Planning Your Course

Planning your Blackboard course site is possibly the most important step to ensure a successful online experience for your students. If you invest time in the planning stage, the course building and managing stages will be significantly easier.

Before you begin organizing the online component of your class, consider these critical questions:

  • Why am I using Blackboard for this course?
  • How much work will I expect the students to perform using Blackboard?
  • Which areas and tools in a Blackboard course site are best suited to particular learning outcomes?
  • How much time do I have to develop or convert course materials for effective online presentation?
  • How much time will the activities I plan in Blackboard take to administer? (grading, moderating, etc.)

As you try to answer these questions, it may be helpful to write a list of your reasons for using Blackboard.

Once you have a clear sense of your goals for using Blackboard, you can develop a prioritized task list for building your Blackboard site. At each stage of course design, ask yourself  "Which materials and activities will best help students to learn the topic and develop their analytical skills?"

Developing a course using Blackboard takes time.  As you begin to integrate online components into your course, consider adding one or two easy-to-use features like Announcements, Staff Information, Course Information, or Course Documents.  The next time you teach using Blackboard you may feel comfortable enough to try a Discussion Board or an online assessment.

Remember, you never have to go it alone!  VITAL team members are available to consult with you on all aspects of course creation.