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Test Drive New Blackboard Faculty AI Course Design Tools

Discover how AI can support your course design process

The U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA)'s National Distance Learning Week focuses on how artificial intelligence (AI) impacts education and training. 

Instructional Technology invites faculty to test drive the suite of new Blackboard AI Course Design Assistant tools, which are now available for instructors who would like early access to preview the tool. Informed by Anthology's Trustworthy AI Approach and seamlessly embedded into Ultra's workflows, the AI Course Design Assistant tools are opt-in and the instructor is always in control of the content generated. Faculty can choose when, where, and how to leverage the tools in their Ultra courses. Anthology has not created any AI tools for students. 

Faculty interested in early access to the tool may submit an RT ticket to request access. 

Developed to assist faculty in streamlining course preparation, the AI Course Design Assistant tools include the features detailed below. 

Course-Builder Assistant

Create sample learning modules, titles, and descriptions. The generated modules include the module title, description, and images. Content within the module is not generated by the design tool.

Image 1: Option to auto-generate modules in an empty course.

Image 2: Auto-generated modules with an option to select and add to the course.

Image Suggestion and Creation 

The assistant can draw from the Unsplash stock image library and suggest thumbnails for illustration in learning modules or identify an image for the course banner. Functionality also includes AI-generated image creation based on course name and keywords. As of early November, the AI Design Assistant also includes the option to generate images and access Unsplash stock images in Ultra Documents, Discussions, Tests, Assignments, Journal prompts, and Course Messages.

Image 3: Select "Generate images" or "Stock images from Unsplash" to add images to Ultra Documents, Discussions, Assessments, Journal prompts, and Course Messages.

Content-Based Test Generation 

Using the content included in an Ultra Document, Assignment Description, or additional information provided directly in the AI tool panel, the Design Assistant can generate a diverse set of questions for a test or question bank. 

Image 4: Select "auto-generate question" in a test or assignment to see AI-tool generated questions. Test questions can be generated from a test or assignment or at the bottom of an Ultra document.

Rubric Creation 

Drawing on content in an assessment or discussion prompt, the AI tool can analyze and streamline the rubric creation process according to specific learning objectives and assessment criteria.

Image 5: Generated rubric, with options to customize rubric type, complexity, and number of rows and columns.

To discover more about the impact of AI on distance education and training, the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is hosting virtual webinars during the sixteenth annual National Distance Learning Week (Nov 6-10, 2023). All sessions are free to attend, but require registration via USDLA.

Connect with Instructional Technology
As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options:

UMBC is committed to providing a consistent learning experience for everyone. The last day we will support Blackboard Original is December 31, 2024. Please check out our training and support: https://umbc.edu/go/ultra.

Posted: November 10, 2023, 8:24 AM