Individual Learning Activities


Here are brief descriptions on how some of the tools can be used in your courses. Hope that they can inspire you for other creative uses of the tools to improve student learning.

Blog and Discussion Board

Both Blog and Discussion Board can be used for students to present their ideas, see their peers’ perspectives and have richer and deeper dialogue about the concepts and topics studied in the course. Both tools can support collaborative learning.

We suggest that you use the Discussion Board tool if the learning goal is to build ideas upon each other, or debate on some important questions about a course subject. On the other hand, Blog may be a better activity when the learning goal is to reflect on concepts or ideas. It gives students a space to write about their understanding and think through a course concept or topic. From technical point of view a discussion forum is visually designed around a topic while a blog is designed around each individual student.

That being said, there is no hard rule as to which tool should be used in your course. After trying both, for example, use Discussion Board in one semester and blog in another, you may come up with your own creative ways to use these tools.

Other uses of Discussion Board

In addition to discuss about course topics, the Discussion Board can also be used for

  • Course Qs and As: You can create a Forum for students to ask questions related to the assignments or topics studied in the course, and for you to answer their questions.
  • Socialization among course members at the beginning of the semester. This is especially important for online and hybrid courses.


Journal can be used for students to reflect on the course subjects, try out ideas, and engage in meta-cognition. It is private by default. Only the faculty can see students’ journal entries.


Turnitin can be used to check the originality of students’ papers (anti-plagiarism) and for faculty to provide comments and feedback in text or/and audio format. 

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a webinar tool that can be used for live class meetings, office hours and online course exams. The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra page in each course has a Course Room that is open 24/7 for class members. It can be considered as a virtual classroom where students can get in any time to meet with peers, talk or discuss about course work, if they set up a meeting time in advance.


NJVID is a video streaming tool that can be used for faculty to post password-protected videos, and for students to submit or share their video assignments.


Reference Table

Each of the following tables in the link below provides a quick reference as to where you will work on setting up, viewing and grading the assignments using different tools.

Individual Learning Activities Table


How to play the audios

You can play the audio on your phone or on a browser. If you play the audio files on a browser, please use Firefox browser. On other browsers you cannot move the audio play control backward or forward, you will have to re-start the audio from the beginning.

The Beeps in the audio tutorials

The Beep or “It’s-your-turn sound” in the audios indicates the best place to pause the audio and work on the instructed steps.

Table of Contents

Using Rubrics

Using the Turnitin tool (plagiarism detection and feedback)

Using the Assignments tool 

(for a PowerPoint presentation, a Spreadsheet, a Photo slideshow or an Audio assignment)

Using the NJVID tool (for video)

Using the Wiki tool (for collaboration)

Using the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool (for webinars)

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra can be used for live class meetings, office hours and online course exams. It works best on Firefox version 49 or higher and Chrome version 54 or higher. It can be used for live online class meetings, office hours, students live collaboration on projects, or just for students to chat about course work. The duration of a Blackboard Collaborate session can be minutes, hours or 24/7 for the entire semester. 

Course Room is a Blackboard Collaborate session created automatically in every course. It opens 24/7.