The Board activity enables a pin board activity for students. It’s similar in design to Padlet and makes a great collaborative activity for your module. Students can share a class board or group or individual boards. Staff create the columns with headers and then invite students to post to them.
Some creative ideas for how you can utilise this activity
- Project planning, idea generation and peer feedback
- Q&A – Student posting questions and rating the most popular.
- Set you own questions for students for them to answer during your teaching session- checking their understanding
- Reflective activity e.g. session exit prompts…3 takeaways from todays session, explain the session to a friend etc.
- Gathering resources e.g. news articles, academic papers, videos for feedback from peers or lecturers
- Students gathering portfolio resources and adding reflective commentary
- Peer feedback on group presentations in class
- Shared class note-taking on different topics
- Ice-breaker activities – share amusing videos/2 truths 1 lie/introduce yourself
- Taskboard – set tasks for groups of students
- Conference backchannel
- Noticeboard for programme sites
Examples of where similar tools have been used in teaching
Important points to consider before planning your Board activity
- Posts are limited to 800 characters max. To go over that limit students will need to add a further post or link to a shared document (see below).
- Students can add a post with a heading and text, an external link, an image or Youtube video.
- Participants cannot currently upload a file – this is on the roadmap for future developments. Alternatively students can upload files to their OneDrive University account, make the file available to all at Roehampton with the link and share the link in the post.
- Students posts are anonymous. Instruct students to add their names to the posts if required. Staff can de-anonymise posts via the Export Submissions function but this is not as easy to manage as it’s in an Excel format.
- You can set up a board per student group. Set up the groups before you create the Board.
- Staff can move and delete all posts, students can only delete their own posts.
- You cannot pin posts in one place. You can lock a column e.g. create an exemplar column and lock it.
- The board does not automatically refresh as students add. Refresh the page as required.
- Students can’t comment on others posts but they can rate them or add posts underneath
- You can set a deadline for student changes
Adding a Board activity to your module
- In the section where you want to add the Board click on Add and Activity or Resource and select Board from the list that appears.
- Add the name and provide instructions to students in the description field. Add the following to your instruction; Please be aware, there is a limit of 800 characters per post. You cannot add columns or change column headers or edit each others posts. You can find guidance on adding posts to the Board here. You may also want to ask them to add their names to their posts.
- You can choose to add a simple background colour or leave it to default. You can choose a colour code from this site here – https://htmlcolorcodes.com/ – just copy the HEX code of the colour you want.
- Alternatively you can add a background image that’s relevant to the activity or module. You could use the sites below to find an image (accepted file types are .bmp, jpeg and png. Try this free corkboard image or lightbulb image
- Select whether you want students or just staff to rate posts or turn ratings off. The ratings can be used to order the posts which can be useful to identify popular questions or resources
- If you don’t want to make use of the header columns you can opt out so they don’t display to students
- You can sort the posts in each column by ratings or creation date or leave as none so that you and students can reorder the posts yourselves. Keep in mind using ratings or creation date sorting will mean you cannot move posts.
- Choose whether to set the board so that students have a board each rather than sharing one class board using the single user mode. These can either be private to the individual student or public so students can see each others boards. For a group activity ensure that single user mode is disabled.
- A deadline can be set for this activity so that students cannot make additions or changes after a certain point. Teachers will still be able to make changes after this date.
- Tick to set whether students can edit the placement of their posts i.e. move their posts up and down or between columns
- Enabling the blank target will set all links added to open in a separate window
- Embedding the board onto the main page is not recommended due to the size of the activity
- Under common module settings you can choose to set this as a group activity (see below).
- Click save and display.
- You can choose to set up separate boards for different groups of students. Create your groups before setting up the Board – please see guidance on setting up groups. You will only need to set up groups and not additional groupings unless you need to exclude a group or/individual students. Then in the Board settings ensure single user mode is disabled. Under module settings select the separate groups option i.e. private group. Important -do not use the visible groups option (where students can see each others boards) as this will not allow students to edit the boards!
- Keep in mind that all the groups will have the header edits and column additions replicated across all boards. If you wanted to add content to get students started such as an exemplar post you would need to post it in every single group or set up a separate Board activity to show your example.
Viewing the board
- For individual student or group boards, you will see a drop down menu to select the student/group board.
Add content to the Board
- You will need to add all the columns and change the headers as required as students can only add posts. To change the headers double click on the header text to edit. For individual and group Boards additional columns will be replicated on each board as will be any changes to the headers.
- To add a column click on the + icon next to the last column
- To add a post simply click the + option in the relevant column and then add in your header and text and any URL, image or Youtube video and click post.
- If you are using a shared class board you could add an exemplar column with posts that can be locked to avoid student changes.
- If you are using individual or group boards posts you add will not replicate across all Boards as with the columns, you would have to add the post to each board so an alternative might to be set up a separate Board activity with your exemplar (you can duplicate the Board you have already set up to save time).
- You can edit, delete or move the post between columns
- Click the little pencil icon to edit
- Click on the X to delete
- Click on the icon and from the list that appears select where to move a post (dragging the post won’t work)
- Participants cannot currently upload a file but this is on the roadmap for future developments. A workaround would be for students to create or upload files in their OneDrive University account, make the file available to all at Roehampton with the link and then share the link on the post.
- Please note! To see updates you will need to refresh your page
Moving/sharing boards between modules
- It is possible to export content from a board and import it into a new board in a different module. This can be found by clicking on the settings when accessing the board
- You can also use the duplicate option to copy a board within the same module. Turn editing on. Then click on the Edit menu next to the Board name title and click duplicate. Rename the duplicate that appears and any other settings that require changes in the activity settings.
- You can ask students to add their names to their posts as this will be the easiest way for you to identify the additions.
- If you wish for students to post anonymously you can choose to use the download submissions function in the settings drop down menu. This will download a spreadsheet details who made what addition and when. This may be quite onerous with a large class of students.