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Glossary of terms


Action Link
Expandable menus linking to additional functionality that you will see throughout Minerva.
Adaptive Release
Adaptive Release creates rules that determine the visibility of content to users by date, membership or activity on the module (e.g. completion of a test). You can also create multiple rules on an item by using Adaptive Release Advanced.
The announcement tool allows instructors to communicate important information to users enrolled on your module/organisation. Announcements posted on Blackboard also appear on the Portal.
Assessment tool
There are three kinds of Blackboard assessment tools tests, surveys and assignments. All three are linked to the Grade Centre. There is also TurnitinUK Assignment which offers an assignment submission and plagiarism detection service.
Assignment is a Blackboard tool which allows you to set and receive online assignments. Submissions can be viewed in Grade Centre.  TurnitinUK Assignment is an integrated tool which offers similar functionality with the addition of a plagiarism check. There are other tools which can be used by students to upload files which aren't required for formal assessment, for example, Group file exchange, wikis, blogs, journals and discussion boards.
Asynchronous communication
Asynchronous tools enable communication at different periods of time.  e.g. the threaded Discussion Boards  and email.


Blogs are sequentially structured documents, typically written in date order like a journal or diary. We use Blackboard's built in Blog.


Chat enables real-time, synchronous, online classroom discussions.
Blackboard Collaborate is a virtual classroom. It includes audio, video, text chat, an interactive whiteboard, PowerPoint display, application sharing, breakout rooms, polling, quizzes and session recording.
Content Area
Is a blank page where you can add links, files, tools etc to your module area. You add a content area by editing the module menu from the control panel. Learning Resources is a content area which appears on the default module menu for most faculties.
Content Collection
The content collection is used for storing all files uploaded to Minerva. The Content Collection can be thought of as a hard drive space just like that on your personal computer, but permanently attached to Minerva and only accessible through Minerva.
Control Panel
The Control Panel provides instructors/leaders with access to the various features and tools available in Blackboard.
Course Cartridge
Course Cartridges are pre-packaged customisable module materials (quizzes, text, images etc). They are discipline-specific, developed by publishers and delivered through Blackboard.


Discussion boards
Discussion boards allow Instructors to create online forums so that participants can exchange information and discuss module materials outside of normal class hours. The discussion board has two levels of structure Forums and Threads. A Forum is created by the tutor for a specific topic or group and it contains a number of threads for different topics.
Discussion Threads
An online conversation within a discussion forum
Discussion Forum
A collection of online conversations.
Drag and drop
Is the ability to move objects using a mouse.


The Embed tool allows you to add content from YouTube, SlideShare and Flickr to your module/organisation.


A mark used to call attention to a discussion board post.


Grade Centre
Grade Centre is a tool in which tutors can view students’ assignments, tests and surveys. Marks and comments on students' work can be recorded here.
The groups tool allows instructors to organise enrolled students into groups in order to provide shared access to the group’s own discussion board, chat room, file exchange area, and group email. Other tools can be made only available to certain groups via the adaptive release facility.


Metadata is information used to describe resources which helps to find, identify and manage them.
Module Menu
A set of navigation links on the left hand side of the module by which learners browse through a module.
Module Roles
Enrolments on Blackboard modules are controlled by Banner (a University administration system). When a member of staff or student is associated with a module on Banner, they are automatically given a role for that particular module on Blackboard. Different module roles have different rights and levels of access.
Module Tool
Module tools (e.g. Staff Information, Blog, Wiki, Announcements) are added to the module menu and edited via the control panel.
Moderation Queue
A list of posts that must be approved before they appear in the Discussion Board.
My Grades
An area which can be made available to students. In My Grades, students can have access to their assessed work and grades.


Organisations hold content and tools which is school or unit, but not module specific.


Performance Dashboard
The Performance Dashboard allows tutors to track the progress of students, for example, you can check when students last accessed the module, their grades, Discussion Board ├čactivity and Adaptive Release/Review progress.
A podcast is a digital audio file which is distributed over the internet on a regular basis. Podcasts are made available for download so people can listen to them on personal computers or mobile devices.
A Discussion Board entry posted to a thread or used to start a thread. Also used as a verb to refer to the act of submitting a post.


Question Pool
A collection of questions which instructors can use and re-use for tests or surveys.


RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a way to distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content to a wide number of people. RSS content can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader" or an "aggregator". See how you can add RSS feeds in Minerva.


Surveys are a type of assessment which are usually ungraded and anonymous.  Surveys are useful for polling purposes, evaluations, and random checks of knowledge. The Survey Manager is used to create, add, preview, modify, and remove Surveys.


Tests are created though the Test Manager tool. There are 17 question types and most can be marked automatically.


Wikis are websites that allow users to create and edit pages in their web browser.