As many of you probably know, in Blackboard, students can create their "homepage," which is a short profile where they can fill in an introduction, personal interests, favorite websites, a photo of themselves, etc. I have my students do this instead of posting an introductory letter; they seem to find it more fun.
Nancy Hoagland just shared with me a quick video tutorial she made for students on how to create their homepage in your Blackboard site. If you ever want to try requiring this in your course, you might find the video useful to share with students. You can find it at: http://www.nvcc.edu/home/nvhoagn/homepage.html.