New Discussion Tool Capabilities!

MyUCA Blackboard has recently had an update that now allows for new capabilities in the Discussion and Chat tools.  Available options are for the discussion board tool includes blog and journal topics, a peer review option, and the addition of the All-Topics view and My Posts view.  The new option for the Chat tool is availability for the students to view chat logs (as long as the instructor hasn’t disabled logging).

On the live (production) server, you can create new discussions that are collaborative blogs or that are journal topics.   The journal topic availability allows for students to freely express their ideas without other students viewing their writing.  (This works as long as the private option remains in place under Topic Behavior Options.)  Instructors can choose for students to peer review each others’ discussion posts as well.  This is based on either a grading form or by a scale rating scheme.

For more information on these tools, be watching the IDC Technology Services site for tutorials or call the IDC at 450-5240.

Online Groupwork

Make online groupwork effective by ensuring it is meaningful to the students and manageable.  Is the assignment truly collaborative?  For more information about effective online groupwork, see the article How to Design Effective Online Groupwork Activities at