Bedfordshire Resources for Education Online is the name for a collection of tools to help support students’ learning online at the University of Bedfordshire. The core system, at the heart of BREO, is Blackboard Learn where every teaching unit is expected to have a fully populated mini-website.
In order to meet the University’s needs for a browser-based collection of access points and information channels, and to complement the mobile suite of apps using oMbiel’s CampusM, we have provided each user with a modularised Gateway page upon entry to BREO. Because BREO recognises the nature of the individual logging on, it will present you with the appropriate Gateway page. In the first instance this will differentiate between student and staff, but ultimately the aim is to provide a Gateway tailored to more unique characteristics, such as location and course level of user. Students see only the relevant student page, but staff are able to also view the student page – this is to facilitate familiarity, demonstration and induction by tutors.
Each Gateway is structured around a framework of fixed provision and optional channels of content displayed as boxes, which can include text, graphics or video. The set includes a Gateway-feedback channel for suggesting new and better ways to provide communication options in the Gateway. The Gateway is structured in 3 columns and the fixed boxes are situated in the two outer columns. Users can add their own choice of boxes to those 2 columns and can remove and replace the boxes in the central column. In this way, should users prefer to add their ‘My Units’ box to the main Gateway page, they can do this as an option.
Across the top of the Gateway is a strand of current news items giving a changing feed of image-based alerts and communication.
On the left of the Gateway is a ‘QuickLinks’ box of fixed hyperlinks (coloured pale grey) to link the user through to the relevant page of University core information.
Generic information regarding the delivery of a course is delivered via the links in the Gateway core link set together with links to either University pages covering this information (where those already exist) or to a relevant pdf file stored in a web-accessible repository. In this way we can be certain of providing a single source of reliable and up-to date information to our students. The links go directly to the application (e.g. e-Mail) or to a hub page owned and managed by a designated role within the specified area of responsibility.
The benefit of using this Blackboard page approach is that the provision can be responsive to need.
There is one Gateway each for staff and for students. Each Gateway has boxes (modules) on it containing information or links to other pages and some of these are fixed and some can be moved or removed completely. Here’s a quick guide:
The box containing the links to your units can be found on the red bar: “Units”. If you prefer, you can add your “My Units” module onto your Gateway (see Add Module).
This module contains contains links to frequently-used locations for your role (staff or student) and we shall be adding more to this list over the coming weeks.
Click on this button above the Gateway on the left and you can select other modules to personalise your Gateway.
Click on the box on the Gateway page and offer suggestions for new modules or let us know if there is something there you want to change but can’t.