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Groups/Learning Modules/Mashups


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Can Students create and organize Groups within my course?

Instructors have control over the Groups Settings in Blackboard 9.1. One of those settings is the option to Permit Students to Create Single Self-Enrolled Groups. This option, which is on by default, empowers students to create groups, something that in previous versions of Blackboard could only be accomplished by the Instructor.

Student Created Groups require other students to enroll in the Group and include all Group Tools including File Exchange, Group Discussion Board, and Group Email.

Can I randomly assign Students to Groups?

Yes. New to Blackboard 9.1 is the ability to create a Random Enrollment Group Set. Simply tell Blackboard how many groups to create or how many students to assign to each group and Blackboard will do the rest.

See the Random Enrollment Group Set tutorial for more information.

Can I empower Students to self-select into Groups as opposed to adding Students to the Groups myself?

Yes. New to Blackboard 9.1 is the ability to create either a Single Self-Enrollment Group or a Self-Enrollment Group Set. These options provide students with a “sign-up sheet” and Instructors can limit group enrollment so as to attempt to evenly distribute students within each group.

See the Creating a Single Self-Enrollment Group or the Creating a Self-Enrollment Group Set tutorials for more information.

Where do I go to Manage Groups once I create them?

Once groups have been created an Instructor can access the groups by clicking on the Groups link under Users and Groups in the Course Management menu.  Each group that has been created will appear in the Groups area.

  • Clicking on the group name will provide the Instructor with access to the tools for that group.
  • Clicking on the Action Link button (chevron sign) next to the group name will provide the instructor with the ability to Edit or Delete the group.

Can I rearrange or reassign students to groups once they have been assigned to a group?

Yes. Simply go Edit the group from the Groups area under Users and Groups in the Course Management menu. Under Option 4 Membership,

  • To remove a student from a group, select the student to remove from a group (Selected Items column) and click the left directional arrow to remove them.
  • Conversely, select the student to place in the group from the Items to Select column and click the right directional arrow to add them to the group.

Do I need to add myself as the Instructor to each group?

That is not necessary. Instructors and even Teaching Assistants have the ability to view activity within groups without actually being added to the group.

Learning Modules
What is a Learning Module?

Learning Modules are a method for presenting course materials in a linear fashion, with a table of contents and the ability to control the release of the material one screen/item at a time.  It embraces the idea of “chunking” information, and can contain all types of content, such as text, graphics, multimedia and assessment tools. Content within a Learning Module is added and managed just like content in a Content Area/folder.

You can also add folders and sub folders to a Learning Module to provide a hierarchical structure. Folders and sub folders provide an outline view that is displayed in the Table of Contents for the module. The Table of Contents allows you to present content in a structured manner. Folders and Sub folders within Learning Modules have the same properties as other Folders and Sub folders found in Blackboard courses.

Learning Modules can be viewed sequentially or non-sequentially. If sequential viewing is enforced, students view the Learning Module in the order in which the items are listed. Students cannot advance to a page within the unit without having viewed the previous page. If sequential viewing is not enforced, items in the Learning Module may be viewed in any order from the Content page.

See the Creating Learning Modules tutorial for more information.

What is a Blackboard Mashup?

Mashups allow Instructors to quickly embed external media into a Blackboard course. Mashups are added as a Content Item in a folder or added through the Text Editor available within most course content areas.
The content types supported by the tool are:

  • Flickr - site that provides photographic images - many images are licenced under Creative Commons and can be used in courses to enhance content.
  • Slideshare - a site for viewing and sharing presentations, documents and PDF documents that can be used to augment learning materials.
  • YouTube - site for viewing and sharing online videos. Many of the videos can be incorporated into courses to enhance discussions and to provide alternate points of view.

See the Mashups tutorials for more information.

Can Students add Mashups to Assignments, Discussions, Wikis, and Blogs?

Absolutely. The Text Editor available within each of the areas mentioned includes a media toolbar. This toolbar allows students to add images, audio, and video content to the posting. The Mashup icon allowing students to add Flickr, Slideshare, and YouTube videos can also be found within the media toolbar.

If Students are producing multimedia presentations for a course and posting them to YouTube, the Mashups tool would be a great way for the students to share the presentation with the class or to even submit the presentation via the Assignment tol for grading. This would be timesaving for the Instructor who otherwise might need to go searching YouTube to find the video.

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