Blackboard’s ‘Social Learning Tools’ form a small scale social networking style environment within Blackboard, which your students can use outside of their course areas. They include the Profile tool, People tool, Messages tool, and Spaces tool.
The Profile tool will be the one you are most likely to have noticed. The profile pictures feed into Blackboard’s discussion tool, making it easier to see who posted what. The pictures are also used throughout the Social Learning Tools, which you can access through the Global Navigation link at the top right of the Blackboard environment, which has your name on it.
We have written a staff focused overview guide about the Social Learning Tools and a more in depth one about the Spaces tool.
The Social Learning Tools were improved as part of the Blackboard Community upgrade to our system, and a recent update adds important features. The update ensures that students have agreed to Blackboard’s terms of service before they use the tools, and they will be reminded of the section of Edge Hill University’s IT Acceptable Use Policy that relates to social networking type activity. Also, they will have more control over your own information as they will be able to delete their profiles while they are a student with access to Blackboard. Inactive account holders will be notified after 12 months that their profile will be deleted, so even if they don’t get round to deleting their profile it won’t be there forever.