In a comment on my previous post, Chris Hall pointed out that you can in fact add course links and external links to a Blackboard course menu. I’ve been using Blackboard since it was installed at Swansea and I can’t believe that I missed that feature!
He also suggested that I give the Blackboard wiki a try as a platform for my internet technology glossary. And so I will. I created a wiki to host the glossary, but to get the same user-interface behaviour as a course menu link to the Blackboard glossary tool, I had to use an external link to the wiki’s permalink.
Navigation will be an issue: Blackboard’s glossary builds a navigation menu as terms are added. I’m going to have to create my own, and keep it updated manually. I’m also going to have a design that has one page per definition rather than all definitions on one page. It’s an open question as to whether this is a good idea from a usability standpoint.
All this said, the benefits of a having a full featured HTML editor, wiki linking, commenting and the possibility of student contributions make it a worthwhile experiment. The one feature that the Blackboard wiki seems to lack that the glossary tool has is a spell checker!
Anyway, if you want to monitor progress, the wiki is viewable publicly so follow this link to have a look.
Whether the students themselves will get involved in creating and editing the glossary remains to be seen. Perhaps if there are credits they will!
Chris Jobling January 15th, 2009
Posted In: blackboard
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