Interaction is a major component of online education at UA Little Rock, and there are many ways in which you can communicate with your instructor and fellow students in Blackboard.
How do I contact my instructor?
It’s important to understand your instructor’s preference for being contacted as you begin each course. Do they prefer to be emailed through the Blackboard messages tool or their UA Little Rock email address? Are there other ways they prefer to be contacted or specific instructions about how to interact with others in the course? This should be detailed in the syllabus for your course, so check there to make sure you’re using the correct method of contact.
Using the Blackboard Messages tool
The Blackboard Messages tool is always accessible from the main navigation panel in Blackboard, but you should check the information in your course to understand the expectations around how to best communicate with the class (see above, “How do I contact my instructor?)
If the Blackboard messages tool is in use in your course, you will more than likely see it linked on the menu inside of your course. When accessed, the messages tool will display your inbox and sent messages folders, as well as the option to create new folders for organizing messages and to create a new message.
To send a message, click the Create Message button — on the next page, use the arrows to move recipients on (right arrow) and off (left arrow) the recipient list.
Discussions, Blogs, and more
Interaction within your online course can take many forms, and you may encounter a number of communication tools within Blackboard to complete your course work:
- Discussions: commonly used to facilitate interaction between students, promote conversation about the topics covered in the course, and foster a sense of community in the online environment.
- Blogs: entries posted to individual or class blogs are not threaded like posts in a discussion forum, but students can still comment on each other’s work.
- Journals: like Blogs, entries are posted in, but Journals are often private between the student and instructor
- Wikis: collaborative articles are edited as a group effort among your classmates in the wiki tool.
There are a number of conferencing platforms that could be used as part of your course work, but the following are officially supported by UA Little Rock: