What is it?
Connect is UBC's online Learning Management System (LMS) powered by the Blackboard Learn 9.1 platform. It is used to support classroom, blended, and fully online learning. Features include, but are not limited to:
- Intuitive interface that is easily customizable using drag and drop capabilities
- Communication features that enable instructors and students to reach each other
- Opportunities to student engagement and collaboration through wikis, gradable blogs and gradable rubrics
- Notification dashboards to keep both students and instructors informed of progress on assigned tasks and a customizable early warning system to identify at risk students
- Opportunities for sharing and linking external online resources to facilitate further exploration
- Content capabilities that make it easy to tag, reuse, share and edit digital content in the course environment
- Efficient grading for instructors with gradable rubrics, needs grading alerts and customizable views into the new powerful grade centre
UBC Connect is currently powered by Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP13.
More information at http://elearning.ubc.ca/connect.
Uses and Benefits
Want to expand your classroom, engage your students and enhance learning? Connect offers many useful features.
Watch the video below to learn about Connect:
Connect has an intuitive interface that can be easily customized.
- Drag and drop items you've added in your course's content areas.
- Provide feedback and comments while reviewing your students' work in blogs, journals, discussions and wikis without going into the Grade Center.
- Choose from over 50 themes to give each course a unique look.
Share Course Content
Connect makes sharing course content easy.
- Files (such as a course syllabus) can be uploaded and organized. Content can also be created within Connect using a full "What You See Is What You Get" HTML editor.
- Copyrighted material can be linked and/or licensed using the Library Course Reserves tool.
- Web links to external content can be added. Resources from YouTube, SlideShare, and Kaltura can be embedded directly using the Mashups tool.
Connect has a wide variety of tools to enhance communication within a course.
- The Announcements tool can be used to post or email time-sensitive information, helping ensure it is read quickly.
- The Discussions tool provides a space for asynchronous discussions with other members of a course or group.
- The Send Email tool can send messages to external email addresses. Alternatively, the Messages tool sends internal messages accessible only within the course.
- Piazza is a questions and answers forum integrated with Connect.
Connect has tools to enable and enhance collaboration.
- Groups can be created for collaborative work on projects or assignments.
- Blogs can be set up for individuals, groups, or the entire course. Instructors can choose between the blogs tool in Connect or utilize UBC Blogs with a seamless link.
- Journals can be used as a reflective space for instructor and student to communicate.
- Wikis provide a way to share and collaborate.
Efficient grading for instructors with gradable rubrics, needs grading alerts and customizable views into the new powerful grade centre
- You can easily create rubrics for any content or activity in your course and share them with students.
- With the Needs Grading feature, you can view all course assignments or activities you still need to grade without going into individual sections in your course.
- With Smart Views, you can create custom views in the Grade Centre, focusing only the information you need.
Notifications dashboards keep students and instructors informed of progress on assigned tasks and a customizable early warning system to identify at risk students
- Both instructors and students can customize their notification dashboards to easily learn what's been happening with all of your courses. For instructors, there is also an early warning system to help identify activities where students need more help or identify students who need more support.
- You can choose to receive notifications on any activity within your course either through the dashboard or via email.
Other universities are also using the Blackboard Learn platform for their online and blended courses.
The following are video tours of courses chosen to be a part of the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program whose goal is to identify and share best practices for designing online courses.
Although these courses might look different or use tools not available at UBC, they can help you visualize what to expect as well as inspire you on how to design your course.
- Human Resource Management
Cuyahoga Community College
- MBAA514 Strategic Marketing Management in Aviation
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Culture-Based Resources for Teaching Hawaiian History (CBRTHH)
- Web Design and Production
Kentucky Community & Technical College System
- BUS253 Leadership and Management Skills
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
- Oral Radiology
Texas Woman's University
- HS328 Investments
The American College
Walt Woerheide, PhD, CFP
- Organizational and Management Theory
University of Pittsburgh
If you are new to Connect, see the resources in the http://elearning.ubc.ca/connect/resources/ page to become familiar with Connect.
- "How to" Guides and other resources:
- Lynda.com Blackboard Essential Training
- A comprehensive online course on the functions and features of the Blackboard Learn 9 platform, which powers Connect. Take note though that the videos in this course are not specific to UBC or Connect.
Register at events.ctlt.ubc.ca for the ongoing Connect Institute sessions
- Help Desk at the Chapman Learning Commons, Level 3, Irving K. Barber Learning Center
CTL Connect Workshops
Visit ubc.ca/okanagan/ctl/events to register for ongoing Connect workshops offered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
- Faculty, Instructors, and Teaching Assistants
- 2:30PM - 4:00PM, Tuesdays, SCI200, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Science Bldg
- Student support is available in the Library in the Learning Commons area during specified hours. Students can also call 250-807-9611 (please specify that you are using Blackboard Connect at UBC's Okanagan campus).
- Ask students to update their emails in the Student Service Centre (SSC) in order to get course notifications and warnings. See Update Your Email in the SSC.
- Create low-impact practice activities for students to get them familiarized with the new system.
- Add the My Grades tool link to the left-hand side course menu in order to let students see their grades. See How to Create a Tool Link.
- Don't forget to update your email in the SSC so you can receive alerts and announcements from your instructor. See Update Your Email in the SSC.
- Concerned your assignment deadlines will pile up? Add alerts to the Notifications Dashboard to organize and plan upcoming assignments.
- Is your class missing something? Suggest to your instructor to add available tools, such as, a discussion board or class blog to keep the conversation going outside of class.