Learning Centered Technology

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Blackboard Glossary

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The Glossary is an often under-utilized blackboard tool that creates a list of terms with definitions for students. One of the major drawbacks to the glossary is keying all the terms. This can be time consuming and tedious work.

Blackboard Glossary

Blackboard Glossary

Recently I came across an article by Barbara Schroeder on the Technology Teacher blog titled, Collaborating in Blackboard: Student-created Glossary. The article explains how she turns this exercise into a collaborative activity for her students. This activity not only helped the students learn the terms but made them feel some ownership with the course.

Basically Ms. Schroeder would share a common document with student and require each student to input one word and definition a week (In the proper format) into the document. The students would include their name at the end of the definition as proof of their participation. After the due date the instructor would save and upload the file to the glossary and assign points for each student’s participation.

This resulted in the continuous improvement of a course glossary that could be used in future courses.

Formatting of the shared document is simple:

  • It must be in TXT or CSV format.
  • Each record must be on a separate line and do not include blank line between records.
  • Each field must be enclosed in double quotation marks.
  • Each field must be separated with one of the following delimiters: comma, colon, or tab.

Record format is as follows: “Term”,”Definition.”


“Genre (ZHAHN-ruh)”,”a type of literature. We say a poem, novel, story, or other literary work belongs to a particular genre if it shares at least a few conventions, or standard characteristics, with other works in that genre.”

For detailed instructions on creating a course Glossary and uploading a Glossary file, check out the Blackboard Glossary Instructions help page..


Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

March 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

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