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Blackboard Best Practices and Guidelines

Best practices for Blackboard might vary slightly by campus and where there are different programs such as the Rural Health Program. Overall, we strive to maintain comparability of design and user experience for the three campuses. Comparability in this sense means we attempt to organize Blackboard in a similar way across the campuses. Each campus has their own unique environment which may require that one campus organizes their content in Blackboard in a different way from the other campuses.

Click on the tabs below for general concepts to help you use Blackboard effectively.

There is an additional section below the information about Blackboard to help you understand how to embed the Articulate / Rise modules created by faculty within Blackboard.

Articulate Modules and SCORM for Reporting Purposes Heading link

Articulate is a high-end software package with multiple programs that can help content us to create well-designed interactive web-based modules. Because it is expensive for the college to subscribe to, only a small number of faculty and staff have a license to use it to develop content. Please reach out to project managers or the Director of Instructional Design and Learning Innovation to learn more about it.

All modules created by faculty and staff are housed here: http://modules.medicine.uic.edu. Note that a UIC NETID and password is required to access the site.

Some modules are also embedded in Blackboard. Note: these same modules are located on the website listed above and in Blackboard). These include most modules for anatomy.

The Articulate users know to export their courses in either Web-only or Web and LMS formats.

Web

Articulate users export their interactive module (or course) as ‘web’. The output is a .zip file. This file is placed in Box in MPTS (see the Box Best Practices and Guidelines for more information), generally unzipped, in the folder for the activity with which it is connected. The project managers typically inform the person responsible for adding or updating the module on the modules website.

This website is set up with Google Analytics. The reporting from it can tell us when a module was accessed and by how many people but it does not tell us who accessed it, even though a NETID is required to access the site.

SCORM

LMS

To embed these modules to Blackboard, we use SCORM. SCORM is: Shareable Content Object Reference Model. It is a collection of standards and specifications for web-based electronic educational technology. It defines communications between user access and the learning management system (LMS). For some modules created using Articulate, we embed these into Blackboard using SCORM.

Note that for exporting from Articulate / Rise there are multiple formats. Because the university does not use more advanced formats like xAPI (which allows for very intricate formatting), it does not matter how the module is exported. The exported file is also a .zip file and is also placed in the same Box folder for the activity. The faculty should work closely with local coordinators or project managers to indicate how and where they would like the file to be embedded for student use.

When this file is embedded into Blackboard, it usually creates a column in the Grade Center. The reporting from these modules is very basic and will at the very least let us know which students have accessed it but that is the limit.