This week some members of the LTT have been looking at the Goals and Alignment features in Blackboard. This allows you to define a hierarchy of attributes (these can be skills, learning outcomes, etc.) and then associate (Blackboard call this align – but it is really mapping) these goals with individual content items in courses (be these documents, assignments, individual questions in tests or surveys, etc.).
This will not be a task that we expect every department to immediately want to do. For some it will probably look like too much effort. We will be running a few pilots of the system over this coming year. We expect it may appeal to accredited courses, or ones which want to make explicit their alignment with particular frameworks or University initiatives – e.g. the employability and skills agenda. We are currently working with the School of Pharmacy as they build out their new programme, helping them to map the content to the General Pharmacy Council Standards and also key skills and subject-specific skills and knowledge that they have identified.
The mapping can be displayed to students or hidden from them as staff see fit. We can see justifications for both approaches. The real value of the mapping comes when you run reports. This allows you to see where the online component of your course is teaching and assessing these skills. From the Grade Centre you can see which skills the students are finding easiest and hardest to master. This sort of information should prove very useful when you come to review a programme, or need to demonstrate the mapping to external bodies.
If you want to know more please get in touch with any member of the LTT.