Three “choice” modules are developed each week by instructors based on current news and research trends, and students have an option to pick which module they wish to complete for 8 weeks. “Peer” modules are then created by groups of students based on their own interest in addictions, guided by instructor input, and are offered to other students for four weeks. Blackboard was the canvas that allowed us to compile resources for each module.
Padlet is described as a digital bulletin board. This tool is highly intuitive for both creators and users. There are a variety of pre-made templates to choose from such as maps, timelines, wall posts, and even a chat function. All participants (ie. students) can contribute to the Padlet and all content is automatically saved and available for later reference. The platform also allows for files to be uploaded from a computer or the web. Instructors can search for Padlets from other users on a variety of topics for inspiration.
Blackboard Survey is an easy-to-use web-based survey tool that allows instructors to effectively collect student input in an engaging fashion. Similar to Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey, Blackboard Survey is available at many schools that employ the Blackboard learning platform, including the University of Rochester. Students can provide input on a wide variety of subject matter, complete attitude or personality inventories, or participate in icebreaker activities (e.g., get to know your classmates at the beginning of a course).
Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD) is an open-source program designed for modeling, visualization and analysis of biological molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, etc. It is also a tool to view and analyze the results of molecular dynamic simulations.
Yellowdig is a social media-like discussion board that can be used to supplement your Blackboard course. It offers a more social experience for students and faculty by allowing participants to “like” and “love” each other’s posts, and offers a game-like experience by offering points for weekly activity in the discussion board. The faculty member can set up the board to provide topics for students to assign to posts, with points based on different activities (posts, comments, receipt of comments, etc.). Students earn points as they post and comment, setting up an environment that encourages interaction and learning.