Final Report now available- Reviewing the structure and effectiveness of HE resources on Blackboard

Web-based learning has become increasingly important to Higher Education (HE) over the last 10 years. As a result, a range of virtual learning environments (VLEs) such as Blackboard have been developed to facilitate, and promote web-based and interactive learning.

This project conducted a qualitative review of the use and effectiveness of Blackboard in HE programmes at City College Norwich. Observation of Blackboard courses and questionnaire responses from lecturers and students were used to develop four case studies of Blackboard use at the college. These examples were used to highlight the range of approaches taken by lecturers to establishing and managing Blackboard courses, the extent to which different content types were used, and the perceptions that individuals had of the efficacy of existing Blackboard structures.
Most lecturers had used the VLE to provide a repository for course materials. However, there was little evidence of dynamic and interactive content types being used. This was linked to a lack of lecturer confidence in using Blackboard to promote interactive learning, and a student perception that Blackboard use was adequate as it was. The need for training opportunities for both lecturers and students was identified, to challenge these perceptions by building on examples of good practice that had been identified.

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