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Staff Development for Blackboard Underpinning Quality

Introduction to Staff Development Matters

This section of BbMatters is a forum dedicated to sharing

  • Best practice in staff and professional development underpinning the use of Blackboard
  • News about staff development successes
  • Impact of staff development on all stakeholders using Blackboard
  • Information on how staff development can assist quality benchmarking
  • Information that may assist new and experienced users
  • Professional links between organisations to facilitate mutual benefit

Staff Development for Blackboard Underpinning Quality

Preparing staff to use Blackboard to facilitate learning should not be approached any less rigorously than preparing them to develop their instructional skills to teach generally. We have a responsibility not only to develop their skills but also to set this development within a quality framework that meets organisational benchmarks. It is staff development policy within the Belfast Institute to offer accreditation, as added value, to staff participating in staff development programmes.

We have had our programme accredited at level 3 by the Northern Ireland Open College Network and it is delivered through 3 modules, each lasting 3 hours, to develop the skills and understanding required to use Blackboard.

The 3 modules are:

  • Introducing Bb/Creating Course Content
  • Exploring Course Tools
  • Creating Assessments

The programme is delivered by in-house trainers and takes a notional 60 hours. Its key features are:

  • Staff attending traditional training sessions
  • Staff creating and designing their own Blackboard course to support a learning programme or service
  • An assessor viewing participant's course on-line and assessing against agreed criteria
  • Each participant submitting a written evaluation of the use of Blackboard to assist learning

Quality is assured through participants grasping the requirement of abiding by agreed conventions we demand e.g. use of folders, use of appropriate titles for folders and files, instructions for course users, accommodating variety of learners etc..

The programme is supported by a Blackboard course, providing guidance, information, tips and ideas to assist staff. Staff then get a student perspective of using Blackboard also because all staff attending the training are enrolled on this course.

This programme benchmarks skills and knowledge within a common programme, with the added value of participants achieving a qualification for product related to preparing resources for their students or service.

Author: Harry McCarry

22 February 2004

VLE: Blackboard



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