Aston's Virtual Learning Environment
Published on 15/02/2011, updated on 19/09/2012
What is Blackboard?
Aston University's Virtual Learning Environment is Blackboard v9.1. This core centrally supported tool links to the student registry system to provide a secure and robust learning platform. This SITS to VLE link ensures all students automatically access their correct courses. Blackboard provides methods of supporting and enhancing face to face delivery of blended learning experiences. Aston University also delivers distance learning, and work based learning courses in variety of modes, primarily hosted via Blackboard.
- Provides a password protected secure, collaborative learning area
- Provides expected level of basic module information
- One place to access core resources (review, recap and reflect)
- Provides a suite of active/collaborative learning tools (forum, wiki)
- 24/7 on line access via a web browser
- Provides a centrally supported platform (back-up/restore)
- Track access and provide timely feedback
- Additional “plug-ins” and integrations extend capabilities
- Blackboard is now externally hosted ensuring a robust and resilient system
How do I use it?
For users that have never used a VLE, Kevin Brace of CLIPP has a created an on-line presentation entitled "Why Use a VLE?". This covers an overview plus outlines the benefits of using a VLE for staff and students.
If you have never used Blackboard, your main concern will most likely to be adding learning resources. Take a look at the Building Module Content section for information about this topic. After you have built your module you may need to make your module available to students so that they can access the content.
There are a number of communication tools within Blackboard that work in different ways. There is the Announcement and Email tools for pushing messages to your students and Discussion Board Forums for fostering peer to peer and tutor to student communications.
We strongly suggest that you take a look at our Blackboard FAQs, which contains a lot of useful information not included in any tutorials and guides.
We have collated a number of tutorials that show you how to use the core features of Blackboard.