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Blackboard Resources for Faculty and Staff

Building Blocks are software and applications available to NOVA faculty and staff that facilitate and/or expand Blackboard's capabilities.


Blackboard Blogs are an open communications tool for students to share their thoughts with others in the course. Blogs consist of:

  • Blog Entries – text, images, links, multimedia, Mashups and attachments added by course members
  • Comments – remarks or responses to blog entries made by other course members, including instructor(s)

A blog can be graded or not and can be open to entries from the whole course or just from an individual.

Discussion Board

The Blackboard Discussion Board allows for an open, asynchronous discussion among course members. Instructors create forums with topic and/or questions that prompt students to start conversation threads, which other course members can reply. Instructors have the option to grade or not grade based upon a forum or individual threads when creating new forums.


Blackboard Journals offer students a private opportunity to interact directly with the instructor and reflect on a course's content. Private by default, instructors must first create the journal before students respond with journal entries. Journals are gradable and instructors can choose to open journals up to the rest of the course to read and comment.


Blackboard Wikis is a collaborative tool that allows students to contribute and modify one or more pages of course-related materials. Judging individual participation in a group collaborative effort is a main focus of the Blackboard Wikis, to the extent that instructors can view each student's interaction with wiki pages and can grade based upon that participation.