FirstClass / OISEnet Course Migration to Blackboard
Assistance for Faculty to build the same resources in Blackboard
Listed are some common tasks that you may currently be using FirstClass to accomplish. This section will guide current users of FirstClass to utilize a similar tool, Blackboard, to achieve the same teaching objectives. The following recommendations are made to try and duplicate your FirstClass teaching strategy into the new Blackboard environment.
If you are not yet familiar with Blackboard and would like more information, please take a look at our Blackboard Starter Kit to get an understanding of the basic setup and navigation elements.
Remember that Blackboard uses your UTORid username and password, not your OISEnet username.
The processes shown are suggested guidelines, please feel free to customize for your course.
A common task that you might normally do in FirstClass is to post an announcement in your course conference. When you post an online announcement in Blackboard, you have the choice of also emailing that announcement to all of your students.
It is also possible to send an email to all or select individual students registered in your course. Blackboard will automatically provide you with a class list of students from which you can choose to email.
You may have used your FirstClass conference to post course related materials like assignments, syllabus, and to upload files like Powerpoint presentations, Word documents, pdf files, etc.
You can and use Blackboard to store files and documents from your computer, and publish those files to your Blackboard course.
In Blackboard you can post files on the main course homepage, or create separate menus and categories to keep your material organized.
Interacting with your class roster is going to be much easier with Blackboard. ROSI data is automatically fed into Blackboard, so you will always have an up-to-date class list, complete with email contact information. There is no need to manually create your own class mailing list.
You can also give access your course to guests, auditing students, GAs or other instructors.
You can send an email from within the Blackboard portal, just choose the group of users from your course that you wish to email, or select specific individual people from a list.
Another common element in FirstClass is to have an online discussion between your students. Blackboard lets you create the same environment with features such as:
- Basic discussion
- Instructor led or moderated discussion
- Create group discussions
- Share files within the discussion
- Have students upload files to a discussion to submit an assignment.
Blackboard gives you the ability to receive assignments from students in a more secure and organized fashion than receiving a email message from FirstClass. You can also create a discussion thread 'conference' that will allow student to post their assignments in a class forum.
Blackboard also has an integrated tool called Grade Centre to help you organize and manage your grading scheme, as well as the ability to create online quizzes and tests.
By default, courses will remain unavailable to your students until you choose to activate it. If your students are indicating that your course is not listed for them, it is probably because you have not made it available yet.
The suggested time to make your course available is 1 day before the first class. This is useful so that you can work on your course before releasing it to your students. This is just a suggestion - you are free to make your course available and un-available to your students at any time.
A basic comparison of FirstClass tools to Blackboard terms is as follows:
Please note that the above example is just a sample of an OISE course being taught in FirstClass. Your course may be completely different. The above illustration should be used as a guide only for understanding the new terminology used in Blackboard, and may not be an exact replica of your own course's learning objectives.
Education Commons staff can provide one-on-one consultations upon request.