Context: Training Students Reps on Blackboard as instructors
Name(s) of Students involved: Mo Ibrahim
Name(s) of staff involved: Tai Luong
To empower students as change agents, whereby learning technology tools such as Blackboard are available to better support their learning community.
After a review of the course representatives systems we were advised to introduce some changes to the way course representatives contact their students’ cohorts. It was deemed necessary to find a way for the course representatives to communicate with their cohorts more effectively to gather feedback and represent the students’ views.
The solution that we came with is to allow course representatives to have instructor access to the virtual learning environment (Blackboard). The programme was piloted during the second term of the last academic year of 2015/16 with course representatives and it received good views as well.
How we went about the training
Once the representatives are elected to their positions, they receive their core training for the role and the effective ways to communicate and represent their students’ cohorts. The training sessions to be instructor is run separately from the core training sessions.
The training will allow the representatives to be able to navigate blackboard as instructor on their own area with all of their cohort enrolled as students with no staff on the area. During the training session representatives are showed how to optimise the use of blackboard as communicating tool through the following:
• Send out emails
• How to create a surveys
• How to set announcements
• How to upload files
• How to create a discussion boards
The session then opened for questions and discussions for students to enquire about any other tools they think they might be in need to use in order to carry out their duties a course representatives. Representatives are advised to take some time and familiarise them selfies with their instructor area as the more they use it the more they could achieve with it.
The Vice President of Education from the Students’ Union along with Tai Luong TEL officer, offer the course representatives the support they will need to use blackboard as instructor through tenure.
How it could be improved
One of the steps that has been taken for improvements trainees take a short feedback forums about if the session does meet their expectations and what would be beneficial for them to know more about.
We also developing set of caption videos to help the students representatives through there tenure of the use of blackboard. The videos will include the topics previously mentioned and also the topics that have been requested on the feedback as well.