Learning management system
A Learning Management System (LMS) is an online space that staff can use to support course delivery and provide online and blended learning opportunities for students.
You can add a range of content and activities within the LMS for students to access online, anytime and anywhere.
This allows you to be flexible in when, where and how you deliver your units and courses, and helps students to manage their academic progress through flexible learning options.
The LMS used at Victoria University is called Blackboard (WebCT).
VU Collaborate is the new eLearning environment for Victoria University, which will replace Blackboard (WebCT) during 2014. For further information see VU Collaborate.
What is it?
Blackboard(WebCT) is an online system that allows you to easily prepare online courses, as well as manage student activities and assessments.
You can easily distribute content (such as documents, lecture slides, videos, etc.) or create and manage learning activities such as discussions, online journals, assignments and quizzes.
Blackboard also supports individual learning pathways for students via ‘selective release’ features.
Why use it?
Blackboard improves the student learning experience by being:
Blackboard (WebCT) supports anytime, anywhere access to a range of digital content formats (eg. documents, links and video), learning activities, assessments and support.
It also enables both the timing and type of delivery to be tailored to the needs of individual students.
Blackboard (WebCT) supports online chat, discussions and group assignments and enables students to interact synchronously (in real-time) and asynchronously (delayed interaction).
Blackboard (WebCT) is designed to support approaches to learning and teaching that focus on information transfer, discussion, digital literacy, independent enquiry, group work and formative and summative assessment.
Blackboard also allows you to design quizzes and self-tests to gauge learner’s needs and prior experience, and to incorporate journals for reflective practice and linking to Work Intergrated Learning (WiL).
Blackboard (WebCT) enables you to incorporate a range of resources, tools and media formats into your work (e.g. lecture slides, web links, self-grading quizzes, images, videos and animated simulations).
What you need to do
Getting an accountLocal staff can get a Blackboard account by either:
- Creating a new Blackboard course shell using the “Blackboard Integration” tool on the MYVU Portal. Your account will be created automatically during this process. See the Blackboard Course Shell Creation Guide for support.
- Contacting ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request, including your name and contact details.
- Contact the VU Unit/site Coordinator responsible for the unit to request access to Blackboard (WebCT) and relevant units. If you have taught previously using Blackboard (WebCT), you may already have an account in the system.
- The VU Coordinator should fill in the offshore access form for requesting offshore accounts and enrolment. ITS Service Desk will create the account and provide follow up to the VU Coordinator.
- The VU Coordinator will provide login details.
- Offshore staff may need to log in directly to Blackboard, log in via details provided to you by the VU Coordinator.
Note: You will only be able to access Blackboard if you have an account created and have been enrolled in relevant unit/s. Otherwise, an error or a blank dashboard page may appear. See ‘Getting an account’ and ‘Getting access to units’ for further information.
- Log into MYVU Portal with your username (e.g. e5000000) and password
- Click the ‘Blackboard’ link. Blackboard should launch in a new window.
- You should be able to view a ‘dashboard’ home page with a list of your current units. Navigate to the unit you wish to view and/or edit as needed. If you do not have access to any units, you will need to create a new course shell or organise to be enrolled into an existing one as relevant.
- If you have issues logging in please contact ITS Service Desk on email@example.com or (03) 9919 2777.
Getting access to units
Units are called “course shells” in Blackboard. You will either need to create a new unit or organise to be enrolled in an existing one as needed.
Note: as the co-ordinator or lead teacher of a unit, you are responsible for creating the course shell yourself each semester/teaching period.
Note: Non-unit course shells (eg. cluster, qualification or custom delivery shells) are not created through the “Blackboard Integration” tool. Contact ITS Service Desk
- Confirm you need a course shell created for a unit* (eg: HE unit). Confirm unit details including Unit Code, Semester, Campus/es and Year the unit is being delivered and that students will be enrolled in via VU Connect. Check with your coordinator or manager if you are unsure. *Note: If you require a course shell in Blackboard (WebCT) for something other than a unit (eg: for VE qualification or cluster), please note this is a different process and you will need to contact ITS Service Desk.
- Log into MYVU Portal.
- Click on the ‘Blackboard Integration’ link and use the “Blackboard Integration” tool.
- Confirm that there is not an existing unit course shell created for the current semester and campus (ie: created by someone else), by using the ‘Unit Lookup’ feature.
- Fill in the appropriate fields to create your course shell. Refer to the Blackboard Course Shell Creation Guide for support.
- If you experience issues, please contact ITS Service Desk on firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9919 2777 for support.
To get access to an existing course shell (eg: another staff member’s course shell), either:
- Ask the staff member to enrol you into that unit. See the Enrolling staff in Blackboard guide for further information.
- If you are responsible for co-ordinating/taking over an existing course shell and need access please send a request to email@example.com with details of the unit.
Students should get access to units automatically. For further information see ‘Common Issues’ below.
I’m having issues logging in
Recommended login is via MYVU Portal, the username and password should match your computer login. For login support and password resets, please contact ITS Service Desk on firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9919 2777.
I’m having trouble creating a course shell
Please ensure that the unit has been added to VU Connect, with the appropriate semester and campus details. If this is not the case, please contact representatives within your College and/or Student Services as relevant.
For training and troubleshooting issues with the Blackboard Integration tool when creating your course shell, please refer to the Blackboard Course Shell Creation guide. The guide contains ‘how to’ support and solutions to common issues.
I created my course shell but students are not enrolled
Typically, students should be automatically enrolled 24 – 48 hrs after the unit has been created.You can check that students have been enrolled in Blackboard by viewing the Grade Book for the corresponding Blackboard unit.
If this does not occur, please check the following:
- Are students enrolled in the relevant unit on VUConnect (check with Student Services or your faculty enrolments)?
- Are the students enrolled in VU Connect with the same semester, campus and year details as your Blackboard course shell?
- If students are listed in Grade Book but are marked in red or have a red symbol next to their name, then they have been un-enrolled or denied access. Please contact ITS Service Desk on email@example.com or (03) 9919 2777 for support.
If you have confirmed the above and still require support please contact ITS Service Desk on firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9919 2777.
- View the ‘Support Resources’ tab and the ‘Supporting your Students’ tab
- Look out for upcoming training and drop-ins in the Global Announcements.
- Contact ITS Service Desk on email@example.com or (03) 9919 2777. Please include as much detail as possible in your request so that ITS can support you in a timely manner.