To be successful in online courses, students must quickly learn to be organized. In fact, organization is the key to a successful learning environment. Without organization, students quickly become derailed from the course timeline and must spend their time playing catch-up. Typically, students are enrolled in more than one course and instructors are teaching more than one course. One organizational challenge that both instructors and students face is keeping track of all of the assignments and due dates in all of their courses.
Blackboard is the learning management system used at Arizona State University. A new calendar feature was recently released in Blackboard which can significantly impact instructor and student organization. The new calendar does all the things you would expect a modern calendar to accomplish. Items such as due dates are easily changed, managed, and seen by all. Features such as drag and drop scheduling and exporting options to Google, Outlook and other 3rd party calendars make this calendar very user friendly. Personalization and customization allows for different views (day, week, month) and the ability to color-code the events to differentiate between different courses and personal items.
The new Blackboard calendar can provide students with all the important dates and times of course related events such as assignments, exams, and office hours. Additionally, Blackboard support staff may post events important to all Blackboard users such as system maintenance and outage schedules, workshops, and online webinars. The benefit becomes a shared calendar which allows users to see system-wide events, course events, and their personal events all in one calendar. Using the new Blackboard calendar tool will strongly support the organization of your course and directly impact your students.
How to Add a Calendar Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the course calendar from your course in Blackboard, you can add a link to the course menu for one-click access to the tool. You can also customize the name of the link.
- Point to the plus sign above the course menu. The Add Menu Item drop-down list appears.
- Select Tool Link.
- Type a Name for the link.
- From the Type drop-down list, select Calendar.
- Select the Available to Users check box.
- Click Submit.
Course Items With Due Dates
When you create items with due dates in Blackboard, such as tests or assignments, the calendar event automatically appears on the course calendar for that day.
For calendar events associated to content items, all adaptive release and availability rules are handled, ensuring that the release of an item is in synch with the calendar.
More information on how to implement the Blackboard Calendar in your course