Connect, also known as Blackboard Learn, is UBC’s enterprise level online Learning Management System (LMS). The online environment is automatically available to all instructors teaching courses listed on the UBC course calendar.
How does Connect Work?
Login to Connect
Go to www.connect.ubc.ca and enter your CWL information.
Design your online website. Add course materials, create online assessments, enable communication and collaboration tools.
Launch the Course.
Start teaching and interacting with students on your site
- Easy to use editor to course content, links, videos, and images
- Built-in communication and collaborative tools such as emails, announcements, instant messaging, groups, discussion boards, wikis, blogs, live classroom
- Ability to deliver student assessments and assess student learning
- Built-in course management, grade centre and student tracking
- eLearning support available for faculty and students
- Extensive online resources available to instructors and students
- Integrated with SIS providing daily course enrollment updates
- Campus-Wide Login (CWL) enabled for easy sign-on
- Ability to invite guest users to access your site (through guest sponsorship by a faculty or staff)
- Data is backed up on a nightly basis
- Easy to enable basic LTI Tools for the course (ie. WeBWorK, UBC Blogs, Piazza, Library Course Reserves, CourseEval)
- Written material and quizzes cannot be easily packaged and reused for another platform.
- Takes more time to learn than expected due to the many functionalities available within the system.
- Limited ability to incorporate custom design due to the platform being restricted unless knowledgeable in CSS/HTML.
- Inability to customize functionality.
- UBC Blogs – Ability to create a course blog on UBC Blogs so students are able to access the blog within Connect.
- Library Course Reserves (LOCR) – Available within Connect to create a list of articles, books, web links and other media resources to access UBC’s Library electronic course reserves anywhere, anytime. Review our LOCR flyer for more information on procedures and processing times.
- iClickers – You can upload grades directly to Connect to give students credit for participation and attendance.
- Piazza – Ability to enable a Q&A style forum in Connect allowing students and instructors to post and endorse questions and answers as well as the ability for instructors to see contributions from the students.
- Kaltura – Allows you to upload and share video content to your students in Connect.
- CoursEval – Ability for students to access CoursEval in Connect.
- PeerScholar – Allows you to configure different types of peer graded assignments in your course(s) in Connect.
- EdX Edge – Create an intricate course site within Connect with this open source platform.
- iPeer – Allows instructors to create and manage peer evaluations for group projects or activities
- CLAS – CLAS encourages engagement with online video content through time based annotation and collaboration with peers.
Build and Manage Course Content
How to manage Connect course sites for content and document delivery.
Communicate and Collaborate
Connect has a few tools for student-student and student-teacher communication and collaboration.
Assess and Track Student Learning
Create assignments, assessments and tests in Connect. Track and evaluate student progress by generating course reports.
Ideas for Using Connect
- Resource Site: Utilize Connect as an online tool to develop and store online course content, assignments, tests, and videos. Instructors will not only be able to able to reuse their sites term-after-term, it can also be extended to other instructors they wish to share.
- Student Blogs: Use UBC Blogs integrated into Connect or Connect’s built-in blog to encourage reflection and collaboration. They can be used to replace paper-based assignments with digital writing activities to encourage greater peer interaction and discussion.
- Streamline Assessments: By using the rubric tool in any assessment activity (such as discussions, wikis, and blogs) can help streamline the grading process. Moreover, grades can be easily entered for each student and their performance data can be accessed through the Grade Centre making it extremely convenient for viewing and record keeping.
- WikiSpace: Setup a Wiki to encourage student contributions.
- Student Groups: Connect has many options for you to create groups to allow students to work with their peers on projects and assignments or discuss course topics. You can manually enroll groups, randomly enroll groups, or create self-enroll groups.
Tips for Using Connect
- Create folders in Connect to organize course materials. For example, you can organize materials by week, unit, topic, or subject. Inside each folder you can include lecture slides, reading materials, videos, and links to other resources.
- Use announcements to inform students of what’s coming so they are well prepared for class.
- If you have your own videos to upload other than YouTube, you can use Kaltura to publish video content which can be accessed within the content editor via the mashups button. You can also upload your videos to CLAS, where students will be able to annotate them.
- Utilize forums in Connect for students to engage in discussion or to reduce individual emails from students.
- Time for Training and Content Development: Time and technical training is required to learn the system, as student satisfaction is tied to a smooth process (particularly when marks are involved). Although there is upfront time commitment, this won’t be required for subsequent terms and students will continue to enjoy the benefits.
- Instructor Workload to monitor discussion: It can be time consuming in large classes to monitor all of the student comments. If there are TA’s, a good workflow is for them to monitor questions and comments and then flag for the instructor any items that need to be addressed.