Are you looking for a new way to engage your online students without leaving your Blackboard course site? Consider using a wiki, blog, or journal! Wikis allow your students to collaborate on a single document within Blackboard and you are able to track their participation. This is a great tool for brainstorming, collecting research, or producing a student-created FAQ or glossary.
A blog is meant to be a place where students can post their opinions or climb on a ‘virtual soapbox’ and deliver a message. There are opportunities for others to comment, but the focus is on the initial posts and what the student had to say.
A journal is usually intended to be used as a private space for reflection. It is a space that can only be ‘written’ on by the student and the instructor, although you can control whether the rest of the class can read each others’ journals or not.
Sometimes using a different tool for a week or two gives the students a break from the traditional discussion board routine – -and that in itself can improve student engagement in a class. Instructions for setting up a wiki, blog, or journal are found here.