Tech’ top tips – #4. So what’s Blackboard for then?

This tip is provided by the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology.

Blackboard is DMU’s Virtual Learning Environment and every module should have an area or ‘shell’ that students can use to engage with their studies online.

There is a Blackboard module shell policy and as a minimum students can expect to see the following sections within each shell.



Announcements is where any important announcements about the module will appear. All announcements will also be delivered to students via email to their address


Blackboard Content Areas

Staff contacts – this section will tell students who is teaching/working on the module along with their contact details and working hours


The Module information section holds information such as the module handbook and a summary of the timetabled sessions


Learning Materials. This is where students will access lecture notes, lab sheets, DMU Replay recordings and any other online materials that support the module


Assessment will provide details of the assessment activities, the mark descriptors and any marking grids that may be used


Turnitin is where links to the online submission tool ‘TurnItIn’ can be found. All written work is submitted through TurnItIn and it can be used to submit other file types, size permitting


In the picture there is also a Discussion Board section. This is not a standard section but colleagues are encouraged to use the collaborative and other tools in Blackboard and place links etc. in an intuitive manner. Students should speak to their module leader about specific tools that might be used in Blackboard alongside the required sections that have been described here.

Colleagues can brush up on the Blackboard module shell policy via the LLS pages of DMUconnect (login required).