The university has recently updated its Blackboard programme site protocols and introduced a new set of protocols for module site delivery on Blackboard. The expectation is that all module-delivery content and communication will take place on individual Blackboard sites that are directly linked to that module’s MAV (module availability) record on SITS. From a university perspective, this ensures consistency, accuracy of enrolments and allows for additional system automation, whilst a site-per-module approach allows a tutor full access to the suite of tools within a site whilst reducing the “noise” and risk associated with large multi-module-multi-instructor sites.

However, it is appreciated that there are times when an individual module site is not ideal, and where two or MAVs need to be merged into one Blackboard site for teaching delivery and communication; for example, a cross-discipline module where having the different cohorts on the same site is advantageous from the student perspective.

It is possible to merge existing sites within Blackboard. This allows content to be shared amongst cohorts within one parent (i.e. master) site, whilst maintaining the behind-the-scenes links to the records system.

In order for this merging to be effective;

  • The MAV cohorts must be distinct
  • The proposed “child” sites are not in use
  • The assignment submission point(s) need to be shared across the MAVs

The tutor manages the “parent” site and students from the “child” courses are automatically enrolled onto this site. The tutor can see which of the child sites each student has come from. The student sees the title of the child site (i.e. not the parent site) in their My Courses list and when they access the site, however all the content, design, communication etc. is via the parent site.

Advantages

  • Maintains auto enrolments from SITS
  • Students still see the module title they are directly enrolled onto in their course list – providing consistency of experience with other modules
  • Potential for Grades Exchange and other automation due to the SITS link
  • Use of Blackboard groups can help with some of the logistics, such as marking within Turnitin
  • If the child MAVs share the same module code, then a shared reading list is possible
  • Assignment submission points, communication and content can be shared between all students on the merged course

Disadvantages

  • Higher-risk site with potential for multi-site, multi-instructor issues such as unwanted announcements and other “noise”, difficulty / confusion of multiple submission points, higher risk of data-loss
  • Students can only be enrolled onto one of the child courses

The initial merging is a manual process that is done via AQD. If you think that a parent-child course could be useful then please contact the AQD Learning Technologists who will be happy to discuss options with you.

Advertisements