Better Blackboard Help: Where your users need it, when they want it.
Watch the "trailer" recorded live at TLC online
It has never been more important to provide localised, central, relevant, and up to date support and messaging within our Blackboard environments. This presentation is a practical guide to how you can use freely available tools to provide contextual, just in time support sign-posting staff and students to local support resources from within Blackboard Learn (original experience).
As Blackboard administrators, learning designers, technologists, programme leads, and support staff, we often wish we could be alongside our users to say, “well in these circumstances we recommend using the feature in this way”, or “you could use that tool, but there’s a much more effective tool over there”, right when the intervention would be most relevant and timely. In current times we may also wish to highlight newly provisioned services and tools such as Blackboard Collaborate.
Blackboard allows us to customise the language pack, but have you noticed that most users will just skim past plain text and get straight into clicking and submitting? Even when a user follows a help link, they may reach a generic help page rather than the bespoke institution-specific guidance that has been carefully curated to provide the most appropriate help, contextualised for an institution's Managed Learning Environment?
In this session I will demonstrate a new approach for the Original Blackboard Learn Experience to provide proactive assistance to staff and students at the right time and in the right place. At the University of Southampton, this method resulted in significantly higher engagement with institutional support resources and has the potential to reduce support calls and encourage better Blackboard usage.
I will show you how you can recreate this approach using free and open-source software. By the end of the session you will be eager to get back to work and start implementing the techniques I will show you.
Video of full presentation
I hope to create subtitles when I have time, apologies for the quality of the audio - I had to make do with the kit I have available to me at home.
Skip direct to different sections:Welcome: 0:00
Supporting website: 5:41
About me: 6:25
In scope: 8:04
Difficulty with getting engagement with institutional support resources: 27:33
Feature requests that provided inspiration: 33:57
About JSHack: 38:49
Finding treasure: 41:32
"Better Blackboard Help" Examples: 46:14
European Language examples: 48:53
How to make "Better Blackboard Help" step by step: 51:12
URL Restriction: 1:06:00
More uses of JSHack: 1:29:20
Next Steps / Developments: 1:42:48
Final Thoughts and Goodbye: 1:45:57
View the slides on SlideShare
- My Shared document listing URL restrictions I have identified so far. You can edit this to add your own. Be careful.
- List of common MIME types
- Download Notepad++.
- Colour Accessibility - See the type of matrix I make to assist with finding accessible colour combinations for an institutional brand. Contact me via LinkedIn if you would like one for your own brand colour scheme.
- help.png - the graphic I am using in my current help boxes.
- YB.css - the small CSS file I have been using for my current help boxes.
- BetterBbHelp-exampleHTML.txt - example HTML to edit and paste when making your own help boxes.
- CSS-BBH-YB.zip - Example of loading a small CSS file so that help box styling can be managed easily.
- TEST-SURV-HELP.zip - Help that appears when working on tests and surveys.
- ASS-CE-HELP.zip - Help that appears when creating or editing assignments.
- ANN-HELP.zip - Help that appears when creating or editing announcements.
- ASS-SUB-HELP.zip - Help that appears when submitting an assignment.
- USER-BAT-HELP.zip - Help that appears when using the batch enrol tool.
- CONTAREA-HELP.zip - Help that appears when in a content area with Edit Mode set to Off.
- CF-HELP.zip - Help with Course Files.
- VIDEO-HELP.zip - Help shown when using Build content > Video.
- DISCUSS-P-HELP.zip - Help shown to instructors regarding discussion boards.
- GROUP-ED-HELP.zip - Help for staff when creating or editing groups.
- GROUP-EX-HELP.zip - Help for staff when exporting groups.
- GROUP-HELP.zip - Help for staff with groups, shown in the groups landing page.
- GROUP-IM-HELP.zip - Help for staff with importing groups.
- GROUP-SE-HELP.zip - Help for staff with groups settings.
- NO-ANN-Staff.zip - Change the message that staff see when there are no announcements. Thanks to Heather Crites and Ashley Fisher
- NO-ANN-St.zip - Change the message that students see when there are no announcements. Thanks to Heather Crites and Ashley Fisher
- HELP-Rollover.zip - Change the message that students see when there are no announcements.
- WEBF-HELP.zip - Help with web folders within course files.
- STAFFPROF-HELP.zip - Help with creating staff information profiles / contacts.
- USER-ADD-HELP.zip - Help with adding users to a course.
- USER-GEN-HELP.zip - General help that appears in the user management area.
- DISCUSS-S-HELP.zip - Help with discussion boards for students.
- ST-INC-HELP.zip - Small floating help box that appears at the bottom right for students.
- ControlPanel_CCIDLIV.zip - Add direct links to course photo roster, rollover (course copy) and Turnitin in the Control Panel. [For bb_bb60 based environments] Thanks to Heather Crites
- sort_course_list.zip - Sort the ordering of the course list when moving or copying an item of content. Thanks to Heather Crites
- uvaNavExpand.zip -Automatically recover the course menu when the windows is resized. Thanks to Ashley Fisher
- Blackboard Collaborate Floating Contextual help - Read my blog post for an explanation and to download the package.
- A floating toolbox for Blackboard portal pages - Read my blog post for info and download link.