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February 25, 2011 / dlitgroup

Hillery Haney – Creating Engaging Blackboard Courses with NBC, YouTube, Discussion Boards, and Wimba Voice Tools

Hillery Haney is a Professor of French in the Language and Thought Department.

Engaging and Relevant Course Content

As a language professor, I am always looking for ways to bring authentic material into my classroom and beyond. Through Blackboard, I am able to show newsworthy content and information through the NBC news feed and bring up material in the target language (French) through the Youtube mashup. I’ve brought music, art, dance, interviews, news, weather reports and much more into my course through these particular mashups.

All of this material creates topics for discussion both in English and in French depending on the level of the class.  We often take these discussions beyond the classroom into the on-line threaded discussion in the Discussion Board.  There, the students comment on a variety of topics using vocabulary and structures we’ve worked on in class.

It has been shown to improve oral communication in the target language when participating in on-line threaded discussions.

On occasion, I use Wimba Voice Tools for the same purpose.  However, instead of reading and writing, the students are listening and speaking in a threaded discussion using French.  Of course, I also use Blackboard for the basic things such as Announcements, which work great when I need to get information to all of my students when I’m absent or when I’m trying convey instructions.  I display my syllabus and agenda with homework, classwork and test schedule, as well as a variety of External Links such as French T.V. and newspapers and links to extra practice.   Finally, handouts and information on upcoming trips for travel abroad can all be found in my Blackboard courses.


Are you interested in learning more about using the Wimba Voice Tools, NBC video, YouTube Mashups, Announcements, and Discussions in your own Blackboard course? If so, check out these tutorials:

How to use Wimba Voice Tools in Blackboard

How to create Announcements in Blackboard

How to use the Discussion Board in Blackboard

How to add YouTube Mashups in Blackboard

How to add NBC Video Content in Blackboard

More training opportunities are available through the Center for Teaching Excellence.

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