Using Instructional Technology To Provide Course Information
This is the learning management system (LMS) that is licensed for use at UK. It provides a course shell for course information (e.g., syllabus), course content (e.g., lecture notes) and course activities (e.g., discussion boards). Within this secure site are ways to email students and post grades among other things. For help with using Blackboard please contact the UKIT Help Desk (email@example.com or 859-218-4357).
Some faculty members have started course sites through the social networking site Ning (http://www.ning.com). This site allows the instructor to create a site that is open only to students enrolled in the course and provides flexibility in how material is presented to students. A drawback is that students will be able to see the grades for all of the other students enrolled in the course. Faculty members who use Ning generally have students develop a unique ID and then post grades in Ning using those IDs in a spreadsheet. Ning is not supported by the university.
Another option for instructors is to use tools found in Google. By creating a single Google account, which can be done using your University of Kentucky email address, you can create a course wiki (a collaborative web site for course content), use Google Groups to facilitate communication among the students, and Google Docs for dissemination of course content. It should be noted that to create or supplement a course using Google Tools will take time and a willingness by the instructor to explore the tools in order to implement them effectively. Like Ning, Google is not supported by the university.