Tour of Engagement Tools and Blackboard Layout on Large Undergraduate Units

This short video covers some of the tools used on a large (600+) undergraduate course to engage students and manage their expectations. It explains using announcements to share zoom codes, what to include in course information, using a Piazza discussion board, topic folders and how to encourage students to complete the pre-work required before the lectures.

Evaluation / Student Feedback

In the course unit evaluation feedback, students said:

“I found the course and the Blackboard to be very well organized”

“The layout of the course content and how easy it was to navigate my work. I also knew how to improve and what work was there to do.”


Having a well laid out Blackboard page has the obvious benefit of fewer students feeling lost and therefore fewer emails asking where to find information. Being clear about necessary lecture preparation and how long students are expected to spend on it guides students in managing their own workloads.  Tools like Piazza and embedded Mentimeter polls help student engagement and interaction on large cohorts and having watched this video you will be able to use them on your courses to draw students in.

Top Tips

Ask your students what they want or what they are getting the most from! Polls like Mentimeter polls can help gather students viewpoints and Piazza can be used to ask for views. This gives you a good idea about what the majority of students need and helps empower them in their own learning


Dixson M, 2010, Creating effective student engagement in online courses: What do students find engaging? Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Vol 10 No. 2 pp 1-13


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School: Alliance Manchester Business School

Academic: Jenni Rose

Course: BMAN

Themes: Student Engagement, Active Learning

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