Best Practices in Online Teaching – Blackboard LMS

Blackboard LMS

Best Practice in Online Teaching

Before you start teaching an online course, you need to plan how to create an effective online teaching and learning environment. There is national consensus on strategies that are essential to effective online teaching. Even if you start with a fully developed course, your preparation, the qualities of the teaching and learning environment that you create, and your delivery practices will largely determine effectiveness.


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Nationally recognized best practices for online teaching relate to:

  • Preparation and Communication
  • Learning community
  • Interaction and Active learning
  • Discussion forums and Monitoring of student progress
  • Feedback and support by Encouraging students to regulate their own learning
  • Assessment
  • Conflict Resolution

The Blackboard LMS

A Learning Management System provides tools to support learning and the administration of courses in an online environment. Blackboard Learn (BbL) is the LMS we use. Instructors can use these tools to deliver a variety of content that could be delivered in a F2F setting. Instructors must become familiar with specific features in blackboard used across all courses. Below is a list of the most common tools and a brief description.

Communication Tools (Announcements, Course Messages (Internal), discussion forums, blackboard collaborate (IM, Office hours, Virtual Classroom, Voice Board, and more): These tools allow instructors to correspond with students quickly and conveniently, students can also use these tools to work in group projects.

Assignment Tools (Assignment, Turnitin, Safe Assignment): through the use of Assignments students can submit their assignments, written work and other electronic files to instructors, and instructors can provide feedback directly to the student about the specific assignment through the assignment functionality (Corcodoc). In addition, instructor have the ability to create and provide grading rubrics for when in the evaluation/grading process.

Assessment Tools (Test, Surveys, Pools): Instructors have the ability to building new test and surveys by utilizing an array of questions or you also have the ability to reuse questions, pools and test in building the new exams. Blackboard allows for automatic grading of quizzes in the case of multiple choice or true/false questions. However, for short-answer or essay questions, instructors are required to manually grade responses and provide feedback on a question-by-question basis.

Gradebook (Grade Center): Blackboard provides a course gradebook called grade center; a single location where all course graded activities, such as assignments, discussion forums, quizzes, tests, exams, proctored exams and more are listed.

Blackboard LMS

Did you know the number of adults who own mobile devices, as January 2017?

  1. 90% of American adults have a cell phone
  2. 58% of American adults have a smartphone
  3. 32% of American adults own an e-reader
  4. 42% of American adults own a tablet computer

From the items listed, identify the Blackboard Learn tools used to monitor students.

  1. Student Retention Center
  2. Performance Dashboard
  3. Reports
  4. Announcements


Just delivering content to students — whether face-to-face or online — is not difficult. After all, we have wonderful textbooks and all kinds of ancillary materials that provide content. However, a course is more than content; it involves the creation of learning environments and instructional activities intentionally designed to motivate students, develop their knowledge and skills, and enable them to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills. Effective teaching is not likely to happen without rich and meaningful interaction, and many students — especially online students — need motivation and support. We know how to do all this in a classroom environment. The question is: how can it be accomplished online?

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