Communication and Collaboration Tools

Blackboard can be a powerful ally in the quest for greater student engagement, both in and outside of the classroom. There are multiple tools available to create collaborative spaces for students within your course, or open lines of communication between students, among groups of students, or between student and instructor. This roadmap contains a questionnaire to help you find the best tool for your course, and presents information on how to set up, configure, and assess these tools and resources.


Communication and Collaboration Tools: What’s Right For My Class?

The four main collaboration tools available in Blackboard are Blogs, Wikis, Journals and Discussion Boards. They all provide an opportunity for students to communicate and collaborate either with each other, with instructors, or both, but you may be confused as to which tool is the best fit for your class. They all also have the ability to be graded via the Grade Center, should the instructor select that option during set-up.

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Getting Started with Blogs, Wikis, Journals and Discussion Boards

To get started with Blogs:

To get started with Wikis:

To get started with Journals:

 To get started with Discussion Boards:

To get started with Group Collaboration Tools:

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Considerations for Using Any Communication or Collaboration Tool

No matter which tools you select for use in your course, the following steps can help you deploy that tool in a way that will be most user-friendly for your students.

  1. Create a Course or Tool Link in your Course Menu so that your students can easily locate the tool.
  2. Create a link to a specific Wiki, Blog, Discussion Board or Journal in a Content Area to help students find just the right link at just the right time.
  3. Use Student Preview to see how your students will view and interact with your course.

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