Learning and Teaching Online: Quicksta­rt Guide

This short guide introduces you to some key ideas for you to incorporate into your online learning and teaching.

1. Communicating with your learners via Blackboard

The two main Blackboard tools to enable you to easily communicate with your students are by sending announcements and emails. The two short linked videos provide a step-by-step guide. We also recommend selecting the option to ‘Send Announcement as Email’, as this means that not only will the announcement appear in the course, all enrolled students to the course will also receive an email copy to their PolyU email account.  

2. Creating online materials and activities

You can easily make your teaching material available to your students via Blackboard by logging into Blackboard Learn https://learn.polyu.edu.hk/. Watch these videos for instructions on how to create content areas and upload files for your students to view. Use discussion forums to enable your students to communicate and collaborate with one another, and the quiz tool to test your students understanding of the material, either for formative or summative assessment.

3. Adding video to your teaching

Adding video to your online learning and teaching can really bring the subject alive. uRewind, powered by Panopto, enables you to make videos - from short clips in which you sit at your desk and present a key idea to learners, to complete lectures integrated with visual aids such as PowerPoint. uRewind will be useful for teachers to create instructional video such as video lectures at any location, and for students to submit video assignments. You can record in your office, in a lecture theatre or many other locations. Watch our introduction video and follow the instructions for installing the software and provisioning your course (a necessary first-step if you intend to make videos available via your Blackboard courses), and creating your first uRewind video. You can edit and add a quiz in your video. The video will be published in your Blackboard course automatically.

4. Conducting synchronous online sessions

To meet your students virtually in real time, use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is an online interactive platform where you can create a virtual learning environment to engage your students in real time, no matter where they are. Meet your students, answer their questions, deliver virtual tutorials and facilitate better student collaboration. 

This two-minute video provides a useful overview of the main functions of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and explains how it can support learning and teaching. Follow our step-by-step guide to get started, and read this article on best practices for teaching in a virtual classroom.

Watch these handy video tutorials to find out more about sharing PowerPoint files, setting up the virtual room to suit your needs, creating groups for group discussion and other group activities, using polls and using the private chat feature. Blackboard also provides further tutorials and online resources to help you.

To learn more about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, enrol in this short online course.