Best Practices for Blackboard LMS

A large part of successful learner outcomes is figuring out the best teaching strategies for your subject matter and students. Keeping students engaged and excited about learning is a combination of course design and student management.

 Course Design – elements of instructional design

1. Goals and Objectives – must be tied to areas of the course. Use Bloom’s Taxonomy to create measurable objectives using action verbs.

2. Content Presentation – Vary the content and present it in small segments.

3. Learner Engagement – Guide learners to work with content in meaningful ways – apply learning to an activity.

4. Technology Use – Technology is creativity used to ENHANCE the online classroom; not make “busywork”.

 Interaction and Collaboration

5. Communication Strategies – Include several communication activities within your course, especially if online only.

6. Development of Learning Community – Create a community of learning using activities such as student-to-student interactions in discussions, and encouraging students to contact instructor.

7. Interaction Logistics – Guidelines and expectation on quality interaction is clearly articulated ie) Use a discussion board rubric.


8. Expectations – Link assessments to objectives and identity criteria for success.

9. Assessment Design –  Use a variety of assessment types – apply assessments to real life scenarios.

10. Self- Assessment – Provide numerous opportunities for self-assessment (learning game, checklists, rubrics, letters).

 Learner Support

11. Orientation to Course and LMS – Provide an orientation to the course / Learning Management System ie) “How to submit assignment“.

12. Supportive Technologies – Provide links to plugins or other technology needed for the course.

13. Instructor Role and Information – Share expected response time for replies and feedback – includes posting to discussion board by you (instructor).

14. Course / Institutional Policies and Support – Link to policies and support information from within your course.

15. Technical Accessibility Issues – Use standard formats (.docx, .pdf, MP4, MP3, .txt, .rtf). Acceptable formats for Blackboard

16. Accommodations for Disabilities – Consider alternative resources for students with disabilities (captioning video).

17. Feedback –  Provide opportunities for feedback during and after the course (discussion, survey, questionnaire).