Activities and tools

Image: tools. Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), Content Management Systems (CMS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) all use a variety of activities and tools that can transform both online and face-to-face teaching. As with any tool, you need to make sure you're using the right one for the job in hand, and it's easy to become overwhelmed by the vast array on offer. Ensure that:


  • RequiredActivities have a clearly-stated rationale which is consistent with the Intended Learning Outcomes
  • RequiredIt is clear where and when live teaching events will take place, whether they are online or face-to-face
  • Enhanced.Activities are designed to be engaging, using appropriate tools; examples include structured online discussions, collaborative group projects using wikis, peer assessment, or student media projects
  • Enhanced.Instructors have an online presence and set clear expectations for their interaction with students, eg in frequency of checking discussion fora.


  • RequiredIt is clear which tools are to be used for which activities
  • RequiredStudents are not expected to use multiple different tools for similar learning activities (eg using Collaborate, Skype and Zoom for live teaching events in a single programme)
  • RequiredOnly actively-used tools are enabled
  • Enhanced.Tools are chosen that enhance learning, including specific or third-party tools where appropriate
  • Enhanced.Tools are used to present information in a creative and engaging way. 


  • RequiredBaseline criteria, which should be achieved by all courses
  • Enhanced.Enhanced approaches, which may not always be applicable, but can provide a richer experience for students
  • RequiredFulfilled by Blackboard.Baseline criteria which are automatically fulfilled in Blackboard