What is Minimum Presence?

The Minimum Presence policy consists of two components:

Minimum Presence

The Minimum Presence policy describes the way in which the Blackboard sites should be used at the most basic level. The Blackboard course template  incorporates the items that course instructors are required to use for specific purposes. Courses should include Announcements, ECP (Electronic Course Profile) link, Learning Resources, a Discussion Board and a Course Library link.

Bulk Course Site Creation

All year 1 - 5 Si-Net courses are created in Blackboard after the ECP Electronic Course Profile has been published (within 2 days). The course instructor is notified automatically when the Electronic Course Profile is published. The course instructor will then be notified when their site is available via an email which includes instructions outlining the next steps they should take.

Instructors can request their courses be created earlier by completing the Course/Community Site Request form that can be found at the top of the Staff tab in Blackboard. This form should also be completed if the course instructor wants the content of a previous course copied over into the new course.

Why did Teaching and Learning initiate the Minimum Presence initiative?

  • Student focus groups conducted at the end of 2009 indicated a strong preference for online resources to be available for all courses through a common platform.
  • It was considered important to present a consistent look-and-feel, which would be expedited by adoption of an institution-wide platform.
  • The platform most commonly in use at UQ is currently Blackboard.
  • Although some areas may use systems other than Blackboard, it was proposed that Blackboard should provide at the least an entry point to other applications.
  • A minimum Blackboard presence is expected to provide a consistent look-and-feel across all courses, even when Blackboard acts as a portal to other systems for learning materials.
  • There was concern that UQ may fall behind other institutions and student expectations regarding online material provision, with potentially negative reputational consequences in the long term.
  • Statistics show that more than 80% of first year courses already have a Blackboard presence in most faculties, with some exceptions.
  • It is likely that strong online material provison will assist in meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student population, and help manage high student-staff ratios through the provision of additional opportunities for students to engage with course materials and learning activities.