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Staff guide to creating and managing Blackboard content

Overview of the process

This guide explains how to:

  • create a basic content item with an attached file
  • create a content folder
  • create a web link
  • add a video
  • add an image
  • reorder content
  • delete content
  • make content available / unavailable and edit content
  • copy and move content

Be sure to have edit mode on, to access all of the instructor’s functions. You can turn edit mode on from the top right-hand corner when viewing a Blackboard course. Please also be aware that students will be able to download any material you make available to them.

Creating a basic content item with an attached file

A basic content item could include course information or instructions. You can also attach files, embed multimedia, and insert equations, links, and tables.

  1. Open a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.  You will see options at the top of the page to build content, add assessments and tools etc.
  2. Click on build content 
  3. Select item from the drop-down menu that appears
  4. Type a title for your item
  5. Type your item’s text into the editor area. The editor allows you to use a wide variety of formatting, including bold, italics and lists.
  6. Add files from your computer if required. You can drop and drag documents to attach them, or browse your computer. You can add multiple files and change the name of the link to your file in the link title  field.
  7. In the options section, you can select whether you want to make your content item available immediately. If you select no, you will have to edit the content area later to make it available. You can choose to release the item only after a particular date (after a particular lecture or seminar, for example).
  8. Click submit. You will see a pink success banner at the top of the page. Your item has been created. The new content item appears last in the content list. See below for how to reorder content.

 

Creating a content folder

Folders allow you to display a collection of resources, such as text documents, PDFs, and multimedia. You can add descriptions and group the resources in a logical way by adding sub folders.

  1. As above, click on build content from the options at the top of the content page
  2. Click on content folder from the drop-down menu that appears
  3. Type a title for your folder
  4. If required, type some further information about the folder into the text editor area.
  5. In the options section, you can select whether you want to make your content folder item available immediately. If you select no, you will have to edit the content area later to make it available. You can choose to release the folder only after a particular date (after a particular lecture or seminar, for example).
  6. Click submit. Your content folder will be created. The new content folder appears last in the content list. See below for how to reorder content.

 

 

 

You can create a link to direct students to a website or an external file. Please test your web links regularly to make sure the content still exists and that the address hasn’t changed.

  1. As above, click on build content from the options at the top of the content page
  2. Click on web link from the drop-down menu that appears
  3. Enter a meaningful name and description (not the web address)
  4. In the URL field, copy and paste the URL address for the external web source
  5. Under web link options, select to open the link in a new window
  6. In the options section, you can select whether you want to make your content item available immediately. If you select no, you will have to edit the content area later to make it available. You can choose to release the item only after a particular date (after a particular lecture or seminar, for example).
  7. Click submit. The new web link appears last in the content list. See below for how to reorder content.

Add a video

  1. As above, click on build content from the options at the top of the content page
  2. Click on video from the drop-down menu that appears. You can now select a video from your computer (browse my computer) or YouTube – create a link to a YouTube video (browse mashups).
  3. Enter a title for the video
  4. In the options section, you can select whether you want to make your content item available immediately. If you select no, you will have to edit the content area later to make it available. You can choose to release the item only after a particular date (after a particular lecture or seminar, for example).
  5. Click submit. The new video appears last in the content list. See below for how to reorder content.

 

 

 

 

Blackboard also provides a download link below the view of an uploaded video (not YouTube mashup option), so students can download the video onto their own device.

It is also possible to use the software Echo360 personal capture to create narrated presentation slides that can be uploaded to Blackboard.  Please see our help page echo 360 personal capture recording

Add an image

  1. As above, click on build content from the options at the top of the content page
  2. Click on image from the drop-down menu that appears
  3. Enter a title and optional description
  4. Browse for an image file from your computer. You can also browse for a Flickr photo. You can preview the image before you submit.
  5. Modify the dimensions of the image if required
  6. In the options section, you can select whether you want to make your content item available immediately. If you select no, you will have to edit the content area later to make it available. You can choose to release the item only after a particular date (after a particular lecture or seminar, for example).
  7. Click submit. The new image appears last in the content list. See below for how to reorder content.

 

Reorder content

Content appears in the order it is added. You can use the drag and drop function or the keyboard accessible reordering tool  to rearrange content.

Drag and drop function

  1. Hover over an item until the drag and drop arrows appear in the left-hand corner of the item
  2. Drag the item to the desired location on the page

 

Keyboard accessible reordering tool

  1. Select the keyboard accessible reordering icon
  2. In the reorder: content box, select an item in the list
  3. Use the move up and move down icons to adjust the order
  4. Click submit. A pop-up box states: items have been reordered.
  5. Select OK

 

Delete content

Folders, learning modules, lesson plans, and content items can be deleted in the same way.

  1.  Hover over a content item or content container (such as a folder) and click on the grey arrow that appears next to the title
  2. Select delete from the drop-down menu. Select OK to confirm the deletion. This action is final.

 

 

 

It is possible to make a content container or item unavailable rather than delete it.

Make content available / unavailable and edit content

The availability of folders, learning modules, lesson plans, and content items is modified in the same way.

  1. Hover over a content item or content container (such as a folder) and click on the grey arrow that appears next to the title
  2. Select edit from the drop-down menu list

Edit content

Edit the original content as required and select submit when finished

Make content available / unavailable

Availability of items is set on an item-by-item basis. Entire content containers can also be made unavailable (such as content folders).  All content items within the unavailable container are also unavailable to students, regardless of their individual availability settings.

In the options section, you can select whether you want to make your content item available immediately.  Select yes to permit users to view this content.

If you select no, you will have to edit the content area later to make it available.

You can also select yes to permit users to view content, and then further choose to release the item only after a particular date (after a particular lecture or seminar, for example).

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced settings : adaptive release

  1. Hover over a content item or content container (such as a folder) and click on the grey arrow that appears next to the title
  2. Select the adaptive release  options from the drop-down menu list

Adaptive release is a set of rules to control how content is released to students.  The rules may be related to criteria such as; availability, date and time, individual usernames, membership in course groups, if students have first viewed another item in the course, if students have first completed or achieved a score in an identified online test in Blackboard etc.

For further guidance in using adaptive release, please contact the Learning Enhancement and Support team.

Copy and move content

You can copy and move content to organize and rearrange your course materials.

Some content items have copy and move restrictions. For example, you can’t copy assignments, tests, and surveys, but you can move them within the same course.

  • Copying content doesn’t delete it from the original location in your course.
  • Moving content removes it from its original location in your course.
  1.  Hover over a content item or content container (such as a folder) and click on the grey arrow that appears next to the title
  2. Select copy or move from the drop-down menu list.  If these options are not listed, they aren’t available for the item
  3. On the copy or move page, select the destination course from the menu. The default setting is the current course. Only courses where you have a role that permits the action appear in the list. For items you can’t move out of the current course, destination course is already listed as the current course and the menu doesn’t appear.
  4. Select browse and select the destination folder
  5. Select submit
Updated on 03/13/2019

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