Following extensive consultation with students, the need for consistency in the use of the Virtual Learning Environment and other technologies for learning has been identified and it is expected that all teaching staff will provide students with access to a minimum level of online resources and information as set out below.

Basic requirements such as clear structure, organisation of files and folders, meaningful labelling and basic contact and modular details are easy to achieve and will improve student satisfaction with their online resources.

The guidelines below reflect a basic minimum standard of content and organisation however this is not intended to restrict creativity and innovation in using additional technologies for active student engagement. The baseline requirements are intended as a starting point to ensure equity of provision for all students and can form a strong foundation for more creative and active use of the many tools within and beyond the VLE.

Whilst it is recognised that some tutors may choose alternative platforms for delivery of online resources, the same principles of usability and baseline content should be applied regardless of learning platform. Where an alternative platform is used the tutor should replace the default welcome message on Blackboard with a link to the alternative system.

Page Purpose Content Format Help
Welcome The welcome page should provide an orientation for students to the online module with clear contact details and information on how the site will be used. Name of tutor teaching module, plus contact details:
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Room Number
  • Office Hours
  • An appropriate image
Include a brief overview of the module and how the Blackboard area will be used in relation to this etc.
An item containing text, images or video of tutors together with appropriate web links. See how to edit the Welcome page here.
Announcements To provide timely information to students on any changes or updates relevant to the module. Announcement tool link in the course menu. Course announcement within the module and an option to send as email. See more on announcements here
Module Information This page should provide administrative information on the module that the students can refer to. Module specification, module outline, timetable etc. An item containing explanatory text with links to relevant uploaded Word or pdf materials. See how to add a document link to a Blackboard page
Learning Resources This section should provide support for teaching and learning by allowing students to access resources relevant to lectures and seminars to aid in reflection and general preparation for assessment. Materials to support and re-inforce learning from seminars and lectures. These should be released in a timely way, It’s recommended that you upload your lecture slides at least 24 hours prior to the start of the associated session. All formats can be used including documents, presentations, audio or video files. Organisation and layout may vary according to pedagogic approach. See how to structure your learning materials and tools with a Learning Module here.
Reading List To provide students with access to reading materials relevant to the module. Links to relevant reading materials. Link to the reading list system personalised for each module. If you have a Talis Aspire reading list it will automatically appear in your Blackboard course.
Assessment This page is intended to provide clear guidance on assessment details including the assignment submission point. Clear instructions on assessment methods, marking criteria and method of submission should be provided. Be sure to include any key assignment information here, such as:
  • Name and details of key contact in tutors absence
  • Type of assignment expected from student
  • Specific file types if needed
  • Any special submission requirements
  • Due dates
  • Feedback release dates
An item or document with assignment details. Turnitin or Blackboard submission point. See how to set up a Turnitin assessment here.