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Blackboard for Instructors

What is Blackboard and what are some ways that I can use it?

Blackboard is a password-protected, web-based course management system - a "one-stop-location" for nearly all the tools you and your students need to create an online learning environment. In other words, it's a virtual classroom used to post course information and/or deliver instruction.

At Chabot, we use Blackboard for both fully online courses and web-enhanced courses to provide a web-based learning environment for our students. The extent of use is completely up to the instructor. Some on-campus instructors use Blackboard simply to post their syllabus and hold discussions, while instructors teaching fully online courses typically use Blackboard more extensively.

Ways that you and your students can use Blackboard:

Course Content

  • To post course syllabus for easy access
  • To post content such as course handouts
  • To link to library resources and databases
  • To publish classroom notes or study guides
  • To provide links to or files of supplementary reading material
  • To post links to YouTube clips
  • To post audio lectures
  • To post images or diagrams
  • To provide links to useful websites
  • To allow students to read or listen to material repeatedly for understanding
  • To provide students who must miss class with easy access to materials
  • To include a glossary of course terminology
  • To put unlimited additional resources in the hands of students


  • To enhance student-to-student communication
  • To enhance faculty-to-student contact
  • To distribute email messages to students
  • To encourage out of class discussion via discussion boards or virtual chat
  • To provide online homework help (virtual office hours)
  • To encourage collaborative learning
  • To get 100% participation in class discussions
  • To reach shy students and allow them to express their thoughts
  • To provide opportunities for learning outside of class time
  • To share community events
  • To set up groups for classes (large or small)
  • To send specific emails to a subset (group) of students
  • To facilitate group projects by allowing students to discuss particular topics or exchange certain files
  • To remind students of important deadlines
  • To share student ideas and projects
  • To develop a mentoring system
  • To collect student quotes
  • To allow students to express their ideas (through journals, blogs, and discussions)
  • To help students find study partners
  • To assist in creating connections and inclusion
  • To communicate expectations and objectives
  • To provide advance organization for in-class discussion


  • To allow students to monitor their own progress
  • To post assignments and allow students to submit work digitally
  • To assess student progress with just-in-time methods
  • To record, display, calculate, and analyze student scores
  • To publish student writing
  • To conduct student surveys for quick, anonymous feedback
  • To provide self-help or self-improvement quizzes
  • To create drill and practice exercises
  • To post extra credit work
  • To post answers
  • To give students immediate feedback on quizzes and assignments
  • To keep students apprised of their own progress
  • To facilitate test review
  • To measure student access to course materials and tools
  • To develop formative and summative assessments
  • To provide interactive activities
  • To gauge student understanding and interests
  • To eliminate time consuming exam grading
  • To encourage reflective thinking
  • To organize student papers electronically
  • To promote peer editing for review and suggestions
  • To gather suggestions from students for course improvements


  • To time control access to information by students
  • To copy things from one place to another (within the same course or between courses)
  • To provide continuous access to a student roster
  • To reduce printing and copying costs
  • To provide more time for classroom instruction and activities
  • To encourage students to read their textbook
  • To help students come to class prepared
  • To engage students with different learning styles
  • To provide consistency in course structure
  • To improve retention of course material
  • To engage students outside of class
  • To allow students to review lecture before or after class
  • To meet student expectations
  • To integrate technology into curriculum
  • To provide online access to course materials anytime, anywhere
  • To go "green" and paperless!

Thank you to the Arizona State University Bb-id listserve for creating the original list.

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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 4/25/2013