Minimum Presence in Blackboard - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure aims to describe the minimum presence and course availability requirement to those staff responsible for the administration and use of Blackboard course sites.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Availability - The state of the Blackboard course site when UQ students enrolled in that course are able to access it.

Blackboard - The central eLearning Management System (LMS) in use at UQ.

Course sites - An online learning environment within Blackboard, typically related to a SI-net course.

Course Instructor - The staff member who has the role of 'Course Instructor' within the individual Blackboard course site.

Minimum Presence - The required minimum use of Blackboard sites for UQ SI-net courses.

SI-net course - Any course offered at UQ into which students enrol via SI-net.

Template - The applied look and feel of the Blackboard site when created, the default items available in the course menu, and the configuration settings applied to all sites at the time of site creation.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure outlines the minimum course components required to be active in a Blackboard course site, including course availability. This applies to any teaching or delegated administrative staff responsible for the administration and use of blackboard course sites.

4. Procedures Statement

All active undergraduate courses must have a Blackboard course site available to students.

Blackboard course sites must meet the minimum presence requirements throughout the teaching semester.

4.1 Minimum components required

The 'minimum presence' requirement describes the way in which the Blackboard site must be used at the most basic level. A template is automatically applied to all Blackboard sites incorporating the menu items that course instructors are required to use for specific purposes.

Any school and faculty templates used must contain the minimum components listed in the requirements.

Individual staff are able to add menu items to their course sites.

Where a faculty or school has a formal convention of hosting learning materials in an alternate system, this material must be linked from the 'Learning Resources' section of the Blackboard course site.

The template consists of the following required items:

  • Announcements: This section is used to post the course welcome message, updates and announcements;

  • Course Profile: Automatic link to the Electronic Course Profile (ECP);

  • Discussion Board: Default course discussion board;

  • Learning Resources: This content area is where Course Instructors must upload course materials, lecture notes or links to other sites. Instructors may link to content held on different systems. Learning resources must be organised logically for students to find materials easily. Instructors might also include staff and students' communication expectations, staff contact information and any class catch-up resources in this content area. The lecture recordings link is automatically created in the Lecture Resources section upon publication of the first recording for a course. Recordings are published automatically up to 24 hours after the timetabled lecture;

  • UQ Library Link: Single sign-on for students to link to Library Resources which links to the students Reading List and the Library101 online tutorial.

With permission from the Associate Dean (Academic), templates may be customised and alternative mechanisms implemented which provide similar functionality.

4.2 Availability of courses

Blackboard course sites are, by default, unavailable to enrolled students when initially created. Students are enrolled automatically into course sites, but the course site must still be made available by the Course Instructor prior to students being able to access it.

Course sites (with at least a welcome message) should be made available to students as early as possible, and at least one week prior to the first teaching activity. Full minimum presence requirements should be met before the first teaching activity.

Blackboard course sites must remain available to students for 12 months following the completion of the course teaching period.

See instructions about making the course available to students here.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Doune Macdonald
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Doune Macdonald