Recently the University’s Senior Executive Board took the decision that Blackboard at Westminster should become the University’s’portal’ for current students. The intention is that this will improve communication and provision/access to information. This decision is linked to the work of Learning Futures Review of Infrastructure and Environment for Learning and Teaching, where strong feedback from both students and staff was that key information needed to be accessible from one place.
A project has started to develop Blackboard into a portal for current students, that can be accessed either on the web or via mobile devices. From the start of the next academic year students will begin to see changes that by the 2016/17 academic year will have developed Blackboard into a system through which they will be able to find key information and communications about a wide range of central and local services available to them. They will also be able to access other key information systems that they use on a daily basis such as SRS, the library and email. Their experience will be personalized to who they are, which Faculty they are part of, which course they are taking, which events and activities they are interested in.
This change to Blackboard will not in any way affect its central role as an online place used to underpin the delivery of the curriculum.
For years some Universities have used Blackboard more widely, as a portal for students through which they can access everything they need for their life at university. See this example of a Blackboard portal at Sheffield-Hallam.