Dr Christopher Jobling

Senior Lecturer

Engineering

c.p.jobling@swansea.ac.uk

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!

January 15th, 2009

Posted In: blackboard

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