What is BU Learning Blocks (BULB)?

BU Learning Blocks (BULB) is an innovative way for instructors to create open and iterative educational resources within WordPress using the Gutenberg editor. When installed, you can create lessons–either as stand-alone pages or as an ordered sequence of multiple lesson pages. You can order and arrange BULB question types within pages. You can insert questions directly into multimedia lessons alongside any combination of text, images, and video to test student’s comprehension synchronously while working their way through your lesson.

BULB in its current iteration does not collect user data on who and how many people answer questions, so it is not meant for assessing or grading students’ responses. Instead, BULB prioritizes using question blocks as a means of achieving learning goals and reinforcing self-study. Questions can be reset until students get the right answer. And students can always revisit pages to start fresh. Question types include: Calculated Numeric (for questions with a numeric answer), Multiple Answer, Multiple Choice, True/False, and Fill in the Blank.

What can BULB be used for?

BULB is great for providing open lessons online for your classes. It helps encourage active learning through student engagement with self-assessment questions. In the short-term, it can serve as a collection of lessons or exercises used to reinforce course content. It can serve as a single space that all students, where in-person or online, can access and learn. Over time, faculty can create entire digital workbooks that they can have students use (at no cost) over multiple semesters. In the long term, we hope some faculty will choose to use BULB to create no cost alternatives to pricey textbooks in order to help build a more accessible and inclusive classroom.

Who can use it?

  • BULB-enabled WordPress sites may be requested by faculty or staff (view Get a Website for more information).
  • Faculty and Staff can add additional users (i.e. students, teaching assistants, administrative staff, etc.) to BULB-enabled sites and designate specific user roles.

How can I get a BULB-enabled WordPress site?

  • Submit a request for a new WordPress site using this form. Be sure to mention that you would like “BULB” or “BU Learning Blocks” enabled in the description field of the form.
  • If you would like to add BULB to your existing WordPress site, please submit a service ticket online or via email (ithelp@bu.edu).

Technical Requirements

BULB is compatible with WordPress and the Gutenberg editor must be enabled. It works best with BU’s Responsive Framework Theme. BULB also works especially well with sites that have BU Navigation enabled.

WordPress works well with most browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera. Internet Explorer is not recommended.

Training and Support

  • Please refer to the BULB Documentation.
  • View introductory videos on some of the features BULB has to offer (also available on documentation site).
  • BULB is supported by Educational Technology, Digital Learning & Innovation. If you are interested in an information session, EdTech consultation, or training please contact digital@bu.edu.
  • BULB is an open-source plugin developed by BU’s Web Team. View the Github here for more technical documentation.