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Best on Blackboard competition 2014-15 and results from 2013-14

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Best on Blackboard competition 2014-15

The Best on Blackboard competition is designed to highlight resources that stand out as examples of good practice which have positively engaged students and to reflect the wide range of innovative learning design that exists across the Faculty.


Highly Commended

Nissa Finney (Social Sciences) - SOST30012 Theory & Method in Demography

Overall Nissa’s is an exemplar course. Well organised, engaging and welcoming in tone, with rich and varied content. Throughout the course, it is clear that the material on Blackboard is integral to the overall teaching approach for this unit. The regular formative quizzes with feedback provide opportunities for students to check their progress, while the "Demography in the news" section is a good way to engage students with current relevant developments.

"The course outline was very detailed and had everything we needed in. The feedback was good on the assessed coursework, pointing out positives and negatives, offering us an insight how to improve on our next assignment."

Laurel MacKenzie (Arts, Languages and Cultures) -LELA30981 Language Change Across the Lifespan

Laurel’s course offers a range of opportunities for effective blended learning with all course readings accompanied by a set of questions and points to consider – ensuring students are always clear on the objectives of their engagement with set texts. Laurel also uses an exceptionally clear custom course structure which aids ease of navigation. Her use of discussion boards is equally exemplary with students appreciating the prominence attached to this mode of peer-to-peer and tutor-student interaction.

"It was always easy to find lecture readings, and guidance was given on what to look out for in the articles, which was great for training your brain how to critically analyse and use articles in research."

Julia Handl & Raza Khan (Manchester Business School) - BMAN10732 Quantitative Methods for Business & Mgmt 2

The course is designed to promote self-study, strong feedback and tutor/peer interaction. Easy to navigate, the course encourages students to monitor their progression through online tutorials, formative quizzes, interactive tests, and videos. Julia consistently engages with her students and provides feedback through effective use of communication tools. The course complements very well face to face time, which is devoted to more in-depth discussion and feedback.

"We have been provided with a colossal amount of resources. We have been directed to particular websites, links to videos and best of all, full tutorials done by the tutor for our seminar excercise….The course notes are very well organised on blackboard and easy to navigate around."

Mario Pezzino (Social Sciences) - ECON10071 Advanced Mathematics

Mario’s course is well-structured and provides regular opportunities for students to check their knowledge and receive feedback. There is a high level of engagement with the lecture-related quizzes and a strong blended learning element in the weekly exercise problem sheets which students work through prior to face-to-face sessions. The content is highly developed with detailed readings provided. The pre-module diagnostic test gives students the opportunity to assess their starting point.

"All these were exceptionally beneficial to me. Instructions were clearly provided as to what had to be done regarding assessments and deadlines and therefore could plan my work…. The quizzes were great and incredibly useful coming up to the exam."


Gemma Edwards & Wai Ling (Social Sciences) - SOCY10432 From Modernity to Postmodernity II

Gemma’s course is well organised by weekly progression and offers a variety of material (slides, readings, questions, videos) for the students to both prepare for lectures/seminars and revise (Flipcharts and Exam Tips Movie). Turnitin is used creatively for formative essays and feedback is given through Quickmark’s short in-line comments, as well as Grademark’s extensive comments and rubrics.

"The online resources on Blackboard are always relevant and interesting and become very useful when writing formative essays or revising. ….The formative essays were especially important in gaging my understanding of aspects of the course so far. Feedback for this was punctual and detailed."

Hannah Cobb (Arts, Languages and Cultures) - ARGY20502 Fieldwork, Practice and Interpretation

Hannah’s course impressed in all aspects of assessment design and delivery with students given extensive guidance on the specific requirements for each component of the module coursework, including the tailored set of marking criteria which would be used for grading. Hannah also made excellent use of the full range of Turnitin & Grademark feedback tools ensuring students received comprehensive feedback on their work. Finally, tutorial videos were effectively employed to demonstrate the new software competencies that students were required to learn on the course.

"Very clear layout and a wide range of supportive material. Very clear, step-by-step instructions of what was expected of the various pieces of assessment."

Mark Brown (Social Sciences) - SOST20012 The Survey Method in Social Research

Original navigational structure and feedback are the strong points of Marc’s course. The entry page changed each week to current study section and each week folder is accessible directly on the right menu. Answer sheets were posted in response to coursework for previous week, thus providing good formative feedback to students. Course content has consistent structure across all weeks, with contextual information provided throughout.

"I could understand how the online environment related to the face-to-face teaching elements of the course….Each week the front page of the course on blackboard would change, so as soon as you went on it you could access the material for that week."

Gillian Evans (Social Sciences) SOAN20822 Political and Economic Anthropology

Gillian’s is an engaging, clear and well-sign-posted course with a consistent weekly structure and well-developed us of embedded multimedia. The guiding format of compulsory, suggested, additional reading and multimedia offers students ample opportunity to explore the subject more widely. Blended learning is achieved through weekly tasks directed from the Blackboard space.

"A fantastic course, thoroughly engaging and enjoyable...there is no excuse not to do the reading, as all the texts are readily available. Moreover, revising and preparing for the final essay is made much easier."

Special Award

This award is for those staff who continue to be nominated each year by students. They have been Highly Commended or Commended on previous occasions, and their courses demonstrate continued development and excellent practice.

Results from previous Best on Blackboard competitions