Are you currently teaching in UTSOnline (Blackboard)? Want to prepare your subject site for the move to Canvas as part of the LX Transformation? Save yourself some time later – and make your subject site clearer to students – with these tips to get you started.
Rationalise your subject files
If you’re coordinating a subject that’s been running for a long time, you likely have some files and activities in your Blackboard site that you don’t use anymore.
- Conduct a mini audit of your site contents – what do you need and what is outdated? Are active files clearly titled and easy to find?
- Upload any videos you own to My Media in Kaltura. This ensures you retain seamless access to your videos in your future Canvas site.
Design your Blackboard site for Canvas – it’s all about modules
Canvas uses Modules to structure content by default, and they require a bit of planning to be most effective. One of the best ways you can prepare for your move to Canvas is to consider how you might “modularise” your current subject in Blackboard.
What are modules? Designing your subject site in a clear way helps students find the learning content they need (and it’s worth noting that unclear subject site navigation is a common concern reported in student surveys). But students also want to understand how content relates to the outcomes you’ve asked them to demonstrate in assessments. When you clearly structure your learning content into sequential units of work, or modules, you can help facilitate connections between activities, assessment, and outcomes for your students.
Begin to “modularise” your subject by following the steps below:
- Think about how you might break your subject into units of work. Units of work can be differentiated in a variety of ways: for example, by topics, outcomes or assessments.
- Consider what the learning outcomes, or goal, of each unit could be, and how you want students to work through each unit.
- Use a visual guide to plan how your units fit together – like a ‘storyboard’ or other visual prototype. Do the units work together to support your course outcomes? Does the sequence of learning make sense when you visualise it this way?
This planning can take some time, but can help you see your subject from a student perspective and identify where you might improve the structure and navigation of your current subject site.
Try Blackboard’s Learning Modules tool
Learning Modules in Blackboard allow you to organise learning content such as pages, files and activities in a sequential order with a table of contents. This makes content easy to find, and presents a clearly structured learning pathway through a subject. As this structure is similar to Canvas, they can be easily translated when it’s time for you to switch as part of the LX Transformation. Explore an example Canvas module structure here.
Learn how to create and add content to Learning Modules in Blackboard, or talk to our LX.lab learning designers. We can provide module templates, advise on the design of your modules and walk you through the technical steps.
Photo credit: Alvaro Reyes on unsplash