10 Effective Practices for Digital Teaching

Tip 9: Encourage Student-Centered Learning

Blackboard discussion board forums, blogs, journals, and group work are all excellent strategies for engaging learners in clarifying, identifying and applying course concepts with real-world experiences.  In addition, find opportunities for students to explore and expand their own learning capabilities.


How do you do this?

  • Provide students with structured reflective opportunities to think intentionally about the cycle of learning.  You can use the Blackboard private journal tool, an online assignment, an anonymous Blackboard survey or even a Google form to allow students to share and reflect on their learning and the what/why/how of their knowledge creation. 
  • Ask students to think about their goals and expectations for your course.  Encourage students to share that with you at the start of the course and then to reflect upon those goals in the middle of the semester and then and again at the end of the course.  These can be structured as online assignments, Blackboard private journal entriesanonymous Blackboard surveys or collected in a Google form. 

  • Provide directions often and in various ways. Be clear and concise with your directions and expectations. Also provide your directions in multiple ways and if you create a video with instructions on how to complete a task, be sure to provide the same directions in text.

  • Provide effective and timely feedback.  Make your presence known in a discussion forum by getting involved early and asking questions that keep the discussion going. Students should also be aware of their progress throughout the duration of the course. Blackboard’s Assignment tools and Grade Center can help you communicate student progress.  Blackboard even allows for oral and video feedback from the Grade Center now! 

  • Coach student success by encouraging and rewarding hard work.   Summarize online discussion and reference specific discussion board threads in your Blackboard Announcements and/or during synchronous meeting opportunities.

  • Give students voice and choice about which assignments they complete - and how. This is a good principle of Universal Design for Learning. This might even include allowing students to create course content, classroom policies, establish assignment deadlines within a given time window, and opportunities to create assessment criteria.

Examples for Faculty

Page last modified November 12, 2020