Many people have uploaded profile pictures to Blackboard. When they post messages on Blackboard Tools such as the Discussion Board their photos now appear next to the messages, and simple personal profile pages are available.
Research by Kear et al (2014) found that some learners in online courses felt personal profile pages helped provide social presence in the online environment, while others preferred to learn about each other from the profile messages themselves. Because different students feel differently about creating profiles you might want to give students the option of creating a profile, rather than forcing them to. However there may be situations where you want to encourage student to add profiles and if so there are privacy settings available which may help put their minds at ease if they feel uncomfortable about creating profiles.
If you prefer to use a text based guide, you can also follow the instructions provided in this guide on eShare which also covers using more of Blackboard’s Social Learning Tools.
Learning Technology Development Officer