Learning through Blackboard Collaborate (BBC) sessions and Small Study Groups (SSG) in Distance Education Classes

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Joan Brockman, School of Criminology

Project Team: Sheri Fabian, School of Criminology, and Kouri Keenan, research assistant

Timeframe: February 2015 to March 2016

Funding: $5,000  

Courses addressed: CRIM 330 â€“ Criminal Procedure and Evidence

Description: In the online offering of CRIM 330, it is unknown if students are getting the maximum benefit out of present Blackboard Collaborate (BBC) sessions and Small Study Groups (SSG) exercises. For example, the number of students in each of these events is 10-12 and 2-3 respectively; is this optimal? Do the weekly SSG assignments facilitate learning? How can these tools be improved to facilitate understanding and enjoyment of the course? The CRIM 330 class in Spring 2015 will be used to systematically collect feedback from students about the design of BBCs and SSGs. Revisions will be made based on feedback as appropriate and gather feedback about the revisions in CRIM 330 in Spring 2016.

Questions addressed:

  • What are students’ perceptions of, and suggestions for, BBC and SSG sessions?
  • How can BBCs and SSGs be redesigned to address student feedback?
  • How can BBCs and SSGs be redesigned further to address student feedback?
  • Are the assignments helpful in understanding and enjoyment of the material? Are they useful?

Knowledge sharing: A written summary will be distributed through SFU Centre of Online and Distance Education (CODE) channels to other CODE instructors and posted online. A study session on Blackboard Collaborate or Small Study Groups as learning tools will be facilitated for those who are interested.