working and update where appropriate.

3. Materials

Make sure that the previous tutor has passed on any teaching materials ready for you to continue to use (e.g. via OneDrive).

4. Module Outline

Make sure that the current Module Outline is available on the Module Information page and that its contents are up to date.

5. Assessments

Poorly set up assessments can cause students a great deal of trouble so it is well worth taking the time to check that these have been configured correctly.

  • Are the assessments set up on the Assessment page?
  • Do all Blackboard assignments appear in the grade centre?
  • Are assignments set to mark out of 19?
  • Are the dates set up correctly?
  • Are Turnitin submission points named meaningfully rather than just being called ‘Turnitin’? This helps students identify the correct place to submit work.
  • Check that there are no stray Turnitin submission points lurking around the module such as on the Welcome page. These are likely to have incorrect settings and students can easily submit to the wrong place.

For more information, see our Blackboard Manual and our Turnitin Workflow.

6. Not using SOLE?

If you are not using SOLE for assignment submission, check that registry have been informed so that they do not send out automatic emails to students for non-submission of work.

Still need help?

Hopefully these pointers should get you well on the way to running an effective Blackboard module. If you do run into trouble however, you can email us for help at TEL@worc.ac.uk

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