Category: Course Design Considerations

Best practices in course design and tactical use of technology in teaching and learning.

Your Students are Mobile Learners

In this article, I provide some evidence that our students are consuming online course content on their mobile devices, and suggest that we consider this a reality when designing courses. Blackboard Mobile Learning Blackboard’s mobile apps have gone through a few iterations over the years. They have recently re-named Bb Student to Blackboard and have built an better instructor app named Blackboard Instructor.… Read more →

Learning on the Go: Blackboard Mobile Apps

First, two introductory videos. Then…the good stuff!   Blackboard’s first mobile app, Mobile Learn, was intended to provide instructors and students easy access to their course material on. Since its birth, Blackboard has moved to a persona-based approach in order to provide more specific and useful functionality to users with different roles, so they can accomplish more tasks on the… Read more →

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Anonymous Grading in Blackboard

A colleague at another institution recently uttered the words, “We all have those students we don’t love as much as others but they still deserve to be assessed fairly.” I know what you’re thinking. This is just plain false because you love all of our students equally. However, the fact remains that it can be difficult to assess student performance and… Read more →

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On UC Berkeley and Accessibility Solutions

In September 2016, UC Berkeley made news for considering taking down their free MOOCs rather than making them accessible.  The full Department of Justice letter cites Berkeley for inaccessible links, videos without captions, lack of alternate text on images and visuals, poor formatting of documents, and using inaccessible websites. UC Berkeley responded with a statement of their own, claiming that… Read more →

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E-Learning Pre-Approval Process for Instructors

Course instructors planning to teach an online or hybrid course will need to submit an E-Learning Pre-Approval form, and that form must be approved by all reviewers before the course schedule will indicate that the course is online or hybrid. We want students to have a fair shake at building their schedules, so forms should be submitted and approved prior to… Read more →

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Accessibility Checklist – Start Here!

Text and Textbooks/Readings Is your adopted textbook available in a digital format? Is your course pack available digitally, or have you informed your students which books you took chapters from and the original page numbers? Are your syllabus, journal articles and other text content arranged in one-column formats, and saved as Word documents or accessible PDFs? Are you using 12… Read more →

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Online Accessibility Basics

When most people think of accessibility, they might think of something like a wheelchair-accessible bathroom stall, or a ramp instead of stairs. When we talk about online or web accessibility, we have other considerations to keep in mind: tasks which one user might take as second nature are very difficult or impossible for another user. The best way to accommodate… Read more →

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Video Content: Captions and Transcripts

Have you ever watched a foreign language film or TV show and the captions stopped working for a moment or two? It’s a very frustrating experience, especially if you were riveted to the show and you’re missing pertinent information. It’s important to create captions for all video content you create, and to make sure that the captions are accurate. You may… Read more →