Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tip for more manuals and instructions

Kelly Sonora was kind enough to send me a link with lots of valuable manuals and instructions for teaching staff using Blackboard. And these are all in English!!

The address of the posting is at:
They certainly have done a great job! I see they are also using the Teams LX building block as a Wiki solution.

Wiki in Blackboard - yet another manual

A well known drawback in most traditional VLE's is the lack of possibilities for structured input by students. One tool which can allow students room to add input in a structured fashion and collaborate on a collection of knowledge is the Wiki.
Sadly Blackboard does not offer this in the core code. Some teachers have requested a Wiki but in first instance it would be best to have a closed wiki for groups of students.
In order to gain some experience we have decided to try out the Teams LX building block offered by Learning Objects. I have ran it through and it seems to be very comprehensive. It allows for private group wikis which will automatically become accesible to the other students in the class after a predefined date. It also allows for commenting and exporting the final product to a public website.
I will be following a number of courses using this Wiki and am very intrigued how students and teachers will respond to this new tool.

The teachers manual (in Dutch) can be found here.
The students manual (in Dutch) can be found here.

Sign up sheets in Blackboard

We are also using the Blackboard Sign-up sheets building block. The teachers manual (in Dutch) can be found here.

The new Peer review module in Blackboard 8

We are now running Blackboard 8 at Utrecht University. On of the great improvements is the Peer Review tool which has been added. It really does seem well thought out and connects well with the practice of Peer reviewing that a number of our teaching staff have adopted. I see a great advantage in the way it can save teachers time in organising the whole process: it enforces deadlines and distributes essays anonymously.
The teachers manual (in Dutch) can be found here.
And the students manual (also in Dutch) can be found here....
If anybody would like the original files, please contact me.

Back from the Queyras

I have just returned from a great holiday hiking in the French Alps, in the Queyras region to be precise. It was great. Amongst other things we hiked to the rifugio Granero and the Rifugio Jervis (both excellent Italian meals), clambered up the Col Selliere, Col Lacroix, Col d'Urine, Col Vieux and some others but finishing off with the peaks: Pic de Foreant and of course the Pain de Sucre. To keep ourselves amused we also did a lovely klettersteig and some very child-friendly rafting.
And now its back to work....