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Help for Instructors
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 1
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Publication Date and Copyright Notice
Blackboard Learn™ Help for Release 9.1 Service Pack 8 (SP 8)
Publication Date: May 7, 2012
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Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 2
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Contents
Help for Instructors
1
Blackboard Learn Environment
19
About Using Blackboard Learn
19
Browser Compatibility
19
Printing Course Content
19
19
Course Components
The Page Header
21
Course-to-Course Navigation
21
Course Modules
22
The Course Menu
23
Reordering and Managing the Links on the Course Menu
24
The Control Panel
25
Contextual Menus
26
Common Contextual Menu Options
27
Other Contextual Menu Options
27
Course Map
27
Viewing the Map From the Course Menu
28
Viewing the Map From the Performance Dashboard
28
Viewing the Content Map From a Virtual Classroom
28
Edit Mode
29
Paging Options
29
Working with Text
29
Entering Text
29
Using the Text Editor
31
Formatting HTML Content
36
File Attachments
39
Using the Math and Science Notation Tool
41
Running Spell Check in the Text Editor
44
Using the Content Editor
46
Online Teaching Strategies
74
Strategies to Engage Students
74
Ten Ideas to Help Students be More Engaged in Online Classes
74
Assessing Student Engagement for Continuous Course Improvement
74
Efficient Collaboration and Team Building in the Distance Learning Environment
75
Language Packs
75
How to Set a Language Pack
75
Course Areas not Impacted by Language Pack Selections
76
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 3
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Accessibility
76
About the Structure of Blackboard Learn Pages
76
About Keyboard Navigation
77
79
Course Options
Setting Course Properties
79
How to Access Course Properties
79
Providing a Name and Description
79
Using Course Classification
79
Setting Course Availability
79
Setting the Course Duration
79
Using Terms to Set Availability and Duration
79
Categorizing the Course
80
Selecting a Language Pack
80
Setting Course Files Options
80
Setting Course Style Options
81
Selecting a Course Structure
81
Selecting the Course Entry Point
82
Applying Themes
82
Selecting the Menu Style
83
Setting the Course Menu Display Option
83
Setting the Default Content View
83
Selecting a Banner
84
Course Structures
84
Using Course Structures
84
Selecting a Course Structure
89
Course Structure: Activity
90
Course Structure: ANGEL
92
Course Structure: Blackboard Classic
93
Course Structure: Blackboard Learn - Default
95
Course Structure: Case Study
96
Course Structure: By Chapter
98
Course Structure: Conference Session
100
Course Structure: Constructivism
102
Course Structure: Cooperative Learning
104
Course Structure: CourseInfo
107
Course Structure: Daily
108
Course Structure: eCollegial
110
Course Structure: Expedition-Based
113
Course Structure: Experiential Learning
115
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 4
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Course Structure: Guided Discussion
117
Course Structure: Lab Format
119
Course Structure: By Lecture
121
Course Structure: By Lesson
123
Course Structure: By Module
125
Course Structure: Open Source 1
127
Course Structure: Open Source 2
131
Course Structure: Project Format
133
Course Structure: Science-Focused
135
Course Structure: Social Learning
138
Course Structure: By Subject
140
Course Structure: By Topic
142
Course Structure: Traditional
144
Course Structure: By Unit
146
Course Structure: Web 2.0
149
Course Structure: WebCT 1
151
Course Structure: WebCT 2
153
Course Structure: Weekly
154
Frequently Asked Questions About Course Structures
156
Setting Enrollment Options
158
How to Customize Student Enrollment Options
Checking Course Links
158
159
What Course Areas Are Checked?
159
When Do I Use Check Course Links?
159
How to Enable Check Course Links
160
How to Check Course Links
160
Bulk Deleting Course Information
160
How to Bulk Delete Course Information
Course Roles
161
161
Course Builder
161
Grader
162
Guest
162
Instructor
162
Student
163
Teaching Assistant
163
Notifications
164
About The Notifications Dashboard
164
Where Is It?
164
Who Can Use It?
164
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 5
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Turn It On
165
Email Notifications
165
Notifications Dashboard Rules
165
Rules for Items to Display as Notifications
165
Rules for the Removal of Notifications
165
Rules for the Removal of Specific Items as Notifications
165
Using the Notifications Dashboard
166
Setting Notifications in a Module
167
Controlling the Appearance of the Dashboard
168
168
Notifications Dashboard Display
Display Modules
170
Student Display
170
Specific Feature or Item Notification Behavior
170
Notifications Dashboard Settings
171
How to Access the Edit Notifications Settings Page
171
Choosing the Email Notification Type
171
Creating a Duration for Notifications
172
Creating Due Date Reminders
172
Choosing Notification Types and Email Notification
172
Student Course Experience
173
Making a Course Available or Unavailable
173
How to Make a Course Available
173
How to Make a Course Unavailable
174
Managing Tool Availability
175
How to Access Tool Availability Settings
175
Filtering the Display
175
About Building Blocks
176
Enrolling and Managing Users
176
About Enrolling Users
176
How to Create Users
176
How to Find Users to Enroll
176
How to Batch Enroll Users
177
How to Remove Users From a Course
178
Managing Settings for Users
178
Searching for Users in a Course
178
How to Search for a User by First Name, Last Name, Email, or Username
179
How to Search Using a Value Found in the User’s Name
179
How to List All Users in a Course
179
Allowing Guest and Observer Access
179
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 6
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Allow Guest and Observer Access
179
How to Customize Guest and Observer Access
179
Adaptively Releasing Content
180
About Adaptive Release
180
Managing Adaptive Release Rules
182
Adding Adaptive Release Criteria
184
Users and Groups
189
Course Groups and Tools
189
Creating Groups
191
Editing Groups
204
Enrolling Students in Course Groups
205
Removing a User from a Course Group
206
Sending Email to a Course Group
209
Creating Group Assignments
212
Grading Group Assignments
216
Student Performance
228
Rubrics
228
Early Warning System
232
Monitoring Student Activity
235
Generating Course Reports
236
Using the Performance Dashboard
237
Course Tools
240
About Third Party and External Tools
240
Managing Announcements
240
How to Create Announcements
240
How to Reorder Announcements
241
How to Edit Announcements
241
How to Delete Announcements
241
About Blackboard Scholar
241
Exporting Scholar Bookmarks
241
How to Register with Blackboard Scholar
242
How to Import Web Links into Blackboard Scholar
242
To Learn More About Scholar
242
Contacts
242
Accessing Contacts
242
How to Create or Edit a Contact
243
How to Create or Edit a Contacts Folder
247
How to Add a Contacts Link to the Course Menu
250
Course Calendar
251
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 7
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Accessing the Course Calendar
251
How to Add a Course Event
252
How to Delete or Edit a Course Event
255
How to Use the Calendar Jump To
257
How to Add a Calendar Link to the Course Menu
259
260
Email
Before You Begin
261
Accessing Email
261
How to Send an Email
262
How to Add an Email Link to the Course Menu
265
Troubleshooting
266
267
Glossary
Accessing the Glossary
267
About Creating a Glossary
268
About Uploading a Glossary File
269
How to Upload a Glossary File
270
How to Create a Glossary Term
273
How to Download a Glossary
275
How to Add a Glossary Link to the Course Menu
278
Messages
279
Accessing Messages
279
How to Send a Message
280
How to Create a Message Folder
283
How to View a Message
286
How to Reply to a Message
288
How to Forward a Message
291
How to Move a Message
294
How to Delete a Message
297
How to Print a Message
299
How to Add a Messages Link to the Course Menu
302
Roster
303
Tasks
303
Accessing Tasks
303
Viewing Tasks
304
How to Create or Edit a Course Task
305
How to Delete a Course Task
308
How to View Task Progress
310
How to Add a Tasks Link to the Course Menu
313
Blogs
314
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 8
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
About Blogs
314
Creating a Blog
315
Editing and Managing Blogs
317
Grading Blogs and Journals
318
Collaboration Tools
321
About Collaboration Tools
321
About Collaboration Sessions
323
Creating and Editing Collaboration Sessions
324
Recording Sessions
324
Virtual Classroom
326
Chat
330
346
Discussion Board
About the Discussion Board
346
Creating Forums in the Discussion Board
356
Creating Threads in the Discussion Board
367
Creating Group Discussions
373
Participating in the Discussion Board
378
Managing Discussions
389
Grading Discussion Board Participation
404
Viewing Discussion Board Statistics
415
Journals
417
About Journals
417
Creating a Journal
417
Editing Journals
419
Grading Blogs and Journals
421
McGraw-Hill Connect and Create
424
Wikis
424
About Course Wikis
424
About Group Wikis
424
How to Create a Wiki
425
How to Create a Wiki Page
425
How to Edit Wiki Content
426
How to Link to Other Wiki Pages
426
How to Add a Comment to a Wiki Page
427
How to View the Participation Summary
427
How to Grade a Course Wiki
428
How to Delete a Gradable Wiki
428
How to Grade Group Wikis
429
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
429
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 9
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Delete a Group
429
431
Course Content
Content Creation
431
Creating Course Areas for Content
431
Creating Content in a Course Area
444
Creating Assessments in a Course Area
487
Linking to Tools in a Course Area
495
Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area
499
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
501
515
Align Content to Goals
Aligning Content to Goals
516
Measuring Student Performance
519
Content Reuse
519
Copying Courses
519
Exporting and Archiving Courses
522
Importing Course Packages
524
Importing Course Cartridges
525
Managing Chalk Titles
527
Assignments
529
Creating and Editing Assignments
529
How to Create an Assignment
529
How to Edit an Assignment in a Course Area
530
How to Delete an Assignment in a Course Area
530
Downloading Assignments
530
How to Download Assignments
530
Grading Downloaded Assignments
531
Grading Assignments
531
How to Access Submitted Assignments From the Needs Grading Page
531
How to Access Submitted Assignments From the Grade Center
532
About the Grade Assignment Page
532
How to Grade Assignments From the Grade Assignment Page
533
How to Grade Assignments Anonymously
533
How to Allow Additional Attempts
534
SafeAssign
534
About SafeAssign
534
Creating SafeAssignments
541
Using DirectSubmit
542
Managing Submissions
543
Running SafeAssign Originality Reports
544
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 10
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Self and Peer Assessment
544
About the Self and Peer Assessment Building Block
544
Creating a New Self and Peer Assessment
545
Exporting and Importing an Assessment
547
Adding a Question to an Assessment
548
Adding Criteria to a Question
549
Previewing the Assessment
550
Completing an Assessment
551
Evaluating a Self and Peer Assessment
552
Managing an Assessment
552
Rules for Editing Assessments
554
Editing an Assessment
557
Monitoring Assessment Submissions
557
Monitoring the Evaluations
558
Viewing the Assessment Results
560
Digital Dropbox
561
Tests, Surveys, and Pools
562
About Creating Tests and Surveys
562
Before You Begin
562
Creating Tests and Surveys
562
Specifying Question Settings
562
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey From a Content Area Before Attempts Are Made
562
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey From a Content Area After Attempts Have Been Made
563
Deleting an Assessment From the Tests or Surveys Pages
563
Creating Tests and Surveys
564
About Question Settings
564
How to Build a Test or Survey and Add New Questions
564
How to Reorder Questions
565
Editing Tests and Questions
565
How to Edit Tests From the Grade Center
565
How to Edit Tests From the Course Tools Section
566
How to Edit Tests From a Course Area
566
How to Edit Test Questions
566
How to Change Point Values
566
How to Delete Test Questions
566
How to Reorder Questions Once Submissions Exist
566
Test and Survey Options
567
Editing Test or Survey Availability
567
About Unavailable Tests and Surveys
568
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 11
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Using the Self-Assessment Options
568
Editing Test Feedback
569
Editing Survey Feedback
569
Editing Test Presentation
569
Using the Test and Survey Canvas
Performing Tasks on Canvas Page
570
570
Deploying Tests and Surveys
572
About Unavailable Tests
572
Before You Begin
572
How to Add a Test or Survey to a Content Area
572
How to Make a Test or Survey Available
572
How to Control the Presentation of a Test or Survey
573
Test and Survey Status
574
Using the Test/Survey Status Indicator
574
How to View Test or Survey Results
575
Test and Survey Results
575
How to View Test or Survey Results
Changing Question Settings
575
575
How to Change Question Settings
576
How to Assign Partial Credit
577
How to Use Negative Points
578
How to Award Extra Credit
579
Adding Question Metadata
579
Before You Begin
580
Example Question Using Metadata
580
How to Add Metadata to a Question
580
How to Manage Question Metadata
580
Question Types
581
Calculated Formula Questions
581
Calculated Numeric Answer Questions
583
Either/Or Questions
584
Essay Questions
584
File Response Questions
585
Fill in Multiple Blanks Questions
586
Fill in the Blank Questions
587
Hot Spot Questions
588
Jumbled Sentence Questions
590
Matching Questions
591
Multiple Answer Questions
593
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 12
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Multiple Choice Questions
595
Opinion Scale/Likert Questions
597
Ordering Questions
598
Quiz Bowl Questions
600
Short Answer Questions
601
True/False Questions
602
Offering Partial Credit
602
Finding Questions
603
How to Find Questions
603
605
Reusing Questions
Copying and Linking to Questions
605
Selecting Questions
605
How to Find Existing Questions and Add them to a Test or Survey
605
Creating and Editing a Random Block
606
Before You Begin
606
How to Create a Random Block of Questions for a Test
606
How to Edit a Random Block of Questions
606
Creating Question Sets
607
How to Create Question Sets
607
How to Add or Delete Questions in a Question Set
607
Using Question Sets in Tests
608
Uploading Questions
608
Before You Begin
608
How to Upload Questions
609
File Format Guidelines
609
Question Format Guidelines
609
Using the Pool Canvas
611
How to Use the Pool Canvas Page
Creating and Editing Pools
611
611
About the Pool Warning Page
612
How to Build a Pool
612
How to Edit Existing Pools
612
How to Edit Questions in a Pool
612
Importing Tests, Surveys, and Pools
613
How to Import a Test, Survey, or Pool
613
Troubleshooting
613
Exporting Tests, Surveys, and Pools
How to Export a Test, Survey, or Pool
Grading Tests
614
614
614
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 13
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Access Test Attempts From the Needs Grading Page
614
How to Access Test Attempts From the Grade Center
615
About the Grade Test Page
615
How to Grade Tests From the Grade Test Page
616
How to Grade Tests Anonymously
616
How to Grade Tests by Question
617
How to Give or Remove Full Credit
617
How to Delete Questions
618
Helping Students Resolve Issues With Tests
618
620
Grade Center
About the Grade Center
620
The Grade Center Interface
620
The Needs Grading Page
621
Grading Offline
621
Grade Center Interactions With Other Tools and Components
621
Accessing the Grade Center
622
About the Needs Grading Page
623
Next Steps
625
Exploring the Grade Center Interface
625
About the Grade Center Action Bar
626
Accessing Grade Center Menus Using Action Links
629
How to Make the Grade Center Accessible
632
Setting Up the Grade Center
633
Customizing the Grade Center
633
About Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
634
How to Create Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
635
How to Edit Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
637
How to Copy or Delete Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
639
How to Associate Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
641
About Categories in the Grade Center
644
How to Create and Manage Categories in the Grade Center
645
How to View a Category and Associate Grade Center Columns
648
How to Create and Manage Grading Periods
652
How to View a Grading Period and Associate Grade Center Columns
657
Grading Periods and Grade Calculations
661
How to Hide and Show Users in the Grade Center
662
How to Color Code the Grade Center
665
How to Manage Grading Color Codes in the Grade Center
667
About Organizing the Grade Center Data
669
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 14
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Next Steps
673
Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
673
About User Columns in the Grade Center
673
About Grade Columns in the Grade Center
674
About Calculated Columns in the Grade Center
675
How to Create Grade Columns in the Grade Center
675
About Total Columns in the Grade Center
680
How to Create Total Columns in the Grade Center
681
Next Steps
686
About Weighted Columns in the Grade Center
686
How to Create Weighted Columns in the Grade Center
687
Next Steps
692
About Average Columns in the Grade Center
692
How to Create Average Columns in the Grade Center
693
Next Steps
698
About Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center
698
How to Create Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center
699
Next Steps
703
Understanding the External Grade Column in the Grade Center
703
How to Edit Columns, Hide Columns, and Select Options for Grade Center Columns
704
How to Edit Grade Center Columns From External Files
708
About Deleting Grade Center Columns
709
How to Create an Extra Credit Column in the Grade Center
712
Using the Grade Center
714
Entering Grades
714
Viewing Grade Details
716
Including Comments With a Grade Entry
718
Overriding Grades
719
Deleting or Clearing Grades
722
Working with the Grade History
723
Exempting Grades
724
Calculating Grades
725
Sending Email from the Grade Center
725
Viewing Grade Center Statistics
726
Working with Grade Center Reports
728
Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items for Working Offline
729
Working with Grade Center Reports
733
Using Smart Views in the Grade Center
734
Viewing Smart Views in the Control Panel
735
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 15
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Access the Smart Views List in the Grade Center
735
How to Add Smart Views to the Favorite List on the Control Panel
737
How to Edit, Copy, or Delete Smart Views in the Grade Center
738
About the Types of Smart Views in the Grade Center
739
How to Create Course Group Smart Views in the Grade Center
740
How to Create Performance Smart Views in the Grade Center
744
How to Create User Smart Views in the Grade Center
748
How to Create Category and Status Smart Views in the Grade Center
751
About Custom Smart Views in the Grade Center
754
How to Create Custom Smart Views Using the Formula Editor in the Grade Center
755
How to Filter the Grade Center Using a Smart View
759
760
Sharing and Reusing Grade Center Data
Sharing Grade Center Data
760
Archiving and Copying Courses
761
Course Files
763
About Course Files
763
Course Files vs. the Content Collection
763
Viewing Files and Folders in Course Files
764
Using List and Thumbnails Views in Course Files
765
Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files
766
How to Create Folders
766
How to Edit Folder Names
767
How to Delete a Folder
767
Adding Files to Course Files
768
Methods to Add Files
768
How to Use the Drag-and-Drop Function
769
How to Use the Browse Function
772
How to Use the Browse My Computer Function
775
How to Upload a Zipped File in Course Files
777
How to Create HTML Objects
779
How to Edit HTML Objects
780
How to Create Reusable Content in Your Course
781
How to Edit Reusable Content
783
About Web Folders (WebDAV)
784
How to Set Up a Web Folder for Windows©
784
How to Set Up a Shared Location for the Mac OS©
786
About Files Added Automatically to Course Files
788
Example Illustrating How Add Files to a Course
788
Course Files Saved Automatically When Creating Content
789
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 16
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Course Files Not Saved Automatically When Creating Content
789
789
Linking to Files and Folders in Course Files
How to Link a File or Folder in Course Files to a Content Item
789
How to Link an HTML Object to the File Content Type
792
How to View a File's Course Links in Course Files
795
How to Delete Files Linked to Course Files
798
Managing Files and Folders in Course Files
799
How to Rename, Copy, and Move Files and Folders
799
How to Overwrite a File in Course Files
801
How to Download Files and Folders from Course Files
803
How to Search for Files and Folders in Course Files
803
Controlling Access to Course Files
805
How to Edit User Permissions
805
About Editing Folder Permissions
807
Moving Files to Course Files
808
About Moving Files to Course Files
808
How to Move Files to Course Files
808
About the Types of Content Moved
809
Content Collection
811
About Content Management and the Content Collection
811
Adding Portfolios to a Course
811
How to Create a New Personal Portfolio
811
How to Create a Template-Based Portfolio
812
Sharing a Portfolio
812
How to Share a Portfolio with Users in a Course
812
How to Share a Portfolio with External Users
813
How to Share a Portfolio with Courses or Organizations
813
How to Share a Portfolio with Institution Roles
813
How to Share a Portfolio with All System Accounts
814
Copying Files to the Content Collection
814
Types of Content That Can Be Copied
814
Types of Content that Cannot Be Copied
814
How to Enable Copy Files to Collection
815
How to Copy Files to Collection
815
Running the Tool Multiple Times
815
File Structure in the Content Collection
816
Copying Special File Attachments
816
Copying Files with the Same Name
817
Exporting/Importing and Archiving/Restoring Content Collection Items
817
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 17
© 2012 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Items Remaining in the Content Collection
817
Items Restored or Imported to a Course without the Content Collection
817
Copying Courses and Content Collection Items
817
Automatically Updating Permissions for Content Collection Items
818
Item Permissions in the Content Collection
818
Organizing and Managing Content
818
Organizing Content in Folders
818
About the Library
819
Organizing Folder Permissions
821
Sharing and Finding Content
822
Organizing Course Folders
823
Using web folders and shared locations
824
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Blackboard Learn Environment > About Using Blackboard Learn
Blackboard Learn Environment
About Using Blackboard Learn
The following are some things to keep in mind when using Blackboard Learn.
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The Blackboard administrator at your school has the ability to disable certain tools within the
application. If you encounter tools that you are unable to access, contact the administrator.
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The openness of Blackboard Learn allows you and the Blackboard administrator at your school to be
very creative. The names for items in Blackboard Learn may differ from those in the documentation.
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Building Blocks allows schools to integrate external applications, tools, content, and services into
Blackboard Learn.
Browser Compatibility
Information on supported web browsers, plug-ins, and operating systems for Blackboard Learn is available in
the Student and Faculty Resource Center.
Contact your school's computing help desk for information on which version of Blackboard Learn your school is
using, as compatibility varies by version.
You can use Blackboard Mobile Learn on a variety of mobile devices, including BlackBerry®, Android™, and
iPhone OS devices such as iPhone and iPod Touch. Contact your school's computing help desk for information
on whether your school has made Blackboard Mobile Learn available.
Printing Course Content
Because Blackboard Learn is web-based, printing is handled through your web browser, or, if the content is an
attached file such as a Microsoft Word or Excel document, through that program.
Most browsers have a ‘Help’ option that can explain more about printing.
If you need assistance printing course content, contact your school's computing help desk.
Course Components
The Blackboard Learn environment allows you to easily navigate, provide data, edit items, and change options
that affect how users interact with the interface.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
The Blackboard Learn Interface
Page header: The area at the top of the screen that contains the tabs, the My Places link, and the links for
Home, Help, and Logout. The tabs you see in the page header will depend on the capabilities your school has
licensed. To learn more, see The Page Header.
Content frame: Displays the selected tool or Content Area. By default, when you enter a course, the Home
Page appears. Instructors select the first page, which is called the course entry point. To learn about selecting
yours, see Selecting the Course Entry Point.
Action Bar: Rows at the top of the page containing page-level actions such as Build Content, Search,
Delete, and Upload. The functions on the Action Bar change depending on where you are in your course. The
Action Bar can contain multiple rows of functions such as on the main Grade Center page.
Course Menu: The access point for all course content. Instructors decide which links are available here. To
learn more, see The Course Menu.
Control Panel: The central access point for course management functions. Instructors can manage the
course style, course tools, and users from this area. Student do not see the Control Panel. To learn more, see
The Control Panel.
Edit Mode: When Edit Mode is ON, all the instructor functions are shown, such as Build Content on the
Action Bar in a Content Area or the appearance of the Action Link. When Edit Mode is OFF, you are viewing
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
the page in student view. The Edit Mode function appears to users with a role of Instructor, Teaching
Assistant, Course Builder, and Administrator.
Tabs: Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Learn - Basic Edition include two common sets of tabs, discussed
in the following tables.
Tab
Description
My
The My Institution tab contains tools and information specific to each user’s preferences. Tools and
Institution information are contained in modules. You can add and delete modules from your My Institution tab.
The Blackboard administrator at your school may restrict access to or require specific modules.
Courses
Click a link on the Courses tab to access a course and the Course Catalog.
If your school licenses community engagement, you also have access to the following tabs:
Tab
Description
Community The Community tab lists organizations specific to each user, the Organization Catalog for your
school, and Discussion Boards. Click a link on the Community tab to access an organization.
Services
The Services tab contains links to other institutional offerings outside of Blackboard Learn. The links
are set by the Blackboard administrator at your school.
In addition, community engagement enables your school to create custom tabs and present different tabs to
users based on Institution roles.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school can rename the tabs appearing in the page header.
The Page Header
The Page Header is the area at the top of the screen that contains the tabs, the My Places link, and the links
for Home, Help, and Logout. The tabs you see in the page header will depend on the capabilities your school
has licensed. For example, if your school has licensed the content management capability, you will see a
Content Collection tab. The page header remains the same as you access other areas and courses in
Blackboard Learn.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school can rename the tabs appearing in the page header.
The My Places link allows users to edit their personal information that is seen by other course members and to
set privacy options. Users can also add an avatar image to use in their courses. Users can upload an avatar
image that is a photo or a creation representing an alter ego. Avatar images appear throughout a course, such
as in the page header, in the What’s New module, and with journal entries. The recommended pixel size for an
avatar image is 150 by 150.
Note: Adding an avatar is a function that must be enabled by the Blackboard administrator at your school.
To learn about the components on the My Institution tab, see My Institution Tab.
Course-to-Course Navigation
In Blackboard Learn, when moving to a new area or page, only the material in the content frame changes. The
tabs and header frame remain static so that they are always available for quick access to navigation features.
When you want to navigate between your courses, you can use the Courses tab or the course-to-course
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
navigation feature.
Courses tab: You can access the list of courses you are enrolled in or teaching by clicking the Courses
tab.
Course-to-course navigation: If you are enrolled in or teach more than one course, you can access all your
courses using the course-to-course navigation feature. Click the Action Link next to the course title and select
another course from the contextual menu. For example, if you are viewing the Announcements page in one
course and select another course from the contextual menu, you are taken to that course's Announcements
page. You can easily go from one course's Grade Center to another to begin your grading tasks.
Note: Depending on the default theme your school uses, you may see a house icon instead of the current
course's title.
Course Modules
On the My Institution tab, you see a collection of Course Modules that contain tools such as a calculator, or
display dynamic information such as grades, alerts, and announcements. You can use the links in modules to
navigate to areas in your courses. You can add Course Modules to Module Pages only, such as the My
Institution tab or a course Home Page.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school can rename modules and determines which are available
To learn more about modules, see Working with Modules, Common Notification Modules, and How to Create a
Module Page.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
The Course Menu
The Course Menu appears on the left side of your course window. It is the cornerstone for the organization and
navigation of your course. You create links on the Course Menu to present tools and materials to users. You
can customize its appearance and order the links.
You can make two views available to users. If available, users can view the Course Menu links in one of the
following two views:
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List View: Displays only the top level of course materials. Links can appear as buttons or text.
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Folder View: Displays course materials as a directory tree. Users can expand the view to show the
hierarchy of course navigation.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school can restrict options to maintain a consistent style for all
courses. This can include making some tools unavailable or setting permanent course area names.
Use the following steps to create a link on the Course Menu.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select the type of content to create.
3. Type a Name for the link. Complete any other required text boxes, such as URL for Web Link.
4. Select the Available to Users check box to enable users to see the link on the Course Menu. You
can create content ahead of time, make it unavailable, and then make it available at the appropriate
time.
5. Click Submit. A link to the new content appears on the Course Menu.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
Tip: Create an uncluttered Course Menu to maintain efficient navigation for your users, and try to limit the
number of links included in the Course Menu. Use Content Areas to hold related items and give your course
organization and structure.
The following table lists the types of content and tools you can include on the Course Menu. You can also
include subheaders and divider lines to help visually organize the links for your users.
Type
Description
Content
Area
Content Areas are the top-level course areas. They hold all of your course materials. They are created,
linked, and managed on the Course Menu. Typically, courses contain multiple Content Areas. After
creating a Content Area, you add content to it, such as online lectures, multimedia, tests, and
communication tools. To learn more, see Creating Course Areas for Content.
Blank
Page
The Blank Page tool allows you to include files, images, and text as links on the Course Menu. Include
blank pages on the Course Menu for critical information, as too many links on the Course Menu can
overwhelm students. Remove blank pages from the Course Menu as soon as the information is no
longer needed.
Tool Link
Create a link to an available tool in the course, such as the Calendar or Journals. You can also create
a link to the Tools page.
Course
Link
Create a shortcut to an existing area, tool, or item in a course.
Web Link
Create a link to a URL to provide quick access to a resource on the Internet.
Module
Page
Create a module page and select the individual modules to include. The modules you select can be
tools, such as a calculator, or the modules can display information, such as grades, alerts, and tasks.
Subheader A subheader is unlinked text. You can group related links under a subheader to help users find
information quickly.
Divider
A divider is a line that visually divides the Course Menu to help users find information quickly. After you
create it, you can move it to the appropriate position.
Reordering and Managing the Links on the Course Menu
You can organize and rename the Course Menu links to make them easier for students to use.
Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder Course Menu links.
Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool (
) to reorder the links.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
Click a link’s Action Link (
) and select Rename to change its title. Select Hide Link to make it
unavailable to students. Click Show Link to make it available to students. If you Delete a Content Area, all
content items within it are also permanently deleted. This action is final.
With Edit Mode set to ON, an unavailable link title appears with a square with a diagonal line through it (
). Students do not see the link on the Course Menu.
The Control Panel
All course administration is accessed through links in the Control Panel. This area is only available if you have
one of the following defined course roles:
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Instructor
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Teaching assistant (TA)
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Grader
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Course builder
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Blackboard administrator
To learn more, see Course Roles.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
The Control Panel appears below the Course Menu for all courses and is comprised of the areas listed in the
following table.
Area
Function
Files or
Content
Collection
Each course has its own Course Files area accessed in the Files section of the Control Panel.
With Course Files, an instructor has access to all files from a central location inside the course.
Course Files is relative to the course, so only content for the course is stored there. Content is not
shared across courses taught by the same instructor. Content in Course Files can be used in
multiple places within the course just by linking to it.
If your school licenses content management, the full functionality of the Content Collection is
available through this area. With it, schools have a common content repository where content can
be shared. Therefore, content from other courses and from your personal directory can be added to
the course and managed through the Content Collection. The section heading Content Collection
appears instead of Files in the Control Panel.
To learn more, see About Course Files and About Content Management and the Content
Collection.
Course Tools
Contains all the available tools that are added to a course. Once added, these tools are
administered from the Control Panel. To learn more, see Course Tools.
Evaluation
Provides links to Course Reports, the Early Warning System, and the Performance Dashboard,
which are used to view information about student activity and content usage, and to be notified
about performance based on criteria created by instructors. To learn more, see Generating Course
Reports, Early Warning System, and Using the Performance Dashboard.
Grade Center
Provides links to the Needs Grading page, the Full Grade Center, default Smart Views of the
Grade Center, and any Smart Views created by instructors. Smart Views appear in an indented list
under Full Grade Center. To learn more, see Grade Center.
Users and
Groups
List, enroll, edit, and remove users from a course. Create and administer formal groups of students
to collaborate on work. To learn more, see Enrolling and Managing Users and Course Groups and
Tools.
Customization Control enrollment options and guest and observer access. You can change the properties of a
course, such as its name, availability, and Language Pack. You can use the Quick Setup Guide
and Teaching Style page to modify the appearance of your course. Change tool availability to
control which tools are available in your course and which users have access to them. To learn
more, see Setting Enrollment Options, Allowing Guest and Observer Access, Setting Course
Properties, Language Packs, Setting Course Style Options, and Managing Tool Availability.
Packages and Import, export, and archive a course, check course links, copy all or part of the course, and move
Utilities
selected files to Course Files or the Content Collection (when available). To learn more, see
Importing Course Packages, Exporting and Archiving Courses, Checking Course Links, Copying
Courses, Moving Files to Course Files.
Help
Offers support contacts and online documentation.
Contextual Menus
Throughout Blackboard Learn, items that are acted upon by a user have a contextual menu associated with
them. The contextual menu is accessed when the Action Link is clicked. The Action Link is represented by an
icon represented by one or two down-pointing arrows, depending on the system theme your school has chosen.
Click it to access the contextual menu containing options for many components in Blackboard Learn, such as
content items, Course Menu links, or Grade Center columns. The options in the contextual menu vary
depending on the component.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
Common Contextual Menu Options
The following options are common to many items in Blackboard Learn. If an option does not appear, you cannot
perform it on that item.
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Open
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Edit
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Copy
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Move
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Delete
Other Contextual Menu Options
These options will vary depending upon the type of item and a user's role. The following list is not
comprehensive.
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Adaptive Release options
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Metadata
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Statistics Tracking
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User Progress
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Email
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Manage
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Grade
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Mark as New
Course Map
The course map is a collapsible tree directory you can use for navigation within a course. You can view the map
from the Course Menu, Collaboration Sessions, and the Performance Dashboard.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Components
Viewing the Map From the Course Menu
You can open the course map from the Folder View on the Course Menu. Select Expand All to see all
available content, areas, and tools.
Viewing the Map From the Performance Dashboard
When you view the course map from the Performance Dashboard, the availability of items, tools, and review
status for the specific user appear.
Select the icon in the Adaptive Release column to view the course map for a specific user. The availability of
each item and the review status for the user selected is indicated.
This following table includes a description of the icons used in the Performance Dashboard:
Adaptive Release and Review Status Icons
Visible: This item is visible to that course user
Invisible: This item is not visible to that course user
Reviewed: This item has been marked as reviewed by the course user
Not Reviewed: This item appears as not reviewed to the course user
Viewing the Content Map From a Virtual Classroom
The content map is similar to the course map, except the tree directory only displays available Content Areas
and does not allow users to navigate to other course areas, such as tool pages. To open the content map,
select Content Map in the Classroom Tool box of a Virtual Classroom.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Edit Mode
When Edit Mode is ON, all the instructor-level functions are shown, such as Build Content on the Action Bar
in a Content Area or the appearance of the Action Link. When Edit Mode is OFF, you are viewing the page in
student view. The Edit Mode function only appears if you have a role of Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Course
Builder, and Administrator.
Edit Mode allows instructors, TAs, course builders, and administrators to make changes to content in the
course view instead of navigating through the Control Panel
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school may disable this feature.
Paging Options
You can edit the paging options to specify how many items appear on a page in Blackboard Learn. For example,
you can determine how many forums appear on the main Discussion Board page or how many items appear on
the Needs Grading page.
The default is 25 items per page and the maximum number of items is 1,000 per page. Clicking Show All
displays all items and causes the other controls to disappear. For performance, the items per page should not
be greatly expanded.
Use the following steps to edit the paging options.
1. Click Edit Paging.
2. Type a number in the Items per page text box. If the number is greater than the total number of
items, then all items appear. If the number is less than one, then one item appears.
3. Click OK.
Your Course Environment (Flash movie | 3m 1s) |
Related Tutorials
Environment (PDF file | 7.00 MB)
Getting Started with Your Course
Working with Text
Entering Text
By default, Blackboard Learn formats text to 12-point, left-justified Arial font. Any other formatting must be done
with HTML tags or using the Text Editor.
Text boxes may appear using the Text Editor or with the options shown below. To learn more about the Text
Editor, see Using the Text Editor.
Text Box Options
Smart Text, plain text, or HTML may be used in the Text Editor. Options at the bottom of the box allow you to
switch the text entry format at anytime.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Format Option
Behavior
Smart Text
Smart Text automatically recognizes a link entered in the text box. Smart Text
should be used if the intent is to display the text in the exact way that it is
typed. Line breaks, tabbing, and other keyboard formatting will be retained
with Smart Text.
Smart Text recognizes the ENTER key as a paragraph tag and accepts HTML
tags as well. Smart Text will also prompt you to load images if an image
source tag appears. Web addresses entered as URLs are converted to links.
The URL must begin with "http://" and there must be a space before the
"http://" to distinguish it from the previous word. If an image tag, <IMG>, is
entered in Smart Text, Blackboard Learn will automatically prompt you to
upload the image.
Plain Text
Plain text displays text as it is written in the text area. Plain text does not
render HTML code. HTML code will appear as text.
Plain text strips any formatting from the text, except for line breaks. The result
is completely unformatted text. This may be useful if you need to do a lot of
copy and pasting of the content, or if the intent is to display code information.
For example, if you want to show how to write something in HTML, plain text
should be used to retain the HTML tags in the content. Plain text does not
work with MathML or the equation editor. Changing a text box that includes a
mathematical formula to plain text will make the formula unreadable.
HTML
Displays text as coded by the user using Hypertext Mark-up Language
(HTML) tags.
The HTML option should be used only if you know how to use HTML. The
result will be content formatted by the HTML tags used.
Preview shows you how the formatted text appears when rendered in the browser.
Note: The Smart Text and plain text options are only available if your Blackboard administrator has turned off
the Text Editor or if you do not have a Windows Operating System and Internet Explorer Version 5.x or a later.
Note: It is not possible to display a file in a content item and add a Smart Text or plain text description. Add the
description as a separate content item and then add the file in the next content item.
Copying and Pasting Text to Prevent Loss
To protect against losing work if a network connection loss or software error occurs, you may choose to type in
an offline simple text editor, such as Notepad, and copy and paste your work into Blackboard Learn. Copying
and pasting from fully-featured word processing programs such as Microsoft Word may insert hidden formatting
that can cause display issues. You can add the desired formatting after the text has been pasted into and saved
in Blackboard Learn's text editor.
Alternately, you can select and copy all of the text typed in Blackboard Learn before submitting or saving. Use
the mouse to select the text and then and right-click to copy the text, or press CTRL+A to select all of the text
and then press CTRL+C to copy the text. On Mac systems, use the COMMAND key rather than CTRL.
Permitted File Names
Blackboard Learn allows the use of all characters in file names. However, your operating system and browser
may limit the types characters accepted. For example, some browsers do not accept multi-byte characters,
and some do not support extended character sets.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Using the Text Editor
The editor that you see depends on your school. Most schools use the Blackboard Learn Text Editor. Your
screen reader will announce the Text Editor. To learn more, continue reading this topic.
If your school has signed up for a limited field trial, the Content Editor will appear. Your screen reader will
announce the Content Editor. To learn more, see The Content Editor.
The Text Editor
The Text Editor presents controls for adding and formatting text, equations, and multimedia files. When it is
enabled, it appears throughout the system as the default editor when adding text through a text box.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school and your instructor control whether this tool is available. If
this tool has been turned off, it will not appear in the interface and will not be available for you to use.
If the Text Editor does not appear, first check the following list of browsers to ensure that the current browser is
compatible. If the Text Editor still does not appear, it has most likely been disabled by the Blackboard
administrator at your school.
Users who access the system through assistive technologies should use standard text entry options instead of
the Text Editor.
Administrators can disable the Text Editor and control the availability of the features (Spell Check, WebEQ,
MathML, HTML Validation). It is possible that not all users will see all features.
IMPORTANT! You have the option to attach different types of files to the Text Editor. Do not copy and
paste a file from one text box to another. This will result in an error.
Entering Text
By default, Blackboard Learn will format text to 12-point, left-justified Arial. Any other formatting must be done
using the Text Editor.
Compatible Browsers
The Text Editor is compatible with all the supported browsers for Blackboard Learn.
Firefox does not permit users to access their computer's clipboard.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
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To cut, use CTRL-X, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To copy, use CTRL-C, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To paste, use CTRL-V the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
Macintosh users can use right-click paste on Firefox no matter where the clipboard content originates.
Macintosh users may find that this does not fully resolve the problem, particularly because Firefox does not
permit pasting text from Microsoft Office files on the Mac. To accomplish this task, paste the text into a basic
text editor, such as TextEdit or Notepad, and then paste the text into the Text Editor.
Safari does not permit users to access their computer's clipboard.
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To cut, use CTRL-X, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To copy, use CTRL-C, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To paste, use CTRL-V the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
Copying and Pasting Text to Prevent Loss
To protect against losing work if an Internet connection loss or software error occurs, you may choose to type in
an offline simple text editor, such as Notepad, and copy and paste your work into Blackboard Learn. Copying
and pasting from fully-featured word processing programs such as Microsoft Word may insert hidden formatting
that can cause display issues. You can add the desired formatting after the text has been pasted into and saved
in Blackboard Learn's text editor.
Alternately, you can select and copy all of the text typed in Blackboard Learn before submitting or saving. Use
the mouse to select the text and then and right-click to copy the text, or press CTRL+A to select all of the text
and then press CTRL+C to copy the text.
Text Editor Features
The Text Editor has three collapsible rows of functions.
The following tables define each function:
Function
Description
Select a style for the text. The options correspond to standard HTML Style types.
Select the size of the text.
Select the font face for the text.
Make selected text bold.
Make selected text italic.
Underline the selected text.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Function
Description
Display text with a horizontal line through the characters. This font style is not supported by all
browsers.
Display text on the same line, but slightly below the current text.
Display text on the same line, but slightly above the current text.
Align text to the left.
Align text in the center.
Align text to the right.
Begin typing on the left side of the Text box and text typed moves across the screen left to right.
Begin typing on the right side of the Text box and text typed moves across the screen right to
left.
Create an ordered or numbered list or add a numbered list item.
Create an unordered or bulleted list or add a bullet list item.
Move text left.
Move text right.
Function Description
Select the ABC check mark to open Spell Check. To learn more, see Running Spell Check in the Text
Editor.
Cut the selected items.
Copy the selected items.
Paste copied or cut content.
Deletes formatting tags that are shown in the Pathfinder at the bottom of the text box. Select the
formatting tag to delete in the Pathfinder and then click Clear Formatting to delete. This is useful when
copying and pasting text from another application yields discrepancies in formatting.
Select the circular arrow pointing to the left to undo the previous action.
Select the circular arrow pointing to the right to redo the previous action.
Add a hyperlink. Types include: file, ftp, gopher, http, https, mailto, news, telnet, and wais. Please keep in
mind that when creating a hyperlink, the text that appears on the page is separate from the information
about the link. Information about where the link points is stored in a tag that surrounds the text.
Therefore, it is possible to change the link without changing the text that appears to users. Please be
careful when constructing links to ensure that the text is consistent with where users will be taken when
they click the link.
Add a table.
Add a horizontal line.
Add a select color to the selected text.
Click and select a symbol to be used in the text.
Select text, click the Highlight Text icon, and select a color to use to set off the selected text.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Function Description
Open the WebEQ Equation Editor icon (vx) to add an equation. Equations cannot be added to a cell in a
table. Instead, create the equation outside the table and then cut and paste the equation into the cell. To
learn more, see Using the Math and Science Notation Tool.
Open the MathML Equation Editor icon to add an equation. To learn more, see Using the Math and
Science Notation Tool.
Click the opposing chevrons icon (< >) to view and edit the text in the source code that is generated by
the Text Editor. Click the icon again to restore the standard view.
Preview the content as it will be seen by end users.
Opens a new window that reports on the validation of the source coding. Validation of source code is run
against XHTML 1.0 Strict rules. Not all reported errors will cause pages to malfunction; however, errors
can affect the way a page appears, how style sheets are employed, and accessibility. Poorly formed
HTML will be selected and can be corrected.
The third row will only appear where it is possible to attach a file or link to a file.
Function Description
Add a file to the text area. The Insert Content Link page will appear. The system supports the following
file types: .doc, .exe, .html, .htm, .pdf, .ppt, .pps, .txt, .wpd, .xls, .zip.
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Browse My Computer: Select a file from the local machine.
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Browse Course: If Course Files is the Course's storage repository, select a file from Course
Files.
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Browse Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, select a file from the
Content Collection.
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Source URL: Type a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system.
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Name of Link to File: Provide a descriptive name of the content is helpful for the user. This
allows the user to read the link in context, rather than simply read the name of the file being
linked to.
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Alt Text: Provide text to describe what this image is for a visually impaired or blind user using
assistive technology such as screen readers. All image and multimedia files should have alt
text associated with them.
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Launch in new window: Select whether to open the file in the current window or open a new
browser window to display the file. Depending on your browser settings, some files may also
open in a new tab.
To learn more, see Linking to File Attachments from the Text Editor
Add an image to the text area. The Insert Image page appears. The system supports the following file
types: .gif, .jif, .jpg, jpeg, .png, .tiff, .wmf.
Add MPEG/AVI media content to the text area. The Insert MPEG/AVI File page appears. The system
supports the following file types: .avi, .mpg, .mpeg. To learn more, see Inserting Multimedia Files from the
Text Editor.
Add Apple QuickTime media to the text area. The Insert QuickTime File page appears. The system
supports the following file type: .qt. To learn more, see Inserting Multimedia Files from the Text Editor.
Add an audio file, such as .mp3, .midi or .wav to the text area. The Insert Audio File page appears. The
system supports the following file types: .aiff, .asf, .mp3, .midi, .moov, .mov, .mp, .wav, .wma, .wmv. To
learn more, see Inserting Multimedia Files from the Text Editor.
Add Adobe Flash or Shockwave media to the text area. The Insert Flash/Shockwave File page appears.
The system supports the following file types: .swa, .swf. To learn more, see Inserting Multimedia Files
from the Text Editor.
Add a Flickr Photo, SlideShare Presentation, or YouTube Video. The Search for page appears. The
system supports any files available on YouTube, SlideShare, or Flickr.
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Keyboard Shortcuts for the Text Editor
The Text Editor supports the keyboard shortcuts listed in the following table. Mac users should use the
COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key (abbreviated as CMD in the table).
Note: If the shortcut keys that move selected items one character left, right, up, or down are used, the object
being moved will be absolutely positioned. An absolutely positioned element is determined by pixels, so moving
it up once will move it up one pixel.
Keyboard Shortcut
Description
RIGHT ARROW
Move one character to the right.
LEFT ARROW
Move one character to the left.
DOWN ARROW
Move down one line.
UP ARROW
Move up one line.
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW
MAC: CMD+RIGHT ARROW
Move right one word.
CTRL+LEFT ARROW
MAC: CMD+LEFT ARROW
Move left one word.
END
Move to the end of the line.
HOME
Move to the start of the line.
CTRL+DOWN ARROW
MAC: CMD+DOWN ARROW
Move down one paragraph.
CTRL+UP ARROW
MAC: CMD+UP ARROW
Move up one paragraph.
PAGE DOWN
Move down one page.
PAGE UP
Move up one page.
CTRL+HOME
MAC: CMD+HOME
Move to the beginning of the text.
CTRL+END
MAC: CMD+END
Move to the end of the text.
Selection
SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
Extend the selection one character to the right.
SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
Extend the selection one character to the left.
CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT
ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+RIGHT
ARROW
Extend the selection right one word.
CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+LEFT
ARROW
Extend the selection left one word.
SHIFT+UP ARROW
Extend the selection up one line.
SHIFT+DOWN ARROW
Extend the selection down one line.
SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the end of the current line.
SHIFT+HOME
Extend the selection to the start of the current line.
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Keyboard Shortcut
Description
SHIFT+PAGE DOWN
Extend the selection down one page.
SHIFT+PAGE UP
Extend the selection up one page.
CTRL+SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the end of the document.
CTRL+SHIFT+HOME
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+HOME
Extend the selection to the beginning of the document.
CTRL+A MAC: CMD+A
Select all elements in the document.
Editing
BACKSPACE
Delete the selection. Or, if there is no selection, delete the character to the left of the
mouse pointer.
CTRL+BACKSPACE
MAC: CMD+BACKSPACE
Delete all of a word to the left of the mouse pointer.
CTRL+C MAC: CMD+C
Copy the selection.
CTRL+V MAC: CMD+V
Paste cut contents or copied contents.
CTRL+X MAC: CMD+X
Cut the selection.
DELETE
Delete the selection.
INSERT
Toggle between inserting and overwriting text.
CTRL+Z
MAC: CMD+Z
Undo the most recent formatting command.
CTRL+Y
MAC: CMD+Y
Redo the most recent undone command.
CTRL+F
MAC: CMD+F
Find text.
SHIFT+F10
Display the context menu. This is the same as a right-click.
Formatting
CTRL+B
MAC: CMD+B
Toggle bold formatting.
CTRL+I
MAC: CMD+I
Toggle italic formatting.
CTRL+U
MAC: CMD+U
Toggle underlining.
Formatting HTML Content
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) coding consists of special tags placed around the text to be formatted.
These tags tell web browsers and other HTML-enabled applications how to show the encoded text when
displayed by a computer.
Following are some basic HTML coding to add simple formatting to course content. Additional resources for
learning more about HTML may be found in Other HTML Resources.
What is HTML
HTML is the set of codes used to format (or "mark up") Web pages. A single piece of HTML code is called a
"tag." HTML tags are surrounded by pointed brackets ("<" and ">"). Tags usually come in pairs.
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For example the pair of HTML tags to create bold text looks like this:
<b>This text will be bold.</b>
The <b> tag means "start bold here." The end tag, </b>, means "end bold here." End tags always include the
forward slash ("/").
Paragraph Formatting Using HTML
In HTML, a paragraph break is used to put a single blank line between paragraphs. A hard return inserts no
blank line. The tag is used alone at the end of a paragraph, or as a pair. If used as a pair, the
"align=left|center|right" modifier may be included in the beginning tag to control placement.
For example, the following tag would create a right-aligned paragraph:
<P align=right>Fourscore and seven years ago, our founding father set forth upon this
continent a new nation.</P>
Text Formatting Using HTML
The following tags are used for basic text formatting:
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Bold text tag: <b>text</b>
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Italic text tag: <i>text</i>
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Underlined text tag: <u>text</u>
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Font format tags: <font>text</font> (Font formats include
face=fontstylecolor=fontcolorsize=fontsize)
The font tag requires at least one of the modifiers (face, color, or size).
The face modifier is set to any font, but the person viewing the page must also have that font installed on their
computer. For that reason, it is best to use only common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier New.
The color modifier will recognize basic colors, including black, white, gray, red, blue, yellow, green, purple,
orange, cyan, magenta, and so forth.
The size modifier does not refer to typical font point sizes. In HTML fonts are sizes 1 through 7. The default font
size is 3.
Note: Because each user may set the default font point at which their browser will display text, these font
sizes are relative. For example, one user might have their browser's default font set to 10-point Times while
another has their browser's default font set to 12-point Times. The HTML tag would create 10-point Times text
on the first computer, and 12-point on the latter, since 3 is the default size.
Users may use plus or minus signs to indicate sizes relative to the default. For example, the following HTML
would create text that is two steps larger than the default font size:
<FONT size=+2>Bigger, Better, Faster!</FONT>
Creating Links with HTML
Links are created using the ‘anchor’ tag.
<a href="URL">Clickable text</a>
In the following example, the words ‘Blackboard Inc.’ will turn into a link that directs the user to the Blackboard
home page.
<a href="http://www.blackboard.com/">Blackboard Inc.</a>
When displayed, the link will look like this: Blackboard Inc.
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Creating HTML with Other Tools
Course developers do not have to learn everything about HTML. They may also use web authoring tools to
generate HTML. There are many applications that may be used for this. Some examples are:
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Word processors: Microsoft© Word™, Corel© WordPerfect™, Apple© AppleWorks™, Sun© StarOffice™, and almost every other contemporary word processor contains the ability to convert
word processing documents to a Web page coded in HTML. However, the conversion from a word
processing document to an HTML Web page is often not perfect, especially for documents with
complex formatting.
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WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Web-authoring tools: These tools provide an
environment similar to a word processor for developing Web pages and entire Web sites. There are
many products to choose from, including, Adobe© Dreamweaver™, Adobe© GoLive™, NetObjects©
Fusion, and Microsoft© FrontPage™.
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HTML Editors: Applications like BareBones© Software's BBEdit™ provide an editing environment
for HTML documents. While they are not WYSIWYG, HTML editors usually have a "preview" mode
that allows users to switch between viewing the raw HTML codes and previewing how those codes
will look in the browser. These products help write HTML faster and easier, but they presume the user
is already knowledgeable about HTML.
Incorporating HTML Generated with Other Applications
Instructors may decide to incorporate HTML generated content with other applications into their courses. There
are two options for including this content:
Save the content as an HTML file and upload the HTML file itself into Blackboard Learn. In the course area,
next to the Special Action field, select Create a link to this file. Blackboard Learn will automatically detect
images in an HTML file and prompt you to upload the images as well.
Copy and paste the HTML code into a text box.
How to Copy and Paste HTML Code
1. View the HTML code. Most of the tools discussed above will have a mechanism (usually part of a
View menu) to allow you to see the HTML source.
2. Copy all the HTML tags between but not including the <BODY> and </BODY> tags. Blackboard
Learn dynamically generates the HTML above and below the BODY tags, so this portion of the
HTML source must not be copied.
3. Paste the copied HTML into the text box.
4. Choose the HTML text-formatting option.
5. Submit the form.
6. If there are <IMG> tags in the HTML, Blackboard Learn will automatically detect them when the
page is submitted. You will see a second page prompting you to upload the appropriate images.
Troubleshooting HTML Code
Blackboard recommends that you do not use the following in a course:
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Do not use multiple frames.
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Do not use <applet> tags inside the text box. These tags may cause errors in the content.
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Use the Markup Validation tool in the Text Editor to validate and correct badly formed code.
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Other HTML Resources
There are many online resources for additional information about HTML. One valuable and definitive resource is
The World Wide Web Consortium located at http://www.w3.org.
File Attachments
You can add file attachments to different areas in a course, such as to a content item, an assignment, or a
Discussion Board post. Users open a file by clicking a link to the file that appears in the course.
Locate the file to be attached to your course using one of the following options:
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To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
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To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
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If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
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If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
After selecting a file to attach, you may add a name for the link to the file. This link title appears to users,
instead of the name of the document. For example, you could assign "Biology Syllabus" as the link title instead
of using the file name syllabus_bio_101.doc.
Accepted Characters in File Names
Blackboard Learn allows the use of all characters in file names. However, a user's operating system and
browser may limit the types of characters accepted. For example, some browsers do not accept multi-byte
characters, and some may not have the languages installed to display the special alphabetic characters
specific to them.
Recognized Attachment File Types
The following file types are recognized by Blackboard Learn. These files can appear within a content item.
Note: Blackboard Learn can recognize additional file types and associated applications if a MIME extension is
added. Contact your Blackboard administrator to learn more about adding MIME extensions.
Extension
File Type
Programs associated with the File Type
.aam
Multimedia
Adobe® Authorware® plug-in. Note that the .aam file is the starting point for a series of
files that must be enclosed in a .ZIP file.
.aiff
Audio
Audio media player
.asf
Multimedia
Microsoft® .NET™ Show
.au
Audio
Real Audio Player™
.avi
Video
Video player (not Macintosh® compatible)
.doc
Text
Microsoft® Word or other word processor
.exe
Executable
Executable file
.gif
Image
Graphics program or web browser
.html, .htm
Web page
HTML editor or web browser
.jpg, .jpeg
Image
Graphics program or web browser
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Extension
File Type
Programs associated with the File Type
.jif
Image
Graphics program or web browser
.mp3
Audio
Audio media player
.mpe
Audio/Video
Audio media player
.mpg, .mpeg Audio/Video
Audio media player
.moov,movie Movie
QuickTime® movie player
.mov
Video
Movie or media player
.pdf
Text
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®
.png
Image
Portable Network Graphics
.ppt, .pps
Slideshow
Microsoft® PowerPoint® and PowerPoint® Player®
.qt
Movie
QuickTime™
.ra
Audio
Real Audio Player™
.ram
Video
Real Audio Movie™
.rm
Audio
Audio media player
.rtf
Text
Rich Text Format
.swf
Multimedia
Adobe® Shockwave® plug-in
.tiff, .tif
Image
Graphics program or web browser
.txt
Text
Text or HTML editor, word processor
.wav
Audio
Audio media player
.wma
Audio
Audio media player
.wmf
Graphic
Microsoft® Windows®
.wmv
Video
Microsoft® Windows®
.wpd
Text
WordPerfect® or other word processor
.xls
Spreadsheet Microsoft® Excel®
.zip
Text
WinZip®
Sharing and Exchanging Files in Courses
You have several options in Blackboard Learn for sharing and exchanging files with students.
Items and Files
For distributing files to students, you can use Items or Files within a Content Area. You also have the ability to
make items and files available for a set period of time or to apply Adaptive Release rules to limit access to
students who have met a set of requirements.
You may also use Course Files or, if your school licenses content management, the Content Collection to store
files and link to them in a Content Area.
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Assignments
You can create Assignments to receive student files. Again, Assignment availability can be limited by date and
time, or by the application of Adaptive Release Criteria. A major benefit is the ability to download all files
submitted through an assignment in a single compressed .zip file, rather than a file-by-file workflow.
Group File Exchange
The Course Groups feature allows you to create subsets of students and give them their own workspace to
collaborate within a course. One groups tool is the File Exchange, which permits group members and
instructors to upload and manage documents in the group area. As only designated members can access the
group area, this solution allows for cooperative editing as well as simple file exchange.
Blogs, Journals, and Wikis
The interactive features of Blogs, Journals, and Wikis provide another alternative for file sharing within a
course.
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Journals, a tool that is private between the instructor and an individual student, can be used to give
feedback on files shared by the student, or to distribute personalized files to students.
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The more public nature of the Blogs tool permits students to receive feedback from their peers on
shared documents through the comments feature, while retaining your ability to share files by
attaching them to your own Blog entries.
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The collaborative space of Wikis is an option for multiple students and instructors to share and
exchange files, or to create a shared document within the Text Editor.
Blogs, Journals, and Wikis can also be created within Group areas.
Discussion Board
Another option for file sharing is the Discussion Board. Threaded posts within the Discussion Board enable
discussions of documents to be tracked easily.
Using the Math and Science Notation Tool
The Math and Science Notation Tool (WebEQ Equation Editor) is a general purpose equation editor. It
enables you to use mathematical and scientific notation. You can add equations, edit existing equations, and
move equations within the Equation Editor.
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The Java 2 Run Time Environment is required to use the Math and Science Notation Tool.
For best performance on a Windows® operating system, use Internet Explorer 6.0 or later.
For best performance on a Macintosh®:
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Mac OS X v 10.2 or later
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Install the MRJ Plug-in from http://homepage.mac.com/pcbeard/MRJPlugin/.
You may receive a pop-up box when launching WebEQ that asks you to trust an applet provided by Design
Science, the maker of WebEQ. If you click Always, the pop-up will no longer appear on that computer when
launching WebEQ.
MathML Equation Editor
The MathML Equation Editor functions in the same way at the Math and Science Notation Tool. Instead of
opening with the symbol buttons, a blank text box will appear where users can enter XML.
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Accessing the Equation Editor
You can access the WebEQ Equation Editor by clicking the Math and Science Notation Tool icon.
To insert XML, you can click the MathML Equation Editor icon.
Tip: If an equation is more than one line or uses a large font size, the equation may be cut off when it appears
on the page. Add an empty line after the final line in the equation to prevent this error.
Creating and Editing Equations
After an equation has been created it is copied and used again or copied and edited using the WebEQ Equation
Editor features.
The table below describes the functions available in the Math and Science Notation Tool.
To . . .
Then . . .
create a name for the
equation
enter a name in the Equation Name field. To accept the default name do not make any
changes.
create an equation
use the equation symbols available on the keyboard or in the toolbar to create equations.
edit an existing
equation
select the equation from the Edit Equation drop-down list. The equation will appear in the
editor. Click Edit to save the changes.
submit the equation
and its name
click Add.
Tip: If an equation is more than one line or uses a large font size, the equation may be cut off when it appears
in a course. Add an empty line after the final line in the equation to prevent this error.
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Running Spell Check in the Text Editor
The Spell Check function supports a full English dictionary, a supplemental word list configured by the
Blackboard administrator at your school, and custom word lists that are stored on your local machine. The
Spell Check function is available wherever you can enter blocks of text. It is also available as a module if your
school licenses community engagement.
When Spell Check is launched it will review the text block and sequentially bring up any words it does not
recognize for review.
Word Lists
Misspelled words are determined by the following three sources:
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Spell Check Dictionary: A full English dictionary that includes words that will not be flagged for
correction. The dictionary is also the only source for suggestions. This dictionary cannot be edited.
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Supplemental Word List: A list of additional terms added by the Blackboard administrator at your
school that do not appear in the default dictionary.
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Personal Word List: This word list is stored on each user’s local machine. Words are added to this
list using the Learn function. The words in the personal word list are not flagged for correction. These
words are not included as suggestions for misspelled words. Extensive personal word lists may slow
performance of the Spell Check tool.
Personal Word List and Cookie
The personal word list is stored as a small file known as a "cookie" on your local computer. Cookies are
commonly used by web browser applications to store information that needs to be saved between browser
sessions and computer reboots.
This cookie is not user or installation specific. Therefore, your personal word list will be available to you
whenever you are using Spell Check as long as you are on the same computer.
Also, if someone else logs onto the same computer, they will use the same personal word list. For example, if
one person creates a personal word list on a computer in the computer lab, this word list will be available to
everyone who uses this same computer in the lab.
Note: The only way to transfer a personal word list to another computer is to copy the associated cookie file.
For school-owned computers, this usually is not possible or permitted.
Using Spell Check
When Spell Check is launched, it reviews the text block and sequentially brings up any words it does not
recognize for review.
The following table details the functions available.
Function
Description
Action
Replace the
occurrence of a word
with a correction or
suggestion
Enter a correction in the Replace With field or select a suggestion from the
list. Click Replace to change the word in the text to the word in the
Replace With field. If the misspelled word appears later in the text block it
will be flagged again for correction.
Replace every
occurrence of a word
in the text with a
correction or
suggestion
Enter a correction in the Replace With field or select a suggestion from the
list. Click Replace All to change every occurrence of the word in the text
with the word in the Replace With field.
Ignore the word and
not make a correction
Click Ignore. The word will not be changed. If the word appears again in
the text block it will be flagged for correction.
Ignore every
occurrence of the
word in the text block
Click Ignore All. The word will not be changed and Spell Check will not
flag it for correction again in the text.
Teach Spell Check to Click Learn. The word will be added to the personal word list. Whenever
recognize the word as Spell Check is run on this computer, the word will be recognized as valid
correct
and not flagged.
Close the spell check
without finishing
Click Finish.
Recognized Errors
Spell Check can recognize the following circumstances:
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Double words are recognized as errors.
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Irregular capitalization is not recognized as an error.
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Initial capitalization at the beginning of sentences is not checked.
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Words in ALL CAPS are checked for spelling errors.
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Words that contain numbers are recognized as errors.
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A word that appears in the supplemental or personal word list must be entered as a correction during a
spell check (these words do not appear as suggestions). The Spell Check tool must be run again to
verify that the word is spelled correctly.
Using the Content Editor
The editor that you see depends on your school. Most schools use the Blackboard Learn Text Editor. Your
screen reader will announce the Text Editor. To learn more, see The Text Editor.
If your school has signed up for a limited field trial, the Content Editor will appear. Your screen reader will
announce the Content Editor. To learn more, continue reading this topic.
The Content Editor
The Content Editor presents controls for adding and formatting text, equations, tables, and multimedia files.
The Content Editor has two view modes: simple mode and advanced mode, which are selected by using the
Show More ( ) or Show Less ( ) button in the upper right corner of the top Content Editor action bar.
The simple mode, described in Simple Content Editor Features, contains a minimal set of the most used text
formatting functions. The advanced mode, described in Advanced Content Editor Features, includes every
available formatting and object attachment function.
Buttons for functions not currently available will be grayed out. For example, the buttons to apply or remove a
hyperlink are available only when text or an object has been selected. Buttons for certain functions which can
be turned on or off, such as the Spell Check function, are highlighted when selected and active
Content Editor Availability
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school and your instructor control the Content Editor's features
and availability.
If you are having difficulty accessing the content editor, contact your school's computing help desk for
assistance.
If your school is not participating in the field trial, see Using the Text Editor.
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Copying and Pasting Text to Prevent Loss
To protect against losing work if an Internet connection loss or software error occurs, you may choose to type in
an offline simple text editor, such as Notepad, and copy and paste your work into Blackboard Learn.
Alternately, you can select and copy all of the text typed in Blackboard Learn before submitting or saving. Use
the mouse to select the text and then and right-click to copy the text, or press CTRL+A to select all of the text
and then press CTRL+C to copy the text. If you are using a Mac, use the COMMAND key instead of CTRL.
Adding and Editing Content
By default, Blackboard Learn formats text to 12-point, left-justified Arial. Any other formatting must be done
using the Content Editor's functions. With the cursor positioned in the content entry pane, there are four
methods for adding, formatting, and editing text and objects:
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Using the Content Editor function buttons. See Simple Content Editor Features and Advanced
Content Editor Features.
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Using the right-click contextual menu. See Using the Right-Click Contextual Menu.
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Using keyboard shortcuts. See Keyboard Shortcuts for the Content Editor.
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Editing the HTML code directly. See HTML Code View.
Simple Content Editor Features
The Content Editor's simple mode has a single row of functions.
The following table defines each function:
Function
Description
Make selected text bold.
Make selected text italic.
Underline the selected text.
Select the font face for the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current font to select
from a list of all available fonts.
Select the size of the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current font size to select
from a list of all available font sizes.
Set the text color. Click the down arrow next to the text color button to select a different text color.
Create an unordered or bulleted list or add a bullet list item. For more information, see Working
with Lists.
Create an ordered or numbered list or add a numbered list item. For more information, see
Working with Lists.
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Function
Description
Begin the automatic Spell Check. Click the down arrow next to the Spell Check button to select
a different language. For more information, see Using Spell Check.
Add a new or edit an existing hyperlink. For more information, see How to Use Links
Remove a hyperlink from the selected text or object.
Open the Context Editor help information pop-up display.
Expand the Content Editor window to fill the entire browser frame.
Switch to the advanced formatting and content entry button set.
Advanced Content Editor Features
The Content Editor expanded to show its advanced features has four rows of functions.
The following tables describe each function:
Row 1 Function
Description
Make selected text bold.
Make selected text italic.
Underline the selected text.
Display text with a horizontal line through the letters (strikethrough).
Select a paragraph style for the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current style to
select from a list of all available styles
Select the font face for the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current font to select
from a list of all available fonts.
Select the size of the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current font size to select
from a list of all available font sizes.
Set the text color. Click the down arrow next to the text color button to select a different text color.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Row 1 Function
Description
Set the text highlight (background) color. Click the down arrow next to the highlight button to
select a different highlight color.
Open the Context Editor help information pop-up display.
Expand the Content Editor window to fill the entire browser frame.
Switch to the simple formatting and content entry button set.
Row 2
Function Description
Cut the selected items.
Copy the selected items.
Paste the most recently copied or cut items.
Undo the previous action.
Redo the previous action (available only if an action has been undone).
Create an unordered or bulleted list or add a bullet list item. For more information, see Working with
Lists.
Create an ordered or numbered list or add a numbered list item. For more information, see Working with
Lists..
Align text to the left margin.
Align text in the center.
Align text to the right.
Align text to both the left and right margins.
Move the text or object to the right (indent). Click again to indent further.
Move the text or object to the left (outdent). Click again to outdent further. It is not possible to go beyond
the left margin.
Make the text into a superscript.
Make the text into a subscript.
Enter text to the right of the current cursor location (default).
Enter text to the left of the current cursor location.
Begin the automatic Spell Check. Click the down arrow next to the Spell Check button to select a
different language. For more information, see Using Spell Check
Clear all formatting, leaving only the plain text.
Row 3
Function Description
Search for and replace text. For more details, see Using Find and Replace.
Add a new or edit an existing hyperlink. For more information, see How to Use Links
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Row 3
Function Description
Remove a hyperlink from the selected text or object.
Add a thin horizontal line to the current cursor position, spanning the entire width of the text area.
Add a thin centered line, setting width, height relative to the current position, and whether to use
shadows. For more information, see Inserting Lines and Horizontal Rules.
Click to show all non-printing characters. Click again to hide them from view.
Format the text as a block quote.
Open the Select Symbol pop-up. Select the symbol to insert at the current cursor position.
Open the Insert Emoticon pop-up. Select the emoticon to insert at the current cursor position.
Add a file to the text area. The Insert Content Link pop-up appears. The following file types are
supported: .doc, .exe, .html, .htm, .pdf, .ppt, .pps, .txt, .wpd, .xls, .zip. You can add a file from your
computer, from the Content Collection, or from a URL.
Add an image to the text area, or edit an existing selected image. The Insert/Edit Image pop-up appears.
Most of the common image types are supported, including .gif, .jpg, .bmp, .png, .tif. You can add images
from your computer, from the Content Collection, or from a URL. For more information, see Adding
Images.
Add a media clip to the text area, or edit an existing selected media object. The Insert/Edit Media pop-up
appears. Type: From the dropdown, select the type of media you want to add. The supported types
include Flash (default), HTML 5 video, Quicktime, Shockwave, Windows Media, and Real Media. You
can add media files from your computer, from the Content Collection, or from a URL. For more
information, see Adding Media Files.
Add a Mashup object to the text area. Click to display a drop-down list to pick from one of the supported
Mashup object types: Flickr photo, Slideshare presentation, YouTube video, NBC content. A pop-up to
search for the object appears. For more information, see Adding Mashup Objects.
Open the visual math equation editor page, the WIRIS Formula Editor. For more information, see Using
the Math Editor.
Opens a preview window to enable you to see how the content will appear once published.
Row 4
Function Description
Click to open the Create/Modify Table pop-up display. For more information about tables, see Working
with Tables.
Click to open the Table Row Properties pop-up display.
Click to open the Table Cell Properties pop-up display.
Insert a blank row in the table above the current cursor position.
Insert a blank row in the table after the current cursor position.
Delete the current column from the table. If multiple columns are selected, all of them are deleted.
Insert a blank column in the table to the left of the current cursor position.
Insert a blank column in the table to the right of the current cursor position.
Delete the current column from the table. If multiple columns are selected, all of them are deleted.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Row 4
Function Description
Merge two or more selected table cells into a single cell.
Split previously merged table cells. If the cell or cells are not ones that were merged, nothing happens.
Click to open the HTML Code View pop-up display. From there, you can edit the content HTML code
directly. This feature is intended only for experienced web developers. For more information, see HTML
Code View
Position the cursor where you want the anchor to appear, and click to open the Insert/Edit Anchor popup. Anchors are used to position (anchor) other items and objects, such as images. For more
information, see Using Anchors.
Insert a non-breaking space at the current cursor position.
Edit the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). This feature is intended only for experienced web developers. For
more information, see Advanced Image Settings.
Working with Lists
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Ordered/Numbered Lists: Creates an ordered or numbered list, or add a numbered list item. Click
the down arrow next to the numbered list button (
) to select between the available list ordering
schemes. Choices include alphabetic, Roman numerals, and Greek symbols.
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Bullet Lists: Creates an unordered or bullet list, or add a bullet list item. Click the down arrow next to
the bullet list button (
) to select between the available bullet list symbols.
Using Spell Check
The Spell Check button (
) turns the automatic spell check function on or off. Words detected as potentially
misspelled or not found in the spell check dictionary will be indicated throughout the text with wavy red
underlining. If you resume typing text, the spell check function switches off.
Click an underlined word to see a list of suggested corrections, to ignore the single instance, or to ignore all
occurrences of the indicated word.
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Click the down arrow next to the Spell Check button to select a different spell check language dictionary.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school determines which spelling dictionaries are available.
Using Find and Replace
Click the Find/Replace button (
Find/Replace pop-up displays.
) to search for matching text, and optionally replace it with other text. The
Finding Text
To search for text, on the Find/Replace pop-up, select the Find/Replace tab and enter the text to find.
The radio buttons choose whether to search up or down from the current cursor position. Select the Match case
option to match upper and lower case, or clear it to ignore case in matching the search text.
Click Find next to locate the next match, or Cancel to close the window.
You can also click the Replace tab to switch to the Replace text function.
Replacing Text
To search for and replace text, on the Find/Replace pop-up, select the Replace tab and enter the text to find
and the text to replace it.
The radio buttons choose whether to search up or down from the current cursor position. Select the Match case
option to match upper and lower case, or clear it to ignore case in matching the search text.
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Replace: Replace the next instance found.
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Replace All: Replace every matched instance.
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Find Next: Find the next match and highlight it, but do not change the text.
You can also click the Find/Replace tab to switch to the search-only function.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
How to Use Links
Select text or an object and click the Link button ( ) to add a new or edit an existing hyperlink. To remove a
link, select the link and click the Remove Link button ( ). You can also link and unlink by using the right-click
contextual menu.
Note: The Link and Remove Link buttons are grayed out and unavailable unless text or an object has been
selected. Clicking Remove Link for something that has no hyperlink does nothing and is ignored.
On the Insert/Edit Link pop-up there are a number of controls and settings not only to define where the link
goes, but how it is handled when clicked.
Link General Settings
On the General tab, you can specify a link to a website, a file from your computer, or an item in the course files.
The Target drop-down enables you to select where to open the link:
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Open in this window/frame
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Open in a new window
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Open in parent window/frame
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Open in top frame, replacing all current frames
Type an optional Title for the window or frame displayed when the link is clicked. Optionally, select a link
Class, if alternate choices are available, otherwise the drop-down has only Not-Set.
Link Popup Settings
On the Popup tab, you can specify a Javascript URL to open a browser popup window when clicked.
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Javascript popup: This box must be selected to enter the specifications for a Javascript-enabled
pop-up window.
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Popup URL: Enter the link (URL) to the target.
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Window name: Optionally enter the name to be displayed as the title of the popup window, otherwise
the title is left blank.
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Size: Enter the size in horizontal and vertical pixels for the popup. If no values are entered, the target
default will be used.
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Position (X/Y): Enter the position on the screen to display the popup. The value “c/c” will center the
popup. If left blank, the computer's operating system will decide where to put the popup relative to
other open windows on the screen. Because screen resolutions can vary, do not use this setting
unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
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Options:
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Show location bar: Include a URL address bar. Only enable this if you want students to be
free to navigate away from the current course content.
o
Show menu bar: Include a standard browser menu bar. This should be enabled only if
browser functions such as save, print, and so on are actually needed.
o
Show toolbars: Include browser toolbars. This should also only be enabled if actually
needed.
o
Show status bar: Show the browser status bar. The main reason not to include this is to
reduce clutter and screen space requirements for the popup.
o
Show scrollbars: Include vertical and/or horizontal scrollbars in the popup. Select this
option if the target content will not fit in the default or specified popup window size.
o
Make window resizable: Allow the student to resize the popup.
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Dependent: Restricts the popup only to function with the current browser type (Internet
Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and so on). This setting should not be enabled unless the content
is not compatible with alternative browsers.
o
Insert ‘return false’: Prevents any further actions or events from taking place in the popup
window. Usually this setting is not needed, except in certain legacy compatibility
situations.
Link Events Settings
On the Events tab, you can specify links to be followed or files to be run when certain conditions occur, such as
key presses, mouse clicks, or window focus is changed.
Note: This capability is not usually needed, and is intended only for experienced web developers.
Advanced Tab
The Advanced tab allows you to set a number of advanced properties for the link, including ID, style, classes,
language codes, and much more.
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Note: In general, you will not need to set or modify any of the advanced settings, and are intended only for
experienced web developers.
Inserting Lines and Horizontal Rules
Line: Click the Line button (
width of the text area
) to add a thin horizontal line to the current cursor position, spanning the entire
Horizontal Rule: Click the Horizontal Rule button (
) to add a thin centered line. You can set:
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Width in pixels or as a percentage of the total available width of the text area
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Height of the line relative to the current position
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Whether to have the line shadowed or not (default is with shadow)
Use the Width drop-down list to select between pixels or percentage. Use the Height drop-down list to select
between Normal, or a height increment from 1 to 5. Click Insert to add the line or Cancel to abort.
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Adding Images
Click the Insert Image button ( ) to add an image to the text area, or edit an existing selected image. Another
way to add an image is to use the right-click contextual menu. You can also select an existing image in the text,
right-click it, and select Image from the contextual menu to edit its properties. The Insert/Edit Image pop-up
appears.
Most of the common image types are supported, including .gif, .jpg, .bmp, .png, .tif, and many others.
Note: Use the more compact, compressed file formats whenever possible, such as .jpg, .png, or .gif, to
reduce the time required to download the embedded image.
General Image Settings
On the General tab, once a specific image has been selected, a view of it is displayed in the Preview pane.
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Browse My Computer: Click to select an image file from the local machine.
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Browse Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, click to select a file from
the Content Collection.
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Image URL: Enter a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system.
Image description: Type a description for the image (optional, but recommended for accessibility readers).
Title: Type a title for the image (optional).
Appearance Settings
The Appearance tab allows control over image placement and appearance. A sample thumbnail display on the
right side of the pane shows how the various choices will appear.
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Alignment: Controls the placement of the image relative to the nearby text. Choices include
baseline, top, middle, bottom, text top, text bottom, left, and right.
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Dimensions: The size the image is to be displayed, in pixels. If not set, the actual image size is
used. If the constrain proportions box is checked, the image will be resized without horizontal or
vertical distortion.
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Vertical space: The margin (in pixels) to be reserved above and below the image.
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Horizontal space: The margin (in pixels) to be reserved to either side of the image.
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Border: Draws a border around the image, with line weight specified as pixels.
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Style: Whenever any of the appearance settings are changed, this line shows the HTML code that
will be used to format the image. You can also enter, alter, or fine-tune the code directly if necessary.
Advanced Image Settings
Advanced image settings allow you to specify an alternative image based on mouse activity, and to set
additional identification, language, and link parameters. Normally, there is no need to set or change these
settings.
Adding Media Files
Click the Insert Media button ( ) to add a media clip to the text area, or edit an existing selected media item.
You can also select an existing media object in the text, right-click it, and select Edit Media from the
contextual menu to edit its properties. The Insert/Edit Media pop-up appears.
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General Media Settings
Type: From the drop-down list, select the type of media you want to add. The supported types include:
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Flash (default)
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HTML 5 video
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Quicktime
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Shockwave
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Windows Media
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Real Media
After setting the media type:
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File/URL: Type a URL to create a link to a media file outside of the local system.
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Browse My Computer: Click to select a media file from the local machine.
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Browse Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, click to select a media
file from the Content Collection.
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Dimensions: Specify the dimensions, in pixels, for the media to be displayed. If left blank, the
media’s actual size will be used. Constrain proportions prevents the media from being distorted
vertically or horizontally if resized.
Once a specific image has been selected, a view of it is displayed in the Preview pane.
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Advanced Media Settings
On the Advanced tab, you can set advanced display parameters, as well as a number of options specific to
Flash media only.
Advanced:
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Id: Set an identification code for the media.
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Name: Type a name for the media.
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Align: Set whether the media is to be aligned top, right, bottom, or left.
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Background: Set a background color for the media.
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V-Space and H-Space: Set vertical and horizontal margins for space around the embedded media.
Flash options:
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Quality: Set the playback quality for the Flash media. Choices include high, low, autohigh,
autolow, and best.
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Scale: Selects a resizing option for Flash media. Choices include showall, noborder, exactfit, and
noscale.
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WMode: Sets a display mode for the media. Choices are window, opaque, and transparent.
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SAlign: Sets the position alignment for the media within the Flash media player. Choices are Left,
Top, Right, Bottom, Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, and Bottom Right.
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Auto play: Select to have the Flash media play automatically upon being selected.
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Loop: Set the media to loop (replay) after reaching the end.
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Show menu: Show the Flash media player menu.
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SWLiveConnect: This parameter is used only in older Flash media, and when selected allows the
player and browser to exchange information.This parameter is not typically necessary.
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Base and Flashvars: Manually configure the Flash options. These features are intended only for
advanced web developers needing a high degree of control and customization over the Flash player
appearance and behavior.
Media Source Settings
The Source tab enables you to enter custom media HTML code directly, and is intended only for advanced web
developers.
Adding Mashup Objects
Click the Insert Mashup button (
object types:
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Flickr Photo
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SlideShare Presentation
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YouTube Video
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NBC Content
) to display a drop-down list to pick from one of the supported Mashup
A pop-up displays, from which you can search for the selected Mashup type. To learn more about how
instructors can use Mashups in a course, see How to Create Mashups. To learn more about how students can
use Mashups, see Mashups.
Note: Availability of specific Mashup objects and types is determined by your school's Blackboard
administrator.
Once an item has been selected, you can set viewing and presentation options.
Click Preview to see how the Mashup object will appear. Click Back to go back and select a different item.
When you are satisfied with the selection and options, click Submit to continue, or Cancel to abort adding the
Mashup.
Using the Math Editor
Click the Open Math Editor button ( ) to open the math equation editor pop-up, the WIRIS Formula Editor.
This is a powerful mathematics editor which can enable you to compose formulas using a simple visual editing
tool, and then embed these equations in the content as high-quality .png images. The tabs along the top of the
page select between different elements:
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General
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Operators
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Symbols
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Big operations
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Matrix mathematics
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Arrows
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Greek symbols
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Superscript, subscript, and accents
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Other miscellaneous math elements
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Functions
For additional information and help, click the Manual link on the equation editor page. This will take you to the
WIRIS website user manual.
Note: Javascript must be enabled for the math editor to function.
Working with Tables
Click the Create Table button ( ) to open the Create/Modify Table pop-up display. You can use the Create
Table command from the contextual right-click menu.
On the General tab, you can set the general properties for the table. Note that even after being created, the
table can be modified directly using the table functions and commands. It is also possible to resize the table by
clicking and dragging the table border anchors.
Note: Most of the table function buttons are unavailable (grayed out) unless the cursor is positioned inside an
existing table.
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Table General Properties include:
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Columns: Type the initial number of columns for the table.
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Rows: Type the initial number of rows for the table.
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Cell Padding: Type the padding, in number of pixels, for the individual table cells.
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Cell Spacing: Type the spacing, in number of pixels, to separate the table cells.
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Alignment: Select the table alignment: Center, Left, or Right. If not set, the current paragraph
alignment is used.
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Border: Creates a simple black line border around the table. Type a number in pixels to determine the
width of the table border.
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Width: Sets the width of the table, in either pixels or percentage of the available display width. If left
blank, the table is automatically sized as needed to fit the content.
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Height: Sets the height of the table, in either pixels or percentage of the available display height. If
left blank, the table is automatically sized as needed to fit the content.
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Class: If selected, enables you to set the HTML class for the table. If your setup does not use
classes, there is no need to use this setting
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Table Caption: If enabled, the table is created with a caption cell at the top.
The Advanced table creation tab enables you to set additional properties for the table.
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Id: Type a table description or identifier.
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Summary: Type a description for the table.
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Style: Allows HTML code overrides for the placement, size, appearance, and border.
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Language code: Assign a language code to the table (this is used in translations).
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Background image: Use a graphic image to appear as a background for the table. You can type a
URL to create a link to an image file outside of the local system.
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Browse My Computer: Click to select an image file from the local machine.
o
Browse Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, click to select
an image file from the Content Collection.
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Frame: Sets the table frame parameter. Choices in the drop-down list include void, above, below,
hsides, lhs, rhs, vsides, box, or border.
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Rules: Sets rules for the table content. Choices in the drop-down list include none, groups, rows,
cols, or all.
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Language direction: Set whether text entered in the table goes from right to left, or left to right from
the cursor position.
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Border color: Set the color for the table border.
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Background color: Set the background color for the table.
Setting Row and Cell Properties
Row properties settings affect an entire table row or any number of selected table rows, while cell properties
affect the current table cell or any number of selected cells.
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Click the Row Properties button ( ) to open the Table row properties pop-up. From there you can set
formatting parameters to control how the contents of a given table row (or selected rows) will appear.
From the table row properties General tab you can set:
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Row in table part: Whether the row is intended to be Table Body, Table Head (heading or label), or
Table Foot (bottom of table).
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Alignment: Set the row’s cell contents to left, center, or right alignment.
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Vertical alignment: Set the row’s cell contents to top, center, or bottom alignment.
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Class: Set the row content HTML class. This value is not needed if classes are not used.
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Height: Manually set the height of the row. Otherwise, the row expands or contracts as needed to fit
the contents.
A drop-down list at the bottom of the Table row properties display allows you to select between:
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Update the current row or selected rows only (default).
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Update odd rows in the table.
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Update even rows in the table.
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Update all rows in the table.
The Advanced tab enables you to set additional row properties.
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Id: Type a row description or identifier.
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Style: Allows HTML code overrides for the placement, size, appearance, and border.
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Language direction: Set whether text entered in the row goes from right to left, or left to right from
the cursor position.
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Language code: Assign a language code to the row (this is used in translations).
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Background image: Use a graphic image to appear as a background for the row. You can type a
URL to create a link to an image file outside of the local system.
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Browse My Computer: Click to select an image file from the local machine.
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Browse Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, click to select
an image file from the Content Collection.
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Border color: Set the color for the row border.
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Background color: Set the background color for the row.
Click the Cell Properties button ( ) to open the Table cell properties pop-up. From there you can set
formatting parameters to control how the contents of a given table cell (or selected cells) will appear.
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From the table cell properties General tab you can set:
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Alignment: Set the row’s cell contents to left, center, or right alignment.
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Cell type: Set the cell content type to either Data or Header.
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Vertical alignment: Set the cell contents to top, center, or bottom alignment.
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Scope: Expands the modification selection beyond an individual cell and applies the changes to a
Column, Row, Column Group, or Row Group.
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Width: Manually set the width of the cell.
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Height: Manually set the height of the cell.
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Class: Set the row content HTML class. This value is not needed if classes are not used.
A drop-down list at the bottom of the Table cell properties display allows you to select between:
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Update the current cell or selected cells only (default).
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Update all cells in the row.
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Update all cells in the table.
The Advanced tab enables you to set additional cell properties.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
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Id: Type a cell description or identifier.
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Style: Allows HTML code overrides for the placement, size, appearance, and border.
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Language direction: Set whether text entered in the cell goes from right to left, or left to right from
the cursor position.
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Language code: Assign a language code to the cell (this is used in translations).
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Background image: Use a graphic image to appear as a background for the cell. You can type a
URL to create a link to an image file outside of the local system.
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Browse My Computer: Click to select an image file from the local machine.
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Browse Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, click to select
an image file from the Content Collection.
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Border color: Set the color for the cell border.
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Background color: Set the background color for the cell.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Editing Tables
Table Editing
Button
Description
Click to open the Create/Modify Table pop-up. If clicked inside a table, a new table is created
inside the first one.
Click to open the Table Row Properties pop-up.
Click to open the Table Cell Properties pop-up.
Insert a blank row above the current cursor position.
Insert a blank row after the current cursor position.
Delete the current column from the table. If multiple columns are selected, all of them are
deleted.
Insert a blank column to the left of (before) the current cursor position.
Insert a blank column to the right of (after) the current cursor position.
Delete the current column from the table. If multiple columns are selected, all of them are
deleted.
Merge two or more selected cells into a single table cell.
Split previously merged table cells. If the cell or cells are not ones that were merged, nothing
happens.
To resize a table, in addition to using table, row, or cell properties, another way to do this is to click and drag one
of the table border anchors. These are positioned at each of the table corners (to make the entire table larger or
smaller) and in the middle of each side—left, right, top, and bottom (to resize the table horizontally or vertically
only).
You can also right-click anywhere inside an existing table to see a contextual table editing menu, duplicating
many of the functions provided by the Content Editor buttons. These include:
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Create Table: Open the Create/Modify Table pop-up. If clicked inside a table, a new table is
created inside the first one.
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Table Properties: Open the Table Properties pop-up.
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Delete Table: Delete the table at the current cursor location.
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Cell: Open a submenu with cell-specific table functions.
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Cell Properties: Open the Table Cell Properties pop-up.
Split Cells: Split the currently selected cell (only works if the cell at the cursor location
or the selected cells were previously merged.
Merge Cells: Select to merge cells at the current cursor location.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
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Row: Open a submenu with row-specific functions.
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Row Properties: Open the Table Row Properties pop-up.
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Insert Row Before: Insert a blank row above the current cursor position.
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Insert Row After: Insert a blank row below the current cursor position.
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Delete Row: Delete the current row. If multiple rows are selected, all of them are
deleted.
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Cut table row: Cut the current row or selected rows, and copy to the clipboard.
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Copy table row: Copy the current row or selected rows, and copy to the clipboard.
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Paste table row before: Paste the most recently cut or copied row or rows above the
current cursor position.
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Paste table row after: Paste the most recently cut or copied row or rows below the
current cursor position.
Column: Opens a submenu with column-specific functions.
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Insert Column Before: Insert a blank column to the left of the current cursor position.
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Insert Column After: Insert a blank column to the right of the current cursor position.
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Remove Column: Delete the current column. If multiple columns are selected, all of
them are deleted.
Using Anchors
Anchors are used to position (anchor) other items and objects, such as images. Position the cursor where you
want the anchor to appear, and click the Anchor button ( ) to open the Insert/Edit Anchor pop-up. Type a
name for the anchor and click Insert to add it.
To modify an existing anchor, select it and click Anchor.
To remove an anchor, select it and press Delete.
Note: Deleting an anchor will also delete any object or text anchored to it.
Advanced Functions
HTML Code View
Click the HTML Code View button ( ) to open the HTML Code View pop-up. From there, you can edit the
content HTML code directly. When finished, click Update to apply your changes, or Cancel to abort.
The Content Editor does perform some code verification, and will try to add or remove HTML tags as needed to
keep the code valid and working. However, it is possible to enter invalid codes or tags, and the Content Editor's
auto-correcting capabilities may not catch all instances and displayed results can be unpredictable.
Note: This feature is intended mainly for experienced web developers.
Editing CSS
Click the Edit CSS button (
displays.
) to edit the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) for the page. The Edit CSS pop-up
Note: This feature is intended mainly for experienced web developers.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
From the Edit CSS pop-up, using the tabs and individual settings, it is possible to customize nearly all of the
basic formatting defaults for the current Content Editor display. Each tab controls a different category of style
overrides.
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Text: Set the font face, size, style, weight, and aspects of text appearance.
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Background: Use a background color or image, and set how it is displayed.
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Block: Set formatting options at the paragraph level, including word and letter spacing, alignment,
indents, and so on.
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Box: Set defaults for drawn boxes.
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Border: Set the style, width, and color for all aspect of table and object borders.
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List: Set defaults for formatted lists.
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Position: Set the overall page positioning, placement, and clipping preferences.
When you are finished, click Apply or Update to make the changes, or Cancel to abort.
Using the Right-Click Contextual Menu
The right-click contextual menu provides access to some of the Content Editor's basic commonly-used
functions, and varies depending on the location of the cursor, the content near it, and whether or not text or
objects have been selected.
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Cut: Cut the selected text or object.
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Copy: Copy the selected text or object.
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Paste: Paste the most recently cut or copied text or object.
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Link: Visible only when text or an object has been selected, opens the Insert/edit link pop-up
display. For more information, see How to Use Links.
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Remove Link: Visible only when text or an object has been selected, removes any hyperlink. If
there are no links present in the selected item, this command does nothing.
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Image: Add or edit an image. For more details, see Adding Images.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
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Alignment: Opens a submenu, allowing you to align text to the left margin
, or both margins .
, center
, right margin
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Create Table: Open the Create/Modify Table pop-up display. For more details, see Working with
Tables and for a list of right-click contextual menu commands associated with tables only, see
Editing Tables.
Note: Cut, copy, and paste functions may not be available in all browsers.
Keyboard Shortcuts for the Content Editor
The Content Editor supports the keyboard shortcuts listed in the following table. Please note that Apple
computer users should use the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key (in the table, these are indicated by
"MAC:", and COMMAND is abbreviated as CMD).
Note: If the shortcut keys that move selected items one character left, right, up, or down are used, the object
being moved will be absolutely positioned. An absolutely positioned element is determined by pixels, so moving
it up once will move it up one pixel.
Keyboard Shortcut
Description
RIGHT ARROW
Move one character to the right.
LEFT ARROW
Move one character to the left.
DOWN ARROW
Move down one line.
UP ARROW
Move up one line.
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW
MAC: CMD+RIGHT ARROW
Move right one word.
CTRL+LEFT ARROW
MAC: CMD+LEFT ARROW
Move left one word.
END
Move to the end of the line.
HOME
Move to the start of the line.
CTRL+DOWN ARROW
MAC: CMD+DOWN ARROW
Move down one paragraph.
CTRL+UP ARROW
MAC: CMD+UP ARROW
Move up one paragraph.
PAGE DOWN
Move down one page.
PAGE UP
Move up one page.
CTRL+HOME
MAC: CMD+HOME
Move to the beginning of the text.
CTRL+END
MAC: CMD+END
Move to the end of the text.
Selection
SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
Extend the selection one character to the right.
SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
Extend the selection one character to the left.
CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT
ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+RIGHT
ARROW
Extend the selection right one word.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Keyboard Shortcut
Description
CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+LEFT
ARROW
Extend the selection left one word.
SHIFT+UP ARROW
Extend the selection up one line.
SHIFT+DOWN ARROW
Extend the selection down one line.
SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the end of the current line.
SHIFT+HOME
Extend the selection to the start of the current line.
SHIFT+PAGE DOWN
Extend the selection down one page.
SHIFT+PAGE UP
Extend the selection up one page.
CTRL+SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the end of the document.
CTRL+SHIFT+HOME
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+HOME
Extend the selection to the beginning of the document.
CTRL+A MAC: CMD+A
Select all elements in the document.
Editing
BACKSPACE
Delete the selection. Or, if there is no selection, delete the character to the left of the
mouse pointer.
CTRL+BACKSPACE
MAC: CMD+BACKSPACE
Delete all of a word to the left of the mouse pointer.
CTRL+C MAC: CMD+C
Copy the selection.
CTRL+V MAC: CMD+V
Paste cut contents or copied contents.
CTRL+X MAC: CMD+X
Cut the selection.
DELETE
Delete the selection.
INSERT
Toggle between inserting and overwriting text.
CTRL+Z
MAC: CMD+Z
Undo the most recent formatting command.
CTRL+Y
MAC: CMD+Y
Redo the most recent undone command.
CTRL+F
MAC: CMD+F
Find text.
SHIFT+F10
Display the context menu. This is the same as a right-click.
Formatting
CTRL+B
MAC: CMD+B
Select or clear bold formatting.
CTRL+I
MAC: CMD+I
Select or clear italic formatting.
CTRL+U
MAC: CMD+U
Select or clear underlining.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Online Teaching Strategies
Online Teaching Strategies
A large part of successful learner outcomes is figuring out the best teaching strategies for your subject matter
and students. Keeping students engaged and excited about learning is a combination of course design and
student management.
The following webinars are part of the Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS). BITS brings Blackboard
community experts to you, sharing their top strategies and pedagogy for increasing educator efficiency and
improving learning outcomes. These recordings vary from 10 to 60 minutes in length. Each webinar has a
technical follow-up session.
Strategies to Engage Students
With learner engagement at the forefront of developing and delivering an effective online course, this session
examines how course developers and instructors can teach students writing strategies while employing the
same strategies used when in developing a course. This hands-on writing course includes engaging techniques
that can be applied to numerous content areas with an emphasis on course objectives, expectations,
collaboration, and ongoing feedback.
Strategies to Engage Students (Windows Media Player Movie | 44m 28s | 102,412 KB)
Follow-Up to Strategies to Engage Students
This follow-up webinar demonstrates the technical how-to's of implementing the best practices presented in
Strategies to Engage Students.
Strategies to Engage Students (WebEx Webinar | 24m 27s | 28,228 KB)
Ten Ideas to Help Students be More Engaged in Online Classes
This webinar provides straightforward methods for helping your students become more engaged in your online
classroom. This session presents simple and effective ideas that can be introduced easily into an on-going
class.
Ten Ideas to Help Students be More Engaged in Online Classes (Windows Media Player Movie | 51m 02s | 135,977
KB)
Follow-up to Ten Ideas to Help Students be More Engaged in Online
Classes
This follow-up webinar demonstrates the technical how-to's of implementing the best practices presented in
Ten Ideas to Help Students be More Engaged in Online Classes.
Ten Ideas to Help Students be More Engaged in Online Classes (WebEx Webinar | 11m 02s | 20,743 KB)
Assessing Student Engagement for Continuous Course Improvement
Instructors and professors need to know whether students are engaged in a course. It is challenging to measure
the level of engagement as the course progresses and make continuous improvements. This session shares
broad strategies for monitoring and assessing engagement throughout your courses and provides some tips
and tricks to implement them.
Assessing Student Engagement for Continuous Course Improvement (Windows Media Player Movie | 45m 51s |
133,194 KB)
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Language Packs
Follow-up to Assessing Student Engagement for Continuous Course
Improvement
This follow-up webinar demonstrates the technical how-to's of implementing the best practices presented in
Assessing Student Engagement for Continuous Course Improvement.
Assessing Student Engagement for Continuous Course Improvement (WebEx Webinar | 13m 18s | 22,149 KB)
Efficient Collaboration and Team Building in the Distance Learning
Environment
To deepen student collaboration, instructors often employ group or team projects and activities. Facilitation and
management of group activities online can be time consuming. This session explores strategies for efficiently
promoting student collaboration and successfully building teams in the online environment.
Efficient Collaboration and Team Building in the Distance Learning Environment (Windows Media Player Movie |
43m 43s | 108,145 KB)
Follow-up to Efficient Collaboration and Team Building in the Distance
Learning Environment
This follow-up webinar demonstrates the technical how-to's of implementing the best practices presented in
Efficient Collaboration and Team Building in the Distance Learning Environment.
Efficient Collaboration and Team Building in the Distance Learning Environment (WebEx Webinar | 9m 06s | 8,469
KB)
Language Packs
Language packs present Blackboard Learn using language and cultural norms matched to different audiences.
Language pack preferences are defined at the system level, the course or organization level, and finally at the
user level.
At the system level, the Blackboard administrator defines one language pack as the system default. This is the
language pack that appears when no other language pack is specified at the course level or at the user level.
At the course level, instructors can set a language pack and enforce it. Enforcing a language pack means that
all users will view the language pack. For example, one possible reason to enforce a language pack's use is for
a course teaching that language. If the language pack is not enforced, and a user has a preferred language pack
associated with their account, the user’s language pack will override the course language pack.
At the user level, individuals may select their preferred language pack, unless a language pack choice has been
set to be enforced.
Note: The default names in the system are translated and appear differently in each language pack.
Customized names, such as changing the name of a tool, are not changed with the language pack. These
values stay the same through all language packs.
How to Set a Language Pack
1. On the Control Panel, click Customization and then click Properties.
2. Select a language pack from the Language Pack drop-down list.
3. Click Enforce Language Pack to always display this course in the selected language pack.
4. Click Submit.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Accessibility
If a language pack is not chosen for a course, the course will display in the user’s preferred language pack or, if
the user has not set a preferred language pack, the system default language pack.
Course Areas not Impacted by Language Pack Selections
For the most part, the Control Panel appears in the selected language pack of a course. It does not appear in
the language pack selected for the user. In a few places within a course, the page will display using the system
default or the user’s preferred language pack rather than the course language pack. The following pages will not
display in the selected course language pack:
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Control Panel > Course Information > Edit Item, Copy Item, Add Item, Delete Item
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Control Panel > Copy Files to Content Collection
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Control Panel > Discussion Board > Add Forum
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Control Panel > Announcements > Confirmation receipt
Related Tutorials
Changing the Course Language Pack (Flash movie | 1m 53s )
Accessibility
Blackboard® is committed to ensuring that the platform is usable and accessible. The code and user interface
design techniques are continually audited to ensure the application is usable by everyone, to the greatest extent
possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation.
Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility levels using two sets of standards: Section 508 of the
Rehabilitation Act issued from the United States federal government and the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Audits of our software releases are
conducted by a third party to ensure the accessibility of the products. For Blackboard Learn Release 9.1's
conformance with the accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act using the Voluntary
Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT®) tool, see the VPAT for Blackboard Learn Release 9.1.
To learn more about Blackboard’s commitment to accessibility, see http://www.blackboard.com/accessibility
and http://blog.blackboard.com/accessibility.
About the Structure of Blackboard Learn Pages
A logical heading structure was put in place to properly structure the page and allow users to navigate using
headings. Headings are used consistently throughout the application giving users the ability to quickly
understand the structure of any page in the application and move to the appropriate section of the page or
content item quickly and easily.
As is required, a single H1 is provided to identify the page the user is looking at. In Blackboard Learn, the page
title (example “Course Documents”) is always the H1.
H2 headings are used to delineate major sections of a page. These headings are generally hidden and allow
screen reader users to skip directly to each major page section. For example, there are two H2 headings on a
Course page: one for the Course Menu and one for the main content located immediately above the action bar
on the content page.
H3 headings are typically used as the title of content items or key content elements on a page. For example,
the title of an assignment on a “Course Documents” page is an H3 so the user can easily find it.
Note: In order to reduce the visual clutter on a page a number of elements are hidden until they receive either
mouse or keyboard focus. Once focus is given these elements become active and follow typical keyboard
interaction models.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Accessibility
About Keyboard Navigation
Industry standard keyboard interactions are used throughout Blackboard Learn to move between menus, open
menus and select items within a menu. Keyboard navigation patterns may differ between browsers (Internet
Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) but the interactions within any particular browser are common and
consistent.
Note: If you are using a Mac with Firefox or Safari and are having difficulty navigating using your keyboard you
may need to review and update your operating system and browser settings to ensure they are properly
configured for keyboard navigation. To learn more, see:
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Firefox setup
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Firefox keyboard navigation tips
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Mac general setup
About Keyboard Navigation for the Course Quick Setup Guide
The Quick Setup Guide wizard is an accordion object and uses the standard navigation. The wizard opens by
default when an instructor opens their course for the first time. You can also access it from the Control Panel
under Customize. Type Welcome in your browser’s Find tool and press ESC on your keyboard.
Note: If you are using a Mac with Firefox or Safari and are having difficulty navigating using your keyboard you
may need to review and update your operating system and browser settings to ensure they are properly
configured for keyboard navigation. To learn more, see:
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Firefox setup
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Firefox keyboard navigation tips
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Mac general setup
Navigating Within The Quick Setup Guide
Within the Quick Setup Guide press:
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UP and DOWN ARROW keys on your keyboard to move between the names of the sections in the
accordion.
SPACEBAR or ENTER on your keyboard to open a section. Once the section is open the focus will
still be on the heading, press TAB to navigate to the sub-list. The sub-list is coded as radio buttons
allowing you to use arrow keys to navigate between items. Stopping on the item selects it.
SPACEBAR on your keyboard to make an item active or inactive.
TAB on your keyboard to enter the open section of the accordion and change the options within the
section. Once you have reached the end of a section, clicking TAB again will take you to the title of
the next accordion section.
Navigating Within The Structures Step
Within the Structures step, a structure must be selected in order to use it. If no structure is selected, the
current structure is used.
Navigate to each structure to read about and preview it. To open the link to learn more about the course
structures:
1. Press TAB on your keyboard to open a list of links. Press SPACEBAR on your keyboard for a
description.
2. Press TAB again to proceed to the next link, the Help page.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Accessibility
3. Press TAB to proceed to sample content. This is the last link in the step.
4. Press TAB to return to the structures step.
Note: If you get out of the structures step, the current selected structure will open when you return to that step.
To select a structure to use, press the SPACEBAR on your keyboard to select it. Press the SPACEBAR again to
deselect the structure. Visually, this turns the Use this structure button on and off.
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Course Options > Setting Course Properties
Course Options
Setting Course Properties
Properties control the functional settings of a course.
How to Access Course Properties
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Properties.
Providing a Name and Description
You can change the name and description of a course. This name appears as displayed the course name
throughout Blackboard Learn. The description will appear in the Course Catalog.
Using Course Classification
These fields can be safely ignored. Course Classification is not part of or related to course categorization for
the Course Catalog. A default classification value is listed when each course is created. These fields were
used in previous versions of Blackboard Learn but exist now only to ensure backward compatibility with
Building Blocks or other plug-ins.
Setting Course Availability
You can set courses to be available or unavailable. If the course is available, all users participating in the
course will have access. If the course is unavailable, access is determined by course role. Instructors, Course
Builders, Teaching Assistants (TAs), and graders can see and access unavailable courses from My Courses
and the course list, but they are marked as unavailable. Students cannot access unavailable courses
regardless of the course duration. Unavailable courses do not appear in the Course Catalog.
Setting the Course Duration
Course duration defines the time in which students may interact with a course.
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Continuous: The course is always available.
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Select Dates: The course is available according to specific dates. Courses may have a start date,
but no end date. After the end date, courses are not available to students, but are otherwise
unchanged.
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Days from the Date of Enrollment: Use this option to place a time limit on courses calculated from
the date a student enrolls. This is the best option for self-paced courses.
Using Terms to Set Availability and Duration
If the Blackboard administrator at your school has associated a term with a course (for example, Spring 2012
Semester or Winter Session 2011), you can set a course to use these preset dates.
When a term is available for a course, additional options appear with Set Availability and Set Course
Duration.
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Course Options > Setting Course Properties
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Use Term Availability: The course is available during the term dates, but unavailable before and
after. The name of the term is listed.
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Use Term Duration: The course runs for the entire duration of the term, beginning on the first date of
the term and ending on the last. The actual dates are listed for the associated term.
Categorizing the Course
The Course Catalog lists the courses that are offered through the system and is made available to users by the
Blackboard administrator. The categories in the Course Catalog are also created and maintained by the
administrator. You can add your course to one or more categories. Courses added to a category are listed in the
Course Catalog under that category.
Select a catalog category and use the arrow buttons to move the category to the Selected Items box. More
than one category may be selected. Repeat the process to add another category. The course appears under the
selected categories. Invert Selection will highlight any categories that are not highlighted and unselect any
categories that are highlighted. This is a useful way to exclude one or two categories without having to click on
all the other categories.
Selecting a Language Pack
Language Packs change the language of buttons, titles, and other text supplied by the system. Language Pack
preferences are defined at the system, course, and user level.
At the system level, the Blackboard administrator defines one Language Pack as the system default. This is
the Language Pack that appears when no other Language Pack is specified at the course level or at the user
level.
At the course level, you can set a Language Pack that is different from the default to make all users in the
course view the same Language Pack. For example, one reason to enforce a specific Language Pack is in a
course designed to teach that language immersively.
If the Language Pack is not enforced, users can set a preferred Language Pack that is different from the course
Language Pack by changing the setting in Tools > Personal Information > Set Language Pack. Enforcing
the Language Pack overrides individual users' language choices.
Note: Customized names for Content Areas and tools are not changed with the Language Pack. These values
stay the same through all Language Packs. The default names in the system are translated and appear
differently in each Language Pack.
To learn more, see Language Packs.
Setting Course Files Options
The course files properties are available only if your school licenses Content Management.
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Course Files Default Directory: Type or browse for the directory to contain the course files for this
course. This is the default location where files are saved for the course and does not conflict with the
Content Collection Home Page setting.
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Display: Each item in the Content Collection has a contextual menu that provides access to the
available actions. When working in the course files area on the Control Panel, the selected option
configures the menu to display all of the Content Collection options that are available when working
on the Content Collection tab or only the course-specific options.
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Course Options > Setting Course Style Options
Setting Course Style Options
Style options control the appearance, theme, Course Menu style and layout, content appearance, course entry
point, and the banner image for a course. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select
Teaching Style to access course style options.
Selecting a Course Structure
Course structures contain course areas, optional content examples, and instructions to help you design your
course. Select a structure to view its description and preview of what its menu looks like when added to a
course. You can opt to include content examples when adding a course structure to your course.
A selected course structure's content is added to your course and does not replace existing Course Menu
items and content. You can edit and delete course structure content in the same way as other created or
imported content. Before you begin, export or archive your course to ensure you have an original version before
adding a course structure, or request an empty course for experimenting with course structures.
To select a course structure:
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Teaching Style.
2. On the Teaching Style page, in the Select Course Structure section, the left column displays all
course structures in a scrollable list. Select different course structures to browse their descriptions
and Course Menus. In the preview, you can click a Course Menu link to learn the purpose of that
item in the course structure.
Note: If the Select Course Structure section is not visible, the Blackboard administrator at your
school has disabled it.
3. Decide on a course structure and click Use This Structure to select it. Your selected course
structure is indicated by a green check mark at the top of the course structure selection tool.
To revert, click Existing Menu in the course structures' list and click Use This Structure. No
changes are made to your course if Existing Menu is selected.
4. After selecting a course structure, the Include content examples check box is revealed. Select it
to add content items and instructions as well as the course structure's menu links. If you do not
include content examples, only menu links are added to your course.
5. Click Submit to add the course structure content to your course. Click Cancel to exit without
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Course Options > Setting Course Style Options
adding a course structure.
Including content examples populates the course structure with content items appropriate for the course
structure type. The content examples are intended to be guidelines for creating your own content. The sample
content is unavailable so that students cannot view it. If you decide to use the content examples, edit them to
fit your course and make the items available to users.
For more information on the different course structures, see Using Course Structures.
Selecting the Course Entry Point
The Course Entry Point is the first area displayed to users upon entering a course. The default course entry
point is the Home Page and contains modules that alert students to activity in the course. You can change the
entry point by selecting an available area from the drop-down list. Available entry points are all the areas
appearing on the Course Menu.
Changing the entry point takes effect immediately for users who log in to the system after the change. Users
who are in the system when the change takes place will see the new entry point the next time they log in again.
Applying Themes
If your school uses the Bb Learn 2012 system theme, you can select a course theme from this page. Course
themes add a background image to the course display and change the color of the menu, buttons, controls, and
so on. Use the scrollable list to select the appropriate course theme from the thumbnail sample images. It is
possible to change the theme again at any time. Themes do not affect course content or a chosen course
structure.
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Course Options > Setting Course Style Options
Note: Themes are available only if your Blackboard administrator has enabled them. If themes are not
available, the course themes icon does not appear.
Alternatively, you can change course themes from anywhere in your course using the Change Course Theme
function. Point to the (
) icon to view a drop-down list showing all the available course themes, and click one
to select it. Scroll through the theme preview box and select a theme.
The course theme changes immediately to the new choice. To change the theme, select another.
Selecting the Menu Style
This setting determines whether the Course Menu appears as plain text with a colored background or as
graphical buttons with text on them. When choosing menu colors, select colors for the background and text that
display a high level of contrast to ensure readability and accessibility.
As you make choices in the Select Menu Style section, the Preview sample menu shows what the settings
will look like once submitted.
Select Text and choose the background color and text color by clicking the Action Link to access the color
swatches. A large palette of preset colors is available, or you can provide a hexadecimal color value. Select a
color and click Apply.
Select Buttons and expand the Button Library to choose from the following options:
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Button Type: From the drop-down list, select Pattern, Solid, or Striped.
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Button Shape: From the drop-down list, select Rounded Corners, Rectangular, or Rounded
Ends.
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Button Color: Optionally, to narrow the available choices, type a color or button name and click
Search.
As each option is selected, the buttons shown in the Button Library change to reflect the current choices.
Click a button in the library to select it.
Setting the Course Menu Display Option
In the Course Menu Display section, two menu layouts are available: Folder View and List View. You can
set the default menu view and allow users to access one or both views, meaning users can switch between
them.
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Folder View displays course materials as a directory tree. You can expand the view to show the
hierarchy of course navigation.
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List View displays the top level of course materials. You can choose to display links as buttons or
text.
Setting the Default Content View
The Default Content View setting determines how content items appear in folders when users access the
course for the first time.
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Icon Only displays content items as titled icons with no descriptions.
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Text Only displays content items as titles with short text descriptions only.
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Icon and Text, the default option, displays titled icons with descriptions.
Changing the default content view affects only new Content Areas. To change all existing pages as well, select
the check box to Apply this view to all existing content.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Selecting a Banner
You can add a banner image to appear at the top of the course entry point. The banner image is automatically
centered.
Use Browse My Computer to locate an image file on your computer. You cannot use images stored in
Content Collection or Course Files; however, a copy is stored there with each new upload. If you delete the
image from the course entry page, the image file remains in the course storage repository.
A recommended size for banners is approximately 480 by 80 pixels. When selecting a banner image, keep in
mind that users can resize their browser windows, expand and collapse the Course Menu, and use monitors of
varying sizes and screen resolutions. After uploading a banner, view it under those varying conditions to ensure
that it appears as intended.
Course Structures
Using Course Structures
Build Your Course: 1, 2, 3...GO!
Even if you are new to online instruction, course structures enable you to create a course in a short amount of
time. Use a course structure's Course Menu links, instructions, and content examples to jump-start your
course organization and create a meaningful learning experience for students.
After completing three basic steps, your course will be ready for students.
Step 1: Select a Course Structure
Before you begin, you can export or archive your course before adding a course structure to ensure you have an
original version. To learn more, see Exporting and Archiving Courses.
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Course Options > Course Structures
IMPORTANT! A selected course structure's content is added to your course and does not replace
existing menu items and content. You can delete unnecessary items.
Select a course structure on the Teaching Style page.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Teaching Style.
2. On the Teaching Style page, in the Select Course Structure section, the left column displays all
course structures in a scrollable list. Select different course structures to browse their descriptions
and preview their Course Menus. In the preview, you can click a Course Menu link to learn the
purpose of that item in the course structure.
Note: If the Select Course Structure section is not visible, the Blackboard administrator at your
school has disabled it.
3. Decide on a course structure and click Use This Structure to select it. Your selected course
structure is indicated by a green check mark at the top of the course structure selection tool.
To revert, click Existing Menu in the course structures' list and click Use This Structure. No
changes are made to your course if Existing Menu is selected.
4. After selecting a course structure, the Include content examples check box is revealed. Select it
to add content items and instructions as well as the course structure's menu links. If you do not
include content examples, only menu links are added to your course.
5. Click Submit to import the course structure and optional content examples to your course. Click
Cancel to exit without making changes to your course.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Alternatively, select a course structure in the pop-up Quick Setup Guide. If your Blackboard administrator has
enabled it, the pop-up window appears each time you enter your course until you disable it at the bottom of the
window. Or, you can access the pop-up window using the following steps.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Quick Setup Guide.
2. Expand the Choose a Course Structure section. The left column displays all course structures in
a scrollable list. Select different course structures to browse their descriptions and preview their
Course Menus. In the preview, you can click a Course Menu link to learn the purpose of that item in
the course structure.
Note: If the Choose a Course Structure section is not visible, the Blackboard administrator at
your school has disabled it.
3. Decide on a course structure and click Use This Structure to select it. Your selected course
structure is indicated by a green check mark at the top of the course structure selection tool.
To revert, click Existing Menu in the course structures list and click Use This Structure. No
changes are made to your course if Existing Menu is selected.
4. After selecting a course structure, the Include content examples check box is revealed. Select it
to add content items and instructions as well as the course structure's menu links. If you do not
include content examples, only menu links are added to your course.
5. Click Apply Changes to import the course structure and optional content examples to your
course. Click Cancel to exit without making changes to your course.
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Course Options > Course Structures
If you browse and select a different course structure from the list after clicking Use this Structure and opt to
Include content example, the Include content examples for phrase does not update until a new course
structure is applied.
Tip: Add only one structure to a course. Adding more than one course structure in the same course can result
in duplicate menu items and content. To prevent this, create or request an empty course to experiment with
additional course structures.
For detailed descriptions of each course structure, see Selecting a Course Structure.
Step 2: Include Content Examples -OR- Start Fresh
Including a course structure's content examples populates your course with items appropriate to the course
structure type. The content examples are intended to be edited for your own use and are designed to inspire
both experienced and novice Blackboard Learn instructors.
Include
Sample
Content? Content Included
Yes
If you decide to include content examples, your course will contain:
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Pedagogical information
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Step-by-step instructions
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Teaching tips
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Links to video tutorials and Blackboard Help topics
Course material: content items, tools, assignments, tests, surveys, announcements, Web
Links, and Mashups
Content examples are unavailable to students and have a distinct visual style that is removed
automatically when an item is made available. For most course structures, the topic of oceanography is
used for the sample items to demonstrate how items and tools can be used with your teaching method.
You have the option to edit these items and make them available so students can view them -OR- delete
them and create new items.
l
Users who are familiar with Blackboard Learn can include content examples to see samples of course
material and explore new tools and features.
Note: When you add a course structure to your course, a folder named "sample_content" is added to
your course's storage repository: Course Files or the Content Collection. The folder contains the files
used in the course structure's examples. If you already have folders in Course Files or the Content
Collection, the "sample_content" folder appears in an "ImportedContent" folder. If you add multiple
course structures to the same course, additional "ImportedContent" folders appear.
No
If you have experience using the features in Blackboard Learn and are comfortable building different
types of material in your course, you can exclude content examples.
If you do not include content examples, the course structure's Course Menu links are added, but provide
empty areas where you can create content.
If you want to include the course structure's content examples, select the Include content examples check
box. If you have content in your course, the course structure's content appears also.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Step 3: Create Content
After selecting a course structure, you can customize your course. The following checklist provides the
essential tasks for preparing your course for students.
Change Edit Mode to ON to reveal editing features.
Organize the Course Menu
You can rename, reorder, delete, hide, and add Course Menu links as needed. Deleting a Content Area link
from the Course Menu is a quick way to delete an entire area as well as the items within it. However, the
Content Area and all items within it are permanently deleted. This action is final. If you are unsure, hide the
Content Area instead.
If a tool link on the Course Menu does not work, the tool is not enabled. You can delete the link or ask the
Blackboard administrator at your school to enable it.
If you did not include content examples, the course structure's Course Menu links provide empty areas
where you can create content.
To learn more, see The Course Menu.
Create Content Items, Tool Links, and Files
After your Course Menu is organized, you can upload files from your computer, edit existing content, and
create new content and tool links. Using a wide variety of content types and tools provides a rich,
interactive learning experience for your students.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Edit, Move, Copy, and Delete Content
When you add a course structure with content examples to your existing course, the content examples
appear in addition to the existing content and are unavailable to students. You can edit, move, copy, or
delete any of the content.
As you are building your course, if you are still developing some content or do not want students to see it,
make it unavailable.
To learn more, see Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
Preview Your Course as a Student
Be sure to preview your content as a student. In the upper right of your course, change Edit Mode to OFF
to see the student view.
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Course Options > Course Structures
If you include a link to a tool in a Content Area, the tool’s content must be made available before students
can access it.
Note: If an item is visible that you do not want students to see, change Edit Mode to ON and make the
item unavailable or delete it.
If possible, log in as a mock student so you can experience the course exactly as a student does. Work
through your course content and activities, and try out the tools. You may find something is not functioning
as you want, helping you resolve issues before students encounter them.
Visit the On Demand Learning Center for short video tutorials about creating course areas, tools, and content.
Selecting a Course Structure
Course structures are predefined course materials such as Course Menu links, instructions, and content
examples that you can add to your course to begin the design process quickly.
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A selected course structure’s content is added to your course and does not replace existing menu
items and content in your course.
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A selected course structure's links appear at the top of your Course Menu.
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You can edit or delete course structure content in the same way as other created or imported content.
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The optional content examples are guidelines for creating your own course material. This content is
set to unavailable so that students cannot view it.
You can export or archive your course before adding a course structure to ensure you have an original version.
To learn more, see Exporting and Archiving Courses.
IMPORTANT! Adding a course structure does not replace existing Course Menu items and content. The
course structure's content is added to the existing content and Course Menu in your course, and you can
delete what is not needed.
You can use any theory or model for teaching in Blackboard Learn because it is open, flexible, and centered on
enhancing student achievement. Blackboard offers five categories of course structures you can use as a
launching pad to create your course, organize content, share knowledge, and build communities.
Select a course structure from the list to learn more about the pedagogy, tools, and content types used to meet
its teaching goals.
Focus on Activity
Focus on
Communication
Focus on
Content
Focus on Systems
Focus on
Time
Activity
Cooperative Learning
By Chapter
ANGEL
Daily
Case Study
Guided Discussion
By Lecture
Blackboard Classic
Weekly
Conference Session
Social Learning
By Lesson
Constructivism
Web 2.0
By Module
Blackboard Learn Default
Expedition-Based
By Subject
CourseInfo
Experiential
Learning
By Topic
eCollegial
By Unit
Open Source 1
Lab Format
Science-Focused
Open Source 2
Project Format
Traditional
WebCT 1
WebCT 2
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Course Options > Course Structures
Course Structure: Activity
In activity-based courses, students are actively engaged in hands-on activities, experiments, and problemsolving. Students are encouraged to search for answers and solutions independently, putting principles into
action. You can also include opportunities to do research, public service, volunteer work, field study, and
internships.
Promote online interaction with the Conversations discussion forums to help students reflect upon their
experiences and connect with classmates. If students are engaged in independent activities, you can use Live
Chat for meetings.
This course structure works well for subjects that connect theory and practice, such as anthropology, Earth
sciences, language immersion, government, and social sciences.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Activity course structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Activities
Activities is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easyto-navigate and familiar environment, you can add folders for each activity. Include similar content,
such as links to articles on relevant research or practices, activity permission slips and forms, class
work and homework instructions, and activity assignments.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Conversations Use the Conversations discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly
questions related to the activities, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to
each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess
students' participation and knowledge. After each activity, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation. What is the critical message of this activity? What would you do in this particular
situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Live Chat
Use the text-based Live Chat for additional class meetings, question-and-answer sessions, realtime interaction in asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. As thought-provoking questions
arise in the discussion forums, schedule chat sessions so students can continue the conversations
live.
To learn more, see Chat.
Stay on Track
The customizable Stay on Track Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's
New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Tips and
Resources
In the Tips and Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students
can learn more. Help students expand on the information presented in the activities by directing
them to recommended reading, such as books or articles on research and theory, and links to
websites of companies or organizations using those techniques. Students can also use these
resources to find topics for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Game Plan
In the Game Plan Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a list of scheduled activities,
textbook information, options for volunteer or practicum placements, and important dates. If chat
sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor Info
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating
in your course in Instructor Info. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Course Structure: ANGEL
If you are familiar with the ANGEL Learning environment, this course structure provides a similar menu.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using the Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the ANGEL course structure.
Content
Type
Home
Description
The customizable Home Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
About This
Course
In the About This Course Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Calendar
Create events on the course calendar to mark due dates or reminders to help students plan their
work and meet deadlines.
To learn more, see Course Calendar.
Lessons
Lessons is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easy-tonavigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lesson or chapter. Include similar
content items, such as readings, instructions, assignments, and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Resources
Description
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the lessons presented by directing them to specific web articles and
recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find ideas for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Discussions You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions related
to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's
questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students' participation
and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What is the
critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular situation? How would you
approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
What's New
Alerts in the What's New and To Do modules help students plan their work.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Tasks
Create course tasks to help students stay on track on long-term projects or give them additional
reminders. Students can also create personal tasks.
To learn more, see Tasks.
More Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Student
User Guide
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Instructor
Alerts
Visible only to instructors, the Alerts and Needs Attention modules notify you of student progress.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Blackboard Classic
If you are familiar with the Blackboard Learning System environment (Release 8.0 or earlier), this course
structure provides a similar menu.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Blackboard Classic course
structure.
Content Type
Description
Announcements Keep students on track with regular announcements. You can link to specific items such as a test
or assignment, give students reminders, or let them know about new or revised course material.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
Course
Information
In the Course Information Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout
the semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information,
and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Course
Documents
Course Documents is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students
with an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lesson or
chapter. Include similar content, such as readings, instructions, and your lectures.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Assignments
Store assignments in a single Content Area for students to access and submit. To provide
students with feedback before assigning final grades, you can allow more than one attempt on
an individual assignment. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make
individual assignments unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see Creating and Editing Assignments.
External Links
In the External Links Content Area, share relevant links to websites to offer students resources
to learn more and provide ideas for research projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Discussion
Board
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions
related to course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each
other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students'
participation and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation.
What is the critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular situation? How
would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Blackboard Learn - Default
This course structure provides the basic Course Menu links that are included in a Blackboard Learn (Release
9.0 and later) default course.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Blackboard Learn - Default
course structure.
Content Type
Description
Homepage
The customizable Homepage includes modules providing students with a single
place to go for an overview of current course information. This Module Page
includes Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Information
In the Information Content Area, provide materials that students can access
throughout the semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading
policies, textbook information, and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Content
Content is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your
students with an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create
folders for each lesson or chapter. Include similar content, such as readings,
instructions, assignments, and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Resources
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested
students can learn more. Help students expand on the lessons presented by
directing them to specific web articles and recommended reading. Students can
also use these resources to find ideas for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Discussions
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing
weekly questions related to course topics, and for informal interactions, where
students ask and respond to each other's questions. You can create gradable
discussion forums and threads to assess students' participation and knowledge.
After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What is the
critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular situation?
How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Groups
Create private, collaborative workspaces in Groups for smaller sections of
students to build knowledge together. For example, each group can research a
theory and then show the rest of the course members how to apply it across
situations. You can change the composition and size of groups for new projects
throughout the term.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add
commonly used course tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of
additional assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Case Study
Use the case study approach to engage students in critical thinking for real-world situations. As facilitator,
guide students as they turn basic knowledge into principles that can be applied across cases. By placing them
in real situations, and requiring them to make decisions, students learn to connect their knowledge of facts with
the need for analytical skills.
Course Menu items such as Brainstorm discussion forums, Apply the Theory wiki, and Blog About It
reflect the importance of both group and individual work in a case study course.
This course structure works well for classes that make use of practical examples to expose students to
relevant issues, such as ecology, public policy, engineering, economics, social science, and law classes.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Case Study course structure.
Content
Type
Case
Studies
Description
Cases Studies is your central instructor-designed Content Area. Use it to prepare your students for
the in-depth study of the cases ahead. Create folders divided by case or topic and include all related
materials, such as instructions, readings, lectures, and assignments. Provide students with clear
guidelines for what their responsibilities are when discussing a case study in class. Set some ground
rules for participation and communicate the specific goals you want them to accomplish.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Brainstorm In the Brainstorm discussion forums, you can create formal assignments, such as posing weekly
questions related to each case study, and informal interactions, where students ask and respond to
each other's questions. In each forum, you can model skills of questioning and help students exercise
their skills of debate. Good discussion is generated by the types of questions that you ask and
ensures that students are considering all angles of a case study.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Apply the
Theory
Apply the Theory links to your course's wiki where students can share and collaborate on content. As
they create and edit pages together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve
problems in a team environment. As students identify the core issue and suggest solutions, they
become actively involved in the analysis. If roadblocks or too much consensus occur, you can assign
students roles in the case, and they can take on new perspectives as they continue to contribute.
To learn more, see Wikis.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Blog About
It
Description
In their Blog About It entries, students can test theories and receive feedback from you and their
classmates. Help students develop their theories further by offering encouragement, more
background information, and supplementary resources. Direct students toward ideas they may have
missed because of their previous interests and knowledge. Optionally, enable grading to assess
students' overall contributions to the case study.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
References In the References Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Because many case studies can spark debate, help students discover the material they can
use to develop their theories by providing rich sources. Students can also use these resources to find
topics for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Agenda
The customizable Agenda Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Course
Overview
In the Course Overview Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My
Instructor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in My Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, wiki contributions, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: By Chapter
This course structure organizes your course by chapters in the required textbook and works well for subjects,
such as medicine, language, or mathematics. Encourage questions, interactivity, and reflection with the
Discuss forums, Chat, and Blogs.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the By Chapter course structure.
Content
Type
Chapters
Description
Chapters is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easy-tonavigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lesson or chapter. Include similar
content, such as links to articles and readings, instructions for class work and homework, your
lectures, and the chapter's tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Organizer
The customizable Organizer Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an overview
of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My
Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Discuss
Use the Discuss forums to post discussion questions related to each chapter's readings and class
work. Require student participation and encourage conversation by making the discussions graded.
You can also use discussions for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each
other's questions.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Blogs
Description
Assign a blog entry for each chapter so students have a space to think through aspects of the topic
they find interesting or challenging. You can require students to write on a specific topic or allow them
to react freely. Students can extend classroom conversations by commenting on each other's Blog
entries.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Chat
Use the live, text-based Chat area for additional class meetings, question-and-answer sessions, realtime interaction in asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. As thought-provoking questions
arise in the discussion forums, schedule chat sessions so students can continue the conversations
live.
To learn more, see Chat.
Resources In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented in your lectures by directing them to specific
web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for
projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Glossary
Use the Glossary tool to build or upload a list of commonly-used course terminology for students to
refer to. As needed, you can add terms to the list for each chapter.
To learn more, see Glossary.
Syllabus
In the Syllabus Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, chapter outlines, textbook information,
and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their
schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Conference Session
Designed as a collaborative web environment for you and your co-presenters to plan and build session material,
this course structure serves as an interactive community for participants before, during, and after the
conference.
You can make areas such as Session Plans available only to the presenters, and allow participants to view
the Research or Resources & Links areas.
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Course Options > Course Structures
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Conference Session course
structure.
Content Type
Description
Announcements With Announcements as the course entry point, participants will see news upon entering the
course. You can provide session reminders and changes to the schedule to help keep everyone
on track.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
Session
Information
In the Session Information Content Area, include basic information such as the date, time, and
location of the session, and a program description.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My Presenter
List presenters' biographies and contact information in My Presenter so participants can learn
more about each presenter or contact them with questions.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Session
Materials
Post content in Session Materials for participants to access and download. You can make
readings and handouts available prior to the session, and follow up after by uploading the
presenter's slideshow or video recordings of the session.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Resources &
Links
In the Resources & Links Content Area, you can share additional material such as relevant web
articles and a research bibliography.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Participation
In the Participation Content Area, participants can share thoughts and ask questions in the
discussion forums and blogs. Create a lively discussion on your session's topic by posing
questions and responding to participants' ideas.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area, About the Discussion Board, and About
Blogs.
Research
Visible only to presenters, you can use the Research Content Area to share files and links
during the session research and planning process.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Session Plans
Plan your session by collaborating in Session Plans, visible only to presenters. You can
exchange versions of the slideshow or script, generate ideas for discussion topics or blog
entries, and distribute responsibilities among presenters.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Tools
Give participants access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used
course tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Constructivism
In a constructivist course, students are actively involved in the learning process as you facilitate by asking
questions and proposing ideas. As they are challenged to blend their own experiences with new ideas, they
create more complex and critical theories.
Students can collaborate in Groups, the Share blog, and the Knowledge Base wiki. The journal in Reflect
allows students to process their knowledge individually.
This course structure works well for courses with experiments, research projects, and field trips as central
parts of the curriculum.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Constructivism course
structure.
Content
Type
Learning
Hub
Description
The Learning Hub is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an
easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each topic. Include similar
content, such as readings, movies, and assignments. These materials prepare students to
demonstrate synthesis of their existing knowledge with new concepts in their blogs, wiki pages, and
groups.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Weekly
Planner
The customizable Weekly Planner Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Knowledge In the Knowledge Base course wiki, student create course content by adding resources, definitions,
Base
images, and links to multimedia on topics that you propose. As students create and edit pages
together, the wiki tracks changes and additions so you can observe each student's contribution as well
as the final product.
To learn more, see Wikis.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Share
Description
In the Share blog, offer starter questions or scenarios to prompt students to share unique perspectives
in their entries. Peer commenting further challenges and develops the learners' ideas.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Reflect
In the Reflect journal, students write about learning experiences and track their expansion of
knowledge across time. Journals are visible only to you and the individual.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Chat
Use the live, text-based Chat area for additional class meetings, question-and-answer sessions, realtime interaction in asynchronous courses, virtual office hours, and student project planning time. As
thought-provoking questions arise in the discussion forums, schedule chat sessions so students can
continue the conversations live.
To learn more, see Chat.
Groups
Create private, collaborative workspaces in Groups for smaller sections of students to build
knowledge together. For example, each group can research a theory and then show the rest of the
course members how to apply it across situations. You can change the composition and size of
groups for new projects throughout the term.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
Course
Overview
In the Course Overview Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their
schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My Coach
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in My Coach. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning arranges course activities around small group interaction. Each member of the group is
equally responsible for the success of the group, and is individually accountable for his or her participation.
Groups can vary in size and composition, depending on the learning goal. You can rearrange the groups'
membership as needed during the duration of your course.
You can use the Learning Activities area to introduce topics and activities, and then student groups conduct
research and work together to produce a product to present to the class.
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Course Options > Course Structures
The Teams spaces and Our Wiki allow you to monitor the progress of the groups and the class as a whole.
The My Reflections journal is a space where students can communicate with you individually as they manage
their participation in the groups.
This course structure works well for any curriculum centered around group work, such as theater, vocational
programs, or social studies.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Cooperative Learning course
structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Learning
Activities
Description
Learning Activities is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with
an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each activity. Include similar
content, such as the schedule for class work and homework, links to articles and readings, and each
group's roster and instructions.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Resources In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented in the activities by directing them to specific
web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for
projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Our Wiki
Students use wikis to share and collaborate on content. Our Wiki is available to the entire course, and
you can give each group a private wiki in the Teams area. Ask students to contribute individually to
the course wiki, creating pages such as chapter reviews and compilations of activity resources.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Idea Share
Assign a blog entry for each activity in Idea Share to give students an opportunity to share their
thoughts. Making the blogs graded and requiring students to comment on each other's entries
encourages a class-wide conversation about each activity.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
My
Journal entries are visible only to you and the student, allowing them to reflect on their experiences
Reflections independently. During each group-based learning activity, ask students to talk about how their group
is performing in My Reflections. This will give you insight into which groups need assistance dividing
work effectively.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Chat
Use the live, text-based Chat area for additional class meetings, question-and-answer sessions, realtime interaction in asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. As thought-provoking questions
arise in the discussion forums or blogs, schedule chat sessions so students can continue the
conversations live. You can also allow groups to chat privately in the Teams area so they can plan
their project work together.
To learn more, see Chat.
Teams
Create private, collaborative workspaces in Teams for smaller sections of students to build
knowledge together. To encourage students to take on different group roles, change the composition
and size of groups for each learning activity, and vary the tools available to the group depending on
each project's goals.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
What's
New
The customizable What's New Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New,
and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Course
Info
In the Course Info Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a schedule of activities, textbook
information, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can
adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
My Coach
Description
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in My Coach. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, blog entries, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: CourseInfo
If you are familiar with the Blackboard CourseInfo learning environment, this course structure provides a similar
menu.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the CourseInfo course structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Announcements Keep students on track with regular announcements. You can link to specific items, such as a
test or assignment, give students reminders, or let them know about new or revised course
material.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
Course
Information
In the Course Information Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout
the semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information,
and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Course
Documents
Course Documents is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students
with an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lesson or
chapter. Include similar content, such as readings, instructions, and your lectures.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Assignments
Store assignments in a single Content Area for students to access and submit. To provide
students with feedback before assigning final grades, you can allow more than one attempt on
an individual assignment. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make
individual assignments unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see Creating and Editing Assignments.
External Links
In the External Links Content Area, share relevant links to websites to offer students resources
to learn more and provide ideas for research projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Discussion
Board
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions
related to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to
each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess
students' participation and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation. What is the critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular
situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Daily
You can use the daily course structure for short, intense class terms or when a segment of material needs to be
presented or learned in a defined time period.
In the Daily Work Content Area, add folders for each day. Content in each of the folders should follow a
consistent layout for easy navigation, with similar content items, activities, and tools. This uniformity helps
students adhere to the schedule.
When students need to complete work on a daily basis, communication is vital. Students can use the Log It
journals to reflect on the daily course content and communicate privately with you. Use the Discuss forums to
encourage conversation among students and the announcements in Today's Buzz to communicate daily
reminders and give encouragement.
This course structure works well for intensive training sessions and shortened summer or winter terms.
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Course Options > Course Structures
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Daily course structure.
Content
Type
Today's
Buzz
Description
Keep students on track in a daily course with regular announcements. You can link to specific items,
such as a test or assignment, give students reminders, or let them know about new or revised course
material. Using Today's Buzz as the course entry point ensures students will see announcements
when they enter the course.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
Daily Work
Daily Work is your central instructor-designed Content Area. Create a folder for each day of the
course, including materials such as a schedule for class and homework, readings, activity instructions,
assignments, and tests. Provide students with a familiar layout so they can find information easily and
know exactly how to proceed for each new set of material.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Discuss
Pose questions about each day's topic in the Discuss forums to extend class conversations.
Encourage student participation by grading the forums and responding to individual posts. Students
can also use discussions as a space to ask and respond to each other's questions.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Log It
Description
Log It journals are an excellent place to communicate with and get to know students individually in a
fast-paced daily course. Journal entries are visible only to you and the student, allowing them to reflect
on their experiences privately, receive feedback before submitting graded work, or ask questions.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Email
Communicate urgent information to individual users or groups of users through course Email. Use
announcements and email to let students know about unexpected changes in the schedule or to offer
clarification on high-priority assignments.
To learn more, see Email.
Meet
Use the live, text-based chat feature in Meet for additional class meetings, question-and-answer
sessions, real-time interaction in asynchronous courses, virtual office hours, and student project
planning time. As thought-provoking questions arise in the discussion forums, schedule chat sessions
so students can continue the conversations live.
To learn more, see Chat.
Startup
In the Startup Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, course outline, and
important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their
schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Updates
The customizable Updates Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an overview
of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My
Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Resources In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented by directing them to specific web articles
and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for projects or
papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: eCollegial
If you are familiar with the Pearson eCollege® course management system, this course structure provides a
similar menu. eCollege is a registered trademark of Pearson.
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Course Options > Course Structures
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the eCollegial course structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type Description
Course
Home
The customizable Course Home Module Page provides students with an overview of current
course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Syllabus
In the Syllabus Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, course outline,
and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating
in your course in Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
In each weekly Content Area, create folders for your course materials, such as readings,
instructions, assignments, and tests. Provide students with a familiar layout so they can find
information easily and know exactly how to proceed for each week. To simplify the Course Menu,
you can hide Content Areas that students do not need immediately so they can focus on the current
week.
Course
Checklist
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Webliography In the Webliography Content Area, share relevant links to websites to offer students resources to
learn more and provide ideas for research projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Discussions
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions related
to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's
questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students' participation
and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What is the
critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular situation? How would you
approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Additional
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Course Structure: Expedition-Based
Expeditionary learning gives your students active, exploratory experiences with your curriculum. Activities you
design for each topic, such as fieldwork, field trips, web quests, or interviews, are the basis for students' work.
The Expedition-Based course structure integrates the instructor-designed areas, such as Explorations and
Trip Resources, with student-centered areas, such as Base Camp, Storytelling, and My Trip Journal.
This course structure works well for classes in outdoor and wilderness education, practicums, hands-on and
observational sciences such as botany and ornithology, and community-focused courses that require a number
of trips and interactions outside the classroom.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Expedition-Based course
structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Description
Explorations Explorations is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an
easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each chapter or topic. Include
all materials for the learning expedition, such as instructions, locations, websites, readings,
assignments, and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My Trip
Journal
In My Trip Journal, entries are visible only to you and the student. You can pose thought-provoking
questions or allow students to freely reflect on their field experiences and online interactions. With
regular entries, students can see the evolution of their learning over time.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Stay on
Track
The customizable Stay on Track Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Storytelling
The Storytelling wiki enables students to share and build content, such as summaries of field trips or
interviews, and highlighting the concepts learned during participation. As students create and edit
pages together, the wiki tracks changes and additions so you can observe each student's
contribution as well as the final product.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Base Camp
Use the Base Camp discussion forums for required assignments, such as developing interview
questions for a guest expert, and for informal interactions, such as debriefing after field trips or web
quests.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Fireside
Chat
Use the live, text-based Fireside Chat area for virtual office hours, student project planning, or
interviews with experts in the field.
To learn more, see Chat.
Trip
Resources
In the Trip Resources Content Area, include field trip maps, permission forms, recommended
reading, optional documents, and relevant web articles so that interested students can learn more or
find topics for projects.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Roadmap
In the Roadmap Content Area, provide a course plan that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus, planned expeditions, supplies needed for fieldwork, grading policies,
textbook information, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so
students can adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Leader
Information
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Leader Information. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Course Structure: Experiential Learning
Centered on the concept that knowledge is created through concrete experiences, hands-on learning
opportunities for students are at the core of an experiential course. Events are followed by reflection to develop
applicable knowledge and theories for future action.
The type of experiences provided depend on the subject area and course requirements, but can include workstudy programs, laboratory experiments, role-playing simulations, and problem-solving activities.
You can share instructions or information about each experience through the Action Plans Content Area and
monitor group and individual progress through Our Blogs, the My Reactions journal, and the Round Table
discussion forums.
This course structure works well for courses with hands-on requirements such as zoology and veterinary
science, physical education, drivers' training, social work, and education practicums.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Experiential Learning course
structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Action
Plans
Description
Action Plans is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easyto-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each activity. Include similar content,
such as links to articles or websites, forms, activity instructions, assignments, and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Collaborate Students use the Collaborate wiki to create and edit content as a group. The class can use the wiki to
create lists of resources while planning an activity, build a glossary of course terms, design solutions
for problem and projects, or record the results of an experiment or observation. The wiki tracks
changes and additions so you can observe each student's contribution as well as the final product.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Round
Table
You can use the Round Table discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly
questions related to the activities, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to
each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students'
participation and knowledge. After each activity or project, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation. What is the critical message of this activity? What would you do in this particular
situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Our Blogs
In Our Blogs, students can share their thoughts with each other by writing blog entries about each
activity or experience. Making the blogs graded and requiring students to comment on each other's
entries encourages a class-wide conversation about each activity.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
My
Reactions
The My Reactions journals are an excellent place to communicate with and get to know students
individually. Journal entries are visible only to you and the student, allowing them to reflect on their
experiences privately. For group projects, ask students to write about how their team is working
together to gauge which groups need assistance dividing work effectively.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Groups
Create private, collaborative workspaces in Groups for smaller sections of students to build
knowledge together. For example, each group can research a theory and then show the rest of the
course members how to apply it across situations. You can change the composition and size of
groups for new projects throughout the semester.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
Resources
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented by directing them to specific web articles
and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for projects or
papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Course
Organizer
The customizable Course Organizer Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New,
and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Getting
Started
In the Getting Started Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information,
scheduled activities, opportunities for practicum and volunteer placements, and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
My
Facilitator
Description
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in My Facilitator. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, blog entries, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Guided Discussion
Guided discussion is an active learning technique that encourages students to reflect on their own experiences,
explore alternative ways of thinking, connect to a topic, and improve analytical skills.
As students participate, they demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the course topics, promoting a
deeper comprehension of the material. You can use guiding questions to help students create content together,
allowing you to become a facilitator of information rather than the lecturer.
While much of the class discourse takes place in the Discuss It! forums, small teams of students working in
Group Think increases students' interactivity with each other as they construct, rather than acquire,
knowledge. Students can reflect on the course content and communicate privately with you in My Journal.
This course structure works well for intermediate and advanced humanities and social science courses in
where students can expand their basic knowledge through conversation.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Guided Discussion course
structure.
Content
Type
Discuss It!
Description
Most of your interaction with students will occur in the Discuss It! forums. You can create gradable
discussion forums and threads to use as the basis of your students' formal grades. Create questions
that allow students to showcase their deeper understanding of course material and practice basic
thinking skills.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Let's Meet
Use the live, text-based chat feature in Let's Meet for additional class meetings, real-time interaction
in asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. As thought-provoking discussions arise in Discuss
It!, schedule chat sessions so students can continue the conversations live. Follow up the session
with discussion questions that help students expand on the solutions and opinions offered.
To learn more, see Chat.
My Journal
In their My Journal entries, ask students to reflect on the discussions and their experiences. Because
this is private communication with you, students can receive feedback about their writing before they
post in discussions or let you know how they feel the discussions are progressing. As you
communicate with and get to know your students individually, they may feel more at ease in the
course discussion forums.
To learn more, see About Journals.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Group
Think
Description
Create private, collaborative workspaces in Group Think for smaller sections of students to build
knowledge together. For example, each group can research a theory and then show the rest of the
course members how to apply it across situations. You can change the composition and size of
groups for new projects throughout the semester. After each small group develops their ideas in their
own group's Discussion Board, the class can reconvene in Discuss It! and share their varying
perspectives.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
References In the References Content Area, you can share guidelines for participation in Discuss It! and offer
additional resources to interested students who want to learn more. Direct students toward
recommended reading and Internet articles that may help them formulate opinions about the
questions posed in the discussion forums.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Dashboard
The customizable Dashboard Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Course
Overview
In the Course Overview Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as how discussion posts are graded, textbook
information, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can
adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My
Facilitator
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in My Facilitator. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of their gradable discussion posts and other assignments on their My
Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Lab Format
Lab format courses increase student involvement, allowing participants to develop a functional understanding
of the course content.
Typical lab-based courses begin with the presentation of lectures, followed by reading and research. Next,
students use lab time to reinforce the concepts and skills learned. In a lab, they can evaluate evidence, identify
problems and questions, gain experience, draw conclusions, and make decisions based on observations.
An instructor may demonstrate the lab activities, individual students may perform their own activities, or groups
can collaborate on lab work.
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Course Options > Course Structures
This course structure works well for a variety of subjects, such as science, computer skills, foreign language,
engineering, agriculture, and health sciences. This structure is also ideal for self-paced courses where tutorials
and presentations are used to prepare students for lab work.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Lab Format course structure.
Content
Type
Lab
Supplies
Description
Lab Supplies is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an
easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lab or chapter. Include
similar content, such as links to readings, lab instructions and materials lists, assignments, and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Resources
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented by directing them to specific web articles
and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for projects or
papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Description
Hypotheses You can use the Hypotheses discussion forums for formal discussions of lab activities. Before a lab
or experiment, ask students to discuss their predictions or questions they hope to answer. After the
lab or experiment is complete, have them compare their experiences and results. Require student
participation and encourage conversation by making the discussions graded.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
My
After each lab or experiment, ask students to report their results. Use the My Conclusions blogs as a
Conclusions more formal space than discussions, where students can narrate their process and outcomes.
Encourage students to comment on each other's blogs to provide feedback and different
experiences.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Lab Groups
For labs or experiments that lend themselves to teamwork, create private workspaces in Lab Groups
for smaller sections of students. You can change the composition and size of groups throughout the
course, and vary the tools available to the group depending on each activity's goals.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
Glossary
Use the Glossary tool to build or upload a list of commonly-used course terminology for students to
refer to. You can create the entire glossary at the beginning of your course or add to it with each
chapter or lab.
To learn more, see Glossary.
New and
Due
The customizable New and Due Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New,
and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Methods
In the Methods Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, lab guidelines,
required supplies and equipment, and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Leader Info
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Leader Info. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: By Lecture
One of the most common ways to deliver course content to students is through lectures. In Blackboard Learn,
you can ask students to read your lectures, listen to a recording of your voice, or view slide presentations of the
material. You can add dimension to your lectures with videos that you create or links to external multimedia
sources.
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Course Options > Course Structures
You can use other tools to encourage students to interact with you and other course members. Your lectures
can stimulate students to reflect on their experiences and learning in the My Reactions blog and the Questions
and Answers discussion forums.
This course structure works well for large introductory courses at the university or post-graduate level where
lectures are the primary delivery method..
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the By Lecture course structure.
Content
Type
Lectures
Description
Lectures is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easy-tonavigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lecture. Include similar content,
such as objectives, readings, instructions, assignments, and your lectures in varying formats to spark
interest.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Questions
and
Answers
You can use the Questions and Answers discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing
weekly questions related to lecture topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and
respond to each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess
students' participation and knowledge. After each lecture, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation around your lectures. What is the critical message of this lecture? What would you do in
this particular situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
My
Reactions
Description
My Reactions links to your course's individual blogs. Students can make a blog entry after each
lecture so they have a space to think through aspects of the material they find interesting or
challenging. You can ask students to answer a specific question or allow them to react freely to your
presentation. Students can extend classroom conversations by commenting on each other's blog
entries. You can help them develop their thoughts by offering encouragement, more background
information, and supplementary resources.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Meeting
Center
Use the live, text-based chat feature in Meeting Center for additional class meetings, question-andanswer sessions, real-time interaction in asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. As thoughtprovoking questions arise in the discussion forums, schedule chat sessions so students can continue
the conversations live. Follow up the session with discussion questions that require students to
comment on the ideas presented in your lecture and the chat session.
To learn more, see Chat.
Resources In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented in your lectures by directing them to specific
web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for
projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Intro
Materials
In the Intro Materials Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a lecture schedule, textbook
information, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can
adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Stay on
Track
The customizable Stay on Track Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New,
and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
My
Instructor
My Instructor links to the Contacts tool. Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching
assistants, and guest lecturers participating in your course. Include contact information such as email
addresses and phone numbers, and office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: By Lesson
Use the lesson-based course structure to organize your course sequentially. In the Our Conversations
discussion forums, help students connect with their classmates and demonstrate understanding of the course
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Course Options > Course Structures
material. Students can reflect on what they learned and communicate privately with you in the Reflections
journals.
This course structure works well for material that needs to be learned in a prescribed order, such as math or
foreign languages.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the By Lesson course structure.
Content Type
Description
Lessons
Lessons is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easyto-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lesson or chapter. Include
similar content, such as instructions, readings, assignments, and assessments. Link to external
multimedia sources to enhance the content.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Our
You can use the Our Conversations discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing
Conversations weekly questions related to the lessons, and for informal interactions, where students ask and
respond to each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to
assess students' participation and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation. What is the critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular
situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
My
Reflections
The My Reflections journals are an excellent place to communicate with and get to know students
individually. Journal entries are visible only to you and the student, allowing them to reflect on
their experiences privately, receive feedback before submitting graded work, or ask questions.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Glossary
Use the Glossary tool to build or upload a list of commonly-used course terminology for students
to refer to. As needed, you can add terms to the list with each lesson.
To learn more, see Glossary.
Resources
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can
learn more. Help students expand on the information presented in your lessons by directing them
to specific web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find
topics for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
What's New
The customizable What's New Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's
New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Course
Basics
In the Course Basics Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a course schedule,
textbook information, and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor
Details
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating
in your course in Instructor Details. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: By Module
A module is an independent unit or lesson. Modules are usually self-contained and students can access them in
any order, making them suitable for self-paced courses. For example, an astronomy course might present each
planet's information and assignments as a distinct module so that students can select which planet to explore
first.
Utilize the Collaborate wiki and Discuss forums to help students work together on course content and connect
with each other. To further encourage cooperation, use the Study Teams area to assign students to smaller
group discussions, research assignments, and projects.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the By Module course structure.
Content Type
Description
Modules
Modules is your central instructor-designed Content Area. Use folders to organize content you
want to share with students, such as handouts, lectures, readings, assignments, and tests . If your
course's modules are larger topics, create a folder for each module, and then folders inside that to
break content up by unit or week. Providing students with a similar layout in each folder helps them
find information easily.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Study Teams
Create private, collaborative workspaces in Study Teams for smaller sections of students to build
knowledge together. You can change the composition and size of groups throughout the course,
and vary the tools available to the group depending on each module or project's goals or content.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
Resources
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented in the modules by directing them to
specific web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find
topics for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Discuss
You can use the Discuss forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions related
to the topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's
questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students'
participation and knowledge. After each module, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation.
What is the critical message of this topic? What would you do in this particular situation? How
would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Collaborate
Collaborate links to the Wikis tool, where students create pages of information about each
module, such as reading summaries, relevant links, glossaries of terminology, and questions for
further research. The wiki tracks changes and additions so you can observe each student's
contribution as well as the final product.
To learn more, see Wikis.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Requirements In the Requirements Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My Instructor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating
in your course in My Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
New Today
The customizable New Today Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's
New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Open Source 1
If you are familiar with the Moodle™ course management system, this course structure provides a similar
menu. Moodle is a registered trademark of the Moodle Trust.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Open Source 1 course
structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type Description
Course News
Latest News
Latest News links to the course announcements where you can give students reminders, or let
them know about new or revised course material. You can also link to specific course areas or items
so they can access the information they need quickly and easily.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
Recent
Activity
The customizable Recent Activity Module Page provides students with an overview of current
course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, blog entries, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Instructor
Alerts
Visible only to instructors, the Alerts and Needs Attention modules notify you of student progress.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Participants
Instructor
Information
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Instructor Information. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Roster
The Roster tool lists enrolled students and their contact information.
To learn more, see Roster.
Topics
Course
Overview
In the Course Overview Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important term dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Topic Outline In the Topic Outline Content Area, you can provide students with a schedule of what is ahead. You
can upload a file or create content items for segments of time so students can view the information
easily and often.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Activities
Assignments Store assignments in a single Content Area for students to access and submit. To provide students
with feedback before assigning final grades, you can allow more than one attempt on an individual
assignment. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make individual
assignments unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see Creating and Editing Assignments.
Databases
In the Databases Content Area, you can create folders for important documents students need to
access for each lesson. Blackboard Learn courses have a central storage repository where you can
store files for distribution to students. Course Files is the file repository available with all courses
and is not accessible to students. However, if your school licenses content management, the file
repository is named the Content Collection, and students may have permission to access and store
files.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area and About Course Files.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type Description
Forums
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions related
to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's
questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students' participation
and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What is the
critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular situation? How would you
approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Glossary
Use the Glossary tool to build or upload a list of commonly-used course terminology for students to
refer to.
To learn more, see Glossary.
Lessons
Lessons is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easyto-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lesson or chapter. Include
similar content, such as readings, instructions, and your lectures.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Quizzes
In the Quizzes Content Area, you can provide students with one place to find all the tests and
quizzes for the semester. Consider offering students an initial ungraded quiz so they can become
familiar with the interface. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make
individual tests and quizzes unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see About Creating Tests and Surveys.
Resources
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented in your lessons by directing them to
specific web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find
topics for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Wiki
In the course wiki, students can share and collaborate on content. As they create and edit pages
together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve problems in a team
environment. Ask students to address an issue discussed in a lesson so they become actively
involved in the analysis.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Blogs
Students can make a blog entry after each lesson so they have a space to think through aspects of
the material they find interesting or challenging. You can ask students to answer a specific question
or allow them to react freely to the content. Students can extend classroom conversations by
commenting on each other's blog entries. You can help them develop their thoughts by offering
encouragement, more background information, and supplementary resources.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Journals
In their journal entries, ask students to comment on the lessons and their experiences. Because this
is private communication with you, students can receive feedback about their writing before it
submitted as a graded assignment. They can also let you know how they feel the course is
progressing. As you communicate with and get to know your students individually, they may feel
more at ease sharing their thoughts with their classmates in the discussion forums, course wiki, and
in their blogs.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Tools and Help
Additional
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Student User Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
Guide
should contact the school's computing help desk.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Open Source 2
If you are familiar with the Sakai® open source course management system, this course structure provides a
similar menu. Sakai is a registered trademark of the Sakai Foundation.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Open Source 2 course
structure.
Content Type
Description
Home
The customizable Home Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Announcements Keep students on track with regular announcements. You can link to specific items, such as a
test or assignment, give students reminders, or let them know about new or revised course
material.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Calendar
Create events on the course calendar to mark due dates or reminders to help students plan their
work and meet deadlines.
To learn more, see Course Calendar.
Syllabus
In the Syllabus Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important term dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Resources
In the Resources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can
learn more. Help students expand on the course content by directing them to specific web
articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for
projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Modules
Modules is your central instructor-designed course area. To provide your students with an easyto-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each module. Include similar
content, such as readings, instructions, and your lectures.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Assignments
Store assignments in a single Content Area for students to access and submit. To provide
students with feedback before assigning final grades, you can allow more than one attempt on
an individual assignment. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make
individual assignments unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see Creating and Editing Assignments.
Forums
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions
related to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to
each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess
students' participation and knowledge. After each module, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation. What is the critical message of the reading assignment? What would you do in this
particular situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Tests & Quizzes In the Tests & Quizzes Content Area, you can provide students with one place to access all the
tests and quizzes for the semester. Consider offering students an initial ungraded quiz so they
can become familiar with the interface. To help students locate current content easily, use folders
or make individual tests and quizzes unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see About Creating Tests and Surveys.
Blog
Students can make a blog entry after each module so they have a space to think through aspects
of the material they find interesting or challenging. You can ask students to answer a specific
question or allow them to react freely to the content. Students can extend classroom
conversations by commenting on each other's blog entries. You can help them develop their
thoughts by offering encouragement, more background information, and supplementary
resources.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Wiki
In the course wiki, students can share and collaborate on content. As they create and edit pages
together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve problems in a team
environment. Ask students to address an issue presented in one of your lectures so they become
actively involved in the analysis.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Email
Use Email to communicate timely information to individual course users or groups of users.
To learn more, see Email.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, blog entries, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Student User
Guide
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Additional Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Project Format
Use the project format course structure to help students investigate real-world problems and propose solutions.
You can gauge student progress and understanding as they advance through a project, and offer feedback and
direction when needed.
You can assign students to group projects using the Teams area. Whether they work in groups or
independently, project work allows students to refine several skills, such as problem-solving, researching,
organizing, critical thinking, and their interpersonal interactions. When students make decisions about their
projects, they become active, engaged learners and are more responsible for their learning.
Critiquing the end result and reflection during all stages of the process are integral parts of a project-based
course. Students can use their My Ideas blogs to express their opinions and the Solutions wiki to share the
problem resolutions they generated.
This structure works well in courses where students produce portfolios of their work, such as photography, web
design, or creative writing. It is also useful for courses where exploration and discovery expand student
knowledge, such as math, business, or social science.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Project Format course
structure.
Content
Type
Projects
Description
Projects is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easy-tonavigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each project. Include similar content, such
as links to articles or websites, project guidelines and instructions, assignments, and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Materials In the Materials Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn more.
Help students expand on the information presented by directing them to specific web articles and
recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Teams
For projects that lend themselves to teamwork, create private workspaces in Teams for smaller sections
of students to build knowledge together. To encourage students to take on different group roles, change
the composition and size of groups throughout the course, and vary the tools available to the group
depending on each project's goals.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Description
Solutions Students create and edit pages together in the Solutions wiki, and the wiki tracks changes and
additions so you can observe each student's contribution as well as the final product. When students
are working on projects, you can ask them to collaborate on pages such as a list of useful websites or
bibliography, or propose ideas for further exploration.
To learn more, see Wikis.
My Ideas
Students can share their project work in the My Ideas blogs. Encourage students to post weekly about
their successes and challenges. Requiring students to comment on each other's blogs creates a
community where students can recommend solutions and celebrate achievements together.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Connect
Live
Use the live, text-based chat feature in Connect Live for additional class meetings, real-time interaction
in asynchronous courses, virtual office hours, or student project planning time.
To learn more, see Chat.
Planner
The customizable Planner Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an overview of
current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My
Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Overview In the Overview Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, required supplies, project deadlines,
textbook information, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so
students can adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Project
Advisor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Project Advisor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My
Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on their
My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools to
the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Science-Focused
You can use the science-focused course structure to present information and lab materials to students and
provide areas for reflection and collaboration.
Use the Units Content Area to organize your course by lab, project, or lecture. Incorporating relevant projects,
experiments, or lab activities encourages students to be active participants in their learning, allowing them to
gain deeper knowledge of the course content.
Students can record their ideas, research, and solutions in the Experiment Journal, discuss their findings in
Discoveries, or collaborate in the Lab Wiki.
This course structure works well for science courses, especially those that include hands-on activities.
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Course Options > Course Structures
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Science-Focused course
structure.
Content
Type
Units
Description
Units is your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an easy-tonavigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each unit. Include similar content, such
as objectives, readings, instructions, assignments, lectures, and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Research
and Tips
In the Research and Tips Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students
can learn more. Help students expand on the units presented by directing them to specific web
sources and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find ideas for projects
or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Description
Discoveries You can use the Discoveries discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing questions
related to the units, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's
questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students' participation
and knowledge. After each unit or lab, ask reflective questions to invoke further exploration. What
were your observations? Which scientific theory does this support and why? How would you
approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Lab Wiki
In the Lab Wiki, students can share and collaborate on content. As they create and edit pages
together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve problems in a team environment.
Provide students with a problem, and ask them to submit theories and solutions. While exploring the
problem and sorting out relevant facts, they can help each other develop logical conclusions. In the
wiki's instructions, provide guidelines for participation and grading. Also, consider assigning a lead
scientist to keep everyone on track, divide tasks as needed, and promote participation.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Experiment
Journal
In their Experiment Journal entries, ask students to reflect on the experiments, units, and their
experiences in the wiki. Because this is private communication with you, students can receive
feedback about their writing before they post it for the class to view or before submitting assignments.
As you communicate with and get to know your students individually, they may feel more at ease in
the course discussion forums and wiki.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Live Chat
Use the text-based Live Chat feature for additional class meetings, real-time interaction in
asynchronous courses, experiment roundups, and virtual office hours. As thought-provoking
discussions arise, schedule chat sessions so students can continue the conversations in real-time.
Follow up the session with discussion questions that help students expand on the solutions and
opinions offered.
To learn more, see Chat.
Terminology Terminology links to the Glossary tool where you can build or upload a list of commonly-used
scientific terminology for students to refer to.
To learn more, see Glossary.
Methods
In the Methods Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as how labs are graded, textbook information, an experiment
schedule, a list of lab supplies, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list
dates so students can adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My
Instructor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in My Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Updates
The customizable Updates Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as lab assignments, tests, wiki contributions, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Tools
Description
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Social Learning
Social learning is based on the concept that students learn new information and behaviors by observing and
interacting with peers.
This course structure enables students to build knowledge together in Blogs and Wikis. As students create
course content, it is important to motivate them to contribute and model appropriate behavior. Utilize The Hub
to share readings, assignments, and instructions, and Social Circles to create communities of learners.
This course structure works well for courses and career paths that require cooperative work, such as
communication, advertising, and business.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Social Learning course
structure.
Content
Type
The Hub
Description
The Hub is your central instructor-designed Content Area. Create folders divided by topic and include
all materials that students need to develop a basic knowledge of the topic. These readings, web
resources, and assignments provide a launching pad for course discussions.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Wikis
You can create starter pages in Wikis and assign students to flesh out a particular area. As they create
and edit pages together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve problems in a team
environment. If too much consensus or roadblocks occur, assign duties to students so they can take on
new perspectives as they contribute.
To learn more, see Wikis.
What Do
You
Think?
The What Do You Think? discussion forums are ideal for student-led conversations, where the leader
changes weekly. You provide the topics as well as modeling and guidance, but allow the students to
find resources and reach their own conclusions. You can also create gradable discussion forums and
threads to assess students' participation and knowledge.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Blogs
In Blogs, you can provide relevant scenarios to prompt students to share unique insights in their
entries. Peer commenting further challenges and develops the learner’s ideas. Students read each
other’s entries and gain new perspectives.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Social
Circles
Social Circles links to the Groups tool where you can create private, collaborative workspaces for
small groups of students to form learning communities . For example, group members can specialize in
one aspect of the group’s assigned topic and teach it to other members of their group. You can change
the composition and size of groups for new projects throughout the semester.
To learn more, see Course Groups and Tools and Creating Groups.
Let's Talk Use the live, text-based chat feature in Let's Talk for additional class meetings, real-time interaction in
asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. Offer students sessions where the class meets to get to
know each other and keep the agenda light. After students are comfortable communicating with you
and their classmates in this environment, use chat for more academic purposes. As thought-provoking
questions arise in the discussion forums or intriguing arguments are presented in the blogs, schedule
chat sessions so students can continue the conversations live. Follow up the session with discussion
questions that help students expand on the solutions and opinions offered.
To learn more, see Chat.
New
Today
The customizable New Today Module Page includes modules providing students with a single place to
go for an overview of current course information. Modules include Announcements, My Calendar, To
Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Course
Basics
In the Course Basics Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their
schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Description
My
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
Facilitator your course in My Facilitator. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
My
Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: By Subject
Use the subject-based course structure to organize your materials by area of study. The Course Menu contains
Content Areas for each subject, which can be easily renamed to fit your course.
This course structure works well for elementary and middle school environments where one teacher is
responsible for more than one subject for a set of students, such as Language Arts, Social Studies, and Health,
or where multiple teachers share the same course. Alternatively, you might break a single subject into a set of
defined areas. For example, a Language Arts course could have separate pages for grammar, literature,
composition, spelling, and vocabulary. In either arrangement, students can access any of the areas easily on
the .
The discussion forums in Talk About It help students connect with their classmates and demonstrate their
understanding of the course material. Students can use My Journal to reflect on what they learned and
communicate privately with you.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the By Subject course structure.
Content Type
Description
Language Arts
Math
Science
Social Studies
Use these Content Areas to present your course materials categorized by subject. They can be
easily renamed to fit your course's subject matter. To provide your students with an easy-tonavigate and familiar environment, you can create folders in each Content Area for individual
chapters or units. Include similar content, such as readings, instructions, lectures, assignments,
and tests.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Talk About It
You can use the Talk About It discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly
questions related to course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond
to each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess
students' participation and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation. What is the critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular
situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
My Journal
In their journal entries, ask students to comment on the lessons and their experiences. Because
this is private communication with you, students can receive feedback about their writing before
it submitted as a graded assignment. They can also let you know how they feel the course is
progressing. As you communicate with and get to know your students individually, they may feel
more at ease sharing their thoughts with their classmates in the discussion forums.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Study Aids
In the Study Aids Content Area, you can share additional resources so interested students can
learn more. Help students expand on the information presented in your lessons by directing
them to specific web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources
to find topics for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Syllabus
In the Syllabus Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Teacher Info
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers
participating in your course in Teacher Info. Include contact information such as email
addresses, phone numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Planner
The customizable My Planner Module Page provides students with an overview of current
course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Announcements Keep students on track with regular announcements. You can link to specific items, such as a
test or assignment, give students reminders, or let them know about new or revised course
material.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts
on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: By Topic
Use the topic-based course structure to organize your course in self-contained segments.
Utilize The Buzz discussion forums for students to generate ideas and share resources. Editorials provide a
space for students to blog about their insights and opinions and get feedback from peers. Students can use
their Reflection journals to contemplate on their experiences and communicate privately with you.
This course structure works well for self-paced courses that allow students to select which topic to complete
next as well as courses that use current events to demonstrate concepts.
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Course Options > Course Structures
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the By Topic course structure.
Content
Type
Hot
Topics
Description
Use Hot Topics as your central instructor-designed Content Area. To provide your students with an
easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each topic or lesson. Include
similar content, such as objectives, readings, instructions, assignments, and your lectures.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Deadlines The customizable Deadlines Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
The Buzz
You can use the The Buzz discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions
related to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each
other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students'
participation and knowledge. After each topic, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What is
the critical message of this topic? What would you do in this particular situation? How would you
approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Editorials
Description
Editorials links to your course's individual blogs. Students can make a blog entry after each topic so
they have a space to think through aspects of the material they find interesting or challenging. You can
ask students to answer a specific question or allow them to react freely to course content. Students can
extend classroom conversations by commenting on each other's blog entries. You can help them
develop their thoughts by offering encouragement, more background information, and supplementary
resources.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Reflection Reflection links to your students' private journals. In their journal entries, ask students to comment on
the topics and their experiences. Because this is private communication with you, students can receive
feedback about their writing before it submitted as a graded assignment. They can also let you know
how they feel the course is progressing. As you communicate with and get to know your students
individually, they may feel more at ease sharing their thoughts with their classmates in the discussion
forums and in their blogs.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Additional In the Additional Sources Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can
Sources
learn more. Help students expand on the topics presented by directing them to specific web articles
and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find ideas for projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Overview
In the Overview Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a topic schedule, textbook information, and
important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
Details
your course in Instructor Details. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My
Progress
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, blog entries, and discussion
posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Traditional
This course structure organizes the online environment by content type or function. For example, there are
Content Areas for assignments, tests, and your content.
Communication tools such as the Discussion Board are available on the Course Menu for easy access.
The Home Page is the course entry point, providing access to important information each time your students
log in.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Traditional course structure.
Content Type Description
Home Page
The customizable Home Page Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's
New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Course
Information
In the Course Information Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their
schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My Instructor Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in My Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
Content
Content is your central instructor-designed course area. To provide your students with an easy-tonavigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each chapter or topic. Include similar
content, such as readings, instructions, and assignments.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type Description
Assignments Store assignments in a single Content Area for students to access and submit. To provide students
with feedback before assigning final grades, you can allow more than one attempt on an individual
assignment. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make individual
assignments unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see Creating and Editing Assignments.
Tests &
Quizzes
In the Tests & Quizzes Content Area, you can provide students with one place to access all the
tests and quizzes for the semester. Consider offering students an initial ungraded quiz so they can
become familiar with the interface. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or
make individual tests and quizzes unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see About Creating Tests and Surveys.
Discussion
Board
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions related
to course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's
questions.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Chat
Use the live, text-based Chat area for additional class meetings, real-time interaction in
asynchronous courses, virtual office hours, or student project planning time.
To learn more, see Chat.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, and discussion posts on
their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Instructor
Alerts
Visible only to instructors, the Alerts and Needs Attention modules notify you of student progress.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: By Unit
The unit-based course structure organizes your content into sections. For example, you might divide a music
appreciation course into four units of study: history, composers, musical techniques, and significant works.
With separate links on the Course Menu for each unit, you can require students to follow a prescribed order or
select units in the order they prefer.
You can provide students with a rich, interactive environment by utilizing a range of communication tools. Blog
It provides students a way to share their thoughts and collect feedback from peers, Collaborate enables
students to work side-by-side on wiki pages, and Course Dialogue promotes discussions among students.
This course structure works well for subjects that divide easily into large categories, such as historical time
periods, psychological schools of thought, or styles of composition and rhetoric.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the By Unit course structure.
Content
Type
Description
Unit A
Unit B
Unit C
Unit D
In each Unit Content Area, provide your students with an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment
by creating folders for each category or time period. Include similar content, such as readings,
instructions, lectures, assignments, and tests.
Course
Dialogue
You can use the Course Dialogue discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing
questions related to each unit, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each
other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students'
participation and knowledge. After each unit, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation around
the course content. What is the critical message of this unit? What would you do in this particular
situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Description
Collaborate Collaborate links to your course's wiki where students can share and collaborate on content. As they
create and edit pages together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve problems
in a team environment. Ask students to address an issue discussed in the unit so they become
actively involved in the analysis. If roadblocks or too much consensus occur, you can assign students
roles to help them further develop their wiki pages. For example, you can ask one student to
incorporate graphics to help clarify the text. Ask another student to assign pages to other students
with specific tasks attached, such as finding sources or exploring the opposite side.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Blog It
In Blog It, students can make a blog entry after each unit so they have a space to think through
aspects of the material they find interesting or challenging. You can ask students to answer a specific
question or allow them to react freely to the course content. Students can extend classroom
conversations by commenting on each other's blog entries. You can help them develop their thoughts
by offering encouragement, more background information, and supplementary resources.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Socialize
Use the live, text-based chat feature in Socialize for additional class meetings, real-time interaction in
asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. Offer students sessions where the class meets to get
to know each other and keep the agenda light. After students are comfortable communicating with
you and their classmates in this environment, use chat for more academic purposes. As thoughtprovoking questions arise in the discussion forums or intriguing arguments are presented in the
blogs, schedule chat sessions so students can continue the conversations live. Follow up the session
with discussion questions that help students expand on the solutions and opinions offered.
To learn more, see Chat.
New and
Due
The customizable New and Due Module Page provides students with an overview of current course
information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Study Aids
In the Study Aids Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the units presented by directing them to specific web articles and
recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find ideas for projects or papers .
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Course
Basics
In the Course Basics Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a unit breakdown, textbook
information, and important term dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so
students can adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor
Info
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Instructor Info. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, wiki contributions, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Course Structure: Web 2.0
Interactive and collaborative Web 2.0 tools engage learners with your course material. Students create content
together in Our Wiki and use the Share blogs to communicate their thoughts and comment on others’ work.
Use Course Central to share readings, assignments, and instructions. You can weave Mashups into your
course to make content come alive with embedded YouTube™ videos, Flickr® photos, and SlideShare
presentations. Students can add Mashups to their content as well.
This structure works well for courses reliant on current events and trends, such as political science, media
studies, and digital education.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Web 2.0 course structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Discuss
Description
You can use the Discuss forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions related to
the topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's questions. You
can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students' participation and knowledge.
After each topic, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What is the critical message of this
topic? What would you do in this particular situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Share
Share links to your course's individual blogs. Students can make a blog entry after each topic so they
have a space to think through aspects of the material they find interesting or challenging. You can ask
students to answer a specific question or allow them to react freely to course content. Students can
extend classroom conversations by commenting on each other's blog entries. You can help them
develop their thoughts by offering encouragement, more background information, and supplementary
resources.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Meet
Use the live, text-based chat feature in Meet for additional class meetings, real-time interaction in
asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. Offer students sessions where the class meets to get to
know each other and keep the agenda light. After students are comfortable communicating with you and
their classmates in this environment, use chat for more academic purposes. As thought-provoking
questions arise in the discussion forums or intriguing arguments are presented in the blogs, schedule
chat sessions so students can continue the conversations live. Follow up the session with discussion
questions that help students expand on the solutions and opinions offered.
To learn more, see Chat.
Course
Central
Course Central is your main instructor-designed Content Area. Create folders divided by subject and
include all materials that students need to develop a basic knowledge of the topic. These readings, web
resources, and assignments provide a starting point for students' online interaction.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Our Wiki
You can create starter pages in Our Wiki and task students with fleshing out a particular area. As they
create and edit pages together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve problems in a
team environment. If too much consensus or roadblocks occur, assign duties to students so they can
take on new perspectives as they contribute.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Recent
Activity
The customizable Recent Activity Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New,
and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Intro
In the Intro Materials Content Area, provide basic course information that students can refer to
Materials throughout the semester. Include a syllabus, grading policies, textbook information, and important
dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their schedules.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Course
Mentor
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
your course in Course Mentor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My
Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, wiki contributions, and
discussion posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Tools
Description
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools to
the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: WebCT 1
If you are familiar with the former WebCT Campus Edition or Vista 8 course management systems, this course
structure provides a similar menu.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the WebCT 1 course structure.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Course Content
Course Content is your central instructor-designed course area. To provide your students with
an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each lesson or chapter.
Include similar content, such as readings, instructions, and your lectures.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Announcements Keep students on track with regular announcements. You can link to specific items, such as a
test or assignment, give students reminders, or let them know about new or revised course
material.
To learn more, see Managing Announcements.
Assessments
In the Assessments Content Area, you can provide students with one place to access all the
tests for the semester. Consider offering students an initial ungraded quiz so they can become
familiar with the interface. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make
individual tests unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see About Creating Tests and Surveys.
Assignments
Store assignments in a single Content Area for students to access and submit. To provide
students with feedback before assigning final grades, you can allow more than one attempt on
an individual assignment. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make
individual assignments unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see Creating and Editing Assignments.
Calendar
Create events on the course calendar to mark due dates or reminders to help students plan their
work and meet deadlines.
To learn more, see Course Calendar.
Discussions
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as posing weekly questions
related to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to
each other's questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess
students' participation and knowledge. After each lesson, ask reflective questions to invoke
conversation. What is the critical message of this lesson? What would you do in this particular
situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Learning
Modules
Use the Learning Modules Content Area to create structured learning paths that contain content
items such as files, folders, and tools. Learning Modules are containers for content that include a
table of contents and can require sequential viewing of content.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Mail
Use Mail to communicate timely information to individual course users or groups of users.
To learn more, see Email.
Roster
The Roster tool lists enrolled students and their contact information.
To learn more, see Roster.
Syllabus
In the Syllabus Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the
semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and
important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Web Links
In the Web Links Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can
learn more. Help students expand on the course content by directing them to specific web
articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for
projects or papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Student Manual
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
More Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: WebCT 2
If you are familiar with the former WebCT Campus Edition 4 course management system, this course structure
provides a similar menu.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the WebCT 2 course structure.
Content Type
Description
Homepage
The customizable Homepage includes modules providing students with a single place to go for an
overview of current course information. This Module Page includes Announcements, My
Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Syllabus
In the Syllabus Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, textbook information, and important
dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Instructor Info Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating
in your course in Instructor Info. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone
numbers, office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content Type
Description
Assessments In the Assessments Content Area, you can provide students with one place to access all the tests
for the semester. Consider offering students an initial ungraded quiz so they can become familiar
with the interface. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make individual
tests unavailable after their due dates have passed.
To learn more, see About Creating Tests and Surveys.
Discussions
You can create discussion forums for formal assignments, such as weekly questions related to the
course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's
questions. You can create gradable discussion forums and threads to assess students'
participation and knowledge. Ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What would you do in
this particular situation? How would you approach solving this problem?
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
Glossary
Use the Glossary tool to build or upload a list of commonly-used course terminology for students to
refer to.
To learn more, see Glossary.
More Course
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course
tools to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional
assistance should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Course Structure: Weekly
Organizing content by time can help students stay on track. In Previous Weeks, create a folder for each week
of the course. Course material in each of the weekly folders should follow a consistent layout for easy
navigation, with similar content items, activities, and tools. You can make folders for future weeks unavailable
until they are needed to keep students focused.
Each week, change the Current Week link in the Course Menu so that it points to the current week's folder.
This gives students one-click access to the week’s activities without needing to determine which week to
choose.
Use Course Dialogue to address questions. The Ideas to Share blogs help students connect with their
classmates and demonstrate understanding of course material. The Weekly Journal enables students to
reflect on what they learned and communicate privately with you.
This structure works well for courses where students need to move through the content at the same pace.
What Does the Course Menu Look Like?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Using Your Course Menu
The following table describes the Content Areas and course tools included in the Weekly course structure.
Content
Type
Description
Current
Week
Current Week is a Course Link that provides students with one-click access to the week's course
activities.
Each week, modify this Course Link so that it points to the location of the current week's folder. The
Previous Weeks Content Area contains the folders for each week of content.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Planner
The customizable Planner Module Page provides students with a single place to go for an overview of
current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My
Tasks.
To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard Display.
Course
Dialogue
You can use the Course Dialogue discussion forums to pose questions on weekly topics. Encourage
interaction by responding to posts and grading forums so students are required to participate. You can
also use discussions for informal interactions, where students can ask you and each other questions
about the course.
To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.
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Course Options > Course Structures
Content
Type
Ideas to
Share
Description
Students use the Ideas to Share blogs to demonstrate their understanding of each week's course
materials. You can give students a topic to blog about, or allow them to explore their own questions and
ideas. Encourage students to comment on each other's entries to extend the conversation.
To learn more, see About Blogs.
Weekly
Journal
Weekly Journal entries allow you to communicate with and get to know students individually. Entries
and your comments are visible only to you and the student, allowing them to reflect on their
experiences privately, receive feedback before submitting graded work, or ask questions.
To learn more, see About Journals.
Syllabus
In the Syllabus Content Area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester.
Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a weekly schedule, textbook information,
and important dates.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Previous
Weeks
In the Previous Weeks Content Area, create a folder for each week of your course. This area provides
access to all prior content, but students use the Current Week Course Menu link for one-click access to
the current week's folder.
Course material in each folder should follow a consistent layout for easy navigation, with similar
content items, activities, and tools. Include a schedule for the week, links to relevant articles or
websites, instructions for activities, assignments, and tests. Make folders for future weeks unavailable
until they are needed.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
Going
Further
In the Going Further Content Area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn
more. Help students expand on the information presented each week by directing them to specific web
articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for projects or
papers.
To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.
My
Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in
Instructor your course in My Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers,
office hours, and location.
To learn more, see Contacts.
My
Grades
Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, blog entries, and discussion
posts on their My Grades pages.
To learn more, see My Grades.
Tools
Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools
to the Course Menu for easy access.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
Help
Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance
should contact the school's computing help desk.
Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding Content Areas and links to tools.
Frequently Asked Questions About Course Structures
This collection of frequently asked questions provides answers to common questions about course structures.
It also provides links to more detailed information available in Blackboard Help.
Why do I want to use a course structure?
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Course Options > Course Structures
Course structures provide a jump-start to the process of building your course by including Course Menu links
and related content designed for the teaching method you chose. You can use the content examples as
templates for your own content. Even if you are an experienced Blackboard Learn instructor, you might find new
ideas in a course structure.
Should I include content examples?
Content examples include pedagogical information, instructions, and course items. Even if you have
experience working in Blackboard Learn, the pedagogical information and content examples can give you ideas
about tools or new approaches.
Content examples are unavailable to students and you can edit, move, copy, or delete them.
How do I know what students see or do not see in my course?
Be sure to preview your content as a student. In the upper right of your course, change Edit Mode to OFF to see
the student view. If an item is visible that you do not want students to see, change Edit Mode to ON and make
the item unavailable or delete it. If you include a link to a tool in a Content Area, the tool’s content must be made
available before students can access it.
If possible, log in as a mock student to experience your course exactly as a student does. Do you know where
to start? Are the instructions complete? Do you know what to do next? Can you access what you need with as
few clicks as possible?
What if I have some online content prepared already?
Course structures are added to your course and do not replace your existing content. Include content examples
when you add a structure to your course and discover new ways to present the content you have already
developed.
How do I limit the number of tools available to my students?
You can control which tools appear to students when they access the Tools page. For example, if you do not
intend to use the Messages tool, make it unavailable. No one can see it or access it, including you, until it is
available again. If a tool is unavailable, existing content is not deleted. Once the tool is available again, the
content becomes available.
If you want to determine which tools are available to students in your course, use the following steps.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Tool Availability.
2. On the Tool Availability page, make the availability adjustments required.
a. To make a tool available, select the tool’s check box.
b. To make a tool unavailable, clear the tool’s check box.
3. Click Submit.
Note: If no selection check box appears for a tool, it has been turned off by the Blackboard administrator at
your school. Tools with a dash ( - ) in a column do not have availability settings in the system that can be
changed.
To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
How do I copy or move content items?
You can copy and move content items to rearrange your course material. For example, if a Content Area
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Course Options > Setting Enrollment Options
contains a large number of items, move them into folders to help users navigate.
Some content items have copy and move restrictions. For example, you can copy or move a Course Link, but
only to another area within the same course. You cannot copy assignments, tests, and surveys, but you can
move them within the same course.
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Copying content does not delete it from the original location in your course.
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Moving content removes it from its original location in your course.
For items that cannot be copied, the Copy option does not appear in the item’s contextual menu.
If a course area contains items that cannot be moved to another course, such as a test, the option to move it to
another course does not appear on the Move page.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item to copy or
move.
3. For the item you want to copy or move, click its Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Copy or Move. If Copy or Move is not available for an item, it does not appear in the
contextual menu.
5. On the Copy page or Move page, select the Destination Course from the drop-down list. The
default setting is the current course. Only courses where an instructor has a role permitting content
copying appear in the list. For items that cannot be moved out of the current course, Destination
Course is already listed as the current course and the drop-down list does not appear.
6. Click Browse to select the Destination Folder.
7. Click Submit.
To learn more see Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
What if I have areas of my course that are "under construction" and not
ready for students?
Planning is one of the most important aspects in developing your course. Develop an outline of what you want
to include in your course, build your content, test it, and get feedback on your instructional methods.
Sometimes it is not possible to have all of your content prepared and tested by the first day of class. A strategy
to consider is preparing and testing content for the first few weeks of class and making only that content
available to students. Hide all Content Areas that you are still working on. You can develop and test the next
portion of content as students are working on the material you have made available.
Check your course in the student view to be sure you only show the course areas that you intend to. In the
upper right of your course, change Edit Mode to OFF to see the student view.
Setting Enrollment Options
Enrollment options control how students enroll in the course. For more information on how to enroll students,
see Enrolling Students in Course Groups.
How to Customize Student Enrollment Options
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Control Panel in the Customization section, select Enrollment Options.
3. Select the appropriate enrollment option.
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Course Options > Checking Course Links
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Instructor/ System Administrator: This option gives the instructor or the Blackboard
administrator at your school control of the enrollment process. Select the check box to
create a link for students to email an enrollment request to the course instructor. This link
appears in the Course Catalog. l
Self Enrollment: This option allows students to enroll themselves in the course.
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Use the date fields to set a Start Date, an End Date, or both to control the time
frame that students can self-enroll. If no dates are selected, the student may
self-enroll at any time, unless the course is made unavailable or the course
duration dates have passed.
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An Access Code also can be used to verify the self-enrollment process. The
benefit of using an access code is it provides a degree of control over who can
and cannot self-enroll in a course, but leaves it up to the student to initiate and
complete the enrollment process.
Checking Course Links
The Check Course Links tool allows you to check the links to Course Files that have been added to a course.
For example, if an item in Course Files is deleted after you have created a link to the item in a course, the
Check Course Links tool detects this and informs you of the broken link. Depending on the situation, some
broken links can be repaired, while others cannot.
When a link to a Course Files item is added to a course, all course users are given Read permission to this item
in Course Files. When Check Course Links is run, the only permission that is checked is Read permission for
all course users.
What Course Areas Are Checked?
Items can be added to courses through the Browse Course option available when adding content on the create
and edit course pages. The Check Course Links function detects any broken links that appear for content
added through the Browse Course option.
The Check Course Link function detects any broken links added to the following areas through the Text
Editor:
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Content Areas (for example, course documents, course information, and assignments)
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Learning Modules
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Lesson plans
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Folders
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Announcements, calendar events, and tasks
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Discussion Board, Journals, and Blogs
Note: Links to Course Files items added to tests (including surveys and question pools) are not checked by
Check Course Links.
When Do I Use Check Course Links?
If links to Course Files items are added to a course, it is important that Check Course Links is run on a
periodic basis. This is especially true after a course is copied, restored, or imported. Users with access to the
items in Course Files can move and delete items, or edit the permissions on an item. These actions may
impact the validity of a link to the item in a course.
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Course Options > Bulk Deleting Course Information
How to Enable Check Course Links
You have the option of enabling or disabling Check Course Links for each of your courses. The tool is disabled
by default when a course is created. The following steps explain how to enable Check Course Links:
1. On the Control Panel under Customization, select Tool Availability.
2. On the Tool Availability page, select the check box for Check Course Links. Clear the check
box to disable the tool.
3. Click Submit.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school can disable Check Course Links for the entire system
and then this tool will not be available within courses.
For example, when a link to a Course Files item is added to a course, all course users are automatically granted
Read permission to the item in Course Files. If this permission is later deleted by a user who has Manage
permission to the item, selecting the link within the course results in an error message.
How to Check Course Links
Running Check Course Links is simple:
1. On the Control Panel under Packages and Utilities, select Check Course Links.
2. On the Check Course Links page, click OK to start the tool. This operation may take a few
minutes to run; the length of the process depends on the number of links within a course.
3. Read the results and repair broken links.
4. After Check Course Links is run, a results page appears, explaining the status of each link to a
Course Files item. Some types of broken links can be fixed by you, while others cannot.
Legend Description and Resolution
Valid Link. These items are linked successfully and do not require any further action.
Repairable permissions error. All course users do not have Read permission to these
items. When a user attempts to access this link in a course, a ‘File Not Found’ error appears.
However, you are identified as having Manage permission to the items and can therefore you
can repair these links. Select the check boxes next to these items and click Repair. The
system grants Read permission to these items to all course users.
Path not found. The specified path to this item is not valid. It may have been valid at one
time, but the item subsequently deleted. The links are broken and you should delete them
from the course. If the new locations or names of the items are known, new links can be
created.
Permissions error. The links to the items are valid, but all course users do not have Read
permission to these items. However, you have been identified as lacking Manage
permissions to the items and cannot repair these links. You should delete these links from
the course, or contact a user with Manage permissions or your Blackboard administrator to
these items to add the appropriate permission.
Bulk Deleting Course Information
Bulk deleting course information is most useful at the end of a course. It allows you to select information to be
deleted from a course and keeps the rest of the course areas for use in the future. For example, you can delete
students and grades from a course, but keep the content.
You can also delete any selected course or other materials as well.
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Course Options > Course Roles
When deleting users, bulk delete deletes all users with a role of student from the course. Teaching Assistants,
graders, and course builders will not be deleted.
Note: Consider archiving the course first so that it can be restored to its exact state before a bulk delete.
How to Bulk Delete Course Information
1. On the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Bulk Delete.
2. In the Select Content Materials to Delete section, select the check boxes for Content Materials
within the course that will be deleted. For example, if Staff Information is selected, all of the data
associated with staff information will be deleted.
3. In the Select Other Materials to Delete section, select the check boxes for content found in other
areas within the course that will be deleted. For example, if Discussion Board is selected all of
the discussion boards in the course will be deleted.
4. In the Confirmation section, type Delete in the Type 'Delete' to complete this request field to
confirm the bulk delete.
Course Roles
Course roles control access to the content and tools within a course. Each user is assigned a role for each
course in which they participate. For example, a user with a role of teaching assistant in one course can have a
role of student in another course.
The course role is set when a user is enrolled. It can also be edited after enrollment from the Control Panel.
Course roles include:
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Course Builder
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Grader
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Guest
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Instructor
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Student
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Teaching Assistant (TA)
Note: Administrators may edit the names, capabilities, and privileges associated with existing course roles,
as well as create new course roles. Therefore, some of the information listed here may not accurately reflect
your available course roles.
To learn about enrolling users or changing course roles, such as promoting a student to teaching assistant, see
Enrolling and Managing Users.
Course Builder
The course builder role has access to most areas of the Control Panel. This role is appropriate for a user to
manage the course without having access to student grades. A course builder can still access the course if the
course is unavailable to students. A course builder cannot delete an instructor from a course.
Course builders have access to the areas of the Control Panel in the following list. The tools and functions
within each area can vary depending on the settings that the Blackboard administrator at your school has put
into place, including enforcing a course template and customizing the role of course builder. The instructor can
also limit the availability of certain tools and functions. To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
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Course files
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Content Collection
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Course Options > Course Roles
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Course tools
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Users and groups
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Customization
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Packages and utilities
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Help
Grader
A grader assists the instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of items, such as tests and
discussion board posts. A grader also assists the instructor with managing the Grade Center. A grader cannot
access a course if it is unavailable to students.
Graders have access to the areas of the Control Panel in the following list. The tools and functions within each
area can vary depending on the settings that the Blackboard administrator at your school has put into place,
including enforcing a course template and customizing the role of grader. The instructor can also limit the
availability of certain tools and functions. To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
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Course files
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Content Collection
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Course tools
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Evaluation
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Grade Center
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Packages and utilities (limited access)
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Help
Guest
Guests have no access to the Control Panel. Areas within the course are made available to guests, but
typically they can only view course materials, but do not have access to tests and assessments, or have
permission to post on discussion boards.
Visitors, such as prospective students, alumni, or parents can be given the role of guest.
Instructor
Instructors have access to all areas in the Control Panel. This role is generally given to those developing,
teaching, or facilitating the class. Instructors may access a course that is unavailable to students.
Administrators can limit instructor access to the following features of the Control Panel:
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List users
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Edit users
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Create user
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Batch create users
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Delete users
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Enroll users
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Settings
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Import
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Course Options > Course Roles
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Export
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Archive
Student
Student is the default course role. Students have no access to the Control Panel.
Teaching Assistant
The teaching assistant (or TA) role is that of a co-teacher. Teaching assistants are able to administer all areas
of a course. Their only limitations are those imposed by the instructor or Blackboard administrator at your
school. A teaching assistant cannot delete an instructor from a course.
Teaching assistants have access to most all tools and features in the Control Panel.
Even if the course is unavailable to students, teaching assistants still have access to the course. Teaching
assistants are not listed in the Course Catalog listing for the course.
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Notifications > About The Notifications Dashboard
Notifications
About The Notifications Dashboard
The Notifications Dashboard contains four basic modules that give information to users based on their
enrollment and their role in the system. Which modules are available and what type of notifications are
delivered is set up by the Blackboard administrator at your school. Users with multiple enrollments will receive
information in modules for all their classes and organizations. Users with multiple roles will receive information
in modules for all their roles. Users can navigate to individual items to take action.
For all users, each course contains a Notification Dashboard specific to that course. If your school licenses
community engagement, this information may be part of an additional Notifications Dashboard tab on the My
Institution tab, which contains information for all courses in which the user is enrolled.
Instructors can customize the notifications that appear on this page, as well as opt to have email notifications
sent to their account.
The page displays these modules:
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Needs Attention: Displays all items in a course that require some type of interaction. Instructors,
teaching assistants (TAs), and graders see student submissions that need grading, such as
assignments, tests, surveys, blog and Discussion Board posts, and journal entries.
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Alerts: Displays past due and early warning notifications for all courses. Instructors, TAs, and
graders see the users in each course that have past due items and who have generated early warning
messages. Links are provided to email students and view early warning system rules. Students see
any assignments, tests, or other items that are past due and any early warning messages received.
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What's New: Displays a list of new items in all relevant courses and organizations. Instructors, TAs,
and graders see any new assignments that have been submitted, tests that have been submitted,
new Discussion Board posts, blog entries, and journal entries. Students see new discussion board
and blog posts, new grades posted, new content that is available. To learn more, see What's New
Module.
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To Do: Displays the status (Past Due/Due) of relevant course work. Students see any grade items
that have listed due dates in two categories, what is past due and what is due in the future. Links to
relevant course items are provided. To learn more, see To Do Module.
Note: The To Do Notifications module is not the same as the Tasks tool. To learn more about tasks,
see Tasks.
Where Is It?
For Blackboard Learn users, by default, the Notifications Dashboard displays as the homepage for a course. (If
your Blackboard administrator has enabled it, you may be able to manage this setting.) It only displays
information for that specific course.
If your school licenses community engagement, the Notification Dashboard can also be accessed through a
secondary tab on the My Institution tab. The user may be able to manage this setting. The page displays
information and items for all courses.
Who Can Use It?
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls the ability for users to view the Notifications Dashboard,
to configure the notifications that display in the page, and to receive email notifications. In addition, the
Blackboard administrator at your school can allow or disallow users to control any or all notifications or email
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Notifications > Notifications Dashboard Rules
notifications.
How to Turn It On
The Notifications Dashboard is on for the system by default. If it is turned off by the Blackboard administrator at
your school, then it is not possible for an instructor to turn it on.
To turn off the Notification Dashboard, navigate to the Settings page for the Notifications Dashboard. To learn
more, see Notifications Dashboard Settings.
Email Notifications
You can select to receive email notifications for updated, impending, or created items.
Notifications Dashboard Rules
Rules for Items to Display as Notifications
Items must follow these rules to be viewed in the Notifications Dashboard area for the user views:
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A notification for that item is set to On in the Notifications Dashboard Settings area.
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The item or Discussion Board forum is made Available.
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The start date for the item has passed.
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The adaptive release criteria are met by a student.
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An Early Warning System rule is broken by a student.
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For an assessment, assignment, survey, or grade item to display in the Alerts area for instructors, or
the To Do area for students, there must be a due date.
Rules for the Removal of Notifications
A notification will be deleted from the Notifications Dashboard area because of one of the following actions:
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The item is deleted by the user.
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The item is made Unavailable.
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The item's end date is reached.
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The adaptive release rules are no longer met by the student.
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The Early Warning System Rules are no longer broken by the student.
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The item has passed its duration as determined in Notifications Dashboard Settings page. To learn
more, see Notifications Dashboard Settings.
Rules for the Removal of Specific Items as Notifications
The following table clarifies the information for removal of specific items as notifications.
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Notifications > Using the Notifications Dashboard
Notification
Module
Action to Automatically Remove
New Student Group
created
What's
New
The Notifications Dashboard duration setting for notifications will delete this
notification. To configure this setting, navigate to the Notifications
Dashboard Settings page. To learn more, seeNotifications Dashboard
Settings.
Discussion Board posts,
Blog entries, Journal
entries
What's
New
The unread posts or entries are viewed.
Course information
What's
New
If the item contains a review status, when it is marked as reviewed it will be
deleted.
Assessment, Assignment,
Announcement, Survey,
Group or Content
Available
What's
New
The Notifications Dashboard's duration setting for notifications will delete this
notification. To configure this setting, navigate to the Notifications
Dashboard Settings page. To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard
Settings.
Assessment, Survey, or
Assignment
Alerts
Student submits the item.
Assessment, Survey, or
Assignment
Needs
The instructor grades the item.
Attention
Using the Notifications Dashboard
Instructors can navigate to specific areas to take action on notifications and can control the appearance of the
Notifications Dashboard. Community engagement users can also navigate to courses within the modules.
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Notifications > Using the Notifications Dashboard
Setting Notifications in a Module
Notifications appear in modules where they are viewed, deleted and acted upon. Click the Actions contextual
menu to:
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Expand All: Displays all the items in the module.
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Collapse All: Collapses all the items in the module.
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Dismiss All: Removes all the notifications in the module.
To look at each item in a module, click the item. This will expand the notification list. Each notification in the list
will have its own contextual menu. Use this menu to take action on a specific notification. Actions available for
notifications may include:
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View Details: Navigate to the course area such as the Early Warning System, discussion board, or
the Grade Center to see the details of the notification. (To learn more, see Early Warning System and
Grade Center.)
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Refresh: Refresh an Early Warning System Rule.
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Email: Send email to students.
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Notifications > Notifications Dashboard Display
Note: Removing the notification only deletes the notification, and does not delete the item from the course. To
learn more about the removal of a notification, see Notifications Dashboard Rules.
Controlling the Appearance of the Dashboard
To...
Do...
Collapse modules
Click the minimize icon (-).
Open module in a new
window
Click the new window icon.
Move modules
Move the mouse pointer over the module until the cross-hair mouse pointer appears.
Click, hold, and drag the module.
Add modules
Click Add Module
Edit module settings
Click the Manage Module Settings icon.
Change the color
theme
Click Personalize.
Notifications Dashboard Display
The Notifications Dashboard displays notifications for changes to items. These notifications are displayed in
different modules, which can be added, removed, and customized.
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Notifications > Notifications Dashboard Display
The following items can generate different notifications:
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Content item
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Course information
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Assignments
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Tests
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blog entries
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Surveys
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Journal entries
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Discussion Board posts
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Grade changes
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Early Warning System rules
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Group information
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Announcements
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Notifications > Notifications Dashboard Display
For Blackboard Learn - Enterprise license users, the Notifications Dashboard area displays in each course, and
displays notifications only for that course.
If your school licenses community engagement, the Notifications Dashboard modules also display in the
MyBlackboard area or My Institution tab and display notifications for all courses.
Display Modules
Notifications for these items are categorized in modules. The following table explains the three most common
modules, their information, and layout.
Module
Information and Appearance
Needs
Any submitted item by a user for review or grading by the instructor. Categories of the possible
Attention notification types: l
Grade Tests: The tests and the corresponding users who have submitted the tests.
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Grade Assignments: The assignments and the corresponding users who have submitted the
assignments.
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Grade Surveys: The surveys and the corresponding users who have submitted the surveys.
Alerts
The Past Due area displays any assessment, assignment, or survey that has passed its due date with
no submission by the student. The Early Warning System area displays any rule and the list of students
who have violated that rule.
What's
New
The Communication area displays the number of unread Discussion Board posts for each forum, the
unread blog entries, and the unread journal entries. The Materials area displays any updated,
submitted, or created content, tests, assignments, and surveys.
Student Display
The following table explains the most common notification modules that students see, their notifications, and
layout.
Module Information and Appearance
To Do
The What's Past Due area displays any assessment, assignment, or survey that has passed its due date
with no submission by the student. The What's Due displays information about any assessment,
assignment, or survey that contains a due date.
What's The Communication area displays the number of unread Discussion Board posts for each forum, the
New
unread blog entries, and the unread Journal entries. The Materials area displays any updated, submitted,
or created items, such as tests, assignments, announcements, surveys, and so on.
Alerts
The Past Due area displays any assessment, assignment, or survey that has passed its due date with no
submission by the student The Early Warning System area displays any rule the student has violated.
Be aware that students will have the ability to re-order the courses and organizations in the My Courses and
My Organization modules. They will also be able to select what information within each course or organization
that they want to appear.
Specific Feature or Item Notification Behavior
The following table explains the information that displays for specific feature or item notifications.
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Notifications > Notifications Dashboard Settings
Item
Important Information
Group For any group, submissions by the group will be viewed by the instructor as a group
submission, and not as notifications of submissions by each individual user in the group.
Discussion Board
The number of unread posts for a course is displayed. Clicking on the number will
navigate the user to the Discussion Boards main page.
blog
The number of unread blog entries for a blog is displayed. Clicking on the number will
navigate the user to the blog.
Journal
The number of unread journal entries for a journal is displayed. Clicking on the number
will navigate the user to the journal.
Tests or Assignments
with Multiple Attempts
The most recent attempt information and link will display.
Notifications Dashboard Settings
IMPORTANT! If the Blackboard administrator at your school has defined the settings for notifications,
email notifications, the duration of a notification, or due date reminders, those settings overrides will take
precedence over any user setting.
If allowed by the Blackboard administrator at your school, you can decide:
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Which notifications appear on the dashboard
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Which notifications will generate email messages
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Which type of email format notifications will be sent, individual or daily digest
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The number of days before the removal of a notification
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To create due date reminders for notifications
How to Access the Edit Notifications Settings Page
Click My Places then Edit Notifications Settings to locate the Edit Notifications Settings page.
This page displays General Notification Settings.
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Edit General Settings: Defines the general notification settings such as email format, deletion
schedule, and reminder schedule for courses and organizations.
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Edit Individual Course Settings: Displays the current notification settings for courses in which a
user is enrolled. Changes to the notification settings for a specific course can be made.
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Bulk Edit Notification Settings: Select a set of courses or organizations to update and change the
notification settings for them in one step.
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Edit Individual Organization Settings: Displays the current notification settings for organizations
in which a user is enrolled. Changes to the notification settings for a specific organization can be
made.
Choosing the Email Notification Type
You can choose to receive an email message for each notification, or choose to receive a daily digest email that
contains information about all of the notifications for that day. You can also set the preferred delivery time for
the daily digest sent by email.
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Notifications > Notifications Dashboard Settings
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Individual: Email messages are sent for each notification. For Early Warning System details, unread
discussion board messages, unread blog posts, and unread journal entries, however, the digest
selection is necessary.
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Daily Digest: All notifications are collected and sent in a daily digest email. Set the time to Send
Daily Email Digest.
Creating a Duration for Notifications
Set the number of days until a notification is automatically deleted.
Creating Due Date Reminders
The user can set due date reminders for notifications. This reminder will be emailed to the user.
Set the number of days before the due date to send an email.
The email will be sent as a digest email or as individual emails depending upon the option selected by the user.
To learn more about selecting email type, see Choosing the Email Notification Type in the Notifications
Dashboard settings.
Choosing Notification Types and Email Notification
It is possible to decide the notification types and emails to receive.
All notification types, by default, are turned on. These notifications are displayed in the Notifications Dashboard
modules.
All email notification types, by default, are turned off, an email will be sent out corresponding to that notification.
Though for the following items, email notifications can only be sent out if daily digest email is selected: l
Early Warning System Rule details
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Unread discussion board messages
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Unread blog posts
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Unread journal entries
After choosing the appropriate settings, click Submit to save these settings. If in a course's Edit Notification Settings page, it is possible to Save to All, so that the settings will affect all
of your courses.
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Student Course Experience > Making a Course Available or Unavailable
Student Course Experience
Making a Course Available or Unavailable
A course must be made available before students enrolled in the course will be able to view or access the
course and its content. However, you may wish to make a course unavailable during the building process, or
after a scheduled course has finished.
How to Make a Course Available
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section, and select Properties.
3. Under the third section, Set Availability, click Yes to make the course available to users.
4. Optionally, under the fourth section, Set Course Duration, choose one of the following options:
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Continuous (default) to leave the course available without a specified start or end date
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Select Dates to choose a start and/or end date
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Days from the Date of Enrollment to specify a specific length of time users have to
access the course after enrolling. This is the best option for self-paced courses.
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Student Course Experience > Making a Course Available or Unavailable
5. Click Submit.
How to Make a Course Unavailable
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Properties.
3. In the Set Availability section, click No to make the course unavailable to users.
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Student Course Experience > Managing Tool Availability
4. Click Submit.
If a course is unavailable, access is determined by course role. Blackboard administrators, instructors, course
builders, teaching assistants, and graders can see and access unavailable courses from My Courses and the
Course List, but they are marked as unavailable. Students cannot access unavailable courses regardless of the
course duration. Unavailable courses do not appear in the Course Catalog.
Related Tutorials
Making Your Course Available (Flash movie | 1m 35s | 790 KB)
Managing Tool Availability
You can select which tools are available in your course and which users have access to them. For example, if
the Messages tool will not be used, make it unavailable. No one can see it or access it, including you, until it is
made available again. On the Tool Availability page, available tools are listed alphabetically.
The Blackboard administrator at your school can turn off select tools, making those tools unavailable for use in
your courses. The administrator can also remove your ability to choose who has access to select tools.
How to Access Tool Availability Settings
On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Tool Availability. Select or clear the
check boxes of the tools you want to use in your course and which users will have access to these tools.
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Available: The tool is available throughout your course and open to all users that have a role
permitting the use of the tool.
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Visible to Guests: The tool is visible (read-only), but not usable to Guests when Guests are
permitted in your course.
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Visible to Observers: The tool is visible (read-only), but not usable to Observers when Observers
are permitted in your course.
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Available in Content Areas: You can place a link to a tool in one or more Content Areas in your
course.
Circle with diagonal line: The Blackboard administrator at your school made the tool unavailable.
If tools are made unavailable after a period of being available, either at the course level by you or at the system
level by the Blackboard administrator at your school, no content is deleted from the system. If the tools are
made available again, the existing content remains and becomes accessible.
Filtering the Display
Click Filter on the action bar to sort the table based on availability status for the tool and for the role users have
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Student Course Experience > Enrolling and Managing Users
in a course. Filtering makes it easier to see which tools are available and visible, and change settings based on
those criteria.
About Building Blocks
If your school has licensed any Building Blocks, they will appear in the list of tools on the Tool Availability
page.
Related Tutorials
Turning Tool Availability On and Off (Flash movie | 2m 0s )
Enrolling and Managing Users
The Users page lists all enrolled users in a course and allows you to manage their settings. You can change a
user’s password, role, availability in a course, and edit a user's profile information. You can also delete users to
permanently remove them from the course.
Access the Users page from the Control Panel under Users and Groups.
About Enrolling Users
There are three ways to enroll a user. These options are available from the Enroll User drop-down menu or the
Batch Enroll button on the action bar.
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Create a User: Users created in a course are automatically enrolled in that course.
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Find Users to Enroll: Users that have an existing account in the system can be enrolled in the
course.
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Batch Enroll: Enroll multiple users to the course all at once and assign them a course role.
How to Create Users
Your Blackboard Learn administrator manages the ability of instructors to create new users. If you are unable to
create users, contact your Blackboard administrator for more information.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Click Users.
3. On the Users page, point to Enroll User and select Create User.
4. Provide the required information and any other relevant personal information.
5. Select a Role and Availability for the user.
6. Click Submit.
For institutions with multiple information systems, creating users may occur in a different information system
accessed by a link at the top of this page.
Information about users is stored in a user profile. The Blackboard administrator at your school determines
which the fields of data in the user profile are displayed to users and which are editable by users.
How to Find Users to Enroll
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Click Users.
3. On the Users page, point to Enroll User and select Find Users to Enroll.
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Student Course Experience > Enrolling and Managing Users
4. Type a username or click Browse to search for users. Only users that are not already enrolled in
the course will be identified in a search for users.
5. Select or type as many usernames as desired. Separate multiple usernames with commas.
6. Select a Role and Enrollment Availability for the users.
7. Click Submit
Located Users: The results of a search will display up to 25 names on a page. Searches that result in more
than 25 users will display users on multiple pages. It is not possible to enroll multiple users who appear on
different pages. Instead, select users to enroll from a single page and click Submit. Redo the search to select
additional users to enroll.
Availability: Users who have been made Unavailable by your Blackboard administrator cannot be enrolled in
a course. Users who have been enrolled in a course but made Unavailable by you will not see the course in My
Courses and do not have access to the course. You need to set the course to Available for these users so
they can see they are enrolled in the course.
How to Batch Enroll Users
Batch Enroll Users adds multiple users to the course and assign them a course role. Users that do not exist in
the system will be created in the system and added to the course. User data is defined in a batch file that must
be created outside the system. Common creation tools are text editors and Microsoft Excel.
Your Blackboard administrator manages the ability of instructors to batch enroll users. If you are unable to
batch enroll users, contact your Blackboard administrator for more information.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Click Users.
3. On the Users page, click Batch Enroll Users.
4. Click Browse to locate the batch file, and select a Delimiter Type, if necessary.
5. Click Submit.
Information about Batch Files
Batch files are .txt files that can hold large quantities of information to upload to the system. Each batch utility
contains specific instructions on creating the batch file. The following batch file standards are universal.
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Each file must be one of the supported file types: .txt (plain text) or .csv (comma-separated values)
Note: Microsoft Excel versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes in every field if the
worksheet is saved as a .csv file.
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Each file must be in DOS format. Files in Mac or UNIX format must be converted to DOS.
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Each field must be enclosed in double quotation marks. For example: "John"
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If quotation marks appear in a field, use an escape character to indicate that the next character does
not mark the end of the field. The escape character is a backslash (). For example: "\"NICKNAME\""
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Each field must be separated with one of the following delimiters: comma, colon, or tab. When
selecting AUTO, only one type of delimiter may be used in each batch file. For example:
"John","Smith" or " "John":"Smith"
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Each record must be on a separate line. For example:
"John","Smith"
"Samantha","Baker"
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Do not include blank lines between records. The blank line will be processed and return an error.
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Student Course Experience > Searching for Users in a Course
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Blackboard recommends that each batch file not exceed 500 records because of timeout restrictions
associated with most browsers.
How to Remove Users From a Course
Removing users from a course is final and cannot be undone. All of the information associated with the users,
such as Grade Center information, assessment and assignment information, and course statistics are also
deleted. Discussion board posts, received messages, and email are not deleted. Deleted users and their
corresponding information cannot be restored to the course. However, it is possible to re-enroll the user into the
course without any associated data.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Click Users.
3. Select the check boxes next to the users you want to remove from the course.
4. Click Remove Users From Course.
5. A pop-up window warns you that the action is final. Click OK to delete the user.
Alternatively, you can delete users one at a time by using the option in their contextual menus.
1. On the Users page, click a user's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Remove Users From Course.
3. A pop-up window warns you that the action is final. Click OK to delete the user.
Managing Settings for Users
The following functions are accessed by clicking a user's Action Link to access the contextual menu. The
options include:
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Edit: Personal information about a user can be updated from this page.
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Change User's Password: The user will receive an email notification after the password is changed.
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Change User's Role in Course: Select the role for the user. This setting only affects the course you
are teaching. To learn about roles, such as student or teaching assistant (TA), see Course Roles.
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Change User's Availability in Course: Set the user's availability to Yes or No. This setting only
affects the course you are teaching. Availability is displayed in the far right column on the Users
page.
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Remove Users From Course: Select this option to delete users. You will be prompted to confirm
the removal.
Searching for Users in a Course
In Blackboard Learn, you can search for users from several areas.
Because searching for users requires access to the Control Panel, the ability to search for users is only
available if you have one of the following defined course roles:
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Instructor
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Teaching assistant (TA)
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Grader
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Course builder
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Blackboard administrator
To learn more, see Course Roles.
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Student Course Experience > Allowing Guest and Observer Access
How to Search for a User by First Name, Last Name, Email, or Username
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Users.
2. Select one of the following: first name, last name, email address, or username.
3. Select one of the following: Contains, Equal to, or Starts with.
4. Type one of the following: first name, last name, email address, or username.
5. Click Go. All matching entries are displayed.
How to Search Using a Value Found in the User’s Name
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Users.
2. Type a value in the search text box.
3. Click Go. All matching entries are displayed.
How to List All Users in a Course
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Users.
2. Click Go. All users are displayed.
Tip: You may prefer to download the list in spreadsheet format. To learn more, see Grade Center.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section and select Full Grade Center.
2. Point to Work Offline to access the drop-down list and select Download.
3. Select the columns that you want to download. The list of students are included automatically.
4. Click Submit and save the file.
Allowing Guest and Observer Access
You can control whether or not the guest and observer roles have access to your course.
Guests in a course can include guest lecturers, potential students, or other users who are not directly
participating in your course.
Observers are typically assigned to follow specific users in Blackboard Learn without interacting with the
system. Observers are able to view the course and track student progress. Also, you can communicate Early
Warning System notifications to observers as well as students, or just to the observers of a student.
How to Allow Guest and Observer Access
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Guest and Observer
Access.
3. On the Guest and Observer Access page, select Yes for Allow Guests and Allow Observers to
allow guests and observers to view your course,
How to Customize Guest and Observer Access
The Blackboard administrator at your school can allow or disallow guest and observer access to certain
features of courses, such as Content Areas and tools.
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Student Course Experience > Adaptively Releasing Content
IMPORTANT! System settings override course settings when restricting access. If the system does not
permit guest access to a tool, guests enrolled in a course cannot be permitted access to the tool at the
course level.
It is possible to give guest and observer access to individual features that are not overridden at the system
level. The features are visible (read-only), but not usable to guests and observers when they are permitted in
your course.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Tool Availability.
2. On the Tool Availability page, you can control guest and observer access by selecting or clearing
check boxes. Tools with a circle with a diagonal line icon in a column do not have availability
settings in the system that you can change. To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.
The following table lists the tools that are either unavailable on the system level to both guests and observers or
only available to the observer role. The Blackboard administrator can disallow availability for a specific tool in
the following list for the observer role.
Tool
Unavailable to Both the Guest and Observer Roles
Assignments
Yes
Tests
Yes
Blogs
Yes
Collaboration
Yes
Discussion Board Yes
Email
Unavailable to guest role
Groups
Yes
Journals
Yes
Messages
Yes
My Grades
Unavailable to guest role
Roster
Unavailable to guest role
Rubrics
Yes
Tasks
Unavailable to guest role
Related Tutorials
Permitting and Restricting Guest and Observer Access (Flash movie | 1m 51s )
Adaptively Releasing Content
About Adaptive Release
Adaptive release controls the release of content to users based on a set of rules created by the instructor. The
rules may be related to availability, date and time, individual users, group membership, scores or attempts on
any Grade Center item, calculated columns in Grade Center, or review status of an item in the course.
The following options are available:
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Adaptive Release: Create basic rules for an item. Only one rule per item can be created, but the rule
can have multiple criteria, all of which must be met.
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Adaptive Release Advanced: Create sophisticated combinations of release rules by adding multiple
rules with multiple criteria to a single content item. Users must meet all the criteria of one of the rules
to gain access.
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User Progress: View the details on an item for all users in a course. This page includes information
about whether the item is visible to the user and whether the user has marked the item as reviewed.
Adaptive Release Rules and Criteria
A basic adaptive release rule consists of a set of criteria that defines the visibility of a content item to users. If a
rule has multiple criteria, the user must meet all criteria before the item is available. Advanced adaptive release
enables you to create multiple rules for a single content item, and each rule can consist of multiple criteria.
For example, suppose you add a rule for an assignment to allow users in Group A to view the assignment after
a specific date. This rule would consist of membership criteria and date criteria. Another rule for this
assignment can allow all users in Group B to view the assignment once they had completed Homework #1.
This rule would consist of membership criteria and Grade Center completion criteria.
Note: Only one membership criterion and one date criterion can be created for each rule. Multiple Grade Center
criteria and review status criteria can be added to each rule.
Adaptive Release Rules During Course Copy, Archive, and Export
Adaptive release rules and user progress information are only included during a full course copy that includes
users, and during archive and restore operations. Rules and user progress information are not saved during a
copy of course materials into a new course or during a copy of course materials into an existing course. They
are also not saved during export and import operations.
Enable and Disable the Adaptive Release Feature
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls the availability of the adaptive release feature. If this
feature is made available, course developers can add basic or advanced adaptive release rules.
If the Adaptive Release tool is disabled by the Administrator, all rules that have been created will disappear.
Also, adaptive release related links on the Manage page will no longer appear. If the tool is later re-enabled, the
links on the Manage page will reappear and any data associated with adaptive release (such as the rules) will
be saved. Any adaptive release rules that had previously been set also reappear.
Visibility of Items with Adaptive Release Rules
Once any adaptive release rules have been established for an item, visibility of that item is restricted to those
users who meet the criteria of those rules.
For example, suppose you create a content item called "Introduction" in a Content Area. At this point, all course
users would be able to see that content item. Next, you create a rule restricting the item to Group A users. Now,
only members of Group A can see Introduction—all other course users do not see it.
Next, you add another criterion to this rule, restricting it to Group A members who have received at least 80
points on Test #1. Now, only members of Group A who have also scored 80 or greater on Test #1 will see
Introduction. All other users, including Group A members who scored less than an 80 on the pre-test, will not
see Introduction.
If no adaptive release rules have been created, the item is available to all users in the course depending on the
item availability and date restrictions set during item creation or editing.
Note: If an adaptive release rule is created, but no criteria for it are defined, the content will display to all users.
This is true even if there are other rules associated with the item. One blank criterion will allow the content
display to all users.
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Student Course Experience > Adaptively Releasing Content
View Availability of an Item on User Progress Page
You can create one or more adaptive release rules to narrow the availability of a content item. It may be difficult
to remember which users may access each piece of content. The User Progress page displays details on the
visibility of a content item and the adaptive release rules pertaining to it on a user-by-user basis. If Review
Status is enabled for the item, an icon is displayed to show if the user has reviewed the item along with a date
and time stamp for when the review was registered for that user.
If no adaptive release rules have been created for that item, the visibility column is based simply on availability
of the item itself. For example, if the item is available, the Visible icon is displayed for all users.
Differences Between Basic Adaptive Release and Advanced Adaptive
Release
Basic adaptive release enables you to create one rule for a single item. That rule can contain multiple criteria.
Advanced adaptive release enables you to create multiple rules for a single item. If you want to create different
criteria for different users on the same item, more than one rule is needed. For example, you can set up a rule
for Group A that enables these users to view Test 1 after completing Assignment A. You can set up a separate
rule for Group B that enables them to see Test 1 after completing Assignment B. Unavailable Items and Adaptive Release Rules
Item availability set on the Add Item page supersedes all adaptive release rules. If the item is unavailable, it is
unavailable to all users regardless of any rules established. This allows course developers to develop rules and
only make items available when finished with rule creation.
View Content with Rules Through the Course
If you view Content Areas through the course as a student would with Edit Mode set to OFF, the student view
is based on item availability and adaptive release rules. For example, if adaptive release is used to make an
item available to a Group, and you yourself are not a member of the Group, you will not see the item if accessed
through the Course Menu. The same is true for unavailable items. If an item is added to a course, but is not
made available, the you will not see it when you access the Content Area through the Course Menu.
To learn more, see Edit Mode.
Managing Adaptive Release Rules
How to Add a Basic Adaptive Release Rule
Basic adaptive release rules allow you to add and edit one rule for a single piece of content. This single rule may
have multiple criteria. For example, the rule may require a student to meet both date criteria and review status
criteria before the content is available. Advanced adaptive release rules can also be used to add multiple rules
to a single piece of content.
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Open the contextual menu for an item and click Adaptive Release.
4. Complete one or more sections of the Adaptive Release page—date, membership, grade, review
status, and so on.
5. Click Submit.
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Student Course Experience > Adaptively Releasing Content
How to Add an Advanced Adaptive Release Rule
Advanced adaptive release allows you to add multiple rules to a single content item. If multiple rules are
created, the content is visible to the user if any of the rules are met. Each rule may have multiple criteria. For
example, one rule may allow users in Group A with a score above an 85 on a Test to view the content item.
Another rule for the same item may allow users in Group B to view the same content item only after a specific
date.
Rules that cannot be satisfied by any user will be noted because they will not provide any access to the
specified content item.
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Open the contextual menu for an item and click Adaptive Release: Advanced.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
6. Point to Create Criteria and select date, grade or membership and fill in the criteria. Click Submit
when the rule is complete.
7. On the Action Bar, click Review Status to add this type of criteria the advanced adaptive release
rule. Browse and select the content item to be reviewed before the content is released.
8. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 to add multiple criteria to an item.
How to Copy an Adaptive Release Rule
You may find it easier to copy an existing adaptive release rule rather than creating a new one from scratch.
Once the rule is copied, the name can be changed and the rule edited. Rules may only be copied within a single
content item; a rule from one content item may not be copied to another content item.
Follow these steps to copy an adaptive release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Open the contextual menu for an item and click Adaptive Release: Advanced. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Select the check box next to the rule you would like to copy and select Copy in the Action Bar.
5. An exact replica of the rule appears at the bottom of the list. It has the same name as the original
rule starting with ‘Copy of’.
6. Open the contextual menu of the copied rule and click Edit Criteria to make changes to the name
or criteria.
How to Edit an Adaptive Release Rule
Rules are managed and edited from the Adaptive Release page. The criteria of a rule and the name of a rule
are managed separately.
Changing the Name of an Adaptive Release Rule
Follow these steps to change the name of a rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
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Student Course Experience > Adaptively Releasing Content
3. Open the contextual menu for an item and click Adaptive Release: Advanced. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Select Manage from the contextual menu for the rule that needs to be edited. The Manage Rule
page appears.
5. Edit the Rule Name and select Submit.
Editing the Criteria of an Advanced Adaptive Release Rule
Follow these steps to edit the criteria of an advanced adaptive release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Open the contextual menu for an item and click Adaptive Release: Advanced. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Select Edit Criteria next to the rule that needs to be updated. The Manage Criteria page appears.
Criteria may be added, edited, and deleted. Select OK when the changes are complete.
5. Repeat Step 4 to change any additional criteria related to the content item.
Editing a Basic Adaptive Release Rule
Follow these steps to edit a basic adaptive release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Open the contextual menu for an item and click Adaptive Release. The Adaptive Release page
appears.
4. Make any necessary changes and click Submit.
Note: These steps can also be used to edit a rule with one criteria created on the Advanced Adaptive
Release page.
How to Delete an Adaptive Release Rule
Both advanced and basic adaptive release rules can be deleted from the Adaptive Release: Advanced page.
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Open the contextual menu for an item and click Adaptive Release: Advanced. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Select the rule to delete. Multiple rules may be selected. Click Delete.
Adding Adaptive Release Criteria
About Adaptive Release Criteria
Criteria are the parts that define an adaptive release rule. You can apply one or more criteria to each rule. For
example, one rule may make content available after a specific date, while another rule, with multiple criteria,
may make content available to a Course Group after a specific date.
The following table describes available criteria:
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Criteria
Description
Date and Time
Display content based on a date or time. Options include:
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After a specific date
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Until a specific date
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Within a time frame
Username
Display content to one or more users.
Course Groups
Display content to members of one or more groups in a course.
Grade Center Column Display content item to users based a grade or a calculated column.
Grade Center: Item
with at least one
attempt
Display content based on a recorded attempt by the user, instead of a required score. For
example, if a student has completed the test or a grade has been entered for a submitted
assignment.
Grade Center: Item
with a specific score
Display content based on a required score. Options include:
Grade Center: Item
with a score between
X and Y
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Less than or equal to
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Greater than or equal to
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Equal to
Display content based on a range of scores. For example, if a student scores between 85
and 100 on an exam.
Review Status an item Display content to the user only after an associated item has been marked as Reviewed.
About Date Criteria
Date criteria enable content to be displayed according to date and time. Content may be displayed after a
specific date, until a specific date, or within a time frame.
You can set date restrictions when creating or editing an item, when adding a date criterion in an adaptive
release rule, or both. For example, suppose an item is made available during creation from December 1 to
December 30. Adaptive release could be used to extend the availability to a small group of users until January
15.
Note: If the date is changed on the item itself, for example on the Edit Item page, and adaptive release date
criteria already exist, a warning message appears. The same is true if you attempt to add adaptive release date
criteria and a date for the item has been set on the Add or Edit Item page.
How to Add Date Criteria to a Rule
Date criteria are created with the same information for basic adaptive release rules and advanced adaptive
release rules. You can add more criteria to a rule, in addition to date criteria, to further narrow the availability of
an item.
Follow the steps below to add date criteria to an advanced adaptive release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
-OR-
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Student Course Experience > Adaptively Releasing Content
Select Edit from the contextual menu for an existing rule on the Adaptive Release page to edit its
criteria.
6. On the Action Bar, point to Create Criteria and select Date. The Date page appears.
Date Criteria
Setting
Display an item
after a specific
date
Select the check box next to Display After. Select a date and time using the
selection menus. The item will appear to users after this date and time.
Display an item
until a specific
date
Select the check box next to Display Until. Select a date and time using the
selection menus. The item will appear to users until this date and time.
About Membership Criteria
Membership criteria allow content to be displayed according to username and course groups. You can set up
criteria that use one or both of these options. You can make this item available to a course group, or make this
item available to a course group and other specific individuals.
Make Content Available to Specific Users
Membership criteria are useful for making content available to a specific user or set of users. For example, if a
student requests a way to earn more points for class, you could agree, but decide to not offer this option to the
rest of the students in the course. You would create an extra credit content item and only releases it to the
single student through the membership criteria.
Make Content Available to Groups
Membership criteria may be used to manage content for groups within a course.
For example, suppose a class is divided into three groups and each group has a different assignment. They are
instructed to learn the topic and then present the material to the entire class. You have materials specific to
each group's assignment. You would load the material for Group 1 as content items, and release the material
only to Group 1. Then, you would the material for Group 2 as content items, and release that material only to
Group 2. This same process is used for Group 3.
When a group presents the material to the class, you may then change the release rule on that material so it
becomes available to the entire class. (Alternatively, if you know the date of presentation ahead of time, the
date criteria may be used to make the content available for the rest of the class.)
How to Add Membership Criteria to a Rule
Membership criteria are created with the same information for basic adaptive release rules and advanced
adaptive release rules. You may add more criteria to a rule, in addition to membership criteria, to further narrow
the availability of an item.
Follow the steps below to add a membership criterion to an advanced adaptive release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
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-ORSelect Edit from the contextual menu for an existing rule on the Adaptive Release page to edit its
criteria.
6. On the Action Bar, point to Create Criteria and select Membership. The Membership page
appears.
Membership
Setting
Criteria
Course
Users
In the Username field enter one or more user names, separated by commas or click
Browse to search the system. Use the Course Membership window to search for and
select user names to add to the field.
Course
Groups
All groups in the course appear in the Items to Select box, even those that are
unavailable. Use the arrows to move groups from the Items to select field to the
Selected Items field. Content is displayed to all of the groups that appear in the
Selected Items field.
About Grade Center Criteria
Grade Center criteria can be used to release content based on item attempt, item score, or a calculated column.
A number of different score values may be selected, including the following:
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A score greater than a set value
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A score less than a set value
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A score that equals a specific value
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A score that falls within a range of values
Make Content Available Based on Grade Center Attempt
Grade Center criteria are useful if you want to make content visibility dependent on attempts made by students
on tests or assignments. For example, suppose you prepare a pre-test for students to complete before review
materials are made available. This enables students to discover for themselves which topics they should study
more.
End-of-term surveys are another use for attempt-based criterion. Some institutions require that an end-of-term
survey is attempted at least once before the final exam is made available.
Make Content Available Based on Grade Center Score or Calculated Column
Grade Center criteria can make content available based on a specific score or a calculated column in the Grade
Center. Many courses rely on progression, where students must learn one topic before moving to another.
If you want students to have passed the assignment on basic verb conjugation before viewing the material on
advanced verb conjugation, you can create a rule that allows only students who have received at least a 70 on
the basic verb conjugation assignment to view the advanced verb conjugation material.
You can also establish a range of values for content release, such as releasing an extra credit item to users
who scored between 60 and 80, and releasing a different item with more intense remediation for students
scoring below 60. In this case, you create two content items and releases one to users who fall into the 60-80
range and releases the other to students who received less than 60.
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How to Add Grade Center Criteria to a Rule
Grade Center criteria are created with the same information for basic adaptive release rules and advanced
adaptive release rules. You may add more criteria to a rule, in addition to Grade Center criteria, to further narrow
the availability of an item.
Tip: Only one Grade Center item can be selected for each Grade Center criterion. However, multiple Grade
Center criteria may be added to a single advanced adaptive release rule. For example, within a single rule, you
can specify a criterion that makes Project A available after Survey #1 is complete and another criterion that
makes Project A available after a score greater than 70 on Test #2 is recorded. In this example, only students
who have completed Survey #1 and scored higher than 70 on Test #2 may view Project A.
Follow the steps below to add a Grade Center criterion to an advanced Adaptive Release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
-ORSelect Edit from the contextual menu for an existing rule on the Adaptive Release page to edit its
criteria.
6. On the Action Bar, point to Create Criteria and select Grade. The Grade page appears.
7. Select the Grade Center item for this criterion in the Select Grade Center Column drop-down list.
Grade Center items are listed by their categories, such as assignment or discussion. Possible
points are also included to help you determine the score range.
Grade Center Condition
Setting
User has at least one attempt
for this item
Select the option User has at least one attempt for this item to
release the content based on a submitted attempt rather than the
score achieved.
Make content available based
on less than, greater than, or
equal to score
Use the options in the Score drop-down list to select Less Than,
Greater Than, or Equal To. Type a numeric score in the box for
the score threshold.
Make content available for a
score within a range of values
Select the option Score Between or Percent Between. Type the
range of values in the boxes.
About Review Status Criteria
Review status criteria are used to release content based on the user’s review of a specific content item.
For example, you can create a criterion that makes Assignment #1 available only after students have marked
Homework #1 reviewed.
How to Add Review Status Criteria to a Rule
Review status criteria are created with the same information for basic adaptive release rules and advanced
adaptive release rules. You can add more criteria to a rule, in addition to review status, to further narrow the
availability of an item. Review status may be applied to a Learning Module but may not be applied to individual
files within a Learning Module.
Follow the steps below to add a review status criterion to an advanced adaptive release rule:
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1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced page appears.
4. Click Create Rule in the Action Bar to add a rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
-ORSelect Edit from the contextual menu for an existing rule on the Adaptive Release page to edit its
criteria.
6. On the Action Bar, click Review Status. The Review Status page appears.
7. Select Browse to open the Course Map. Click an item in the map to select it for review status
criteria. Review Status will be turned on for this item. Users must mark the item reviewed before
the content including this rule is available.
Users and Groups
Course Groups and Tools
About Course Groups
Course groups allow instructors and students to create groups of students within a course. These course
groups have their own area in Blackboard Learn to collaborate on course work, and these spaces are equipped
with tools to assist in the collaborative process. If included in a course, the Course Menu item Groups
accesses the Groups page. There you can create, manage, and access course groups.
About Course Group Tools
Students access the tools added to a group homepage in the Group Tools section. Only the instructor and the
group members can access tools enabled for the group, with the exception of the Group Blog and Group Wiki
tools. Group Blogs and Wikis appear to all course members when the tools are accessed on the Tools page.
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Available group tools include the following:
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Group Blog: Users within the group can add entries and comments to the Group Blog to share ideas.
you can grade Group Blogs, but once a Group Blog is set to be graded, it cannot be changed. When a
grade is added for a Group Blog, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the group and
is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members
are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. You can edit an individual member’s
grade to assign a different grade than the group’s.
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Collaboration Tools: Users within the group can create and attend real-time chat or Virtual
Classroom sessions.
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Group Discussion Board: Users within the group can communicate as a group, as well as create
and manage their own forums. The Group Discussion Board is available only to group members, not
to the entire course.
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File Exchange: Users within the group and instructors can use this tool to upload documents to the
group area. All group members and the instructor can add files. They can also delete files, regardless
of who added them. Files appear in the order they were uploaded. This tool is only available to groups.
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Group Journal: Users within the group can share their thoughts with each other and communicate
with the instructor. Journal entries made in the Group Journal are visible to all group members and the
instructor. You can grade Group Journals, but once a Group Journal is set to be graded, it cannot be
changed. When a grade is added for a Group Journal, the grade is automatically given to all the
members of the group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each
Group member. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. You
can edit an individual member’s grade to assign a different grade than the group’s.
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Group Tasks: Users within the group can define and separate the workload into tasks, while
distributing the list to the entire group. Each task has a status and a due date to help keep members
on track. Group members can view the group assigned tasks in the Group Tasks tool or in the Course
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Tasks tool. Other course members and the instructor will not see tasks for groups they are not
enrolled in when viewing the Course Tasks tool.
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Group Wiki: Wikis are used to create a collaborative space for group members to view, contribute,
and edit content. By default, Group Wikis can be read by all course members, but only members of
the group can make a comment on a Group Wiki page. An instructor can change the default setting to
allow only group members to view a Group Wiki. You can grade Group Wikis, but once a Group Wiki
is set to be graded, it cannot be changed. When a grade is added for a Group Wiki, the grade is
automatically given to all the members of the group and is populated in the corresponding column in
the Grade Center for each group member. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member
did not contribute. You can edit an individual member’s grade to assign a different grade than the
group’s.
Where links appear in this list, you can click on them for more information about the specific group tool.
Creating a Group (Flash movie | 3m 39s ) |
Related Tutorials
Getting Started with Groups (PDF file | 12.2 MB)
Creating Group Sets (Flash movie | 2m 28s ) |
Creating Groups
You can create formal groups of students to collaborate on work, and create these groups one at a time or in
sets. You can manually select group members or allow students to self-enroll. Each group has its own space,
or homepage, with links to tools to help students collaborate. Only the instructor and the group members can
access the group tools.
There are two group creation options available:
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Create a Single Group
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Create a Group Set
About Group Enrollment Methods
Self-Enroll allows students to add themselves to a group using a sign-up sheet. You can make sign-up sheets
available to students on the groups listing page or by adding a link to a course area, such as a Content Area,
Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder. When you create a group using sign-up sheets, the group can be
immediately available to use or made available after all members have signed up. Self-enrollment is an option
available for both single groups and group sets.
For Manual Enroll, an instructor assigns each student in the course to a group. Manual enrollment is available
for both single groups and group sets
Random Enroll is available for only group sets and automatically distributes membership into groups based on
a designated number of students per group or the designated number of groups. Random distribution applies
only to students who are currently enrolled in the course. Additional students can be enrolled manually.
When naming a set of groups, the name of each group has a number added to it when they are first created. For
example, a set of groups named "Research" results in groups named "Research 1," "Research 2," and
"Research 3," depending upon the number of groups in the set. You can edit the group names after they are
created.
Accessing Groups
You can access groups from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You may also add
a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Two Default Options
Access groups using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Groups.
Alternatively, on the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Groups.
How to Add a Groups Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access groups often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access to the
tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Groups.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
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6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students.
How to Access Groups in a Content Area
You can manually add links to individual groups and sign-up sheets in Content Areas, Learning Modules,
Lesson Plans, and folders. You can set up a Content Area to include all the content and tools your students
need for the week. After reading the weekly lecture, and viewing the slide presentation, students can also
access the Groups tool to complete the group assignment. Students do not need to navigate anywhere else in
the course to complete all the required activities for the week.
When you add a link to a specific group in a Content Area, all students will see the link, however, if the student
is not a member of the group, he or she will not be able to access the group homepage.
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Adding a Group Link in a Content Area
You can follow the same steps for adding link to Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and folders.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and access the course area where a group link will be added, for example,
the Chapter 1 Content Area.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Tools to access the drop-down list, and select Groups.
3. On the Create Link: Group page, select the type of link: Link to the Groups page, to a group, or to
a group set. If linking to a group or group set, select it from the list.
4. Click Next.
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5. On the next Create Link: Group page, complete the Link Information to specify how it will
appear in the Content Area. Select Options, if you want.
6. Click Submit.
Accessing the Groups Link
Navigate to the Content Area, and click the Group link. You will be directed to the group homepage.
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How to Create a Single Group
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Groups.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section, and select Groups.
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2. On the Groups listing page, point to Create Single Group on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list. Select Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll.
3. On the Create Group page, type a Name and optional Description.
4. Select the Yes option to make the Group Available. If you do not want the group to be available at
this time, select No.
5. Select the check boxes for the course tools you want to make available to the group.
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6. Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if you want to
grade student submissions.
7. Select the check box for Allow Personalization to allow students to add Personal Modules to the
group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can view them.
8. For Self-Enroll Sign-up options, type the Name of Sign-up Sheet. Type the Maximum Number
of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include.
-ORFor Manual Enroll Membership section, select the students from the Items to Select box and
click the right-pointing arrow to add the selected names to the Selected Items box.
9. Click Submit.
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Note: For Windows, to select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and
last names. To select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed. For
Macs, press the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key. You can also select all course members
with the Select All function.
Result
The newly created group appears on the Groups listing page.
How to Create a Group Set
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Groups.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section, and select Groups.
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2. On the Groups listing page, point to Create Group Set on the Action Bar to access the drop-down
list. Select Self-Enroll, Manual Enroll or Random Enroll.
3. On the Create Random Enrollment Group Set page, type a Name and optional Description.
4. Select the Yes option to make the Group Available. If you do not want the group set to be
available at the present time, select No.
5. Select the check boxes for course tools you want to make available to the group set.
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6. Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if student
submissions will be graded.
7. Select the check box for Allow Personalization to allow individual group members to add
Personal Modules to the group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can
view them.
8. For Self-Enroll Sign-up options, type the Name of Sign-up Sheet. Type the Maximum Number
of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include.
-ORFor Manual Enroll Group Set Options section, type the Number of Groups to create.
-ORFor Random Enroll Membership section, type the Number of Students per Group to create or
the Number of Groups. Select an option to Determine How to Enroll any Remaining
Members in the groups.
9. Click Submit.
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Related Tutorials
Creating a Group (Flash movie 3m 39s ) |
Creating Group Sets (Flash movie 2m 28s )
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Editing Groups
On the Groups listing page, you can create groups, as well as edit and manage them. Each group’s contextual
menu provides quick access to the group homepage and email. You can also access the options to edit group
properties and delete groups.
Editing a group allows you to add or remove members, as well as change its name, availability, and tools.
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Open: This option opens the group homepage, where course or group modules can be added. Also,
click Customize Page on the Action Bar to change the color theme of the page. If Allow
Personalization was enabled, students also have access to these options.
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Edit: This option opens the Edit Group page. Edit any of the initial options chosen when the group
was created, with the exception of changing the Grade option for graded Blogs, Journals, and Wikis.
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Email: This option allows you to send an email message to the entire group or to select members in
it. To learn more, see Sending Email to a Course Group.
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Delete: If a group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete
Confirmation page appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the group, such as for a
graded Group Blog, Group Journal, or Group Wiki, the columns can be retained. On the Delete
Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any columns that need to be preserved.
About Group Settings
Group settings are accessed from the Action Bar on the Groups listing page.
Group settings provide you with the options to allow students to create their own self-enrollment groups from
the Groups listing page and to allow students to edit the name, description, and maximum number of students
able to join the student created group.
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Enrolling Students in Course Groups
You can create a single course group or multiple groups in which students are enrolled manually, automatically,
or by allowing the students to enroll themselves. These enrollments can be changed at any time.
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Self Enrollment allows the students themselves to join groups using sign-up sheets that you create
for each course group.
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Manual Enrollment requires you to select each group member from a list of all the students in the
course.
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Random Enrollment is best suited for multiple groups, where you allow Blackboard Learn to assign
members randomly to the course groups based on criteria you create.
To learn more about creating groups and enrolling students in them, see Creating Groups.
Group Membership Flow Diagram
The following diagram provides an overview of the process of enrolling students in course groups:
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Removing a User from a Course Group
Sometimes members need to be removed from a course group. This can only be done by course instructors and
Blackboard administrators; students cannot remove themselves from a group.
How to Remove a User from a Course Group
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Groups.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section, and select Groups.
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2. On the Groups page, click the Action Link for the group, and select Edit.
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3. On the Edit Group page, go to Membership. Remove the member by moving the name out of
Selected Items box.
4. Click Submit.
Result
The group member is now removed from the group. To verify that the user has been removed, go to the group
homepage to check the list of members.
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Sending Email to a Course Group
Instructors and course group members can send email messages to selected group members or the entire
group. Emails are sent to members’ external email addresses.
Sending an Email Message within a Course Group
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Groups.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section, and select Groups.
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2. On the Groups listing page, click a group name.
3. On the group homepage, select Send Email in the Group Tools section.
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4. On the Send Email page, select the recipients from the Available to Select box and click the
right-pointing arrow to move them to the Selected box.
5. Type a Subject and Message.
6. Click Attach a file to browse for file from your computer. You can attach multiple files. After you
add one file, the option to attach another file appears.
7. Click Submit.
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Note: To select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last names. To
select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed. You can also select
all course members with the Select All function.
Result
A copy of the message is sent to the sender. A receipt page appears after the message is sent listing all
recipients. The receipt page does not confirm that users received the message. It only confirms that the
message was sent.
Creating Group Assignments
Instructors can create a group assignment and release it to a specific group within a course. You can create a
single assignment and assign it to all groups, or create several unique assignments and assign them to
individual groups. Only the instructor and the members in the group have access to the assignment.
You can create an assignment that is to be completed and submitted by a single group or multiple groups. Each
group submits one collaborative assignment and all members receive the same grade.
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The overall grade for the assignment can appear to users as a numeric value, letter grade, percentage, text, or
as complete/incomplete, depending upon the primary display choice for the column created in the Grade Center
for the assignment.
Note: A grade column is created automatically in the Grade Center for group assignments.
Prerequisites and Cautions
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A course groups must exist prior to creating any group assignments for it.
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Students who are enrolled in more than one group receiving the same assignment will be able to
submit more than one attempt for this assignment. It may be necessary to provide these students
with an overall grade for the assignment.
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Students who are not enrolled at the time that a group assignment has been submitted do not have
access to that submission. These students can see only that the submission occurred.
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Students who are removed from the group cannot see the group assignments. They can access their
submissions from My Grades.
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If the assignment is edited between creation and the due date, the entire group may lose any work
already in progress.
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If a group is deleted from the assignment after they have begun the work and prior to submission, they
will lose access to the assignment and lose their work.
How to Create a Group Assignment
To create a group assignment, change Edit Mode to ON.
1. Access the course area where the group assignment will be created. For example, most often this
will be in the Assignments Content Area.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list, and select
Assignment.
3. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name and Instructions. (On the Groups page, group
members click this name to access the assignment.) You can use the Text Editor functions to
format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups.
4. Optionally, attach a file using Browse My Computer or Browse Content Collection.
5. Type the Points Possible.
6. Select the check box to Make the Assignment Available. Alternatively, you can leave this box
unchecked if you want to make the assignment unavailable at the present time.
7. Select the option for Number of Attempts. Select the Display After and Display Until check
boxes to limit the availability of the assignment. You can use the Date Selection Calendar to
select the date, and Time Selection Menu to select the time.
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8. Optionally, select a Due Date.
9. In the Recipients section, select the Groups of Students option.
10. In the Items to Select box, select the group or groups. Click the right-pointing arrow to move the
selection into the Selected Items box. To select multiple groups in a row, press and hold the
SHIFT key and click each group. To select groups out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click
each group. You can also select all groups with the Select All function.
11. Click Submit.
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Note: Allowing multiple attempts permits users to submit their work for a group assignment more than once
and receive comments and a grade for each submission.
Grading Group Assignments
You can assign grades to group assignments through the Needs Grading page or through the Grade Center.
When a goup assignment is created, a grade column is automatically created. Group assignments that have
been submitted, but not graded, are indicated with an exclamation mark—the needs attention icon—in the
Grade Center. All group members’ cells display the exclamation mark, regardless of who submitted the group
assignment.
For general information on entering grades in the Grade Center, see Grading Assignments . For information on
grading individual assignments, see Grading Assignments.
When reviewing group assignment submissions, instructors can provide a grade and feedback. You also have
the option of returning the submission to the group with comments only, so the assignment can be refined
further and then resubmitted for a grade.
How to Grade a Group Assignment
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Grade Center section to expand it, and select
Assignments.
2. In Grade Center, locate the column for the group assignment, and a cell for the student's group
assignment containing an exclamation mark.
3. To grade a single group assignment, point to any group member's cell and click the Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu. Select Group Attempt.
-ORTo grade all submissions, point to the column header and click the Action Link (
contextual menu. Select Grade Attempts.
) to access the
4. On the Grade Group Attempt page, expand the Assignment Information area to review
instructions, associated dates, and attempt status.
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5. The submission content can be found under Review Current Attempt. Click the file name to view
any attached files.
6. Type a Group Grade.
7. Optionally, type feedback in the Feedback to Group area and attach files for the student to review.
8. Optionally, type Instructor Notes and attach files (not viewable by students).
9. Click Save as Draft to complete grading at another time. The attempt remains ungraded and the
student can access feedback, if provided.
-ORClick Submit to complete the grading of this group only.
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Note: The full features of the Text Editor may be turned on or off to allow instructors to format text or include
files as part of the Feedback to Group or Grading Notes.
Note: If a student has attached a file containing a potential security risk, you will see a warning. You can
continue opening the original file, or if you have security concerns, contact the computing help desk on campus
for assistance.
Grading a Group Assignment with Multiple Attempts
If more than one attempt has been submitted by the group, all attempts appear in the contextual menu for the
grade's cell. After selecting an attempt, type a grade and feedback. Click Save and Next or View Previous to
navigate between attempts. The last attempt’s grade appears in the group members' cells by default. If the last
of the multiple attempts is ungraded, the exclamation mark remains in the cell.
How to Grade Group Assignments Anonymously
You can grade items without viewing student information. The attempts will be displayed in a random order,
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without system identifying information, to you (or your designated grader) for grading. Anonymous grading is
helpful to reduce potential bias from the instructor, grader, or teaching assistant when grading. Anonymous
grading may also be appropriate when having students grade each other's work.
Grade Anonymously is available from the column header contextual menu in the Grade Center. This action
will open a new attempt with all system user identification removed. Any unsaved changes to the current
attempt will be lost.
How to Change Attempt Score Displayed in Grade Center
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Grade Center section to expand it, and select
Assignments.
2. In Grade Center, access a Grade Center column's contextual menu, and click Edit Column
Information.
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3. On the Edit Column page, select an option from the Score attempts using drop-down list.
4. Click Submit.
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Note: Previous attempts appear in the Submission History section of the Grade Group Attempt page. To
learn more, see Working with the Grade History.
How to Edit a Group Grade
Follow the same steps for How to Grade a Group Assignment to change a group’s grade. Edit the Group Grade
and Feedback to Group, and click Save and Exit.
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade
You can assign an individual group member a different grade than the group by editing the grade for the member
in the Grade Center. If a group member’s grade is changed, and a new group grade is given, the new group
grade does not affect the individual’s new grade. The individual’s new grade does not appear to the other group
members.
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1. In Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. On the Grade Details page, click Edit User Attempt.
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3. On the Group member’s Grade Details page, type a new grade in the Current Grade Value.
4. Type optional Feedback to User.
5. Type optional Grading Notes, only available to the instructor or assigned grader.
6. Click Save.
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Result
The new grade for the group member appears on the member’s Grade Details page and in the member’s cell in
the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
You can revert a member’s edited grade to the original group grade, which all group members received. To learn
more, see Overriding Grades.
1. In Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. After a member’s group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
3. Click OK.
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4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the Grade Center page and view the grades.
Adding and Deleting Group Members
If a member of a group is added after a grade is given for a group assignment, the new member will not receive a
grade, as they were not part of the process. Even if the instructor updates the group grade, the new member
does not receive a grade. A grade can be added for the new member from the member’s Grade Details page,
but there is no submission available to view when grading.
If a member of a group is removed, and a grade has been added for a group assignment, any grading updates
will be applied to that group member’s cell. To remove a score for a member removed from a group, click Clear
Attempt on the member’s Grade Details page.
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Student Performance
Rubrics
A rubric is an assessment tool listing evaluation criteria for an assignment, and provide a means to convey to
students your expectations for the quality of completed assignments. Rubrics can help students organize their
efforts to meet the requirements of an assignment, and you can use them to explain evaluations to students.
Another value in using rubrics is they can help ensure consistent and impartial grading.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
About Rubrics
Rubrics are made up of rows and columns. The rows correspond to the various criteria of an assignment. The
columns correspond to the level of achievement expressed for each criterion. A description and point value for
each cell in the rubric defines the evaluation and score of an assignment. There is no limit to the number of
rubrics that can be created.
How to Create a Rubric
New rubrics default to three rows and three columns.
1. Access Course Tools and select Rubrics.
2. On the Rubrics page, click Create Rubric.
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3. Type a Name for the rubric. The name is the title text that identifies the rubric.
4. Optionally, type a description of the rubric to make it easier to associate it to relevant assignments.
5. Edit the rubric grid. To learn more, see How to Edit the Rubric Grid.
6. Click Submit.
How to Edit the Rubric Grid
Edit the rubric grid so it corresponds to the type of feedback and scoring desired.
1. Click Add Row to add a new criterion at the bottom of the grid.
2. Click Add Column to add a new level of achievement to the grid.
3. Select a Rubric Type from the drop-down list:
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No Points (feedback only)
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Points (single point value for each Level of Achievement)
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Point Range (range of values for each Level of Achievement)
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Percent (flexible depending on each assessment's possible points)
4. Click Edit from the contextual menu of the labels identifying rows and columns to change their
names.
5. Type a point or percentage value for each row.
6. Type a description defining the criteria and the associated level of achievement.
7. Click Submit.
There is a 1000 character limit for each cell. Rows and columns can be reordered by clicking the reordering
icon.
Once a rubric has been used for grading, it cannot be edited. Copy the rubric instead to create a duplicate rubric
that can be edited. To learn more, see How to Copy and Edit a Rubric.
Options when using percent-based rubrics:
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Select the Show Criteria Weight box to show or hide criteria weights. If additional rows are added
when weights are hidden, weights for new criteria will be distributed equally.
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Use the Balance Weights button after adding a new row to keep all criteria weighted equally. If
individual criteria weighting is preferred, percentages may be typed under each criteria.
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The total weight for all criteria must equal 100%. No row may have a 0% weight. At least one level of
achievement must have a value of 100%.
How to Copy and Edit a Rubric
Copying a rubric is helpful best practice if you have similar assignments for your students that will follow the
same criteria. This will allow you to keep the settings and simply re-name the rubric. Copying should also be
used to edit a rubric that has already been used for grading.
Rubrics can be duplicated by selecting the Copy option from the contextual menu. A copy will automatically be
created with the name of the rubric in parentheses followed by the number one. For example, "Introductory
Speech" will be copied to create "(Introductory Speech)(1)".
The rubric name can then be edited to a new name by selecting Edit from the contextual menu. The Edit
Rubric page will allow you to edit all the settings for the rubric.
How to Associate a Rubric
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Associated rubrics are visible under the grading and rubrics settings for:
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Assignments
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Essay, short answer, and file response test questions
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Blogs and Journals
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Wikis
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Discussion Board threads and forums
You can also associate a rubric in the Grade Center by selecting Edit Column Information from the column's
contextual menu.
To associate a rubric during the editing or creation process, point to Add Rubric and choose one of the options.
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Select Rubric associates a rubric that has already been created in the Rubrics area of Course
Tools.
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Create New Rubric opens a pop-up window to allow immediate creation of a new associated rubric.
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Create From Existing uses a previously created rubric as a template to create a new associated
rubric.
When associating a points-based rubric, the option to use the rubric's points value as the Points Possible will
be available after clicking Submit on the rubric creation or selection page.
How to Manage Associated Rubrics
While editing an item with an associated rubric, you can change the rubric's options.
Under an associated rubric's name, manage associated rubrics using the icons to Remove Rubric
Association, View Rubric, or Edit Rubric.
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Remove Rubric Association severs the connection to the rubric, but does not delete the rubric
itself. If the rubric has already been used for grading in this assessment, removing the association will
also remove those evaluations and the attempts will need to be re-graded.
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View Rubric opens a preview that cannot be edited, with a link to view associated items and print the
rubric.
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Edit Rubric opens the associated rubric to allow for immediate editing. If the rubric has been used for
grading, it cannot be edited.
For the Type, rubrics can be designated as Used for Grading or Used for Secondary Evaluation. If multiple
rubrics are associated, only one can be the primary grading rubric, designated as Used for Grading.
Show Rubric to Students offers four options for rubric visibility.
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No does not allow students to view the rubric at any time.
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Yes (With Rubric Scores) allows students to view the rubric when the item is made available,
including possible point or percentage values.
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Yes (Without Rubric Scores) allows students to view the rubric when the item is made available,
but does not include the possible point or percentage values.
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After Grading allows students to view the rubric only after grading on their submission is completed.
How to Import and Export Rubrics
To facilitate sharing rubrics between Blackboard Learn courses, rubrics can be exported and imported. The
rubric should not be edited outside of Blackboard Learn.
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1. In the Control Panel, click Course Tools.
2. Click Rubrics.
3. To import a rubric, click Import Rubric and browse for the file. Click Submit to upload the file.
-ORTo export a rubric, select the check box next to the rubric's name and click Export. The file can
then be downloaded and imported into a different course, or shared with another instructor for use in
their Blackboard Learn course.
How to Grade With Rubrics
Before grading with a rubric, it needs to be associated with the assignment. Gradable rubrics can be associated
with:
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Assignments
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Essay, short answer, and file response test questions
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Blogs and Journals
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Wikis
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Discussion Board threads and forums
To learn more, see How to Associate a Rubric.
Follow these steps to grade using rubrics:
1. Access the item to be graded through the Grade Center or the Needs Grading page.
2. Click View Rubric to review or begin grading with the associated rubric.
3. In Grid View, click a cell to apply that point value to the grade. If a rubric with point ranges has
been used, select the desired value from the drop-down list. To change the selection, click another
cell in the same row. Optionally, type Feedback to the student in the text box that appears when a
cell is selected.
4. Optionally, click List View to switch displays, and select a radio button for each criterion to apply
that point value to the grade. Optionally, select the boxes to Show Descriptions for criteria and to
Show Feedback text boxes.
5. A running Raw Total score will be displayed as point selections are made. Optionally, type a score
in the Change the number of points box to override the selected score, and type overall
Feedback to the student using the full features of the included text editor.
Note: The Raw Total displays the score rounded to two decimal places.
6. When grading is complete, click Exit to leave the rubric without saving any selections, or Save to
save the score and feedback and return to the attempt. Click Save and Next to use another
associated rubric for evaluation.
How to View Associated Content
A single rubric can be associated with multiple assessments. A report listing all items associated to the rubric
is available from the rubrics tool.
1. In the Control Panel, click Course Tools.
2. Click Rubrics.
3. Access the contextual menu next to the name of a rubric and click View Associated Content.
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4. On the View All Items page, click an item name to edit the association, or click OK to return to the
main rubrics page. If an item has been used for grading, a rubric evaluation report will be available in
the item's contextual menu. This report provides statistics for an item that was graded with a rubric.
How to Run a Rubric Evaluation Report
A rubric evaluation report provides a comprehensive report of statistics for an item that was graded with a
rubric. If you want to evaluate a rubric or its use in a course, you can run the report at any point in the grading
process.
1. In the Control Panel, click Course Tools.
2. Click Rubrics.
3. Access the contextual menu next to the name of a rubric and click View Associated Content.
4. If an item has been used for grading, a contextual menu is available next to the item's name on the
View All Items page. Point to the item's contextual menu and click Rubric Evaluation Report.
5. On the Run Reports page, select a Format, Start Date, and End Date.
6. Click Submit.
7. If your school licenses content management, you may choose to Save to Content Collection.
Otherwise, click Download Report to view the report, or Run a new Report to change format or
date criteria. Click OK to return to the main Rubrics page.
The Rubric Evaluation Report delivers three statistics about the rubric's use in grading the item. Average
Rubric Performance shows the average total score of all attempts scored using the rubric. Average Rubric
Criteria shows average scores, compared against the possible points, for each criterion. Frequency
Distribution shows the distribution of scores across each level of achievement.
Early Warning System
About the Early Warning System
The Early Warning System helps you recognize when a student performance problem is emerging or becoming
more serious. You can use this rule-driven communication tool to send email messages to students and their
observers when Early Warning System rule criteria are met. Rules are created by instructors and can be based
on a test score, calculated column, due date, or course access.
You can communicate a warning in an email message to the student only, to a parent or advisor that is
assigned as an observer, or both. You can use the default message or edit it. The Notification History creates
a record for each Early Warning message sent.
When using the Early Warning System, keep the following in mind:
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The Early Warning System does not continuously monitor the course. You need to refresh the Early
Warning System rules periodically to discover incidents that trigger a warning. The Early Warning
System does not automatically notify students and observers; notification email messages are sent
by instructors from the Review Rule Status page.
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The Blackboard administrator at your school may turn off access to the Early Warning System based
on policies at the institution. If the Early Warning System is on at the system level, you may still turn
it off within the course.
Using the Early Warning System with the Performance Dashboard
In the Performance Dashboard, the Early Warning Column shows the number of warnings for a student and
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the total number of rules that may trigger a warning. Clicking on the data in this column will open the Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System column displays only if the tool is turned on in the course.
Related Tutorials
Sending Notifications (Flash movie | 3m 42s )
Managing Early Warning System Rules
You can create rules to determine when the Early Warning System generates a warning for a student's
performance. Rules can monitor for unsatisfactory student grade performance, tardiness in completing
assignments, or when the student simply has not been accessing the course for a predetermined period of time.
There are three types of rules:
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Grade Rule: Based on a score for a grade or calculated column in the Grade Center. Students who
score above or below the defined threshold for a specific grade trigger the notification system
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Due Date Rule: Based on a defined due date for an assignment, test, or survey. Students who do not
complete an assignment, test, or survey by the due date trigger the notification system. Due date
rules cannot be created for manually graded items.
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Last Access Rule: Based on the date users last accessed the course. Students who have not
accessed the course for a defined number of days trigger the notification system
How to Create a Rule
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Evaluation section to expand it, and select Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System page appears.
2. Click Create Rule to access the drop-down list, and select Grade Rule, Due Date Rule, or Last
Access Rule. The associated Add Early Warning System Rule page appears.
3. In the Rule Name box, type a name for the rule.
4. Next to Availability, select the radio node next to Yes to activate the rule.
5. Under Rule Criteria, enter or select the information for the rule.
6. Click Submit.
Tip: When creating grade rules, Grade Center items are listed by their categories, such as assignment or
discussion. Possible points are also included to help you determine the threshold value for the rule.
How to Edit a Rule
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Evaluation section to expand it, and select Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System page appears.
2. Click the contextual menu for a rule and select Edit .
3. Change the rule information and criteria.
4. Click Submit.
Tip: You can change the availability of rules by selecting one or more rules from the list on the Early Warning
System page and then choosing Set Available or Set Unavailable from the Actions drop-down list.
How to Remove a Rule
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Evaluation section to expand it, and select Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System page appears.
2. Select one or more rules from the list.
3. Click Delete. In the pop-up window, confirm that the selected rules should be deleted.
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It is also possible to remove individual rules by clicking the contextual drop-down list next to the rule name and
selecting Delete.
Note: Deleting a rule is permanent and cannot be undone.
How to Refresh Rules
The Early Warning System does not continuously monitor the course. You need to refresh the Early Warning
System rules periodically to discover incidents that trigger a warning. The Last Refresh column on the Early
Warning System page indicates the most recent refresh of a rule.
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Evaluation section to expand it, and select Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System page appears.
2. Select one or more rules from the list.
3. Click Refresh from the Action Bar. The selected rules run and any events that trigger the rule
create a warning.
Tip: You may refresh a single rule while viewing its Review Rule Status page.
Related Tutorials
Sending Notifications (Flash movie | 3m 42s )
Reviewing Early Warning System Rule Status and Notifying Users
The Early Warning System helps you notify students and observers when students' performance meets prespecified rule criteria. Rules can be created to monitor for unsatisfactory student grade performance, tardiness
in completing assignments, or when the student simply has not been accessing the course for a predetermined
period of time.
You can view the status of a rule to see which students generated warnings and send email notifications to
them. The Early Warning System does not automatically notify students and observers. It is up to you to
communicate the warning to the student and, if set, to selected observers, parents, and so on, by sending an
email message from the Review Rule Status page.
How to Review Rule Status
The Review Rule Status page lists all users in the course and identifies whether or not their performance
meets the criteria for the rule.
For example, if you set a grade rule to trigger an alert for users with a score less than 65, those students with a
score with less than 65 would show Yes in the Meets Criteria column. The page also displays when the
student was last notified regarding their performance. You can access the contextual menu for a user to review
that user's status against all rules.
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Evaluation section to expand it, and select Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System page appears.
2. Click the Action Link for a rule to access the contextual menu and select Review Rule Status. The
Review Rule Status page appears.
3. Click Display to filter the results.
4. You can also click Refresh if necessary to redisplay the most current rule status list.
How to Send Email Notifications
Communicating alerts to users does not happen automatically. You select which users to notify and can
customize the email message.
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1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Evaluation section to expand it, and select Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System page appears.
2. Click the Action Link for a rule to access the contextual menu and select Review Rule Status. The
Review Rule Status page appears.
3. Select the users requiring notification email messages.
4. From the Notify drop-down list, choose the roles that will receive email notifications associated
with the selected users:
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Student Only: Notification messages are sent to the selected students only.
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Observer Only: Notification messages are sent only to users assigned as observers for
the selected students. (Examples of possible observers might include parents or
guardians, tutors, school course monitors, and so on.)
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Student and Observer: Notification messages are sent to the student and any assigned
observers.
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Other: This option allows you to manually enter email addresses for the recipients of the
notification.
5. Edit the Subject and Message. The notification can include attachments. Selecting Include list of
recipients delivers a copy to the sender and includes a list of recipients.
6. Click Submit to send the notification.
How to View the Notification History
The notification history serves as a record of Early Warning System communications and is used to confirm
that students were made aware of performance problems. The notification history lists each notification by
individual user. It includes a search function for narrowing the results.
1. Scroll down to the Control Panel, click the Evaluation section to expand it, and select Early
Warning System. The Early Warning System page appears.
2. Click Notification History in the Action Bar. Use the Search function or sort by column to find
specific notifications.
Related Tutorials
Sending Notifications (Flash movie | 3m 42s )
Monitoring Student Activity
You can track student activity, such as attendance, in your courses. Blackboard Learn has different tools to
track student logins, the time students have spent in the course, and what pages in the course they are
accessing.
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Statistics Tracking - With Statistics Tracking you can run a report to view detailed information about
your content, including how many times an item was view by students and when it was accessed. To
learn more, see How to Enable Statistics Tracking and View Statistics Reports.
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Course Reports - With Course Reports you can get a detailed picture of student activity in your
course. This includes details about which students are accessing your course and when. To learn
more, see Generating Course Reports.
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Performance Dashboard - The Performance Dashboard provides you with a view into all types of
user activity in a course. To learn more, see Using the Performance Dashboard.
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Last Access Grade Center user column - One of the default user columns, the Last Access user
column identifies when a user last accessed a course. To learn more, see About User Columns in the
Grade Center.
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Student Course Experience > Student Performance
Generating Course Reports
You can run several types of Course Reports to view information about course usage and activity. You can
view summaries of course usage including which course areas are used most frequently and course access
patterns for specific students.
About Course Report Types
You can search the list of reports for keywords in the names or descriptions to find the report that generates the
information you need. Available reports include:
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All User Activity Inside Content Areas displays a summary of all user activity inside Content
Areas for the course. Use this report to determine which students are active in your course and which
content areas they are using.
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Course Activity Overview displays overall activity within your course, sorted by student and date.
Data includes the total and average time spent per user and the total amount of activity the user had
in the course. You can also click an individual student's name to access their Student Overview for
Single Course report. This report can help you determine which days of the week students are
active in your course and see how much time overall students spend.
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Course Coverage Report displays data on course items that have been aligned to goals.
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Course Performance displays how a single course performs against a selected set of goals.
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Overall Summary of User Activity displays user activity for all areas of the course, as well as
activity dates, times and days of the week. Use this report to view student access as well as how
often Course Tools are being used.
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Student Overview for Single Course displays an individual student's activity within your course,
sorted by date. Data includes the total overall time the student spent in the course as well as detailed
information about the student's activity, such as which items and Content Areas the student
accessed and the time spent on each. Use this report to check a particular student's course activity.
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User Activity in Forums displays a summary of user activity in Discussion Board Forums in the
course. You can see which forums are used the most.
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User Activity in Groups displays a summary of user activity in Groups for the course. You can see
if students are active in their groups.
Note: Depending on how your school has licensed and configured Blackboard Learn, additional reports may be
available. Contact your school's computing help desk or Blackboard administrator for assistance.
How to Generate Course Reports
To generate a course report:
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section and select Course Reports.
2. On the Course Reports page, click the Action Link for a report to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Run.
4. On the Run Reports page, select the Report Specifications. Options vary depending on the type
of report.
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Select Format: Choose an output format from the drop-down list. Valid formats are PDF,
HTML, Excel, or Word. Charts do not display in Excel format.
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Select a Start Date and Select an End Date: For reports covering a specific period of
time, select to set beginning and ending dates for the report.
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Student Course Experience > Student Performance
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Select Students: For reports to be run on a single student, select the student name from
the drop-down list.
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Select Users: Select one or more users for the report. For Windows, to select multiple
users in a list, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last users. To select users out
of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each user needed. For Macs, press the
COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key.
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Average Range and Target Performance Level: This is required for course performance
reports. These reports can also be set to Show Unavailable Students and/or Show
Unaligned Students.
5. Click Submit. If a course report includes a large number of users, it can take several minutes or
longer for a report to be generated. PDF and HTML formats open directly in a new window. Excel
and Word prompt you to save the file first. To print reports, use the print function in the application
window that the report opened in.
Note: Enable pop-ups for your browser if you are prompted.
6. After a report is successfully run, you can:
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Save to Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, you can
save the report to a folder in the Content Collection.
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Download Report: Save the report to your computer.
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Run a New Report: Return to the Run Reports page to run the report again with
different criteria.
7. Click OK when finished.
How the System Counts Hits
When viewing reports that include hit or access statistics a hit is tracked every time a request is sent to
Blackboard Learn. For example, when tracking use of the Discussion Board:
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A student accesses the Discussion Board (1 hit)
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Clicks a forum (2 hits total)
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And clicks a message to read it (3 hits total)
Using the Performance Dashboard
The Performance Dashboard provides you with a view into all types of user activity in a course or organization.
All users enrolled in the course are listed, including instructors, students, teaching assistants, graders,
observers, and guests, with pertinent information about that user’s progress and activity in the course.
Before You Begin
The Blackboard administrator at your school must enable the tool and make it available. When enabled by the
administrator, the Performance Dashboard will be on by default in all courses.
Viewing the Performance Dashboard
To access the Performance Dashboard, scroll down to the Control Panel and select Evaluation to expand it.
Click Performance Dashboard.
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Student Course Experience > Student Performance
The Performance Dashboard page appears and displays a summary of information for the course:
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Last Name, First Name, and Username: The user's name, and the user name they use to log in to
Blackboard Learn.
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Role: The user's defined role within the course. Examples of roles include instructor, student, grader,
teaching assistant, guest, observer, and so on. It is possible for a user to have one role in a course,
and a different role in another. To learn more, see Course Roles.
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Last Course Access: The date and time when the user last accessed the course.
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Days Since Last Course Access: The number of days that has elapsed since the last time the user
accessed the course.
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Review Status: Displays how many items have been reviewed. To view a detailed view of reviewed
items, click the number shown. If the Review Status tool has not been enabled for the course, this
column does not appear.
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Adaptive Release: Displayed only if the Adaptive Release tool is enabled in the course, clicking on
the icon opens a new window showing a directory tree overview of the entire course relative to the
user, and the access status. For more details, see Linking to Adaptive Release Controls.
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Discussion Board: Displayed only if the Discussion Board tool is enabled in the course, this column
lists the number of Discussion Board comments created by this user. Clicking a number link opens
the Discussion Board page listing all of the selected user's Discussion Board comments in the
course.
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Early Warning System: Displayed only if the Early Warning System tool is enabled in the course,
this column shows the number of triggered rules and the number of total rules that may trigger a
warning. For example, 2/6 would mean the user has triggered two rules out of six total. Clicking on
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Student Course Experience > Student Performance
the data in this column will display a page showing the Early Warning System status for the user. The
Early Warning System column will only display if the tool is turned on in the course.
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View Grades: Displayed only if the Grade Center is enabled, this column provides direct links to the
Grade Center: Fully Grade Center.
You can click Print to open the page in a new window in a printer-friendly format. All applicable columns may be
sorted.
Understanding the Review Status Indicator
The numbers provided in the Review Status column of the Performance Dashboard indicate the number of
items that the student has marked as Reviewed.
Using adaptive release rules in a course creates multiple tracks for students to progress through. This allows
for the possibility that each student will have a different requirement for marking certain items in a course as
Reviewed. At any time in a course, items in a student’s track may or may not be visible to them. The
Performance Dashboard provides an at-this-moment view of the item availability and the student’s progress on
reviewing items.
The Review Status number for each user links to a list of the items that the user sees as Reviewed and Mark
Reviewed in the course.
The Review Status column is only visible if the Review Status tool has been enabled for the course.
Linking to Adaptive Release Controls
The Adaptive Release indicator in the Performance Dashboard for each user opens a course map tree view of
the Course Menu, showing every possible item in the course. Icons beside each item in the course map
indicate the visibility of an item to that course user, and the review status of any items with a review
requirement, if applicable.
Adaptive Release and Review Status Icons
Visible: This item is visible to that course user.
Invisible: This item is not visible to that course user.
Reviewed: This item has been marked as Reviewed by the course user.
Mark Reviewed: This item is displayed as Mark Reviewed to the course user, but has not yet
been marked as reviewed.
Note: The Adaptive Release column is visible only if the Adaptive Release tool has been enabled for the
course.
Related Tutorials
Performance Dashboard (Flash movie | 1m 40s )
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Course Tools > About Third Party and External Tools
Course Tools
About Third Party and External Tools
Your school can choose to connect extra tools to Blackboard Learn. Many of these tools are created by
companies other than Blackboard.
If you have questions, your school's computing help desk is the best place to start.
For more information, click the links below to access the tool or company's website.
Blackboard Mobile™
Blackboard Collaborate™ (formerly Wimba and Elluminate)
Respondus® (including Respondus LockDown Browser™)
Turnitin ®
Managing Announcements
Announcements post timely information critical to course success. You can add, edit, and delete
announcements from the Announcements page. This is an ideal place to post time-sensitive material
including:
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When assignments are due
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Changes to the syllabus
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Corrections/clarifications of materials
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Exam schedules
When adding an announcement, you can also send the announcement as an email to students in the course.
This ensures that students receive the announcement even if they do not log in to the course.
Announcements are accessed from the Control Panel under Course Tools.
How to Create Announcements
Announcements appear in the order posted, with the most recent announcements appearing first.
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Announcements.
2. From the Action Bar, click Create Announcement.
3. Provide a Subject and Message.
4. Set the Duration.
Select Not Date Restricted to keep the announcement visible until it is manually removed.
--OR-Select Date Restricted to limit the announcement's visibility by date and time.
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Course Tools > About Blackboard Scholar
5. If the announcement is Date Restricted, select the Display After and/or Display Until check
boxes and type the dates and times. Alternatively, use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
the pop-up Time Selection Menu to select dates and times.
6. Select the Override User Notification Settings check box to send students an email containing
the announcement. The email will be sent to all students, even those who choose not to receive
announcement notifications through email. This can be useful for very important or urgent
announcements.
7. Optionally, link to a course area, tool, or item using the Browse button.
8. Click Submit.
Note: Notifications settings are managed by the local Blackboard administrator. Consult the Blackboard
administrator or computing help desk for assistance with announcement notifications.
How to Reorder Announcements
Announcements appear below the movable bar in the order posted, with the most recent announcement
appearing first.
However, it is possible to pin an announcement to the top of the list. To do this, drag it above the movable bar
reading, "New announcements appear below this line". This will keep the announcement at the top of the list
and prevent new announcements from superseding it.
How to Edit Announcements
Click Edit from the contextual menu of the announcement you want to edit. Make your changes and Submit.
How to Delete Announcements
To delete an announcement, click Delete from the contextual menu of the announcement. Confirm the deletion.
This action is final and cannot be undone.
Related Tutorials
Creating Announcements (Flash movie | 2m 0s )
About Blackboard Scholar
Blackboard Scholar provides easy integration of relevant, reliable resources and dynamic streams from Scholar
directly into a course. From the Scholar page, you can register with Blackboard Scholar and turn web links into
Scholar bookmarks.
IMPORTANT! The Blackboard Scholar social bookmarking service will be discontinued on January 13,
2012. To retain access to your Scholar bookmarks, you should export your bookmarks from the Scholar
system.
Exporting Scholar Bookmarks
Follow these steps to export your Blackboard Scholar bookmarks for use in a browser or social bookmarking
service:
1. Log in to Scholar. You can login to Scholar by clicking the Scholar tab (or in Vista/CE on the
Scholar link in your course). You can also log in directly with your Scholar user name and
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Course Tools > Contacts
password at http://www.scholar.com.
2. Click on the Settings link in the upper right of the main screen.
3. Click on Export Bookmarks.
4. Select Export All My Bookmarks and click the Export button.
Your Scholar bookmarks, including the tag information, will be exported as an HTML file. This file can be
imported into a browser to manage your bookmarks on your local computer or imported into some other social
bookmarking services, like Delicious (http://www.delicious.com). For instructions on how to import into a
browser or another service, refer to the help or documentation for the browser or other service.
How to Register with Blackboard Scholar
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Blackboard Scholar.
2. Click Register/View Scholar Start Page.
3. Type Username and Password.
4. Click Login.
How to Import Web Links into Blackboard Scholar
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Blackboard Scholar.
2. Click Copy Web Links to Blackboard Scholar bookmarks.
3. Select the links.
4. Click Submit.
To Learn More About Scholar
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The Scholar web site: http://scholar.com
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The Scholar Wiki site: http://wiki.scholar.com/display/SCLR/
Contacts
Contacts is a place where you can add profile information about yourself and other staff that is distributed to
students. This is a good location to provide information about office hours, phone numbers, and other links to
help students find the people who have important roles in the course
Groups of selected contact information can be combined into folders. For example, you could create a folder
named Teaching Assistants and assign all TA contacts to that folder.
Accessing Contacts
You can access the Contacts tool from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
can also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Contacts
Two Default Options
Access the Contacts tool using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Contacts.
-ORAlternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Contacts.
How to Create or Edit a Contact
You can add or edit contacts through the Create Contact or Edit Contact page.
Both the Create Contact and Edit Contact pages function in a similar manner. The Create Contact page
displays with empty fields while the Edit Contact page opens with the selected contact's current information
and details already populated.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Contacts.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Contacts.
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Course Tools > Contacts
2. On the Contacts page, click Create Contact.
-ORTo edit a profile, click Edit from the contextual menu.
3. On the Create Contact page, provide the necessary Profile Information. The following table
describes the available fields.
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Course Tools > Contacts
Field
Description
Title
Type the person's title. This title will appear before the first name.
First Name
Type a first name.
Last Name
Type a last name.
Email
Type an e-mail address. This is a required field.
Work Phone
Type a work phone number.
Office Location Type an office location. (Limit is 255 characters.)
Office Hours
Type office hours. (Limit is 255 characters.)
Notes
Type any additional information about the person. (Limit is 255 characters.)
4. Select Yes to Make the Contact Available to students. If you select No, none of the information
provided on the page will appear to students.
5. Optionally, for Attach Image, click Browse to search for a image of your contact. This image will
be included next to the profile on the Contacts page.
Note: The image size should be 150 x 150 pixels.
6. Optionally, for the Personal Link, type the URL for the contact’s home page. When adding a URL,
include the full address and protocol. For example, http://www.blackboard.com. This link appears
with the profile on the Contacts page.
7. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Contacts
Result
The contact's profile appears on the Contacts page.
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Course Tools > Contacts
How to Create or Edit a Contacts Folder
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Contacts.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Contacts.
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Course Tools > Contacts
2. On the Contacts page, click Create Folder.
-ORTo edit a profile, click Edit from the contextual menu.
3. On the Create Folder page, select a Name from the drop-down list or enter a new name.
4. Select a color for the folder name.
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Course Tools > Contacts
5. Type a description of the folder in the Text field.
6. Select Yes to make the folder available.
7. Click Submit.
Result
The folder appears on the Contacts page.
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Course Tools > Contacts
How to Add a Contacts Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Contacts tool often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click
access to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Contacts.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
6. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students, or permit guests to access the link .
Related Tutorials
Creating a Course Contact (Flash movie | 1m 50s )
Course Calendar
You can use the Course Calendar to provide students with dates for course related events. Course Calendar
events appear to all members of the course. If students access the calendar while in your course, they will only
see the entries you have added. If they access the calendar from the My Institution tab, it includes the
following:
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Their personal entries
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Entries for all courses in which they are enrolled
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Entries for any organizations in which they are enrolled
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Institution-wide events
Common entries you may include in the Course Calendar are:
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Section meetings
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Assignment due dates
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Exams
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Guest speakers
Accessing the Course Calendar
You can access the Course Calendar from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
Two Default Options
Access the Course Calendar using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Calendar.
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Course Calendar.
How to Add a Course Event
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Calendar.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Course Calendar.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
2. On the Course Calendar page, click Create Course Event on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Course Event page, type the Event Name.
4. Type the Event Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and add
files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups.
Note: There is a 4,000 character limit for event descriptions.
5. Type the Event Date. Optionally, use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar to select the date.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
6. Type the Event Start Time and Event End Time. Optionally, use the pop-up Time Selection
Menu to select the times.
7. Click Submit.
Result
The event name appears as link on the Course Calendar. Click the link to display the event description.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
How to Delete or Edit a Course Event
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Calendar.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Course Calendar.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
2. To delete a course event, on the Course Calendar page, navigate to the date of the event to
delete. Select Delete from the contextual menu for the event.
-ORTo edit a course event, on the Course Calendar page, navigate to the date of the event to edit.
Select Edit from the contextual menu for the event.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
How to Use the Calendar Jump To
You can view the calendar by day, week, month, year or by specific date. If viewed by month, only the first few
characters of the event title appear on the calendar. Click the event link for details.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Calendar.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Course Calendar.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
2. On the Course Calendar page, click Jump To.
3. On the Calendar Quick Jump pop-up window, type a date in the Select a Date field (using the
mm/dd/yyyy format) or use the Date Selection Calendar to select a date.
4. Select the Month, Week, or Day options to Select the type of view.
5. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
How to Add a Calendar Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Course Calendar often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click
access to the tool. You can also customize the name of the link.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Calendar.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
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Course Tools > Email
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students. For example, if you intend to use the Course Calendar after week three, you can create all
the events you need at the beginning of the term and hide the link until it is needed.
Email
The Email tool allows you to send email to other people in your course from within Blackboard Learn without
launching an external email client, such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. Emails can be sent to individual users or
to groups of users. A copy of this email is sent to the sender by default.
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Course Tools > Email
IMPORTANT! Blackboard Learn keeps no record of sent or received emails. When you receive or send an
email, the email will appear in the Inbox of your external email client. Keep a copy of important messages in
case you need them at a later date.
You can send email to the following people in a course:
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All Users: Sends email to all users in the course.
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All Groups: Sends email to all of the groups in a specified course.
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All Teaching Assistant Users: Sends email to all of the Teaching Assistants in a specified course.
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All Student Users: Sends an email to all students in the course.
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All Instructor Users: Sends email to all of the instructors for a specified course.
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All Observer Users: Sends email to all of the observers for a specified course.
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Single/Select Users: Sends email to select users.
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Single/Select Groups: Sends email to select groups.
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Single/Select Observer users: Send email to a single observer or select observers in the course.
Note: Recipients of each email will not see the email addresses of other recipients.
Before You Begin
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Blackboard Learn only recognizes email addresses and file names with standard characters (a-z, AZ, 0-9, @ and period (.)). The system cannot recognize files or email addresses with spaces or
special characters, such as ?, !, #, &, %, or $.
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Blackboard Learn requires some text content in the subject line to send email successfully. Leaving
the subject line blank can prevent the message from being delivered.
Accessing Email
You can access the Send Email tool from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu. To learn more, see How to Add an Email Link to the
Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Email
Two Default Options
Access the Email tool using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Send
Email.
-ORAlternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Send Email.
How to Send an Email
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Send Email.
-OR-
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Course Tools > Email
On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Send Email.
2. On the Send Email page, click one of the options listed to send the email, for example,
Single/Select Users.
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3. For the Single/Select Users or Single/Select Groups, select the recipients in the Available to
Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move them into the Selected box. A back arrow is
available to move a user out of the recipient list. Click Invert Selection and selected users are no
longer highlighted and those users that are not selected will be highlighted.
Tip: For Windows, to select multiple users in a list, press the SHIFT key and click the first and
last users. To select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each user needed. For
Mac systems, press the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key. You can also use the Select All
function to send an email to all users.
4. Type your Subject.
5. Type a Message.
Note: To email a link to a file you are including in a content item, you must first submit the content
item so the file can be assigned a permanent URL. In the Content Collection or Course Files, click
the file's Action Link and select 360 View. Copy the Permanent URL address and paste it in an
email.
6. Optionally, select the Return Receipt box to send a copy of the message to the sender.
7. Click Attach a file to browse for file from your computer. You can attach multiple files. After you
add one file, the option to attach another file appears.
8. Click Submit.
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Result
A receipt page appears after the message is sent listing all recipients. The receipt page does not confirm that
users received the message. It only confirms that the message was sent.
How to Add an Email Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access their email often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access to
the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Email.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
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6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
) to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide
new position. Click the link's Action Link (
the link from students.
Troubleshooting
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Your email address is not visible unless you choose to make it visible to course members. You can
find this setting in the page header above the tabs at: My Places > Personal Information > Set
Privacy Options. On this page, you can choose the information you want course members to see.
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You can change your external email address used in your course. Change your email address by
going to My Places > Personal Information > Edit Personal Information. Type your preferred
email address and click Submit.
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Email clients, such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, may identify email from Blackboard Learn as junk
mail and either automatically delete the email or move it to a junk mail folder. If you have problems,
check your user preferences or options for settings regarding the handling of junk email. You can also
change your email address.
Related Tutorials
Sending Email (Flash movie | 1m 49s )
Glossary
Each course has its own glossary of terms, and each entry consists of the term and an accompanying
definition. You need to enable the glossary before students can view it. When the glossary is ready for students
to view, make sure the Glossary tool is available.
The glossary controls all of the entries in the course glossary.
Accessing the Glossary
You can access the glossary from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You may
also add a customized link to the Course Menu. To learn more, see How to Add a Glossary Link to the Course
Menu.
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Two Default Options
Access the glossary using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Glossary.
-ORAlternatively, in the Control Panel expand the Course Tools section and select Glossary.
About Creating a Glossary
If you plan to build a large glossary, you can upload a file containing all, or most of the terms, and then update
the glossary by manually adding more terms. This is the most efficient way to create a large glossary for a
course. To learn more, see About Uploading a Glossary File.
Manually adding glossary terms alone is especially useful for a short glossary consisting of a few terms or for
updating terms in an existing glossary. To learn more, see How to Create a Glossary Term
Note: Use the Check Spelling function to make sure there are no misspellings in your terms and definitions.
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Course Tools > Glossary
About Uploading a Glossary File
To create a glossary file for uploading, type the terms and definitions in spreadsheet software, such as
Microsoft® Excel®. Files must have one term and one definition per line, with the term in one column and the
definition in the next column. Save the file as .csv (comma separated values).
Alternatively, you may use a simple text editor to create your glossary file. With one entry per line, separate the
term from the definition by a comma or by a tab. Next, save the file in .csv format or .txt format.
After you have created your glossary file, upload it using the Glossary tool. You have the option to either update
an existing glossary or replace it altogether. After the glossary has been uploaded, you can make further
updates by adding terms manually or uploading another file.
Note: If duplicate terms are in the uploaded file, they will replace those in the existing glossary.
Glossary File Format
Within the CSV file, each entry is separated by a hard return and the term and the definition are separated by a
comma. For example:
"Apple","A red fruit."
"Onion", "A vegetable."
Although it is not always necessary to enclose the term and the definition in quotation marks, Blackboard
strongly recommends this practice to avoid processing errors.
Example:
"Apple","A delicious fruit, usually <b>red</b> in color. Apples are grown all over the
world and are an important religious and mythical symbol to several cultures. The Pacific
Northwest region of the United States, particularly Washington state, is famous for its
apples.<br><br> However, most refined apple lovers agree that the best apples come from
the Hudson River valley area of New York. Perhaps this is why New York City is nicknamed,
""The Big Apple."""
"Onion","Onions are a tasty vegetable with green stalks and a white, yellow, or red bulb.
For the best-tasting Onions, visit the \"Onion Capital of the World\" Pine Island, New
York."
Quotation marks that appear in a definition or a term must be escaped. This means that the quotation mark
must be identified as part of the definition or the mark will be read as the end of the definition. Quotation marks
may be escaped using a backslash (\") or another set of quotation marks ("").
Batch Files
Batch files are .txt files that hold large quantities of information to upload to the system. Each batch utility
contains specific instructions on creating the batch file. The following batch file standards are universal.
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Each file must be one of the supported file types: .txt or .csv.
Note: Microsoft® Excel® versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes in every field if
the worksheet is saved as a .csv file.
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Each file must be in DOS format. Files in MAC or UNIX format must be converted to DOS.
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Each field must be enclosed in double quotation marks. For example: "ENG_201"
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If quotation marks appear in a field, use an escape character to indicate that the next character does
not mark the end of the field. The escape character is a backslash (\). For example: "\"ENG_201\""
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Each field must be separated with one of the following delimiters: comma, colon, or tab. When
selecting AUTO, only one type of delimiter may be used in each batch file. For example: "ENG_
201","English Literature" or " "ENG_201":"English Literature"
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Each record must be on a separate line. For example:
"ENG_201","English Literature"
"ENG_201","English Literature"
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Do not include blank lines between records. The blank line will be processed and return an error.
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Blackboard recommends that each batch file not exceed 500 records because of timeout restrictions
associated with most browsers.
How to Upload a Glossary File
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Glossary.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Glossary.
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2. On the Glossary page, click Upload Glossary from the Upload/Download drop-down list.
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3. On the Upload Glossary page, click Browse to locate and upload the file.
4. Select one of the upload file options.
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Add the Terms in this File to the Glossary: Select this option to supplement the
existing glossary with a list of new terms. If a term appears in both the existing glossary
and the file, the definition in the file will replace the definition in the existing glossary. If the
same term appears two or more times in the file, the last definition for the term will appear
in the glossary.
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Delete all Glossary Terms and Replace with the Terms in this File: Select this
option to delete the existing glossary and replace it with the terms in the upload file.
5. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Glossary
Note: Temporarily set Edit Mode to OFF and view the glossary to make sure the terms are correct
before the it is made available to students. To learn more, see Edit Mode.
How to Create a Glossary Term
Tip: Use the Check Spelling function to make sure there are no misspellings in your terms and definitions.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Glossary.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Glossary.
2. On the Glossary page, click Create Term.
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3. On the Create Term page, type the Term.
4. Type the Definition in the text box.
5. Click Submit.
Result
The term is added to the glossary.
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Course Tools > Glossary
How to Download a Glossary
Downloading a glossary creates a comma separated values data file (.csv) of the glossary. Each entry is
separated by a hard return and within each entry the term and the definition are separated by a comma.
Downloading a glossary is useful for adding terms to another course. The glossary can be edited offline and
then uploaded to another course.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Glossary.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Glossary.
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2. On the Glossary page, click Download Glossary from the Upload/Download drop-down list.
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3. On the Download Glossary page, click Download.
4. On the pop-up window, select Save As and click OK to save the glossary file to your computer.
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Course Tools > Glossary
Note: The glossary may be edited in a spreadsheet program such as Excel or in a text editor such
as Notepad and then uploaded to the glossary. Make sure to keep the formatting of the file intact to
ensure a smooth upload.
How to Add a Glossary Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the glossary often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access
to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Glossary.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students.
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Course Tools > Messages
Messages
Messages are private and secure text-based communication that occurs within a course and among course
members. Although similar to email, you must be logged in to the course to read and send messages. Using the
Messages tool instead of the Email tool can also be more reliable. Problems with incorrect or out-of-date
student email addresses do not affect course communication.
Students are not notified if they receive a new message, so advise them to make routine checks for new
messages. Both incoming and outgoing messages are saved in the Messages tool.
Messages are organized in folders, marked as Read or Unread, moved to other folders, or deleted. The
Messages area has two folders, Inbox and Sent which you cannot rename or delete.
Note: The Blackboard administrator can choose to allow or not allow users to create personal folders. By
default, users may not create personal folders.
Accessing Messages
You can access the Messages tool from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu. To learn more, see How to Add a Messages Link to the
Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Messages
Two Default Options
Access Messages using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-ORAlternatively, on the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Messages.
How to Send a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OR-
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On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, click Create Message on the Action Bar.
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3. On the Compose Message page, select To and a list of course members appears.
4. In the Select Recipients: To line box, select the recipients and click the right-pointing arrow to
move them to the Recipients box. You can use the Cc, and Bcc functions to send the message to
those users that may be interested in the message, but are not the primary recipients. When using
Bcc, other recipients do not know that the users listed in the Bcc field are receiving the message.
5. Type the Subject.
6. Type the Body. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files, images,
web links, multimedia, and Mashups. You may only upload from Course Files or the Content
Collection.
7. In the Attachment section, optionally, add an attachment from your computer. If you do not see
this function, the Blackboard administrator at your school has not enabled message attachments.
8. Click Submit.
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Tip: For Windows, to select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and
last names. To select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed. For
Mac systems, press the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key. You can also select all course
members with the Select All function.
How to Create a Message Folder
You can create personal folders to help organize your messages. Personal folders are only for storing
messages. Messages received always appear in the Inbox folder first and messages sent always appear in the
Sent folder. Once a message appears, you can move it into a personal folder.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OR-
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On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, click Create Folder on the Action Bar.
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3. On the Add Folder page, type the name of the new personal folder in the Name box.
4. Click Submit.
Result
The new personal folder is created.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to View a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Reply to a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
4. On the View Message page, click Reply to compose a message to the sender or Reply All to
reply to the sender and all other recipients of the message already populated in the To: field.
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5. On the Reply to Message page, compose your message. You can add other users to the
message. The Body of the message is already populated with the text of the original message.
6. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Forward a Message
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Course Tools > Messages
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
4. On the View Message page, click Forward to send a copy of the message to someone else.
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5. On the Forward Message page, select the recipients in the Select Recipients: To line box and
click the right-pointing arrow to move them to the Recipients box.
6. Click Submit.
Tip: For Windows, to select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and
last names. To select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed. For
Macs, press the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key. You can also select all course members
with the Select All function.
How to Move a Message
You can move messages from any folder to a personal folder. Using personal folders is a good way to organize
messages so they are easy to find later. Use the Move Message function to move messages from one folder to
another. You cannot move a message to the Sent folder or the Inbox folder.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
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2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Folder page, select the check box for each message and click Move.
4. On the Move Message page, select a folder from the Select a Personal Folder drop-down list.
This is the folder where you will store your messages. The messages are deleted from the old
folder after they have been moved to the new folder.
5. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Delete a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
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2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Folder page, select the check box for each message and click Delete. Exercise caution
because deleting a message is final and cannot be undone.
How to Print a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
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2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
4. On the View Message page, click Print. The message is printed using the web browser's print
settings.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Add a Messages Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Messages tool often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click
access to the tool. You can customize the name of the link as needed.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Messages.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide
the link from students.
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Course Tools > Roster
Related Tutorials
Sending Blackboard Messages (Flash movie | 1m 37s )
Roster
The Roster tool, available to students in the Course Tools area, allows users to view a searchable list of
students enrolled in a course.
Instructors wishing to access a list of users enrolled in a course should access the Users page in the Groups
and Users section of the Control Panel. To learn more, see Searching for Users in a Course.
The Roster pulls information from the system's Personal Information tool. Students can access their
personal information from the Tools panel of any tab, or from the My Places link in the Blackboard header.
Within this tool, students can choose which information is available to the user directory and the course roster.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school can make the personal information, user directory, or roster
tools unavailable.
Tasks
The Tasks tool is used to organize projects or activities (referred to as tasks) by defining task priority and
tracking task status.
A user can create tasks and post them to the Tasks page. Each user can post personal tasks to their page.
Instructors can post tasks to users participating in their courses, and administrators can post tasks to all users’
Tasks pages. Task information is arranged in columns that display the priority, task name, status, and due
date.
Tasks are also available as a course group tool for tasks that are specific to a smaller group within a course.
Note: The To Do Notification Module that appears in a course display course relevant information only. To
learn more, see About The Notifications Dashboard.
Accessing Tasks
You can access Tasks from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You can also add a
customized link to the Course Menu. To learn more, see How to Add a Tasks Link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Tasks
Two Default Options
Access Tasks using the Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
-ORAlternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Tasks.
Viewing Tasks
By default, tasks are listed from highest priority to lowest—not by date. To view tasks listed by due date, click
the Due Date heading. Use the status columns to view how many students have reported their progress or
completed a task.
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Course Tools > Tasks
How to Create or Edit a Course Task
You can create or edit tasks by accessing the Create Course Task page or Edit Course Task page. The
fields on the Create Course Task page and Edit Course Task page are the same. The Create Course Task
page opens with empty fields where as the Edit Course Task page opens with a task already populated.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Tasks.
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2. On the Tasks page, click Create Course Task on the Action Bar.
-ORTo edit an existing task, click Edit from the contextual menu for a particular task.
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3. On the Create Course Task page, type a Task Name.
4. Type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files,
images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups.
5. Type a Due Date, or use the Date Selection Calendar to select the date.
6. Select the level of priority of your task from the Priority drop-down list. You can assign a priority of
Low, Normal, or High.
7. Click Submit.
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How to Delete a Course Task
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Tasks.
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2. On the Task page, select Delete from the contextual menu for the appropriate task. This action is
final and cannot be undone.
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How to View Task Progress
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Tasks.
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2. On the Task page, click a task title to access the View Task page. The View Task page displays
all students' progress for that task.
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How to Add a Tasks Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access Tasks often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access to the
tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Tasks.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students. For example, if you intend to use Tasks after week three, you can create all the tasks you
need at the beginning of the term and hide the link until it is needed.
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Course Tools > Blogs
Related Tutorials
Creating a Course Task (Flash movie | 1m 55s )
Blogs
About Blogs
A blog—a shorthand term that means web log—is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and
intended for general public access and use. Most blogs also have some kind of commenting system, so that
people can respond to and interact with one another. Blogs encourage students to clearly express their ideas
and addresses the need to expand various aspects of social learning. Moreover, they are an effective means of
gaining insight into students' activities and provide a way to share the knowledge and materials collected.
In Blackboard Learn, blogs are created and managed by instructors, and only enrolled users can view and
create entries and comments in them.
How to Use Blogs in Blackboard Learn
In Blackboard Learn, blogs consist of two elements:
l
Blog entries: Text, images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments added by course
members open for comments.
l
Comments: Remarks or responses to blog entries made by other course members, including the
instructor.
You can choose to allow students to participate in blogs in three ways:
l
Course Blogs: You can create a Course blog and determines the topic to be addressed. All course
members can add blog entries and add comments to blog entries.
l
Individual Blogs: You can create a blog for individual course members to use. However, only you
are able to add blog entries. All other course members can view and add comments.
l
Group Blogs: If you enable the blogs tool for a group of users:
o
Group members can add blog entries and make comments on blog entries, building upon
one another.
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Course Tools > Blogs
o
All course members can view group blogs, but non-group members can only add
comments.
A group blog is different from a threaded discussion in that each entry does not need to continue the
discussion of the previous entry, but can be a complete thought on its own.
Note: As the course instructor, you have full control over all blogs in your course and can edit and delete
entries in any of the blog types and can delete user comments.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Blog (Flash movie | 2m 4s ) |
7s ) |
Commenting on a Blog Entry (Flash movie | 1m 27s )
Creating and Editing Blog Entries (Flash movie | 2m
Creating a Blog
Blog writing assignments are another medium for reflective learning. With this type of assignment, students are
expected to display their research, analytical, and communication skills through a series of commentaries
meant for public consumption and comment.
In the course environment, blogs are only able to be viewed by enrolled users. Similar to journals, blogs can be
used as a graded assignment or ungraded to gather opinions and information. To learn more about journals, see
Journals.
You can create one or more blogs for use by students in their courses. Blog topics must be created before
students can add their entries.
How to Create a Blog Topic
1. Access the course.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
4. Select Blogs.
5. On the Blogs listing page, click Create Blog on the Action Bar.
6. On the Create Blog page, type a Name for the blog.
7. Type optional Instructions for the blog. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
the attachment.
8. Under Blog Availability, select the Yes option to make it available to users.
9. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit the availability of the blog.
Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date and time
selections.
10. Under Blog Participation, select Individual to All Students or Course. Select Allow
Anonymous Comments for individual blogs or Allow Anonymous Entries and Comments for
course and group blogs, if needed.
11. Under Blog Settings, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries.
12. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries.
13. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Delete Comments.
14. Select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible
will apply to one or more entries made by the user to the blog topic. Once a blog is set to be graded,
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Course Tools > Blogs
a column is created for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable and cannot be set to No
grading.
15. Optionally, select the box and the number of entries required to show participants in Needs
Grading status. Applying this setting will show the Needs Grading icon in the Grade Center and
place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of entries have
been made.
16. Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
17. Click Submit.
The blog topics appear in alphabetical order on the Blogs listing page. Columns can be sorted by clicking the
column title or caret.
You can also provide links to blogs in course areas such as Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans,
and folders. To learn more, see Linking to Tools in a Course Area.
Creating Blog Entries
Instructors and users can create blog entries and other course members can make comments on the entries.
As the instructor, you can use blog entries to provide structure for discussions on class topics and other issues.
On the Blogs listing page, under each blog title, students can see if the blog belongs to a group, the course, or
to individual students. Group blogs can be read by all course members, but to make an entry, the user must be
a group member.
How to Create a Blog Entry
1. On the Blogs listing page, select a blog title.
2. On the blog's topic page, click Create Blog Entry on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Blog Entry page, type a Title for the blog entry.
4. Type text in the Entry Message text box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
the attachment.
5. If enabled, select the check box for Post Entry as Anonymous, if appropriate.
6. Alternatively, under Blog Entry Files, browse for a file to attach to the blog entry.
7. Click Post Entry to submit the blog entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.
How to View Drafts
To view or add saved drafts, click View Drafts on the Action Bar on the Blogs listing page.
Commenting on a Blog
Because blogs are meant to be read by others, students can comment on one another’s blog entries, whether
they belong to an individual, the course, or a group.
As the instructor, you determine if comments can be made anonymously or deleted, and you can also delete
any user’s comment by clicking the X. Comments cannot be edited after they are posted.
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How to Comment on a Blog Entry
1. On the Blogs listing page, select a blog title. 2. On the blog’s topic page, select a blog to view by selecting the user’s name in the side panel under
View Entries by. The user’s blog entries open in the content frame.
3. Click Comment following the user’s entry. The Comment text box appears.
4. Type a comment in the Comment text box.
5. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the Comment text box to check the spelling of the content
before continuing.
6. If enabled, select the check box for Comment on Entry as Anonymous, if appropriate. 7. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the entry to view the comment.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Blog (Flash movie | 2m 4s ) |
Commenting on a Blog Entry (Flash movie | 1m 27s )
7s ) |
Creating and Editing Blog Entries (Flash movie | 2m
Editing and Managing Blogs
You can edit basic properties of a blog topic, including the name, instructions, availability, and other custom
settings. Once a blog topic is designated for individuals or the course, you cannot change it to the other.
You can edit any user's blog entries and can delete blog topics. You can also delete comments, but cannot edit
them.
How to Edit a Blog
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Blogs listing page, click a blog's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Edit .
4. On the Edit Blog page, make the desired changes to name, instructions, and so on.
5. When finished, click Submit.
How to Delete a Blog
Note: Deleting a blog cannot be undone. Be certain this is what you want to do before confirming the deletion.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Blogs listing page, click a blog's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Delete.
4. Click OK in the confirmation window. All entries and comments are deleted.
Note: When a graded blog is selected for deletion, a Delete Confirmation page appears. Select the
appropriate check box or boxes to delete the blog or the blog and the Grade Center column.
How to Change the Availability of a Blog
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Blogs listing page, select the check box next to the appropriate blog.
3. Point to Availability on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
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Course Tools > Blogs
4. Select Make Available or Make Unavailable.
Troubleshooting Blog Management
If
Then
a blog is deleted while users are
posting
the blog and all comments are deleted.
a blog is made unavailable while the blog remains visible to the instructor in Edit Mode, but does not appear to users.
users are posting
the Allow Users to Edit and
Delete Entries setting is
changed
entries remain, but users cannot edit them.
the Allow Users to Delete
Comments setting is changed
comments remain and users cannot delete them.
the blog is set to be graded
the setting cannot be changed. The blog needs to be deleted and the Grade Center column
must be deleted from the Grade Center to remove it. The Grade Center column for the blog can
also not be included in Grade Center calculations, if the blog entries are needed, but will not be
graded.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Blog (Flash movie | 2m 4s ) |
Commenting on a Blog Entry (Flash movie | 1m 27s )
Creating and Editing Blog Entries (Flash movie | 2m
7s ) |
Grading Blogs and Journals
You can grade participation in blogs and journals for individuals and groups.
Once a blog or journal topic is set to be graded, a grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center.
Then, individual student and group entries can be graded from the blog or journal topic page, where all entries
and comments can be referenced, as the grade is determined. An assigned grade can also be edited from the
blog or journal topic page and the Grade Center is updated.
Students can view their blog or journal grades in the My Grades tool.
About Grading Blogs and Journals
You can grade the quality of the discussion, as well as the number of entries and comments that are made by
an individual or a course group.
Grades for blogs and journals are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade
Center.
You can determine whether or not students can view their own grades and feedback by editing the column
information in the Grade Center. To learn more, see How to Edit Columns, Hide Columns, and Select Options
for Grade Center Columns.
Changing a Topic from Graded to Ungraded
A graded blog or journal topic cannot be changed to ungraded. The only way to change from graded to ungraded
is to delete the graded blog or journal topic from the blogs or journals listing page and the Grade Center, and
create a new ungraded topic.
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Course Tools > Blogs
Alternatively, to retain entries, set the blog or journal Grade Center column to not be included in calculations. In
essence, the blog or journal continues to be considered a graded one by the Grade Center, but any results or
grades assigned are ignored.
Understanding Graded Blog and Journal Topic Pages
The blog topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and course groups. The side
panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
l
About this Blog: Shows the type, number of entries, and number of comments.
l
View Entries by: Students who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks,
the needs grading icon. Click a student's name to access the Blog Grade section, where grades,
feedback and grading notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this section
to navigate among students to grade or click a student's name in the list. Click Show Members
without Entries to see all students in the course; students who have not added entries are included
in this list. Click Hide Members without Entries to return to the list of students who have entries
needing a grade.
l
Index: For a selected student or all course members, view a list of entry titles added during the index
span—by month or by week.
The journal topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and course groups. The
side panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
l
About this Journal: Shows the author, number of entries, and number of comments.
l
More Journals: Students who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks,
the needs grading icon. Click a student's name to access the Journal Grade section, where grades,
feedback and grading notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this section
to navigate among students to grade or click a student's name in the list. Click Show Empty
Journals to see all students in the course; students who have not added entries are included in this
list. Click Hide Empty Journals to return to the list of students who have entries needing a grade.
l
Index: For a selected student, view a list of entry titles added during the index span—by month or by
week.
The grading process for blogs and journals can begin from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, the
Course Tools area in the Control Panel, or the course location where the blog or journal has been deployed.
How to Grade Blog Entries for Individuals
1. Access the blog topic page and select the blog entry or entries to grade by selecting the student’s
name in the side panel under View Entries by. The student’s blog entry or entries open in the
content frame. 2. Under Blog Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box, or if a rubric has been created for this
graded blog, click View Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the student and Grading Notes, which appear to the instructor and
grader only. You can also use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, and multimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Blog Grade section and to
the Grade Center.
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6. The grade, feedback, or grading notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Blog Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the student's Grade Details
page.
How to Grade Journal Entries for Individuals
1. Access the journal topic page and select the journal entry or entries to grade by selecting the
student's name in the side panel under More Journals. The student’s journal entry or entries open
in the content frame.
2. Under Journal Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box, or if a rubric has been created for this
graded journal, click View Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the student and Grading Notes, which appear to the instructor and
grader only. You can also use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, and multimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Journal Grade section and
to the Grade Center.
6. The grade, feedback, or grading notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Journal Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the student's Grade Details
page.
Note: If a rubric will be used to grade blog or journal entries, it must be created and added in advance.
How to Delete a Gradable Blog or Journal
If a gradable blog or journal is no longer needed, it can be deleted. It is permanently deleted and the action
cannot be undone. On the blogs or journals listing page, select Delete from the contextual menu for the item
and the Delete Confirmation page appears.
There are two options on the Delete Confirmation page:
l
Do not select check boxes: The blog or journal will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and
scores assigned are retained. For example, all student entries have been graded and you want to
keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If the blog or journal is deleted, yet the
Grade Center column is retained, the column can be deleted from the Grade Center at any time.
l
Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the blog or journal are both
deleted. For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the blog or journal entries in
the final grade, you can safely delete all.
Click Remove to complete the deletion.
How to Grade a Blog or Journal for all Group Members
A group blog or journal is graded using the same steps as for individuals. When the entries are submitted, all
group members' names appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading icon.
When a grade is added for a group blog or journal, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the
group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members
are assigned the same grade, even if a member did not contribute, although this can be overridden (described in
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade).
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Course Tools > Collaboration Tools
You can read all the entries for the group blog or journal and add one grade on the blog or journal topic page.
Students can view their group blog or journal grades in the My Grades tool and on the group blog or journal topic
page by selecting their names.
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade
An individual group member can be assigned a different grade than the group by selecting his or her name to
access the Grade section. In the content frame, the individual member’s entries and comments appear. After
assigning a new grade and feedback for the individual member, the new information appears in the side panel.
The grade the individual member received and the grade the group received are both shown.
If a group member’s grade is changed, and a new group grade is given, the new group grade will not affect the
individual’s new grade. The individual’s new grade will not appear to the other group members.
The group grade and the individual group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center in the column that
was automatically created when the graded group blog or journal was enabled. Grayed out cells appear in the
group blog or journal column for course members who are not part of the group.
A group or individual member's grade can also be edited from the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
It is possible to revert a member’s edited grade to the original group grade, which all group members received.
1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page. (Alternatively, you can edit the
grade that was changed on the group blog or journal page by selecting the student.)
2. After a member’s group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original group grade.
4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the main Grade Center page and view the edited grade
column. This grade change also appears on the group blog or journal page when the student's name
is selected.
Deleting a Group
If a group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete Confirmation page
appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the group, such as for a graded group blog or journal, the
columns can be retained. On the Delete Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any columns
that need to be preserved.
Collaboration Tools
About Collaboration Tools
Collaboration tools allow users to participate in real-time lessons and discussions. Examples of these
sessions include real-time, online classroom discussions, guest speaker led sessions, teaching assistant
sessions, and live question-and-answer sessions. Recordings of sessions can be created and made available
for review.
Installing the Required Java Plug-in
The Java 2 Run Time Environment is required to use the Blackboard Learn collaboration tools. The plug-in may
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Course Tools > Collaboration Tools
be downloaded from the page that appears when a user joins a collaboration session, or may be found at
http://java.sun.com/products/plugin/index.html.
Take care to uninstall any existing Java plug-ins before installing a new version.
How to Find the Collaboration Sessions Page
Follow the steps below to open the Collaboration Sessions page.
1. Click Collaboration on the Course Menu or from the Control Panel.
The following table describes the available functions.
To . . .
click . . .
filter the
sessions
listed on the
page
the arrow next to the drop-down list and select the type of session to display. Click Filter.
The filters include:
Show All – The default filter that displays all of the collaboration sessions.
Available Sessions – Displays all of the sessions that are in use. Sessions
with Recordings – Displays completed sessions that have an archive. Future
Sessions – Displays sessions that are scheduled to take place in the future.
search for a
session
the Session Name, Start Date, or End Date option and then enter a value in the field. Click Search.
enter a
session
Join from the session's contextual menu.
access the
Recording from the contextual menu. recording for
a session
add a new
Create Collaboration Session
collaboration
session
Assigning User Roles
There are two roles available for users in collaboration sessions, passive and active. The session administrator
controls user access and functions during a collaboration session by assigning passive or active roles. For
example, session administrators determine which users can chat, send private messages, or ask questions
during a session by assigning specific access rights to the different roles. The student icon will appear in the
Role column next to those students who are designated as active.
Student roles can change throughout the collaboration session. Those who are currently set to passive, but
would like active rights can signal the session administrator by clicking the hand icon. The session
administrator can then make that user active.
About Browser Pop-up Blockers
Be aware that for any browser supporting pop-up window blocking, it must be disabled or your institution's
website made a trusted site for the collaboration tool to work properly.
Using the Accessible Collaboration Tool
An accessible version of the collaboration tool is available.
A link to this version appears when Join is selected on the Collaboration Sessions page. This link will open
the accessible version of the collaboration tool. Links to items that appear in the Virtual Classroom, such as
items in the Course Menu and group browser, will appear in this version. Documents created on the Whiteboard
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Course Tools > Collaboration Tools
may be viewed if the session administrator takes a snapshot. A link will be created to the snapshot for users to
view.
The sound of a door opening or closing is audible to all participants whenever a user enters or leaves a session
through the accessible version.
About Collaboration Sessions
Collaboration sessions are real-time lessons and discussions. Two primary collaboration tools are available:
l
Chat: Chat is an exchange of text messages online.
l
Virtual Classroom: Virtual Classroom is a shared online environment where users can view links,
share desktops, exchange files, and chat. Both types of collaboration can be recorded and saved for
future review.
The Collaboration Session page is used to manage the collaboration tools available in Blackboard Learn.
From this page, you can access all of the collaboration sessions for the course, including those that have
already taken place and are recorded and those that are scheduled for the future. You can also schedule new
collaboration sessions and make changes to those already scheduled from this page.
Default Collaboration Sessions
Each course and organization begins with two default collaboration sessions. The Lecture Hall is the default
Virtual Classroom, and Office Hours is the default Chat. These default sessions can be deleted.
Note: Deleting a session cannot be undone.
Using Collaboration Session Functions
The following functions are available from the Collaboration Sessions page:
To . . .
click . . .
create a new collaboration
session
Create Collaboration Session. The Create Collaboration Session page
appears. To learn more, see Creating and Editing Collaboration Sessions.
filter the sessions listed on the
page
the arrow next to the drop-down list and select the type of session to display.
Click Filter. The filters include:
l
Show All: The default filter that displays all of the collaboration
sessions.
l
Available Sessions: Displays all of the sessions that are currently
being used.
l
Sessions with Recordings: Displays completed sessions that have a
recording.
l
Future Sessions: Displays sessions that are scheduled to take place
in the future.
search for a session
the Session Name, Start Date or End Date option and then enter a value in the
field. Click Search.
enter a session
select Join from the contextual menu for the session. The Virtual Classroom or
Chat for that session opens. (To learn more, see Virtual Classroom and Chat.)
access the Recordings for a
session
Recordings next to the session. The Session Recordings page appears. (To
learn more, see Recording Sessions.)
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To . . .
click . . .
change the name, availability,
select Edit from the contextual menu for the session. The Edit Session
or tools used during the session Recordings page appears. (To learn more, see Recording Properties.)
delete a session
select Delete from the contextual menu for the session.
Note: This action cannot be undone.
Creating and Editing Collaboration Sessions
You can create new collaboration sessions selecting Virtual Classroom or Chat from the Create
Collaboration Session page. You can schedule sessions for specific dates and times.
Both the Create Collaboration Session and Edit Collaboration Session pages function in a similar manner.
The Create Collaboration Session page displays with empty fields while the Edit Collaboration Session
page opens with the selected session's current information and details already populated.
Creating or Editing Collaboration Sessions
Follow these steps to create or edit a collaboration session:
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration. The Collaboration Sessions
page appears.
2. To create a new session, click Create Collaboration Session. Alternatively, to edit a
collaboration, click the contextual menu for the session to be edited and select Edit.
3. Complete the fields as appropriate.
Field
Description
Session Name
Session Name
Type the name of the new session.
Schedule Availability
Select Dates of
Availability
Optionally, select the dates during which the collaboration session will be available,
a start date and time and an ending date and time.
Setting availability by date is not required. If these are not set then the session is
always open and available for users, subject to the Available setting.
Available
Select Yes to make the session available.
Collaboration Tool
Choose a Tool
for this Session
Select Virtual Classroom or Chat.
Recording Sessions
About Recording Sessions
Session Recordings allow users to review collaboration sessions and are archived by date. A given session
will not appear in the list of saved recordings until the session administrator has stopped recording.
Note: If you do not stop the recording and exit the collaboration session, the recording will not end and no
information will be recorded in the recording duration column. Only when the session administrator stops
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recording or ends the session will the recording actually stop and the duration display. This is why it is important
to remember when recording sessions always to end the recording or the session, and not simply exit from it.
How to Find the Recording Sessions Page
Follow these steps to access the Session Recordings page.
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration.
2. Using the contextual menu, click Recordings for the session to be accessed.
The table below describes the functions available on this page.
To . . .
click . . .
search for a recording in the Recording Name or creation date option in the Search by field. Type the
the collaboration
name of the recording or the date it was created in the field and click Search.
session
open a recording
the recording name.
change the name or
availability of a
recording
Edit from the contextual menu. The Recording Properties page appears.
delete a recording
Delete.
Note: Exercise caution because deleting a recording session cannot be
undone.
Record Menu
Virtual Classroom and Chat sessions are recorded and saved for future playback. You can start, stop, pause,
and restart recordings during a session. A session can have more than one recording. If you select End to stop
a session, then the recorder will automatically stop recording the session.
Note: It is important to remember to stop a session recording, or to allow the session to stop it automatically
by ending the session. If you simply exit the session, the recording will not stop nor will it be archived.
Using the Recording Controls
The following table details the buttons that appear on the Record menu.
Button
Description
Start
Click Start to begin recording a session. You are prompted to name the recording.
Pause
Click Pause to pause a recording once it has started. Click this button again to restart the recording.
Both the pause and restart will be marked and time stamped in the recording.
Stop
Click Stop to end recording the session. When Stop is selected the recording is completed and a stop
marker and time/date stamp will be included at the end of the recording.
Bookmark Click Bookmark to insert a bookmark anywhere in the recording of the session.
Recording the Whiteboard
The Snapshot button (shaped like a camera) on the Whiteboard tool bar is used to capture the current state of
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the Whiteboard and save it with the recording.
Click the Snapshot button to capture an image of the Whiteboard. When replaying the session recording, the
Whiteboard image shown will update according to the time when the snapshot was captured.
Note: The Snapshot button cannot be activated unless the session is being recorded.
Controlling Session Recording Availability
By default, session recordings are available to all session participants, including students. If you want, you can
restrict availability and deny participants permission to access a session recording. To learn more, see
Recording Properties.
Recording Properties
The Recording Properties page allows you to change the name and availability of a recording session.
Note: Recordings are available to students and other participants by default.
How to Find the Recording Properties Page
Follow the steps below to open the Recording Properties page.
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration.
2. Click Recordings from the contextual menu of a session.
3. Click Edit from the contextual menu for a recording.
4. Complete the fields as appropriate.
Field
Description
Edit Recording Name
Recording Name
Type or edit the name of the recording.
Availability to Students
Permit Participants to View
Recording
To enable viewing access for participants, select Yes (default).
To make a session recording unavailable to participants, select
No.
Virtual Classroom
About Virtual Classroom
The Virtual Classroom environment includes a shared White Board, a group browser, a question and answer
box, and a map that can be used to navigate to places in the course. The session administrator establishes
which tools in the Virtual Classroom users can access.
How to Open the Virtual Classroom
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration.
2. Click Join from the contextual menu of a Virtual Classroom session.
Using the Virtual Classroom Areas
The following table details the areas of the Virtual Classroom.
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Part
Function
Menu Bar
Allows the session administrator to control the Virtual Classroom. This includes managing
participation, monitoring breakout sessions, and ending the session. To learn more, see Menu Bar for
Virtual Classroom.
Classroom Includes all of the tools used during the Virtual Classroom session. This includes searching for
tool box
websites, asking and answering questions, using the Whiteboard, and accessing the Course Menu. To
learn more, see About the Virtual Classroom Tool Box.
Chat
Allows participants to compose messages, raise their hands (by clicking the hand icon) to ask
questions, and send private messages. To learn more, see Chat.
Menu Bar for Virtual Classroom
The Virtual Classroom menu bar includes a number of functions for controlling access, setting personal
message viewing options, creating breakout sessions, and more.
Using the Virtual Class Room Menu Bar
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View: Select Show in-line to view private messages within the chat area. Select Show in separate
frame to view private messages in a separate window.
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Controls: Use the check boxes to grant access to tools for passive and active users. Uncheck to
delete access to tools.
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Clear: Clears the currently visible chat display. If the session is being recorded, this has no effect on
the recorded chat text.
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End: Ends the session and exits all users. This action cannot be undone.
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Breakouts: Select the check boxes for the users who will participate in the breakout session. Users
may only join a breakout session if they are selected by the creator of the breakout session. Users
who enter a breakout session are still active in the main Virtual Classroom session. If a breakout
session is closed, users are still active in the main session. Breakout sessions default to the same
settings as the main session.
About the Virtual Classroom Tool Box
If granted access to these tools by the Session Administrator, users can use the Whiteboard, access websites,
and view the Course Menu.
The Classroom Tool box appears on the left side of the Virtual Classroom. To begin using items in the Tool box
click the name of the tool.
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The following tools are available in the Classroom Tool box.
Whiteboard
The Whiteboard enables users in a Virtual Classroom to present different types of information as they would on
a whiteboard in a classroom. The tools in the Whiteboard Tools palette allow users to draw images, type text,
and present equations. The Session Administrator determines whether this function is made available to users.
The following table details the tools available for use on the Whiteboard.
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To . . .
click . . .
select an
item
the Arrow tool. Then click an item for selection. The following may be performed on selected items:
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Enlarge: Click of the small black boxes that surround the item and drag it to the desired size.
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Move: Click the item and move it to the desired location.
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Cut: Click the Whiteboard item. Then click the Cut icon.
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Copy: Click the Whiteboard item. Then click the Copy icon.
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Paste: Click the Whiteboard item. Then click the Paste icon.
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Delete: Click the Whiteboard item. click the selected object. Then click the Delete icon.
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Group items: Click the Whiteboard items. Then click the Group icon.
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Ungroup: Click a Whiteboard item in a group. Then click the Ungroup icon.
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Bring front: Click the Whiteboard item. click selected object. Then click the Bring to front
icon.
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Bring back: Click the Whiteboard item. click selected object. Then click the Send to back
icon.
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Select all figures on the Whiteboard: Click the Selects all Figures icon.
draw free
hand
the Pen tool. Choose the color of the pen in the Pen Color drop-down list. Next, select the line width.
enter text
using the
keyboard
the text tool (T) then the Whiteboard area. A Whiteboard Text Input box appears. Type the text in the
box and click Insert. Use the options in the Tools palette to select color, font, and size.
draw a
straight
line
the Line tool.
draw a
rectangle
the Rectangle tool. Choose the color of the square from the Fill Color drop-down list to draw a solid
shape. To draw the outline of the shape, select None for the fill color. The outline of the shape will be
the color of the pen tool and have the selected line width.
draw a
oval
the Oval tool. Choose the color of the circle from the Fill Color drop-down list to draw a solid shape. To
draw the outline of the shape, select None for the fill color. The outline of the shape will be the color of
the pen tool and have the selected line width.
input an
equation
the Math and Science Equation Editor icon. The Equation Editor will appear. Input the equation and
click Insert Equation. To learn more, see Using the Math and Science Notation Tool.
Group Browser
The Group Browser enables users to collaboratively browse the Internet. This tool opens a URL that is
viewable by all users. URLs used in the session will be added to the recording if one is created. The Session
Administrator determines whether this function is made available to users.
The table below details the available functions in the Group Browser.
To . . .
click . . .
open a Web site
type the URL in the Type Address field.
choose where to Display To Users to display the window in the Whiteboard or click Preview in New Window to
display the Web open the website in a new browser window. The preview window will only be displayed to the
site
user that opened it.
Map
The Course Map enables users to browse the Course Menu while in a Virtual Classroom. By default, the
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Session Administrator has access to operate the Course Map. Users must have Active privileges to use the
Course Map in a Virtual Classroom.
The table below details the available functions in the Course Map.
To . . .
click . . .
display an element on the
map to all users
the course area in the Course Map and select Display To Class in the drop-down
list.
display an element on the
map in a separate window
the course area in the Course Map and select Preview in New Window in the dropdown list. The new window is only visible to the user who opens it.
refresh the map during a
collaboration session
Refresh Tree in the drop-down list. This will update the Course Map to match the
Course Menu.
Ask Question
Users are able to ask questions during the session. As users submit questions during the session, the Session
Administrator can view and respond to them.
Note: Only users who have an Active role can ask questions.
To ask a question, select Compose in the Ask Question area. Type the question in the text box and click
Send.
Question Inbox
Questions from users are sent to the Question Inbox during the Virtual Classroom session. The Question
Inbox is used to manage and respond to questions during a collaboration session.
The following table details the functions available in the Question Inbox tool.
To . . .
click . . .
respond to a question
the username in the From list and click the Respond to Question icon. The
Respond to Question pop-up window will appear.
delete a question
the username in the From list and click the Delete icon.
view only questions that have
not been answered
the check box next to Show unanswered only.
The following table details the fields on the Respond to Question pop-up window.
Field
Description
Question
Question that was submitted.
Response Type the response to the question.
Private
Select this check box to make the response to the question private. If marked private, the response will
only be sent to the person who submitted the message.
Chat
The Chat tool allows you to interact with other users using a text-based chat. Chat is part of the Virtual
Classroom. It can also be accessed separately.
Use the Chat tool when real-time discussion is required. Most students will be familiar with using some form of
chat and will be comfortable using this form of communication.
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The Chat tool was designed to be ideal for low bandwidth situations, such as when your students are
connecting to the course using a dial-up connection.
After joining a chat session, students can send messages. The message will appear in the chat display panel of
all participants who are currently in the room.
Accessing Chat
You can access Chat in the collaboration tool from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control
Panel. You may also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
Two Default Options
Access collaboration using the Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Collaboration.
-ORAlternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Collaboration.
How to Add a Collaboration Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access collaboration often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access
to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
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1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Collaboration.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students.
How to Access Chat in a Content Area
You can manually add links to Chat in Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and folders.
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For example, you could set up a Content Area to include all the content and tools your students need for the
week. After reading the weekly lecture, viewing the slide presentation, and completing two assignments,
students could then access the Chat tool for the mandatory weekly session. Finally, they would complete the
weekly test, accomplishing all of these tasks in the same Content Area. In this scenario, students do not need
to navigate anywhere else in the course to complete all the required activities for the week.
Adding a Chat Link in a Content Area
You can follow the same steps for adding link to Learning Modules, lesson plans, and folders.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON and access the course area where a Chat link will be added, for example,
the Chapter 1 Content Area.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Tools to access the drop-down list, and select Chat.
3. On the Create Link: Chat page, select the type of link: Collaboration Sessions Page, Chat
Session. If linking to a Chat Session, select it from the list.
4. Click Next.
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5. On the next Create Link: Group page, complete the Link Information to specify how it will
appear in the Content Area. Select Options, if you want.
6. Click Submit.
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Accessing the Chat Link
Navigate to the Content Area, and click the Chat link. You will be directed to the Chat listing page. Click the
Session Name to join the chat.
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How to Create a Chat Session
You can create chat sessions for real-time communication, and are available:
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For the duration of the course: Students can schedule meetings and use the session at any time.
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At a specific time: Student attendance at these sessions may be mandatory.
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To group members only: Students in a group can schedule sessions to discuss projects, divide up
tasks, and brainstorm.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Collaboration.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Collaboration.
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2. On the Collaboration Sessions page, click Create Collaboration Session on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Collaboration Session page, type a Session Name.
4. Under Schedule Availability, select the start and end time for the session. You can use the Date
Selection Calendar to select the date, and Time Selection Menu to select the time.
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5. Next to Available, select the Yes option.
6. Under Collaboration Tool, select Chat from the drop-down list.
7. Click Submit.
How to Join a Chat Session
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Collaboration.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Collaboration.
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2. On the Collaboration Sessions page, click the Session Name next to a Chat session.
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Result
A Launching Chat Tool page appears. Do not leave this page until you are done chatting. The chat session
will open in a new browser window and may take a moment to load.
Note: Chat will not work if pop-up blockers are enabled. Either turn off your pop-up blocker or make your
course site a trusted site.
A list of participants and their roles appear in the first column.
l
The Chat session moderator is represented by a globe icon. The Moderator is typically the instructor.
The Moderator can modify participant roles, grant passive users permission to participate, expel
users, and record and end the session.
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Active users are represented by a full color icon. An active user is typically a student. By default,
active users can send messages as often as they like during a chat session.
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Passive users are represented by a gray toned icon. A passive user also is typically a student, but
could also be a guest or observer. Passive users can observe the chat exchange, but must raise their
hands (click on the hand icon) to request permission to send messages. If more than one user raises
their hands, numbers are assigned to the handraise icons to represent the order they raised their
hands.
The title of the Chat room appears at the top of the chat display panel.
All messages are shown in the chat display panel.
Type your message in the Compose text box and click Send. Alternatively, you can click the compose
icon to open a new window, allowing for a bigger area for typing.
How to Send a Chat Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Collaboration.
-OR-
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On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Collaboration.
2. On the Collaboration Sessions page, click the Session Name next to a Chat session.
3. On the Chat pop-up window, type your message in the Compose text box.
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4. Click Send.
Sending Private Message
You can send private messages to other users if the Blackboard administrator has enabled this feature in the
session controls. Private messages are not recorded or archived.
Private messages can appear with all your other messages in the chat display panel or you can choose to
display them in a separate panel. Private messages are always preceded by “Private Message from.” Click
View on the Action Bar and select where private messages will appear.
Note: Only users who have an active role can send private messages.
1. On the Participant list, select the recipient or recipients of your private message.
l
l
To send a private message to a single participant, double-click the participant’s name.
To select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last names.
To select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed.
2. Click Private Message.
3. On the Compose Private Message pop-up window, type your message.
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4. Click Send.
How to Modify Participant Roles
By default, participants are designated as active users when they enter a chat session. At any time, you can
change the role to passive. Passive users can view the chat exchange, but can only contribute if they raise
their hands and are granted permission by the moderator.
You control chat sessions to a greater degree when users are passive. For example, if each student must first
ask for permission to participate, you are less likely to have a whole series of questions to respond to at once.
You can also make only certain users passive if you feel they are dominating the conversation or responding
inappropriately.
1. On the Participants list, click the name of the user.
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2. Click an icon to activate or deactivate a user's permission to chat. The icon in the Participants list
is updated.
How to Record Chat Sessions
You can create a transcript of a chat session by recording a session using the recording functions on the right
side of the Action Bar.
Session recordings can be beneficial if student participation is graded. Students can use the recordings for
review purposes, or if a chat session was missed.
You can type a name for the recording or use the default name of the start date and time of the recording. You
can create single or multiple recordings for a session.
1. After joining a chat session, click the Begins recording function.
2. On the Name Recording pop-up window, type a name for the chat recording or use the default.
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3. Click OK.
The following table explains the recording functions on the Action Bar.
Icon Function on Action Bar
Click Begin recording to create the transcript. Information is recorded as participants exchange messages.
You can create more than one recording per session.
Note: Clicking the Begins recording function again when recording is already in progress will stop the
recording.
Click Pause recording to temporarily stop the recording. The chat display panel and the transcript will
indicate the recording has been paused. Click it again to resume recording.
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Icon Function on Action Bar
Click Stop recording to end the recording. Once a chat session has been stopped, it is not possible to add to
the recording.
Tip: If you end a recording in error, simply click the Begins recording function to start another transcript. Title
the next recording "Part Two" or "Continued."
Click Bookmark to add comments to the recording. For example, make a note that you are about to introduce
a new topic. When adding bookmark comments, remember students can view recordings. Bookmarks will
appear in a different color than the chat text.
Managing Chat Sessions
You can use the functions on the Action Bar to manage the chat session.
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View: Click View to choose where to display private messages.
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Controls: Click Controls to select which features each role can use. By default, only active users
can send messages and private messages.
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Clear: Click Clear to clear your chat panel or the chat panel of all session participants.
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End: Click End to stop a session. The session is ended and all users are exited. If you are recording
the session, the recording is also ended and it is no longer possible to add bookmarks to the
recording.
Discussion Board
About the Discussion Board
Building a sense of community among students is crucial for a successful online experience. The Discussion
Board is an important tool for interpersonal interaction and can replicate the robust discussions that take place
in the traditional classroom. Discussions can serve a range of purposes, such as:
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An online meeting place for social interaction among peers.
l
An additional medium for collaboration and the exchange of ideas.
l
A medium to pose questions about homework assignments, readings, and course content.
l
A way to demonstrate the understanding or application of course material.
l
A record of discussion which can be reviewed at a later point.
l
A graded activity that demonstrates understanding or application of course material.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
Once you have determined your precise needs, you can create forums and threads to organize discussions into
units or topics relevant to your course.
The Discussion Board tool allows for asynchronous interactions occurring over extended periods of time. This
allows for more flexibility, as well as reflective communication.
Asynchronous communication offers convenience and flexibility to all participants. Some benefits include:
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Participants do not need to be in the same location or time zone.
l
Participants can carefully consider and reflect on the initial message before responding and,
hopefully, more thoughtful conversations can occur.
l
Different learning styles are accommodated. For example, students who are shy about speaking in
class may feel more comfortable responding to discussion threads.
The Discussion Board is also available as a group tool that is used by smaller groups within a course. Group
Discussion Boards are available only to the members of a course group. To learn more, see How to Enable the
Group Discussion Board Tool.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
Accessing the Discussion Board
You can access the Discussion Board from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu and to a Course Area. When you provide a link to the
Discussion Board in a Course Area, students can access the tool alongside other course content. To learn
more, see How to Add a Link to the Discussion Board in a Course Area.
Two Default Options
Access the Discussion Board using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Discussion Board.
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Alternatively, in the Control Panel expand the Course Tools section and select Discussion Board. From
this link, you can access the course Discussion Board and any group Discussion Boards for the groups in your
course.
How to Include a Discussion Link on the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Discussion Board often, you can include a link on the Course Menu for oneclick access to the tool. You can also customize the name of the link as needed.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Discussion Board.
5. Select the Available to Users check box.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide
the link from students. For example, if you intend to use the Discussion Board after week three, you can create
all the forums you need at the beginning of the term and hide the link until it is needed.
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Understanding Discussion Forums and Threads
Just as it is critical to plan and structure your course content, you should also provide structure for online
discussions. Forums allow you to group related discussions and help your students stay on task. You first need
to create one or more forums before message threads can be started.
The main Discussion Board page displays a list of forums. A forum is an area where a topic or a group of
related topics are discussed. Within each forum, there can be multiple threads. A thread includes the initial
post and any replies to it.
Viewing the Discussion Board Page
The Discussion Board page contains all the forums you have created for your course.
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On the Action Bar, you can create forums or use the Search function to search for Discussion Board content.
The search field is collapsed by default to save screen space.
To sort a column, click the column heading or caret. For example, if you sort the Forum column, the items
appear in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order.
To view the posts, click the forum title. Forums containing unread posts appear in bold type.
For each forum, view the total number of posts, the number of unread posts, and the number of users who
have participated in the forum.
For one-click access to the forum's unread messages, click the link in the Unread Posts column.
Viewing a Discussion Forum
When you access a forum, a list of threads appears. The following columns display information for each thread:
l
Date: Displays the date the thread was created.
l
Author: Displays the name of user who created the thread.
l
Status: Indicates whether the thread is published, hidden, locked, unavailable, or a draft.
l
Unread Posts: Displays the number of posts not yet accessed.
l
Total Posts: Displays the total number of posts, including both read and unread posts.
To sort a column, click the column heading or caret.
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Forum Features
Use the breadcrumbs to navigate to a previous page. Do not use the browser navigation controls because
page load errors may occur.
Use the Action Bar functions to perform various actions, including:
l
Create Thread: Add a new thread to a forum.
l
Search: Search for Discussion Board content. The search field is collapsed by default to save screen
space.
l
Grade Forum: Grade posts, if you have enabled grading for the forum.
l
Thread Actions: Make a selection from the drop-down list. Edit the status of the selected threads
and perform other actions, such as marking threads read or unread and setting or clearing flags. Flags
mark threads for later attention.
l
Delete: Remove selected threads from a forum. Deleted threads cannot be restored. Use the Make
Unavailable function in the Thread Actions drop-down list to completely hide threads from users
without actually deleting the threads.
l
Collect: Gather selected threads onto one page where posts can be sorted, filtered, or printed.
Select one or multiple threads' check boxes or select the check box in the header row to select all threads
for an action, such as deleting.
Click a thread title to read the posts. Forum titles containing unread posts appear in bold type.
Click Edit Paging to determine the number of items to view per page. Type a number in the box and click
Go. Click the X to close the pop-up box.
Using List View and Tree View in Discussions
After you click a forum title, a page loads displaying all forum threads. You can view the page in either List
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View or Tree View. This choice remains in effect until you change it and you may change it at any time. On the
forum page, in the upper-right corner, toggle between the two views.
List View
Click List View to present the threads in a table format. Threads containing any unread posts appear in bold
type.
From the Action Bar, you can create threads, collect, or delete posts.
Note: Depending on the settings you made when creating the forum, different functions appear on the Action
Bar. For example, if you have allowed tagging, a Tags function appears. (To learn more, see Managing
Discussions.)
To sort a column, click the column heading or caret.
Select the check box next to a thread and make a selection from the Thread Actions drop-down list. You
can select multiple threads or select the check box in the header to select all threads. The actions include:
l
Marking threads read or unread.
l
Setting or clearing flags. Flags mark threads for later attention.
l
Editing the status of the selected threads.
l
Subscribing or unsubscribing for email alerts to threads, if enabled. To learn more, see How to Allow
Email Alerts for New Discussion Posts.
Tree View
Click Tree View to show the thread starter messages and their replies. From the Action Bar, you can create
threads, collect, or delete posts.
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You can expand and collapse threads by using the plus and minus icons next to the titles. If a thread starter
message contains unread posts, the thread starter title appears in bold type. On the Action Bar, use the
Collapse All and Expand All functions to hide or see all posts included in all threads.
Select the check box next to a thread and make a selection from the Message Actions drop-down list on the
Action Bar. You can select multiple threads or select the check box in the header to select all threads. Actions
include marking threads read or unread and setting or clearing flags. Flags mark threads for later attention.
Viewing a Discussion Thread
When you click on a thread, the Thread Detail page appears. The page is divided into three sections:
Section 1:
The Action Bar contains functions that allow users to select, flag, mark read/unread, and collect posts.
Section 2:
The Message List contains a list of all the posts in a thread, beginning with the initial post. The selected post is
highlighted. Use the plus and minus icons to expand and collapse the posts.
Section 3:
The selected Current Post contains the text of the selected post and information about the post.
Note: If you allowed email notifications for the thread, Subscribe appears on the Action Bar. To learn more,
see How to Allow Email Alerts for New Discussion Posts.
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About the Thread Detail Page
On the Thread Detail page, you can navigate from post to post, adjust your view of the page, view information
about the selected post, and reply to others.
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On the Action Bar, access functions, such as Subscribe, Unsubscribe, or Search. When subscribed to a
thread, users receive an email alert when a post is updated or a reply is posted. You must enable this function
when creating a forum. The search field is hidden by default to save screen space.
Select one or multiple threads' check boxes and make a selection in the Message Actions drop-down list.
Actions include marking threads read or unread and setting or clearing flags. Flags mark threads for later
attention. You can also use the functions for collecting and selecting all posts. To learn more, see How to
Collect Discussion Posts.
Arrange your view using the icons on the Action Bar.
l
Swap Up or Down: Moves the selected message up or down on the page.
l
Hide or Restore: Collapses or displays the list of messages.
l
Maximize or Minimize: Displays the entire list of messages or the just the top few.
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Use the Move to previous message or Move to next message arrows for navigating between messages
in the thread.
Click Parent Post to display or hide the parent message in the thread.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Discussion Board Forum (Flash movie | 4m 21s ) |
Grading a Discussion
Board Forum (Flash movie | 2m 39s ) |
Creating a Discussion Board Thread (Flash movie | 2m 4s ) |
Replying to a
Discussion Board Thread (Flash movie | 2m 3s ) |
Searching the Discussion Board and Collecting Posts (Flash
movie | 2m 15s ) |
Tagging Discussion Board Posts (Flash movie | 2m 42s ) |
Rating Discussion Board
Threads (Flash movie | 2m 15s ) |
Managing Discussion Board Roles (Flash movie | 3m 10s ) |
Changing
Discussion Board Forum Settings (Flash movie | 1m 51s ) |
Moderating Discussion Board Forums (Flash movie |
2m 25s )
Creating Forums in the Discussion Board
A Discussion Board forum is an area where a topic or a group of related topics are discussed. Within each
forum, users can create multiple threads. A thread includes the initial post and any replies to it. You can create
forums and threads to organize discussions into units or topics relevant to your course. To distinguish between
forums and threads, see Understanding Discussion Forums and Threads.
Forum settings allow you to use the Discussion Board in different ways. For example, to control a forum, an
instructor creates all threads, moderates, and grades the posts. For a student-led discussion however, you can
allow students to create new threads with the option of posting anonymously.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
As you create forums, select the appropriate settings based on the pedagogical goals for your course:
l
Evaluate student performance by grading forums and threads. To learn more, see Grading Discussion
Board Participation.
l
Use the moderation queue and post rating features to ensure quality postings and to assist with the
workload. To learn more, see How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating)
andParticipating in the Discussion Board
l
Allow anonymous posting and thread editing to encourage forthright discourse and increase student
participation.
To help students stay connected with Discussion Board content, you can enable email alerts and add a
Discussion Board link along with content in the course. To learn more, see How to Allow Email Alerts for New
Discussion Posts.
If you have created groups in your course, you can enable a group Discussion Board. Group members are
allowed to create their own forums and threads, and apply the settings to fit their needs. To learn more, see
Creating Group Discussions.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether the Discussion Board tool is available. If
this tool is not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
How to Create Forums in the Discussion Board
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Discussion Board.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Discussion Board. On the
Discussion Board page, click the link to the appropriate Discussion Board.
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2. On the Discussion Board page, click Create Forum on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Forum page, type a Name. Choose a descriptive and unique name because users
click this name to access the forum.
4. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Description box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any
files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top
level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can
include alternate text to describe the attachment. The Description appears below the forum name
on the Discussion Board page.
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5. Under Forum Availability, select the Yes option to make the forum available to users.
Tip: You can create forums ahead of time and set the availability to No until the discussion is ready
to start.
6. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set forums to display on a specific date and time
and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until
check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times or type dates and times in the boxes. Display
restrictions do not affect the forum availability, only when it appears.
7. Select the Forum Settings based on your specific needs. For example, if you are grading posts
and want to retain the posts as they were at the time of grading, deselect Allow Author to Edit
Own Published Posts. To learn more about how you can use forum settings to meet your
requirements, see Suggestions for Forum Settings in the Discussion Board.
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8. Click Submit.
Result
On the Discussion Board page, the new forum appears at the bottom of the list. To learn how to change the
order of forums, see How to Reorder Discussion Forums.
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Suggestions for Forum Settings in the Discussion Board
Following are just some of the ways you can control the behavior of forums in a Discussion Board, and use
them in your courses.
l
If you want to create effective social forums, select the Allow Anonymous Posts and No Grading
in Forum options. Allowing students to post anonymously is important at the beginning of a course
when they are still becoming comfortable with discussions. If quality and behavior monitoring is a
concern, assign a moderator to review each post before it is made public. To learn about moderating
the Discussion Board, see How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating).
l
If you want to create forums where students have control of the discussion, allow them to edit, delete,
and rate posts. (To learn more about ratings, see How to Rate Discussion Posts.) Also, you can
allow students to create new threads and direct the discussion.
l
If you want to have a tightly controlled forum and use it for evaluating student performance, select the
Force Moderation of Posts and Grade Forum or Grade Threads options. To ensure students
focus on the existing threads, do not allow the creation of new threads.
l
When you want your students to focus on the existing threads, deselect Allow Members to Create
New Threads.
l
If you allow authors to edit their published posts, consider locking the thread. Locked posts cannot be
changed after they are graded. To learn more, see How to Change the Status of a Thread in a
Discussion Forum
l
Some settings cannot be selected in combination. For example, if you are grading forums or threads,
anonymous posts are not allowed. Also, if thread grading is enabled, members cannot create new
threads.
l
If Grade Forum or Grade Threads is selected, you can choose the number of posts that will place
the activity in the Needs Grading status. (To learn more, see About the Grade Center.) You might
want to grade students only when they have made a certain number of posts, rather than grading each
time a single post is made.
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l
Rubrics can be associated with a forum when the Grade Forum option is selected. Rubrics can be
associated when creating or editing a thread if the Grade Threads option is selected. To learn more,
see Rubrics.
How to Allow Email Alerts for New Discussion Posts
When email subscription is enabled, students can receive email alerts for new posts or replies. You can allow
students to subscribe to an entire forum or to specific threads within a forum. To learn more, see How to Allow
Email Alerts for New Discussion Posts.
You select the options for subscriptions to forums or threads when the forum is first created or when the forum
settings are edited.
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1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, under Forum Settings, select the Subscribe options.
l
Allow members to subscribe to threads allows users to select specific threads within
the forum.
l
Allow members to subscribe to forum allows subscription to all threads within the
forum.
l
Include body of post in the email displays the message text and a link to reply to the
message in the email notification.
l
Include link to post displays a link to the message in the email notification.
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4. Click Submit.
How to Add a Link to the Discussion Board in a Course Area
You can incorporate the Discussion Board into course areas, allowing students to access the tool alongside
content. For example, you can add links to the Discussion Board itself or specific discussion forums to any
Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
Example:
In a Content Area, you can add a forum link following lecture notes to gather questions on the material
presented or after an assignment to gather students' perceptions on how they did. You can add adaptive
release rules or date availability restrictions to limit students' access, allowing them to access content in a
specified order, such as reading a PDF before adding posts to the Discussion Board. To learn about using
adaptive release to control when content is released, see About Adaptive Release.
Note: You need to create forums before you can link to them in the course. To learn how to create forums, see
How to Create Forums in the Discussion Board.
1. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, lesson plan, or folder where you want to link to the
Discussion Board or forum. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Tools to access the drop-down list.
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3. Select Discussion Board.
4. On the Create Link: Discussion Board page, select the Link to Discussion Board Page option
to link to the Discussion Board itself.
-ORSelect the Select a Discussion Board Forum option and select a forum from the list.
-ORClick Create New Forum to add a link to a forum you create at this time. You select all forum
settings at the time of creation. The newly created forum appears in the list of forums to choose
from when adding the link in your course.
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5. Click Next.
6. On the next Create Link: Discussion Board page, type a Link Name. The Link Name cannot
exceed 50 characters. Students click the name to access the Discussion Board or forum.
7. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Text box. You can use the Text Editor functions
to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files
uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level
folder.
8. For the Available option, select Yes to make the link available to users.
9. For the Track Number of Views option, select Yes or No. If you enable tracking, the number of
times the link is viewed, when it is viewed, and by whom is recorded. To learn about tracking, see
How to Enable Statistics Tracking and View Statistics Reports.
10. For Date Restrictions, you can set the link to display on a specific date and time and to stop
displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to
enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date
Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do
not affect the availability of the Discussion Board or forum content, only when it appears.
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11. Click Submit.
Student view of a forum link in a Content Area
Related Tutorials
Creating a Discussion Board Forum (Flash movie | 4m 21s )
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Creating Threads in the Discussion Board
Once in a Discussion Board forum, you can start new threads to begin a conversation. A thread includes the
initial post and any replies to it. When creating a forum, you have the option of allowing or not allowing members
to start threads. Generally, the purpose of the forum dictates whether or not members can start threads. A
moderated, graded forum used to evaluate student performance is usually tightly controlled, and members
cannot create threads. Other forums are designed for members to share opinions and thoughts on tangential or
unrelated topics. In this case, you may wish to allow members to create threads and spark discussions.
You can change the status of existing threads and determine which threads appear in a forum to help organize
your view.
Note: Creating a thread as an instructor is the same as creating a thread as a student. If grading has been
enabled, you can also set the thread to be graded.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
Example:
Suppose you create a forum that addresses a broad subject, such as "Addicted to Oil." Next, create two
threads containing the specific issues to be discussed, such as replacing oil usage with nuclear power, and the
pros and cons of conservation. To ensure students post only to existing threads, consider disallowing thread
creation in the forum settings.
Example:
You create a forum and ask a question or provide the instructions or details in the description, such as "How
can we reduce our reliance on oil?" Then, students create threads for each solution to the problem of oil
addiction. All members post to existing threads to comment on given answers or create new threads to present
new solutions. In the forum settings, ensure you have selected the Allow Members to Create New Threads
option.
Note: If thread grading is enabled, members cannot create new threads.
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How to Create Threads in a Discussion Forum
In the following example, a graded thread is created.
1. Access a Discussion Board forum.
2. On the Action Bar, click Create Thread.
3. On the Create Thread page, type a Subject.
4. Type instructions, a description, or a question in the Message box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any
files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top
level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can
include alternate text to describe the attachment.
5. Alternatively, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options:
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
Note: Files uploaded by students are not saved in the course repository.
6. If you chose to grade threads when you created the forum, you decide on a thread-by-thread basis
whether to grade a thread. In the Grading section, select the check box for Grade Thread and type
Points possible. You can choose to choose to show participants in Needs Grading status after a
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certain number of posts, rather than with each individual post. To learn more, see The Needs
Grading Page. You can also associate a rubric to use for grading by pointing to Add Rubric. To
learn more, see Rubrics.
7. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to create the thread.
Result
The newly created thread appears in the forum.
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If you enabled grading, two functions appear in the Grade column:
Click Grade Thread to evaluate the posts.
Click Grade to enable grading for a thread and assign a value.
How to Change the Status of a Thread in a Discussion Forum
You can change the status of a thread to keep students focused on relevant discussions and to help organize a
forum containing many threads. When a thread is created and submitted, it is assigned the Published status.
The following table describes which thread status to select to accomplish various objectives.
Status
Goal for Thread
Publish
Make thread available to all users.
Hide
Hide the thread from immediate view, but still allow users the option of reading the threads.
Unneeded content is hidden from view, helping users find relevant content. Users cannot reply to or
edit hidden threads, even if editing has been enabled for the thread.
Users can view hidden threads using the Display drop-down list on the Action Bar.
Make
Hide thread from view of all users except forum Managers.
Unavailable
Lock
Allow users to read the thread, but not edit or add to it. Locking a thread allows grades to be assigned
without users updating or changing posts.
Unlock
Unlock a locked thread to select another status.
Use the following steps to change the status of a thread or multiple threads at one time.
1. Access the forum and toggle to List View, if needed.
2. Select the check box next to each thread requiring a change of status. You can select multiple
threads or select the check box in the header to select all threads.
3. From the Thread Actions drop-down list, select a new status for the selected thread or threads.
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Note: Alternatively, click a thread's Action Link (
thread status.
) to access the contextual menu and select a
Result
The status for each thread appears in the Status column. If you save a draft of a thread to edit in the future,
Draft appears in the Status column.
How to Change Which Threads Appear in a Discussion Forum
If you have many threads in a forum and have assigned different statuses to the threads, you can choose which
threads appear in a forum. For example, if you have started several threads and saved them as drafts, you can
choose to show only those drafts and select the threads to edit and publish.
1. Access the forum and change to List View, if needed.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Display to access the drop-down list.
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3. Select the type of threads to view in the forum.
Result
The forum page displays only those threads that have the status selected from the Display drop-down list.
Developing Successful Online Discussions
The most common form of interaction in an online course is through the Discussion Board using forums
established by the instructor. Participation and interaction in the Discussion Board does not occur naturally, but
must be intentionally designed into your courses. To encourage engaging, quality discussion, it is important to
craft discussion questions carefully and create inquiry.
If you want to encourage participation, consider allowing students to post anonymously. Also, allow students to
create new threads. This flexibility may encourage members to post their ideas and questions. You can also
provide incentive by grading the discussion or adding exam questions based on discussion content.
You can help your students feel comfortable and provide them with guidelines as they begin to use the
Discussion Board.
The following table lists four steps for developing successful online discussions to help build community and
fulfill assignments.
Steps
Examples
Define
Students need to be aware of your expectations. Create a forum where students can read about
participation etiquette and access grading rubrics. Model proper online interaction and reinforce appropriate
requirements behavior with public recognition.
Craft an
effective
question
Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Instead, phrase the question so it provokes
thought and research. Discussion questions need to be open-ended to promote critical thinking. A
carefully worded starter question can be the most important factor for more productive discussions.
Incorporate multimedia resources into your questions to reduce the monotony of purely text based
interactions. With the popularity of services like YouTube™, it is easy to ask students to view a clip
and ask for responses. Use the Mashups feature to add images, videos, and slide presentations to
your questions. If you add a Mashup to a forum, it appears in the description on the Discussion
Board page. Students can also add Mashups to their replies.
Note: Mashups are not available with a Basic License.
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Steps
Examples
Encourage
new ideas
If discussion posts contain too much agreement and not enough questioning of ideas, try assigning
students with the last names A–M to support one side and N–Z to support the other.
Moderate
Establish your presence by asking for clarification, resources, or input from silent participants.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Discussion Board Thread (Flash movie | 2m 4s ) |
Board Thread (Flash movie | 2m 3s )
Replying to a Discussion
Creating Group Discussions
You can create formal groups of students to collaborate on course work, and provide each group with its own
group area, including links to tools to help students collaborate and communicate. One way to do this is to
create special group Discussion Board, available only to the members of a course group.
Group Discussion Boards are separate from the regular course Discussion Board, which is available to all
course members. Members of the group can create and manage their own forums. To learn about creating
course groups, see Creating Groups.
Example:
Suppose you assign students to groups, and each group is provided with a problem or situation for a class
presentation. The groups can use the Chat tool and their group Discussion Board to come to consensus about
topic choice. They can also use their group Discussion Board to post Internet source links, and members post
replies on their value. Another possibility is they can use the group Discussion Board to divide up tasks and
refine the outline. Members post portions of the presentation, and all members post replies regarding
usefulness, grammar, flow, and for agreement on the final product.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If it is not available,
you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
How to Enable the Group Discussion Board Tool
When you create a course group, you can select the Discussion Board tool to help groups collaborate and
communicate.
1. On the Create Group page, in the Tool Availability section, select the check box for Discussion
Board.
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2. Click Submit.
Result
The Group Discussion Board tool appears in the My Groups section and on the group homepage.
Students access their group Discussion Boards by expanding the My Groups section following the Course
Menu or on the group homepage. Students click the right-pointing arrows in the My Groups section to access
the group homepage.
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How to Make a Group Discussion Board Unavailable
You cannot delete a group Discussion Board without deleting the group, but you can make the tool unavailable.
Any existing posts are not removed—just made unavailable until you make the group Discussion Board
available again.
Note: When you make a graded group Discussion Board unavailable, the grade column associated with that
group Discussion Board remains in the Grade Center.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Groups.
2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON. On the Groups page, click the group's Action Link (
contextual menu.
) to access the
3. Select Edit.
4. On the Edit Group page, in the Tool Availability section, clear the check box for Discussion
Board.
5. Click Submit.
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Result
When members access the group homepage or the My Groups section, the link to the group Discussion Board
no longer appears. You may make the tool available again at any time.
How to Edit the Settings for a Group Discussion Board
Each new group Discussion Board contains a default forum titled with the group's name. Both you and any
assigned group member can edit the forum name and provide a description.
Note: If you want to grade participation in a group Discussion Board, you can edit a forum's settings and
enable grading in the forum or threads. You assign individual grades for group member contributions to the
group Discussion Board. Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Discussion Board.
2. On the Discussion Board page, the course Discussion Board and all group Discussion Boards
appear. Click a group Discussion Board link.
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3. On the next Discussion Board page, click the forum's Action Link (
menu.
) to access the contextual
4. Select Edit.
5. On the Edit Forum page, change the Name, provide a Description, and edit the Forum
Availability and Forum Settings. If you want to grade the group's posts, you can enable grading
for the forum or threads and type the Points possible.
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Result
If you provided a description, it appears in the Description column on the group Discussion Board page.
You or any group member can create more forums. To learn about creating forums, see How to Create Forums
in the Discussion Board.
Participating in the Discussion Board
In the Discussion Board, threads grow as users respond to the initial and subsequent posts. Replies build on
one another to construct a conversation. As the number of posts grows, users can filter, sort, collect, and tag
posts if tagging is enabled. (To learn more about tagging, see How to Tag Discussion Threads.)
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To help students understand your expectations, establish discussion etiquette immediately. You can model
proper online interaction and reinforce appropriate behavior with public recognition. In addition, you can provide
specific guidelines, such as:
l
Use descriptive subject lines to make threads easy to follow and scan.
l
Keep posts short and use uncomplicated language. Your audience is reading on-screen and may
have several messages to read.
l
Back up your statements when you agree or disagree with others.
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Use professional language, including proper grammar, in academic-related posts. No slang,
emoticons, or chat acronyms allowed.
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Use attachments or links to websites for long, detailed information.
l
Stay on topic. If you want to introduce a new tangent, find a suitable forum or start a new thread, if it is
allowed.
l
Be respectful of others’ opinions and remember the golden rule—to treat others as you want to be
treated.
For graded forums and threads, tell students specifically what you expect both in terms of quantity and quality
of posts, and consider sharing some exemplary posts. You can also use rubrics to help students understand
your objectives. By compiling your grading criteria in a rubric, you can provide students with clear performance
standards and grade consistently. To learn more, see Rubrics
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
How to Reply to Discussion Posts
Note: Users can reply to published threads, but cannot reply to locked or hidden threads. To learn more, see
How to Change the Status of a Thread in a Discussion Forum
1. Access a forum and select a thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, click a post's title. The post appears in the Current Post portion of the
content frame. You can view the text of the post and information about the post, such as the
Author and Posted Date.
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3. Click Reply. Alternatively, click Quote to include the post's text as part of your reply.
4. On the Reply to Post page, click View Original Post on the Action Bar to include the original
message on the page while replying. Click Close Original Post to hide the original post from view.
If needed, edit the Subject.
5. Type a reply in the Message box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer
are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe
the attachment.
6. Alternatively, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options:
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
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o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
Note: Files uploaded by students are not saved to the course repository.
7. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to publish your reply.
Result
Your reply appears on the Thread Detail page, indented under the parent post. If you attached a file, a paper
clip icon appears in the post's row. Click the title to open the post in the Current Post portion of the content
frame. Use the Move to previous and Move to next arrows to view another post or use the breadcrumbs to
return to the forum or the Discussion Board page.
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How to Rate Discussion Posts
You can use the Discussion Board for peer review. Students start threads and include their work in their initial
posts. Other users review the work, assign a rating to the initial post, and include comments in a response.
Rating posts also allows users to focus on messages considered especially informative or useful by others. If
you enabled rating, users can rate posts using a five star system. Instructors can also rate posts.
Note: To enable rating, select the Allow Members to Rate Posts option when creating or editing the forum.
To learn more, see How to Edit Discussion Forums.
1. Access the forum and select the thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, click a post's title. The post appears in the Current Post portion of the
content frame.
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3. For Your Rating, select one to five stars. You can add and delete stars at any time.
Your rating is included in the Overall Rating, which is the combined rating of all users. Use the Move to
previous and Move to next arrows to view another post or use the breadcrumbs to return to the forum or the
Discussion Board page.
How to Search Discussion Posts
You can search for specific text—a phrase, word, or part of a word—in the Discussion Board. The results
appear on a Search Results page.
1. Access the Discussion Board, a forum, or a thread.
2. On the Action Bar, click Search. The Search field expands.
3. Type a search criterion in the Search box.
4. In the drop-down list, select an area to search:
l
Current Discussion Board
l
All Forums in Course
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l
Current Forum
l
Current Thread
Note: The options in the drop-down list depend on where your search began. All Forums in
Course includes any Group Discussion Boards in your course. Students do not see results from
Group Discussion Boards unless they are members of that group.
5. To further narrow your search results, select the After and Before check boxes to enable the date
and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection
Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times.
6. Click Go.
Results
On the Search Results page, you can read and print the results. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to
open the page in a new window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To
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select which posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the Sort
By and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar. To learn more, see How to Filter Discussion Posts After
Searching or Collecting and How to Sort Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting.
On this page, you can also reply to posts and mark messages read or unread. Click the Quote function to
include the post's text as part of your reply. To view the responses to a post, click the post's hyperlinked title to
navigate to the Thread Detail page.
How to Collect Discussion Posts
On the Thread Detail page, you can read one post at a time. To read multiple posts from the same page, use
the Collect function. Once posts are collected, you can filter, sort, print, and tag them. To learn about tagging
posts, see How to Tag Discussion Threads.
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The Collect function is also available from the forum page, where you can gather all the posts made to different
threads. Once collected, filter and sort the messages to further organize them.
Example:
A student posts a question to request help and seven classmates reply. The student can collect the initial post
and the replies on one Collection page to read or print.
Follow these steps to collect some or all posts in a thread:
1. Access a forum and select a thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, select the check boxes of the posts to collect. If a post has replies and
you want them to appear on the Collection page, click the plus sign to expand the post and select
the check boxes for those messages.
Note: To select all the posts in a thread, click Select: All above the Message List. All check boxes
for all the posts are selected whether they are expanded or collapsed.
3. On the Action Bar, click Collect.
Result
On the Collection page, you can read and print the results. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to open the
page in a new window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To select
which posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the Sort By
and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar. To learn more, see How to Filter Discussion Posts After
Searching or Collecting and How to Sort Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting.
On this page, you can also reply to posts and mark messages read or unread. Click the Quote function to
include the post's text as part of your reply. To view the responses to a post, click the post's hyperlinked title to
navigate to the Thread Detail page.
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How to Filter Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting
To narrow your search results or sort a collection, you can use the Filter function. If you print the posts after
filtering, they print in the order they appear on the page.
Note: If the author or authors of some posts are no longer enrolled in the course, the posts may appear out of
order.
1. On the Search Results or Collection page, click the Filter function on the Action Bar to expand
the field and select options from the following drop-down lists:
l
Author: Select All or select an author.
l
Status: Show All or select a status.
l
Read Status: Select Show All, Read, or Unread posts.
l
Tags: Show All tags or select a tag. To learn about tagging posts, see How to Tag
Discussion Threads.
2. Click Go to apply the selections. You can further organize the results using the Filter function and
the Sort By and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar. To learn more, see How to Filter
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Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting and How to Sort Discussion Posts After Searching
or Collecting.
3. Click the X to close the Filter field.
How to Sort Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting
To narrow your search results or sort a collection, you can use the Sort by and Order drop-down lists. If you
print the posts after sorting, the posts print in the order they appear on the page.
Note: If the author or authors of some posts are no longer enrolled in the course, the posts may appear out of
order.
1. On the Search Results or Collection page, point to Sort by on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
2. Select an option:
l
Author's Last Name
l
Author's First Name
l
Subject
l
Date of Last Post
l
Thread Order
Note: If you have enabled the rating of posts, you can also sort by Overall Rating.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Order to access the drop-down list.
4. Sort posts in ascending or descending order.
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Related Tutorials
Creating a Discussion Board Thread (Flash movie | 2m 4s ) |
Replying to a Discussion
Board Thread (Flash movie | 2m 3s ) |
Searching the Discussion Board and Collecting Posts (Flash movie | 2m 15s )
Tagging Discussion Board Posts (Flash movie | 2m 42s )
|
Managing Discussions
You can perform tasks to manage both the Discussion Board itself and the content within forums and threads.
For example, to keep students focused as the term progresses, edit forum settings or organize forums and
threads to attract attention once again. You can also copy forums to other locations, edit content, and delete
unneeded forums or threads.
You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. For example, to help
control the Discussion Board content that is presented to your students, you can assign a responsible user the
role of Moderator. You can also enable tagging and attach tags to help students locate important posts. To learn
more, see How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
How to Edit Discussion Forums
As the discussion progresses, you can solve some discussion issues by editing forum settings. For example, if
students are posting to the wrong topic, one option would be to fine-tune the forum name or description to clarify
the forum's purpose.
Tip: You can create all forums at the beginning of the term and make them unavailable. When a forum is
needed, edit the forum to make it available.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
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3. On the Edit Forum page, change the forum's name, description, availability, and settings.
4. Click Submit.
How to Edit Discussion Threads
You can edit posts in any thread. If a student has added inappropriate or inaccurate content, you can edit the
post. When you create or edit a forum, you determine whether students are allowed to edit their published
posts.
1. Access a forum and select a thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, click a post's title. The post appears in the Current Post portion of the
content frame. You can view the text of the post and information about the post, such as the
Author and Posted Date.
3. Click Edit.
4. On the Edit Post page, make the needed edits.
5. Click Submit. Your edits appear in the post.
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How to Delete Discussion Forums and Threads
When you delete a forum or thread, all content is permanently deleted. For a less permanent solution, you can
make a forum unavailable.
When deleting graded discussion content, you determine if the Grade Center column and scores are also
deleted.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum or thread's Action Link (
contextual menu.
) to access the
2. Select Delete to permanently delete the forum or thread's content.
3. Click OK in the pop-up window.
4. On the Delete Confirmation page, you have two options:
l
Do not select check boxes: The graded forum or thread will be deleted, but the Grade
Center column and scores you have assigned are retained. For example, you have graded
all students' posts and want to keep the Grade Center column for the final grade
calculations. If you delete the forum or thread, yet retain the Grade Center column, you
can delete that column from the Grade Center at any time.
l
Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the forum or thread
are deleted. For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the discussion
posts in the final grade, you can safely delete both.
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5. Click Remove.
How to Reorder Discussion Forums
You can help students focus on the most relevant content by reorganizing your Discussion Board. When you
create a forum, it is added to the bottom of the list. You can move the current forum to the top or delete forums
that are no longer relevant.
Reorder forums using the drag-and-drop function—a double-tipped arrow or handle—to move them into place.
Alternatively, reorder forums using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar.
Drag-and-Drop Function
1. Access the Discussion Board and press the arrows next to a forum you want to move. The item is
highlighted.
2. Drag the forum into a new location in the list.
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3. Release the forum to place it in its new location.
Keyboard Accessible Reordering Tool
1. On the Action Bar, click the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon represented by two arrows.
2. In the Reorder box, select a forum title.
3. Below the Reorder box, use the up and down arrows to adjust the order.
4. Click Submit. A pop-up box states: Items have been reordered.
5. Click OK.
How to Copy Discussion Forums
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You can copy discussion forums and add them to the current Discussion Board or to a group Discussion Board
in the same course. (To learn more, see Creating Group Discussions.) Copying does not delete the content
from the original location in a course. You have the option to copy a forum, the settings, and the posts or to copy
just a forum's settings.
Note: To copy Discussion Board forums to another course, use the Course Copy utility. To learn more, see
Copying Courses.
Example: Copy the entire forum
If two distinct topics emerge during a discussion, you can create separate forums for these topics. Copy the
forum and delete the off-topic posts from each forum.
When content is copied, all threads and replies appear in the new location, along with any file attachments.
Example: Copy forum settings only
You can base a new forum on the settings from another forum. If you want students to submit a second
research paper, copy the settings of the first research paper's forum. The forum is added with no threads.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Copy.
3. On the Copy Forum page, type a Name.
4. Select the option to copy either: Entire forum or Forum settings only.
5. In the Location box, select a Discussion Board to copy to. To select the course's Discussion
Board, select the Course ID.
6. Click Submit. On the Discussion Board page, the copied forum is added to the bottom of the list.
How to Tag Discussion Threads
Tags are text labels that act like bookmarks. You can tag posts to group similar messages together. For
example, if the subject of scientific notation is discussed often, tag each of the posts on this topic. Students
can read, filter, and search messages using these tags, but they cannot create tags.
Note: In a forum's settings, you must enable Allow Post Tagging for tags to be created. To learn how to
change a forum's settings, see How to Edit Discussion Forums.
Tip: For faster Discussion Board loading, you can disable post tagging when forum usage is heavy. When you
enable tagging again, all tags are restored.
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1. Access the forum containing the threads to tag.
2. In List View, select the check boxes for the thread or threads to tag. You can select all the threads
in a forum by selecting the check box in the header row.
3. On the Action Bar, click Collect.
4. On the Collection page, you can filter and sort your results.
5. Type a tag name in the Tag Text box.
6. Select the check boxes of the messages to assign the tag name to. To select all the messages,
click Select: All above the list.
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7. Click Add next to the Tag Text box.
Result
On the Collection Page
On the Collection page, the tag you provided appears below each message you selected. If you provide
multiple tags, all appear. You can include more tags following the same steps. To delete a tag, click the red X
next to it.
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Alternatively, you can add a tag to an individual message. Below the message, type the tag in the Add Tag box
and click OK or click Choose from Existing to choose a tag from a list of tags that appear on the Collection
page.
On the Forum Page
On the forum page, all tags appear in the Tags column. The column is only visible in List View.
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On the Action Bar, click Tags to access the drop-down list and select a tag or Show All Tags. Once a
selection is made, only those messages appear on the forum page.
To sort messages by tag, click a tag in the Tags column. The messages with that tag appear on a
Collection page.
How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles
In a forum, each user has a forum role and can have only one role per forum. By default, instructors have the
role of Manager and students have the role of Participant. When you are logged in as an instructor, you cannot
change your own forum role. To learn more about roles, see How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school determines which course roles are available.
You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. The following table
describes the forum roles and their permissions.
Role
Permissions
Manager
Managers have full control over a forum and can change forum settings, moderate posts, and
assign roles and grades.
Users with a course role of Instructor or Teaching Assistant are granted this role by default.
Builder
Course Builders can edit, copy, and delete forums, but not grade or manage forums. Inside a
forum, a Course Builder can perform the same actions on posts as the instructor, with the
exception of grading threads.
Course Builders can also create new threads in a forum, and can enable grading for a thread and
type a value.
Users with a course role of Course Builder are granted this forum role by default.
Note: Grading discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
Moderator
Moderators can delete, edit, and lock all posts in any forum, even if the forum does not use the
Moderation Queue.
If a Moderation Queue is used, the Moderator approves or rejects posts in the queue before they
are made available to all users.
Users with a course role of Instructor or Course Builder are granted this forum role by default.
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Role
Permissions
Grader
Graders can read, reply to, and grade posts. The Grader role has some access to the Grade
Center, but cannot assign grades to their own work.
Users with a course role of Grader are granted this forum role by default.
Note: Grading discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
Participant
Participants can read and reply to posts.
Users with a course role of Student are granted this role by default.
Reader
Readers can read the contents of a forum, but cannot post responses or add threads.
Blocked
(Block user
from forum
Blocked users cannot access the forum.
Use the following steps to assign a forum role.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Manage.
3. On the Manage Forum Users page, a list of users appears. Click a user's Action Link to access
the contextual menu.
Tip: If you want to show only one role at a time, make a selection in the Display Forum Role
drop-down list on the Action Bar and click Go.
4. Select a new forum role. The new role appears in the Forum Role column for the user.
5. Click OK to return to the Discussion Board. Alternatively, click the forum title in the breadcrumbs to
return to the forum.
Tip: To change multiple roles at one time, select the users' check boxes and, point to Edit Role on the Action
Bar to access the drop-down list. Select the check box in the header row to select all users.
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How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating)
As an online instructor, your role is to facilitate the conversation and exchange of ideas on the Discussion
Board. You will need to ensure that students feel comfortable to share, while also monitoring responses and
keeping everyone focused and on track. At the same time, you will want to be careful not to dominate or impede
the flow of the discussion.
Occasionally, students may introduce material to the Discussion Board that is inappropriate for the class
discussion. Depending on the maturity and the sensitivity of the students in your course, it can be important to
review student posts for inappropriate content before sharing posts with the rest of the class.
In a discussion forum, you can assign a user the role of Moderator. A Moderator reviews posts before they are
added to a thread and appear in the Discussion Board. The Moderator can be you or another responsible
participant. To learn more, see How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles
When a moderated forum is created, all posts to the forum are added to a Moderation Queue. The Moderator
reviews each post and does one of the following:
l
Publishes the post.
l
Returns the post to the sender without a message.
l
Returns the post to the sender with a message.
The Moderator can delete, edit, and lock posts in a forum, even if the forum does not use the Moderation
Queue. To learn more, see How to Delete Discussion Forums and Threads, How to Edit Discussion Threads,
and How to Change the Status of a Thread in a Discussion Forum
You can choose to moderate a forum when creating it or by editing an existing forum. Only posts added after
enabling forum moderation are available for review in the Moderation Queue. To learn more, see Creating
Forums in the Discussion Board.
Note: If a Moderator is not assigned, the Manager must take responsibility for approving posts in a moderated
forum.
Use the following steps to allow the moderation of posts in an existing forum.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, under Forum Settings, select the Force Moderation of Posts check
box and click Submit.
Tip: When choosing a moderated forum, do not allow students to edit or delete posts. This
ensures that the post approved is the one viewed by users.
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4. After posts have been submitted, access the forum. In the Moderator view, no posts appear
because the messages are waiting approval. On the Action Bar, click Moderate Forum.
Note: The Moderate Forum function appears only to those users who have a forum role of
Manager or Moderator. In the student view, the author can see the post in Tree View with a
reminder it is in the Moderation Queue.
5. On the Moderation Queue page, the posts appear in alphabetical order by title. Click the column
title or caret to sort by post title, author, or date. To review a post, click Moderate.
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6. On the Moderate Post page, read the post and select the Publish or Return option. Published
messages are immediately posted to the thread.
7. Optionally, type feedback in the text box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text,
link to files in Course Files or the Content Collection, and include web links, multimedia, and
Mashups.
Note: Though feedback is optional, this is an opportunity to provide guidance, ask questions,
redirect a student's focus, and explain why a post was returned.
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8. Click Submit.
Result
Returned posts no longer appear in the Moderation Queue. Students see their returned posts in the forum.
When returned posts are opened, students see an explanation, if feedback was included, and they can create
new threads as needed.
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Course Tools > Discussion Board
Related Tutorials
Searching the Discussion Board and Collecting Posts (Flash movie | 2m 15s ) |
Tagging
Discussion Board Posts (Flash movie | 2m 42s ) |
Rating Discussion Board Threads (Flash movie | 2m 15s ) |
Managing Discussion Board Roles (Flash movie | 3m 10s ) |
Changing Discussion Board Forum Settings (Flash
movie | 1m 51s ) |
Moderating Discussion Board Forums (Flash movie | 2m 25s )
Grading Discussion Board Participation
In a face-to-face classroom setting, students are expected to participate in class discussions and that
participation is part of the equation when assessing performance. Assessing this type of participation can be
ambiguous. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate a student who is active, but does not advance the
discussion, from a student who speaks less frequently, but with greater impact.
Student interactions with the Discussion Board create a permanent record of participation, yet an instructor
also needs to have reasonable expectations about what can be accomplished in an online discussion. Due to
its asynchronous nature, more time may be needed for well-articulated points to emerge in the online
environment. In addition to providing a practical number of course discussion opportunities, students need
timely and constructive responses regarding the quality of their contributions. Evaluation not only lets them
know how they performed, but shapes the improvement of future interactions.
You can assign discussion grades within a forum or thread. Students can be graded on their participation, on
the quality of their posts, or a combination of the two. You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading
forums and threads, but the rubrics must be created and associated in advance. To learn more, see Rubrics.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
The following table details the four steps in the discussion grading process.
Activity
Description
Create
When you create a graded forum or thread, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. The
name of the forum or thread is used as the column title. You can edit the title in the Grade Center.
Participate Students participate in the discussion. As the discussion progresses, you can participate and provide
feedback by replying to, rating, and moderating posts. To learn more, see Participating in the
Discussion Board and How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating).
Grade
You view students' posts and assign grades. Threads can be locked after they are graded.
View
Grade
The grades are saved in the Discussion Board and the Grade Center. Students can view their grades
from their My Grades pages.
How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board
You can enable grading options when a forum is created or edited. After grading has been enabled, a Grade
Center column is created automatically.
The grade settings appear in the Forum Settings section of the Create Forum page and the Edit Forum
page.
l
Select Grade Forum and type a point value to evaluate participants on performance throughout a
forum.
l
Select Grade Threads to evaluate participants on performance in each thread.
l
Optionally, select the box and the number of posts required to show participants in Needs Grading
status. Applying this setting will show the Needs Grading icon (
) in the Grade Center and place
the posts in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of posts have been
made. If this option is not selected, each individual post will appear in Needs Grading status. To learn
more, see About the Needs Grading Page.
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l
Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric. This option appears in the Forum Settings
section when Grade Forum is selected, and in the Grading section of the Create Thread page if
Grade Threads is selected. To learn more, see Rubrics.
Enable Grading During Forum Creation
1. Access the Discussion Board and click Create Forum on the Action Bar.
2. On the Create Forum page, provide the needed information. In the Forum Settings section,
select Grade Forum or Grade Threads. If you have chosen to grade the forum, type the Points
possible.
3. Click Submit.
Enable Grading by Editing a Forum
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, in the Forum Settings section, select Grade Forum or Grade Threads.
If you have chosen to grade the forum, type the Points possible.
4. Click Submit.
Enable Thread Grading During Thread Creation
When the Grade Threads option is selected, you can enable thread grading when a thread is created.
Note: If Grade Threads is selected for a forum, users cannot create new threads.
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1. On the Create Thread page, select the Grade Thread check box and type the Points possible.
2. Click Submit.
3. In the forum, the Grade Thread function appears in the thread's Grade column.
Enable Thread Grading After Thread Creation
When the Grade Threads option is selected, you can enable thread grading directly from the thread list in a
forum.
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1. Click the Grade function in a thread's Grade column.
2. Type the Points possible.
3. Click Submit. The Grade Thread function appears in a thread's Grade column.
Reminder: If a rubric will be used to grade a forum or thread, it must be created and associated in advance. To
learn more, see Rubrics.
How to Grade User Participation in a Forum
You can assign discussion grades to evaluate participants on performance throughout a forum. When a forum
is created or edited, you can enable forum grading options and a Grade Center column is created automatically.
To learn about enabling forum grading, see How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board.
Only users with a role of Manager or Grader can assign grades for posts. However, a Grader cannot view his or
her own work. To learn more, see How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles.
Reminder: You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading forums, but the rubrics must be created and
associated in advance. To learn more, see Rubrics.
1. Access the discussion forum where forum grading is enabled and click Grade Forum on the Action
Bar.
2. On the Grade Discussion Forum Users page, click Grade in a user's row with a number in the
Posts column.
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3. On the Grade Discussion Forum page, a collection of the student's posts made to the graded
forum appears. Since a forum grade can be based on multiple threads, all messages posted by the
student are included for review. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to open the page in a new
window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To select which
posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the Sort
By and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar. To learn more, see How to Filter Discussion
Posts After Searching or Collecting and How to Sort Discussion Posts After Searching or
Collecting.
The side panel contains three sections:
l
Forum Statistics: Includes information about the user's posts, such as Date of Last
Post, Average Post Length, and Average Post Position.
l
Forum Grade: Includes Grade, Grade Date, Feedback, and Grading Notes.
l
Contributors: Users who have submitted the required number of posts appear with
exclamation marks—the Needs Grading icon (
) or, if they have not yet reached the
). In this section, use the Previous User and
required number, the In Progress icon (
Next User arrows to navigate among users to grade or click a user's name in the list.
Click Show All to view all users in your course. Users who have not posted to the graded
forum are included in the list. Click Show with Posts Only to return to the list of users
who have posts to grade.
4. In the content frame, evaluate the currently selected user's posts. To assign a grade, click Edit
Grade in the Forum Grade section.
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Note: To collapse or expand a side panel section, click the double arrows icon next to the section
title.
5. Type a numeric value in the Current Grade Value box. Assigning a score here removes any Grade
Center override that may exist for this user for this forum grade.
Note: If a rubric has been created and added for this graded forum, click View Rubric to reference
it while grading. To learn more, see Rubrics.
6. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the forum Manager or
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box.
7. Optionally, click Text Editor to access the Text Editor in a pop-up window. Use the functions to
format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups to your feedback or
notes.
8. Click Save Grade. The information appears in the Forum Grade section.
9. Click Edit Grade to make changes at any time. The changes appear in the Forum Grade section
and in the Grade Center column. The changes are recorded in the Grade Center on the user's
Grade Details page on the Grade History tab.
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10. When grading is complete, click OK to return to the Grade Discussion Forum Users page or use
the breadcrumbs to return to the Discussion Board.
Result
Grades appear in the Grade column on the Grade Discussion Forum Users page and in the Grade Center.
How to Grade User Participation in a Thread
You can assign discussion grades to evaluate participants on performance in each thread. When a forum is
created or edited, you can enable thread grading options and a Grade Center column is created automatically.
To learn about enabling thread grading, see How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board.
Only users with a role of Manager or Grader can assign grades for posts. However, a Grader cannot view his or
her own work. To learn more, see How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles.
Note: Students cannot create new threads in a forum where threads are graded.
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Reminder: You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading threads, but the rubrics must be created and
associated in advance. To learn more, see Rubrics.
1. Access the discussion forum containing a thread you want to grade.
2. On the thread listing page, in List View, click Grade Thread in the thread's row.
3. On the Grade Discussion Thread Users page, click Grade in a user's row with a number in the
Posts column.
4. On the Grade Discussion Thread page, a collection of the student's posts made to the graded
thread appears. Since a thread grade can be based on multiple messages, all messages posted by
the student are included for review. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to open the page in a
new window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To select
which posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and
the Sort By and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar. To learn more, see How to Filter
Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting and How to Sort Discussion Posts After Searching
or Collecting.
The side panel contains three sections:
l
Thread Statistics: Includes information about the user's posts, such as Date of Last
Post, Average Post Length, and Average Post Position.
l
Thread Grade: Includes Grade, Grade Date, Feedback, and Grading Notes.
l
Contributors: Users who have submitted the required number of posts appear with
exclamation marks—the Needs Grading icon (
) or, if they have not yet reached the
required number, the In Progress icon (
). In this section, use the Previous User and
Next User arrows to navigate among users to grade -OR- click a user's name in the list.
Click Show All to view all users in your course. Users who have not posted to the graded
thread are included in the list. Click Show with Posts Only to return to the list of users
who have posts to grade.
5. In the content frame, evaluate the currently selected user's posts. To assign a grade, click Edit
Grade in the Thread Grade section.
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Note: To collapse or expand a side panel section, click the double arrows icon next to the section
title.
6. Type a numeric value in the Current Grade Value box. Assigning a score here removes any Grade
Center override that may exist for this user for this thread grade.
Note: If a rubric has been created and added for this graded thread, click View Rubric to
reference it while grading. To learn more, see Rubrics.
7. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the forum Manager or
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box.
8. Optionally, click Text Editor to access the Text Editor in a pop-up window. Use the functions to
format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups to your feedback or
notes.
9. Click Save Grade. The information appears in the Thread Grade section.
10. Click Edit Grade to make changes at any time. The changes appear in the Thread Grade section
and in the Grade Center column. The changes are recorded in the Grade Center on the user's
Grade Details page on the Grade History tab.
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11. When grading is complete, click OK to return to the Grade Discussion Thread Users page or use
the breadcrumbs to return to the Discussion Board.
Result
Grades appear in the Grade column on the Grade Discussion Thread Users page and in the Grade Center.
How to Email Users While Grading Discussion Participation
While assigning grades, you can use the Email tool in the Discussion Board to quickly contact students. For
example, send a student a question prior to assigning a grade or send feedback after assigning a grade.
1. Navigate to a forum or thread to assign a grade.
2. On the Grade Discussion Thread Users page or the Grade Discussion Forum Users page,
select one or multiple users' check boxes or select the check box in the header row to select all the
users you want to email.
3. On the Action Bar, click Email.
4. On the Email Forum User page, edit the Subject, if needed.
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5. Type a question or feedback in the Message box.
6. Click Submit.
How to Disable Grading for a Discussion Forum or Thread
Grading can be disabled for graded forums and threads, even if grades exist.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, in the Forum Settings section, change the grading option to No
Grading in Forum.
4. Click Submit. If grades have already been assigned for a forum or its threads, a warning message
appears stating that disabling grading will delete all existing grades. This action is final.
5. Click OK to continue or click Cancel to preserve the Grade Center items.
As you decide whether to disable grading for a forum, the number in the Points possible box appears grayed
out.
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Related Tutorials
Grading Discussion Forums (Flash movie | 2m 15s | 4,576 KB) |
Threads (Flash movie | 3m 24s | 5,910 KB)
Grading Discussion
Viewing Discussion Board Statistics
The Performance Dashboard is a valuable tool used to monitor student progress throughout your course. A
summary of access and progress for each student appears in a table format. As the term progresses, you can
quickly see if students are accessing the course regularly, reviewing course content, and contributing to the
Discussion Board. This information can help you identify students who are outside the normal range of
participation or needing help and encouragement. To learn more, see Using the Performance Dashboard.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether the Performance Dashboard is available.
If this tool is not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. Your administrator can also
disable the Discussion Board tool, which will affect the information appearing in the Performance Dashboard.
How to View Discussion Board Statistics
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section.
2. Select Performance Dashboard.
3. On the Performance Dashboard page, you can view how many forums a user posted in. In the
Discussion Board column, click a numbered link to view details.
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4. On the Discussion Board page, you can view the following information:
l
Forum: Lists all the forums in which a user has posted.
l
Total Posts: Click the link to access a page displaying a user's posts in that forum.
l
Date of Last Post: View when a user last accessed the forum.
l
Average Post Length: Lists the average post length, in number of characters.
l
Minimum Post Length: Lists the minimum post length, in number of characters.
l
Maximum Post Length: Lists the maximum post length, in number of characters.
l
Average Post Position: View a representation of a user's participation within the
threads.
l
Grade: Click the link in the column to access the Grade Center column (if a grade
appears).
Note: To sort a column, click the column heading or caret.
5. On the Action Bar, click Email User to contact the user. The system populates the Email Forum
User page with the To and From information.
6. In the Forum column, click a forum title to access a Collection page displaying all the user's posts
in that forum. To learn more, see How to Collect Discussion Posts.
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Course Tools > Journals
Journals
About Journals
The Journals tool offers students the opportunity to reflect on course content and communicate privately with
you.
You can use the tool to gauge understanding and guide students in their knowledge acquisition. Your journal
comments can help students refine their writing and ideas.
You create the journal topics for individual students to use. Then students submit journal entries in response to
the topic and you can comment on the individual entries. As the journal topic is created, you determine if the
journal entries will be graded. Students are allowed to create multiple entries for an individual journal topic,
whether it is graded or not.
You can choose to make journal entries public, allowing all course members to view all entries. For example,
you may choose to make a journal public when asking for opinions on how to improve the evaluation process.
Students can read what other students wrote and build upon those ideas. Students cannot comment on other
students' entries; only the instructor can add comments.
The Group Journal tool functions differently, as it allows all members of a group to view all group journal
entries. A group journal has no journal topics, but is instead created by the journal entries submitted by group
members. A group journal can be edited to add instructions for the members. Both you and group members can
add comments.
Creating a Journal (Flash movie | 3m 10s ) |
Creating and Editing Journal Entries (Flash
Related Tutorials
movie | 2m 24s ) |
Commenting on a Journal Entry (Flash movie | 1m 27s )
Creating a Journal
Journals are a personal space for students to communicate privately with the instructor. Students can also use
journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and
analyze course related materials. Journal assignments can be broad and student-directed as the Students
reflect on the learning process and document changes in their perceptions and attitudes. Students can describe
problems faced and how they solved them. Instructor-directed journal entries can be more formal in nature and
can narrow the focus by listing topics for discussion.
Journals are ideal for individual projects. For example, in a creative writing course, the owner of each journal
creates entries and the instructor adds comments. In this manner, the student can refine a section of a writing
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Course Tools > Journals
assignment over a period of time, using the instructor’s guidance and suggestions. The student can also
comment on his or her entries to continue the conversation with the instructor.
Journals can be used as a graded assignment or ungraded to gather opinions and information.
Instructors can create one or more journals for use by students in their courses. Journal topics must be created
before students can add their entries.
How to Create a Journal
1. Access the course.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
4. Select Journals.
5. On the Journals listing page, click Create Journal on the Action Bar.
6. On the Create Journal page, type a Name for the journal.
7. Type optional Instructions for the journal. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
the attachment.
8. Under Journal Availability, select the Yes option to make it available to users.
9. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit the availability of the journal.
Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date and time
selections.
10. Under Journal Settings, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries.
11. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries.
12. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Delete Comments.
13. Optionally, select the check box to Permit Course Users to View Journal. If selected, the
journal becomes public. All users can view all journal entries made to the journal topic.
14. Select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible
will apply to one or more entries made by the user to the journal topic. Once a journal is set to be
graded, a column is created for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable and cannot be set
to No grading. To learn more, see Grade Center.
15. Optionally, select the box and the number of entries required to show participants in Needs
Grading status. Applying this setting will show the Needs Grading icon (
) in the Grade Center
and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of entries
have been made.
16. Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
17. Click Submit.
The journal topics appear in alphabetical order on the Journals listing page. Columns can be sorted by clicking
the column title or caret.
You can also provide links to journals in course areas such as Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans,
and folders. To learn more, see Linking to Tools in a Course Area.
Creating Journal Entries
Instructors and students can create journal entries. Only instructors can comment on students' private entries.
Group members and the instructor can comment on group entries.
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Course Tools > Journals
On the Journals listing page, information is provided about each journal. Students can see if their entries will be
private—between the student and the instructor—or public.
How to Create a Journal Entry
1. On the Journals listing page, select a journal title.
2. On the journal's topic page, click Create Journal Entry on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Journal Entry page, type a Title for the journal entry.
4. Type text in the Entry Message text box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
the attachment.
5. Alternatively, under Journal Entry Files, browse for a file to attach to the journal entry.
6. Click Post Entry to submit the journal entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.
How to View Drafts
To view drafts, click View Drafts on the Action Bar on the Journals listing page.
Commenting on a Journal
Journaling can be essential for interaction between you and your students, especially in a web-based course.
Student entries and instructor comments can help build rapport and can create a healthy intellectual exchange.
A student can make a comment after you comment on an entry to continue the conversation. Students cannot
make comments on another student’s journal entry, even if the journal has been made public. Students can only
comment on another student’s entry when they are members of a group. For group journals, you and all group
members are allowed to make comments on individual entries.
How to Comment on a Journal Entry
1. On the Journals listing page, select a journal title.
2. On the journal's topic page, select the journal entry to view by selecting the user’s name in the side
panel under More Journals. The journal entry opens in the content frame.
3. Click Comment following the user’s entry. The Comment text box appears.
4. Type a comment in the Comment text box.
5. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the Comment text box to check the spelling of the content
before continuing.
6. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the entry to view the comment.
Creating a Journal (Flash movie | 3m 10s ) |
Creating and Editing Journal Entries (Flash
Related Tutorials
movie | 2m 24s ) |
Commenting on a Journal Entry (Flash movie | 1m 27s )
Editing Journals
You can edit basic properties of a journal topic, including the name, instructions, availability, and some
settings. Journal topics can be made public or private. You can also edit any user's journal entries and can
delete journal topics and comments.
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Course Tools > Journals
How to Edit a Journal
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Journals listing page, click a journal's to Action Link access the contextual menu.
3. Select Edit.
4. On the Edit Journal page, make changes.
5. Click Submit.
How to Delete a Journal
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Journals listing page, click a journal's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Delete.
4. Click OK in the confirmation window. All entries and comments are deleted.
Note: When a graded journal is selected for deletion, a Delete Confirmation page appears. Select the
appropriate check box or boxes to delete the journal -OR- the journal and the Grade Center column.
How to Change the Availability of a Journal
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Journals listing page, select the check box next to the appropriate journal.
3. Point to Availability on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Make Available or Make Unavailable.
Troubleshooting Journal Management
If
Then
a journal is
deleted while
users are posting
the journal and all comments are deleted.
a journal is made
unavailable while
users are posting
the journal remains visible to the Instructor in Edit Mode but is not displayed to users.
the Allow Users to entries remain, but users cannot edit them.
Edit and Delete
Entries setting is
changed
the Allow Users to comments remain and users cannot delete them.
Delete Comments
setting is changed
the journal is set to the setting cannot be changed. The journal needs to be deleted and the Grade Center column
be graded
must be deleted from the Grade Center to remove it. The Grade Center column for the journal
can also not be included in Grade Center calculations, if the journal entries are needed, but
will not be graded.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Journal (Flash movie | 3m 10s ) |
Creating and Editing Journal Entries (Flash
Commenting on a Journal Entry (Flash movie | 1m 27s )
movie | 2m 24s ) |
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Course Tools > Journals
Grading Blogs and Journals
You can grade participation in blogs and journals for individuals and groups.
Once a blog or journal topic is set to be graded, a grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center.
Then, individual student and group entries can be graded from the blog or journal topic page, where all entries
and comments can be referenced, as the grade is determined. An assigned grade can also be edited from the
blog or journal topic page and the Grade Center is updated.
Students can view their blog or journal grades in the My Grades tool.
About Grading Blogs and Journals
You can grade the quality of the discussion, as well as the number of entries and comments that are made by
an individual or a course group.
Grades for blogs and journals are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade
Center.
You can determine whether or not students can view their own grades and feedback by editing the column
information in the Grade Center. To learn more, see How to Edit Columns, Hide Columns, and Select Options
for Grade Center Columns.
Changing a Topic from Graded to Ungraded
A graded blog or journal topic cannot be changed to ungraded. The only way to change from graded to ungraded
is to delete the graded blog or journal topic from the blogs or journals listing page and the Grade Center, and
create a new ungraded topic.
Alternatively, to retain entries, set the blog or journal Grade Center column to not be included in calculations. In
essence, the blog or journal continues to be considered a graded one by the Grade Center, but any results or
grades assigned are ignored.
Understanding Graded Blog and Journal Topic Pages
The blog topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and course groups. The side
panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
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About this Blog: Shows the type, number of entries, and number of comments.
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View Entries by: Students who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks,
the needs grading icon. Click a student's name to access the Blog Grade section, where grades,
feedback and grading notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this section
to navigate among students to grade or click a student's name in the list. Click Show Members
without Entries to see all students in the course; students who have not added entries are included
in this list. Click Hide Members without Entries to return to the list of students who have entries
needing a grade.
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Index: For a selected student or all course members, view a list of entry titles added during the index
span—by month or by week.
The journal topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and course groups. The
side panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
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About this Journal: Shows the author, number of entries, and number of comments.
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More Journals: Students who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks,
the needs grading icon. Click a student's name to access the Journal Grade section, where grades,
feedback and grading notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this section
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Course Tools > Journals
to navigate among students to grade or click a student's name in the list. Click Show Empty
Journals to see all students in the course; students who have not added entries are included in this
list. Click Hide Empty Journals to return to the list of students who have entries needing a grade.
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Index: For a selected student, view a list of entry titles added during the index span—by month or by
week.
The grading process for blogs and journals can begin from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, the
Course Tools area in the Control Panel, or the course location where the blog or journal has been deployed.
How to Grade Blog Entries for Individuals
1. Access the blog topic page and select the blog entry or entries to grade by selecting the student’s
name in the side panel under View Entries by. The student’s blog entry or entries open in the
content frame. 2. Under Blog Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box, or if a rubric has been created for this
graded blog, click View Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the student and Grading Notes, which appear to the instructor and
grader only. You can also use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, and multimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Blog Grade section and to
the Grade Center.
6. The grade, feedback, or grading notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Blog Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the student's Grade Details
page.
How to Grade Journal Entries for Individuals
1. Access the journal topic page and select the journal entry or entries to grade by selecting the
student's name in the side panel under More Journals. The student’s journal entry or entries open
in the content frame.
2. Under Journal Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box, or if a rubric has been created for this
graded journal, click View Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the student and Grading Notes, which appear to the instructor and
grader only. You can also use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, and multimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Journal Grade section and
to the Grade Center.
6. The grade, feedback, or grading notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Journal Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the student's Grade Details
page.
Note: If a rubric will be used to grade blog or journal entries, it must be created and added in advance.
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Course Tools > Journals
How to Delete a Gradable Blog or Journal
If a gradable blog or journal is no longer needed, it can be deleted. It is permanently deleted and the action
cannot be undone. On the blogs or journals listing page, select Delete from the contextual menu for the item
and the Delete Confirmation page appears.
There are two options on the Delete Confirmation page:
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Do not select check boxes: The blog or journal will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and
scores assigned are retained. For example, all student entries have been graded and you want to
keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If the blog or journal is deleted, yet the
Grade Center column is retained, the column can be deleted from the Grade Center at any time.
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Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the blog or journal are both
deleted. For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the blog or journal entries in
the final grade, you can safely delete all.
Click Remove to complete the deletion.
How to Grade a Blog or Journal for all Group Members
A group blog or journal is graded using the same steps as for individuals. When the entries are submitted, all
group members' names appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading icon.
When a grade is added for a group blog or journal, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the
group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members
are assigned the same grade, even if a member did not contribute, although this can be overridden (described in
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade).
You can read all the entries for the group blog or journal and add one grade on the blog or journal topic page.
Students can view their group blog or journal grades in the My Grades tool and on the group blog or journal topic
page by selecting their names.
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade
An individual group member can be assigned a different grade than the group by selecting his or her name to
access the Grade section. In the content frame, the individual member’s entries and comments appear. After
assigning a new grade and feedback for the individual member, the new information appears in the side panel.
The grade the individual member received and the grade the group received are both shown.
If a group member’s grade is changed, and a new group grade is given, the new group grade will not affect the
individual’s new grade. The individual’s new grade will not appear to the other group members.
The group grade and the individual group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center in the column that
was automatically created when the graded group blog or journal was enabled. Grayed out cells appear in the
group blog or journal column for course members who are not part of the group.
A group or individual member's grade can also be edited from the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
It is possible to revert a member’s edited grade to the original group grade, which all group members received.
1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page. (Alternatively, you can edit the
grade that was changed on the group blog or journal page by selecting the student.)
2. After a member’s group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
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Course Tools > McGraw-Hill Connect and Create
3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original group grade.
4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the main Grade Center page and view the edited grade
column. This grade change also appears on the group blog or journal page when the student's name
is selected.
Deleting a Group
If a group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete Confirmation page
appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the group, such as for a graded group blog or journal, the
columns can be retained. On the Delete Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any columns
that need to be preserved.
McGraw-Hill Connect and Create
McGraw-Hill Connect and Create provides tools for instructors to build customized course materials and
assessments from McGraw-Hill's textbooks and resources.
The McGraw-Hill Connect and Create Building Block is bundled with Blackboard Learn, but must be configured
by the Blackboard administrator at your school before it can be used. To learn more about using McGraw-Hill
Connect and Create, see McGraw-Hill Connect and Create Building Block Instructor Guide for Release 9.1.
Wikis
Wikis are essentially very simple online databases, collaborative collections of information that use interlinked
pages to present and organize the data. One main benefit is they can be easily updated and expanded to
include new content, or edited to correct errors.
Wikis allow multiple students to share and collaborate on one or more pages of content. Pages can be created
and edited quickly, while tracking changes and additions. Instructors can create one or more wikis for all course
members to contribute to and wikis for specific groups to use to collaborate. Wikis can also be used to record
information and serve as a repository for course information and knowledge.
You can view all changes to all pages in the wiki. It is also possible to view changes at a high level and then drill
down to retrieve information about the development and contributions for any individual.
You choose whether to assign grades to student contributions to a wiki. After a wiki is set to be graded, a grade
column is created automatically in the Grade Center. Individual student and group contributions then can be
graded inside the Wikis tool, where all pages and edits can be referenced as the grade is determined.
An assigned grade can also be edited from inside the Wikis tool and the Grade Center is updated. Grades for
wikis are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade Center. Students can
view their wiki grades in the My Grades tool.
About Course Wikis
Course wikis are created by instructors. Any course member can add pages unless the instructor intends to be
the sole author and use the wiki as course content.
About Group Wikis
Group wikis are enabled by instructors. Any course member can read the group wiki, but the user must be a
member of the group to edit a page or make a comment on a group wiki page. Instructors can change the default
setting to allow only group members to view a group wiki.
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Course Tools > Wikis
How to Create a Wiki
1. Access the course.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
4. Select Wikis.
5. On the Wikis listing page, click Create Wiki on the Action Bar.
6. On the Create Wiki page, type a Name.
7. Type optional Instructions. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and
attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added using the Text
Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
8. Select the Yes option to make the wiki available to users.
9. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit availability of the wiki. Select
the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date and time selections.
Display restrictions do not affect the content in the wiki, only the appearance of the wiki.
10. Select the Student Access option. Student access can be changed at any time.
a. Closed to Editing: Select this option when the instructor will be the only one
contributing pages or to disallow further page editing by users, such as when the wiki
pages are set to be graded. Wikis can still be viewed when Closed to Editing is
selected.
b. Open to Editing: Allows users to modify any wiki page. In a group wiki, a user must
be a member of the group to edit a wiki page.
11. Select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible
will apply to one or more pages added and all edits by the user. Once a wiki is set to be graded, a
column is created for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable and cannot be set to No
grading.
12. Optionally, select the box and the number of page saves required to show participants in Needs
) in the Grade Center
Grading status. Applying this setting will show the Needs Grading icon (
and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of page
saves have been made.
13. Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
14. Click Submit.
The wiki topics appear in alphabetical order on the Wikis listing page. Columns can be sorted by clicking the
column title or caret.
You can also provide links to wikis in course areas such as Content Areas, Learning Modules, lesson plans,
and folders. To learn more, see Linking to Tools in a Course Area.
How to Create a Wiki Page
Each newly created course or group wiki requires a first page, which is the home page. You or any course or
group member can create the home page. The home page cannot be deleted, but if the wiki is open to editing, it
can be edited by any course or group member. The home page and all subsequent pages are created following
the same steps.
1. On the Wikis listing page, select a wiki title.
2. On the wiki’s topic page, click Create Wiki Page on the Action Bar.
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Course Tools > Wikis
3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a Name.
4. Type text in the Content text box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia, Mashups,
and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor. Attachments added using the Text Editor
can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
5. Click Submit.
Note: You can delete an entire wiki or pages within a wiki, but you cannot delete the wiki home page by itself.
Students do not have the ability to delete wiki pages.
How to Edit Wiki Content
Any course member can edit a course wiki page and any group member can edit a group wiki page, unless you
have disabled this function. You might choose to disable editing when it is time to grade the wiki pages;
however, you will still be able to edit student pages. All course members, including instructors, edit wikis the
same way.
When a wiki page is being edited by one user, it is locked to prevent others from editing the same page. If a user
tries to edit a page someone else is editing, he or she is informed that the page is currently being edited by
another user.
1. Access the wiki. The wiki topic page appears. 2. Select the page to review and edit. The wiki page opens in the content frame.
3. In the side panel, click the page’s Action Link to access the contextual menu and select Edit
Properties.
-ORClick Edit Wiki Content next to the page’s title in the content frame.
4. On the Edit Wiki Page, changes can be made to the name and content of the page. Additional
content can be added also. Use the functions in the Text Editor to format existing text or add links,
images, multimedia, Mashups, attachments, and link to other wiki pages.
5. Click Submit.
Note: Select History from a page’s contextual menu to see how the page has been modified, view any
version, and compare two versions side by side. The Page History page allows you to retrieve information
about the development of any page and see who contributed content. The most recent version of the page
appears first. You can delete one or more wiki page versions from the Page History page, but students cannot.
You may wish to delete a page because of inaccurate,flawed, or offensive content. When a version is deleted,
all participation history for that version is deleted. If the latest version is deleted, then the version next in line
becomes the most current version and is the page viewed in the wiki.
How to Link to Other Wiki Pages
When wiki pages are created, users may need to reference another page in the wiki. If the wiki consists of
many pages, it can be helpful to insert a link to that page right on the page currently being viewed. When
creating or editing a wiki page, users can use the Link to Wiki page function in the Text Editor to link to
another wiki page within the current wiki.
Links to other wiki pages can be created when at least two pages exist.
1. Access the wiki.
2. On the wiki topic page, click Create Wiki Page.
3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a Wiki Name and Content.
4. In the Content text box, position the mouse pointer where a link will be added to another wiki page.
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Course Tools > Wikis
5. Click the Link to Wiki page function in the Text Editor, represented by several sheets of paper. If
there is only one page in the wiki, this function is disabled.
6. In the pop-up window, select the wiki page to link to from the drop-down list.
7. Optionally, type a name for the link in the Rename Wiki Page Link text box. If the link is not
renamed, the original page title is used as the link.
8. Click Submit. The link appears in the Text Editor.
9. Click Submit. The new page with the link to the other page is added to the wiki.
How to Add a Comment to a Wiki Page
Any course member can add a comment to a course wiki page rather than add to or edit a page. Comments
provide a way for you and your students to offer feedback and suggestions. Comments can be viewed by all
course members. By default, group wikis can be read by all course members, but a user must be a member of
the group to make a comment on a group wiki page. You can change the default setting to allow only group
members to view a group wiki.
1. Access the wiki.
2. On the wiki topic page, select the page to view in the side panel. The wiki page opens in the content
frame.
3. Click Comment following the user’s contribution. The Comment text box appears.
4. Type a comment in the Comment text box.
5. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the Comment text box to check the spelling of the content
before continuing.
6. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the contribution to view the comment.
How to View the Participation Summary
On the Participation Summary page, you can view a list of all student participation for the current wiki being
viewed. The information provided can help you understand how students contributed to the overall wiki content.
This information can be especially useful when determining individual grades for gradable wikis.
1. Access the wiki.
2. On the wiki topic page’s Action Bar, click Participation and Grading for graded wikis or
Participation Summary for wikis with no grading.
3. On the Participation Summary page, view participation for the students who have contributed to
the wiki.
4. In the side panel, view information about the wiki and select a user to view his or her Participant's
Contribution page.
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Page Versions: The Page Version column displays all pages created and edited by the
user. This allows you to see precisely how and what content the user contributed and
edited. If many pages appear, narrow what is shown using the Display Pages drop-down
list on the Action Bar. A new version is created each time a page is edited. When versions
are compared, the difference between any version and its previous version are shown on
the Page Comparison page. Click the Legend tab to understand the differences in how
one version was changed in comparison to the other version. The Legend tab provides an
explanation of the formatting used to communicate version differences.
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Words Modified: Tally of any words added, deleted, or edited in all pages and each
page’s version of the wiki.
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Course Tools > Wikis
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Page Saves: Tally of any time Submit is clicked on the Edit Wiki Page in the wiki,
regardless whether or not content has been changed.
How to Grade a Course Wiki
After a wiki is set to be graded, a column is automatically created in the Grade Center. Then, individual student
contributions can be accessed from the wiki’s Participation Summary page. A user’s name can be selected
and all the pages the student authored and edited can be viewed to determine the grade. The Participation
Summary page allows you to start at a high level summary and drill down to the changes that an individual
student made. The grade applies to the wiki, not an individual wiki page.
A graded wiki cannot be set to ungraded. The only way to revert to an ungraded wiki is to delete the graded wiki
from the Wikis listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded wiki. Alternatively, you could
avoid including the graded wiki column in Grade Center calculations, if the wiki pages need to be retained.
The grading process for wikis can begin from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, the Course Tools
area, or the course location where the wiki has been deployed.
1. Access the wiki to be graded.
2. On the wiki topic page, click Participation and Grading on the Action Bar.
3. On the Participation Summary page, select a student's name in the View Contributions
section. Students with contributions ready for grading appear with the exclamation mark, the needs
grading icon.
4. On the Participant’s Contribution page, a list of the student’s pages and page versions open in
the content frame. You can also view information about the contributions. In the Page Version
column, click a page’s title to review it.
5. When ready to grade, in the Grade section in the side panel, click Edit Grade. The grading field
appears in the side panel.
6. Type a numeric grade in the Current Grade Value text box, or if a rubric has been created for this
graded wiki, click View Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
7. Optionally, type Feedback for the student and Grading Notes, which appear to you and Graders
only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text Editor to
access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments, images,
Mashups, and multimedia.
8. Click Save Grade to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Grade section and to the
Grade Center.
9. The grade, feedback, or grading notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes are
documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the student's Grade Details page.
Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in the View Contributions section to quickly access other
students’ contributions to grade.
Note: If a rubric will be used to grade wiki contributions, it must be created and added to the wiki in advance.
How to Delete a Gradable Wiki
If a gradable wiki is no longer needed, it can be deleted. On the Wikis listing page, select Delete from the
contextual menu for the item and the Delete Confirmation page appears.
Note: Deleting a wiki is permanent and cannot be undone.
There are two options on the Delete Confirmation page:
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Course Tools > Wikis
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Do not select check boxes: The wiki will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and scores
assigned are retained. For example, all student contributions have been graded and you want to keep
the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If the wiki is deleted, yet the Grade Center
column is retained, the column can be deleted from the Grade Center at any time.
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Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center AND the wiki are deleted. For
example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the wiki contributions in the final grade,
you can safely delete all.
Click Remove to complete the deletion.
How to Grade Group Wikis
On the Participation Summary page, the Needs Grading icon (
), appears in the View Contributions
section for group members when a group wiki needs grading. When a grade is added for a group wiki on the
Participation Summary page, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the group and is
populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members are assigned a
grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. students can view their group wiki grades in the My Grades
tool and on their My Contribution pages.
An individual group member can be assigned a different grade than the group by editing the grade for the
member. If a group member’s grade is changed, and a new group grade is given, the new group grade will not
affect the individual’s new grade. The grade the individual member received and the grade the group received
are both shown. The individual’s new grade will not appear to the other group members.
On the Participation Summary page, select the group member from the View Contributions section. The
Participant’s Contribution page displays the group member’s contributions and the group grade for this
member can be changed in the side panel by clicking Edit Grade.
The group grade and the individual group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center in the column that
was created automatically when the graded group wiki was enabled. Grayed out cells appear in the group wiki
column for course members who are not part of the group. A grade can also be edited from the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
It is possible to revert a member’s edited grade to the original group grade, which all group members received.
Alternatively, edit the grade that was changed on the group wiki page by selecting the user.
1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. After a member’s group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original group grade.
4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the main Grade Center page and view the edited grade
column. This grade change also appears on the group wiki page when the user's name is selected.
How to Delete a Group
If a group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete Confirmation page
appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the group, such as for a graded group wiki, the columns
can be retained. On the Delete Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any columns that need to
be preserved.
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Course Tools > Wikis
Related Tutorials
Creating a Wiki (Flash movie | 2m 46s ) |
Adding Rich Content to a Wiki (Flash movie | 4m
10s ) |
Editing a Wiki Page (Flash movie | 1m 36s ) |
Linking Wiki Pages (Flash movie | 1m 43s ) |
Viewing a
Wiki Page History (Flash movie | 2m 37s ) |
Grading a Wiki (Flash movie | 1m 43s )
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Course Content > Content Creation
Course Content
Content Creation
Creating Course Areas for Content
You can create course areas to serve as containers for your course material. Course areas enable you to
present various types of content in an organized and engaging way.
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The top-level course areas are called Content Areas, which are created, linked, and managed on the
Course Menu. Typically, courses contain multiple Content Areas.
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The next level of course areas includes folders, Learning Modules, and Lesson Plans. You create
these course areas within an existing Content Area or other course area.
Once you create a course area, you can create content items within it to present your course material. You can
include content such as text, file attachments, links to websites, tests, assignments, and multimedia.
For example, you can create a Content Area called Units that contains Learning Modules for Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit
3, and so on. Each of the Learning Modules contains reading materials, assignments, tests, and links to tools to
help student accomplish the learning objectives for each unit.
Content Areas are the top-level course areas that provide your course structure. They are linked and
created on the Course Menu only. They contain other course areas and content items.
Folders are containers for content.
Learning Modules are containers for content, can include a Table of Contents, and can require sequential
viewing of its content.
Lesson Plans are containers for content, and present objectives and other details directly above its list of
content items.
Create content within course areas by pointing to Build Content, Assessments, and Tools on the Action
Bar. To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area, Creating Assessments in a Course Area, and
Linking to Tools in a Course Area.
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How to Create a Content Area
Content Areas are the top-level course areas. They are created and managed on the Course Menu.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON, and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Content Area.
3. Type a Name for the new Content Area.
4. Select the Available to Users check box.You can create Content Areas ahead of time, make
them unavailable to users, and then make them available at the appropriate time.
5. Click Submit. A link to the new Content Area appears on the Course Menu.
Result
A newly created Content Area is an empty container. Click the link to the Content Area to access it. Next, point
to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
After creating content, you can set the sequence of items with the drag-and-drop function or the Keyboard
Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. For instructions on reordering and editing content items, see
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
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Plan Your Content Areas
Links to the Content Areas you create appear in the Course Menu and provide the overall structure of your
course. Plan how you will organize the entire course and envision how your Course Menu will look and function.
Three common organizational approaches are:
Chronologically
By Content Type
By Subject Area
Each Content Area contains a
week’s worth of readings,
assignments, lecture notes, and
discussion forums.
Similar content types are grouped
together in a Content Area, such
as all the lectures for the entire
course.
Each Content Area contains lecture
material and readings on a specific
subject, along with assignments,
discussion forums, and tests.
Some questions to consider:
l
What is the best way to divide the course material into manageable sections?
l
Do you want course materials presented in chronological order, by textbook chapter, or by subject
area?
l
Do you want each unit to follow a predictable pattern? For example, you can include reading materials
followed by a quiz and a Discussion Board wrap-up.
l
Do you want students to move through your course material sequentially, non-sequentially, or a
mixture of both?
How to Manage Content Area Links
You can organize and rename the Content Area links on the Course Menu to make them easier for students to
use.
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Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder Content Area links on the Course Menu.
Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool to reorder the links.
Click a link’s Action Link (
) and select Rename to change its title. Select Hide Link to make it
unavailable to students. Click Show Link to make it available to students. If you Delete the Content Area, all
content items within it are also permanently deleted. This action is final and cannot be undone.
With Edit Mode set to ON, an unavailable link title appears with a square with a diagonal line through it.
Students do not see the link on the Course Menu.
How to Create a Content Folder
Folders are a type of course area used to organize content. They are created in existing course areas, such as
Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, or in other folders. After you create a folder, you can add
content and additional subfolders to it. For example, you can create folders for each week of the course in a
Content Area.
Use folders to organize content to make materials easier to find and reduce the amount of scrolling in a course
area. You want to limit the number of nested folders used so students can access content with as few clicks as
possible.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
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4. Select Content Folder.
5. On the Create page, type a Name for the folder.
6. Select the options.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set folders to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect folder
availability, only when it appears.
7. Click Submit. A link to the new folder appears in the course area.
Tip: To create a subfolder, first create a parent folder. Click the name of the parent folder to open it, then point
to Build Content on the Action Bar of the parent folder and select Content Folder.
Result
A newly created folder is an empty container. Click the link to the folder in the course area to access it. Next,
point to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
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After creating content in the folder, you can set the sequence of items with the drag-and-drop function or the
Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. For instructions on reordering and editing content items
see Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
How to Create a Learning Module
Learning Modules are course areas that allow you to organize related course materials in a Table of Contents to
provide a rich and interactive learning experience. Students typically access Learning Modules in Content
Areas.
Student view of Learning Module
The Table of Contents displays the items you added to the Learning Module. You can move it to the
bottom, expand, collapse, or remove it from view using the icons. You can hide the Table of Contents by editing
Learning Module settings. Content displays in the content frame.
Click the arrows to scroll through the items in the Learning Module sequentially.
You can set a structured path through the Table of Contents by enforcing sequential viewing or allowing users
to explore the content in any order. For example, a Learning Module presents the concept of magnetic fields
before describing how speakers and microphones work. Understanding the first concept is required for
understanding the second concept. Alternatively, you can allow students to explore a Learning Module in any
order for subjects where no particular arrangement is required for understanding the larger concept.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
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4. Select Learning Module.
5. On the Create Learning Module page, type a Name. Students access the Learning Module by
clicking the name.
6. Optionally, type a description in the Text box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the
text. The description appears below the Learning Module Name in the course area.
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7. Select the options for Availability, View, and Table of Contents.
8. Click Submit. A link to the new Learning Module appears in the course area.
Learning Module Options
The Learning Module options you select determine how users view the Learning Module as well as its
availability.
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Option
Settings
Availability Permit Users to View this Content: Select No to make the Learning Module unavailable to users.
Select Date and Time Restrictions: You can set Learning Modules to display on a specific date and
time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until
check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the
pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display
restrictions do not affect the Learning Module’s availability, only when it appears.
View
Enforce Sequential Viewing of the Learning Module: Select Yes to force students to view the pages
in order you have determined. Students cannot advance to the next link in the Table of Contents
without viewing the previous link. Although the Table of Contents displays a list of all the content items
and folders in the Learning Module, links only appear for the content items that a user can access.
After the links are viewed sequentially, users can review it in any order. If users navigate away from
the Learning Module and return to it, they are required to view it sequentially again.
If sequential viewing is not enforced, users can view items in the Learning Module in any order by
clicking the links in the Table of Contents.
Open in New Window: Select Yes if you want the Learning Module to be viewed in a separate window
instead of in the content frame. This enables students to keep the Learning Module open in the
separate window while navigating to other course areas.
Track Number of Views: Select Yes to turn on Statistics Tracking and record the number of times the
Learning Module is viewed, when it is viewed, and by whom.
Table of
Contents
Show Table of Contents to Users: Select Yes to display a Table of Contents to students when they
access the Learning Module. Even when sequential viewing is enforced, it is still beneficial for
students to see the Table of Contents to gain perspective on the overall concepts being taught. If the
Table of Contents is hidden, students use the navigation arrows to move between pages, but cannot
see the list of items in the Learning Module.
Hierarchy Display: Select the way items in the Learning Module are labeled to denote their relative
position in the Table of Contents. You can select numbers, letters, Roman numerals, or mixed. If None
is selected, the items are not labeled.
Result
A newly created Learning Module is an empty container. Click the link to the Learning Module in the course area
to access it. Next, point to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
After creating content in your Learning Module, you can organize the content in folders to provide a hierarchical
structure in the Table of Contents. You can set the sequence of Learning Module items by using the drag-anddrop function or the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. After reordering, click Refresh in
the Table of Contents. For instructions on reordering and editing content items see Editing and Managing
Course Areas and Content.
Change Edit Mode to OFF to view the Learning Module as students see it. To learn more, see Edit Mode.
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How to Create a Lesson Plan
A Lesson Plan is a container for content items, similar to a Content Area, Learning Module, or folder. You can
use Lesson Plans to help students understand the intended result of their learning and prepare them for the
content ahead.
Student view of Lesson Plan
The lesson profile and instructional objectives appear in the top portion of the page. Content appears in the lower portion of the page.
You create Lesson Plans in two steps based on the two tabs appearing on the Create Lesson Plan page:
l
Content Information: This tab contains general information, such as Instructor, Objectives, and
Subject Area. This information appears at the top of the Lesson Plan in a gray box when students
access the Lesson Plan or when you view it with Edit Mode turned OFF.
l
Curriculum Resources: This tab contains the Lesson Plan’s content items. You can create all
content types in a Lesson Plan just as you can in a Content Area, Learning Module, or folder.
You can make Lessons Plans available to students or use them solely as a planning tool. The Lesson Plan tool
is turned on by default, but the Blackboard administrator at your school can disable the tool.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
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4. Select Lesson Plan.
5. On the Create Lesson Plan page, the Content Information tab appears first by default. This tab
enables you to display general information for users at the top of the Lesson Plan in a gray box.
6. Type a Name for the Lesson Plan. This is a required field and appears as the link to the Lesson
Plan in the course area.
7. Type an optional Description. Use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files,
images, links, multimedia, and Mashups. The Description follows the Name in the course area.
8. Type information for the default elements: Instructional Level, Instructor, Objectives, and
Subject Area. You can edit a default element’s title by clicking the existing title to access the Edit
Element Name text box. Delete an element by clicking the X.
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9. Select the check box next to Share with students for each element that you want to appear in the
Lesson Plan when students view it. If information is not added to a default element, it does not
appear in the Lesson Plan and does not require deletion. Clear the check box next to Share with
students for any information that is only for you.
Note: Change Edit Mode to OFF to ensure that you reveal only the information you intend to show
to users.
10. To add new elements, point to Add Lesson Plan Section on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
11. Select an element. The new element is added to the bottom of the list on the Create Lesson Plan
page, where you can edit its title and use its Text Editor, if available.
Note: Select Section Headings to organize the elements. After adding a section heading, click
the title to edit the name.
12. Select options for the Lesson Plan.
a. Select Yes for Permit Users to View this Content to make it available to students.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set Lesson Plans to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
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Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
Lesson Plan availability, only when it appears.
13. Click Save and Exit to save the Lesson Plan shell and return to the course area. You can edit the
Lesson Plan later to create content items.
-ORClick Save and Continue to display the Curriculum Resources tab and create content now.
Result
A newly created Lesson Plan is an empty container. Click the link to the Lesson Plan in the course area to
access it. Next, point to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
After creating content in the course area, you can set the sequence of items with the drag-and-drop function or
the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. For instructions on reordering and editing content
items see Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
Change Edit Mode to OFF to view the Lesson Plan as students see it. It is substantially different than the view
with Edit Mode set to ON.
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How to Link a Folder, Lesson Plan, or Learning Module on the Course
Menu
You cannot create a folder, Lesson Plan, or Learning Module directly on the Course Menu. However, you can
create a Course Link on the Course Menu for an existing folder, Lesson Plan, or Learning Module.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Course Link.
3. Browse for the location of the course area you want to link.
4. Type a Name for the Course Link.
5. Select the Available to Users check box to allow students to access it.
6. Click Submit. A link to the course area appears on the Course Menu.
How to See the Student View of a Course Area
You must change Edit Mode to OFF to see course content as students see it. This is especially important for
Lesson Plans and Learning Modules. To learn more, see Edit Mode.
Viewing from the student perspective ensures you reveal only the information you intend to show to users.
Related Tutorials
Building a Learning Module (Flash movie | 3m 00s | 1,445 KB) |
Creating a Lesson
Plan (Flash movie | 4m 51s | 2,403 KB) |
Your Course Environment (Flash movie | 3m 46s | 2,485 KB)
To learn how to turn options on for course areas and change settings, availability, and content order, see Editing
and Managing Course Areas and Content.
Creating Content in a Course Area
After creating a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder, you create
content in it by pointing to its Action Bar to reveal menus for selecting content items, assessments, and links to
tools.
You can make content relevant and interactive by including several different types of learning materials and
experiences. For example, you can provide online lectures, multimedia, and assessments.
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As you create content, you can set its options, such as availability. This enables you to create content and
make it unavailable to users until you are ready for them to view it.
About Content Types
You can create many different content types in your course areas. Advance planning of the items to include in
course areas can save you time and create a more organized final product. Consider your course goals,
objectives, and audience demographics. Review your existing materials to determine what can be used online.
Consider outlining or storyboarding a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder before creating
content to create a logical organization. To learn more, see Plan Your Content Areas.
The following table describes the different content types available in the Build Content drop-down list.
Content
Type
Description
Item
A general piece of content, such as a file, image, text, or link to which a description and other items may
be attached.
File
An HTML file that can be used in the course. These files can be viewed as a page within the course or
as a separate piece of content in a separate browser window.
Audio
Upload files from your computer and incorporate them in a course area.
Image
Video
Web
Link
Link to an outside website or resource.
Learning A set of content that includes a structured path for progressing through the items.
Module
Lesson
Plan
A special content type that combines information about the lesson itself with the curriculum resources
used to teach it.
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Content
Type
Description
Syllabus
Enables you to attach an existing syllabus file or build a course syllabus by walking through a series of
steps.
Course
Link
A shortcut to an item, tool, or area in a course.
Content
Folder
A course area that contains content items. Folders allow content to be structured with a hierarchy or
categories.
Blank
Page
The Blank Page tool allows you to include files, images, and text as a link in a course area. Blank pages
present content in a different way than items do. There is no description that appears below the title of
the page. Users see your content only after clicking the link.
Module
Page
A page containing dynamic personalized content modules that help users keep track of tasks, tests,
assignments, and new content created in the course.
Mashups Mashups allow you to include content in a course that is from an external website. Three types of
Mashups are available:
l
Flickr Photo: Link to a site for viewing and sharing photographic images
l
SlideShare: Link to a site for viewing and sharing PowerPoint presentations, Word documents,
or Adobe PDF Portfolios
l
YouTube: Link to a site for viewing and sharing online videos
How to Create an Item
Content items are used to present a variety of course material. The Text Editor enables you to format the item’s
content, as well as incorporate images, multimedia, and links to files.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Item.
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5. On the Create Item page, type a Name for the item.
6. Type instructions, a description, or a question in the Text box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any
files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top
level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can
include alternate text to describe the attachment.
7. Alternatively, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options. These files
appear in the item before any Text Editor content.
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
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o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
Note: To email a link to a file you are including in a content item, you must first submit the
content item so the file can be assigned a permanent URL. In the Content Collection or
Course Files, click the file's Action Link and select 360 View. Copy the Permanent URL
address and paste it in an email.
8. Select Options for the item.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
9. Click Submit.
How to Create a File and Upload Single Files or Zipped Packages
You can use the File content type to create a simple link to a file in a course area. No description appears with
the link. You can choose whether users view it as a page within the course or in a separate browser window.
You can upload a single file or a single zipped package. For example, uploading a zipped package would be an
effective way to provide students a group of images needed for a lab project.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select File.
5. On the Create File page, attach a file using one of the following options.
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
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6. After you have selected a file, you can click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked and
replace it with another.
7. Type a Name for the file. You can overwrite the file name that automatically appears in the box.
This name appears in the course area as a link. You can also select the font color.
8. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window outside of
the course’s content frame.
9. Select Options for the item.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
10. Click Submit.
Zipped Content Packages
If you have worked offline to create a lesson with several interrelated HTML pages with navigation, images,
web links, and cascading style sheets (CSS), the best method for presenting the package to users is for you to
unzip the package in Course Files or the Content Collection and provide students a link to the start page. This
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enables students to view the lesson contents in order with all links intact. The start page will open in a new
window or tab and can be closed to return to the course area.
1. Create a package of content offline on your computer.
2. Access Course Files or the Content Collection. Select Upload Package so that the package is
automatically unzipped.
3. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder where you will provide the link to
your lesson.
4. Point to Build Content and select File.
5. On the Create File page, click Browse Course to select the file that is the start page for your
content package. This is the first page users see, and should contain navigation to the other pages
in your package.
6. Set options for the file link in the course area.
7. Click Submit.
If you want the packaged file to remain zipped, simply attach the zipped file in a content item by using the
Attach options or the Text Editor. When a zipped package remains intact, students click the link for the zipped
package in the course area and download the zipped package to their computers where it can be unzipped. This
method is useful if you want to provide students several files to work with or edit on their computers.
Linking to HTML Files
You can use the File content type to embed HTML files for a website you have created. After uploading your
HTML files to Course Files or the Content Collection, you select which file is the starting point, such as
index.html or page_1.html. The file name appears in the Name box. Edit the name to help users access the
content. For example, change the name to "Start Here" or "View Lesson 1."
When an HTML file is selected, the Manage Access section appears so you can define the access users are
granted. You have three options:
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Give users access to all files and folders in the folder: Choose this option to give users access to all
files and subfolders within the parent folder of the file being linked. This option is appropriate for users
who are linking to a website with a typical hierarchical structure with subfolders for CSS, javascript,
and images contained in the parent folder.
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Give users access to this file only: Choose this option when you are linking to one HTML file that has
all the formatting within the page itself and does not reference other files or images.
l
Give users access to selected files in folder: Choose this option if you want to embed a website with
a more complicated structure. If some of the content exists outside of the parent folder in other folders
in Course Files or the Content Collection, you need to browse for and manually select the parent
folder and the additional files and folders. This ensures users have access to all the content in your
website.
Next Steps
To learn more, see Adding Files to Course Files.
How to Create Audio, Image, and Video Links
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
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4. Select Audio, Image, or Video. The Create page appears and is similar for all three content types.
5. Find a file using one of the following options:
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
l
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
If the Browse Mashups button is available, you can browse for and link to content
available on the Internet, from site such as YouTube and Flickr.
6. After you have uploaded a file, you can click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked.
7. Type a Name for the file. You can overwrite the file name that automatically appears in the box.
This name appears in the course area as a link. You can also select the font color.
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8. Set the Options. Audio, Video, and Image files each have unique options for displaying their
content. These are listed later in this section.
9. Select Standard Options for the item.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
10. Preview the content and click Submit when you are finished.
Audio Files
An audio file appears as a player in the course. The player has options for play, pause, forward, and rewind.
Blackboard Learn supports the following file types: .aiff, .asf, .mp3, .midi, .moov, .mov, .mp, .wav, .wma,
.wmv.
Options for audio files in a course include:
l
Include Transcript: Including a text transcript is a standard web practice and allows users that
cannot hear the audio to get the same information. Browse your computer to attach your own
transcript file. It will appear with the audio file in the course area.
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Autostart: The file will begin playing when the user opens the course area that includes the audio file.
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Loop: The file will play again from the beginning until stopped by the user.
Image Files
Blackboard Learn supports the following file types: .gif, .jif, .jpg, jpeg, .png, .tiff, and .wmf.
Options for image files in a course include:
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Alt Text: Providing an alternate text phrase that explains the image and its purpose is a standard web
practice and will allow users that cannot see the image to obtain similar information.
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Long Description: Provides a similar function to alt text, but the text description is longer and more
detailed.
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Dimensions: For images, the height and width in pixels should match the original image. If you need
to resize the image, customize the dimensions, but keep the same ratio between height and width.
For example, an image of 640 x 800 pixels can be resized to 320 x 400 pixels. Changing the ratio of
the dimensions will make the image appear stretched.
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Border: Include a solid black line, from one to four pixels in width, around the picture.
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Target URL: You can make the image a link by providing a target URL. When a user clicks on the
image, a new browser window will open to the URL you provided.
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Open Target in New Window: Display the content in a new browser window outside of the course’s
content frame.
Video Files
Higher quality videos provide better the resolution, but are much bigger files and can take a long time to load
before playing. Consider the balance between resolution and load time and test it to find the right settings for the
video.
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Compatible multimedia formats include:
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MPEG/AVI: MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Groups) files are audio-visual files in a digital compressed
format. AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is Microsoft’s file format for storing audio and video data. These
files have the following extensions: .avi, .mpg, and .mpeg.
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Quick Time: QuickTime is a video and animation system that supports most formats, including JPG
and MPEG. Users with a PC will require a QuickTime driver to view QuickTime files. Macintosh
users do not require this driver. These files have the following extensions: .mov, .qt.
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Flash/Shockwave: Adobe Flash and Shockwave files support audio, animation, and video. They are
browser independent. These files have the following extensions: .swa, .swf.
Options for video files in a course include:
l
Dimensions: For video files, the height and width in pixels should match the original settings. If the
size of the video picture is too big, customize the dimensions, but keep the same ratio between height
and width. For example, and image at 640 x 800 pixels could be resized to 320 x 400. Changing the
ratio of the dimensions will make the picture appear stretched.
l
Transcript: Including a text transcript is standard web practice and allows users that cannot hear the
audio to get the information. Browse your computer to attach your own transcript file. It will appear
with the video file in the course area. If the video file is an MPEG file, you can use the Include
Transcript field to attach a SAMI transcript file.
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Autostart: The file will begin playing when the user opens the course area that includes the video file.
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Loop: The file will play again from the beginning until stopped by the user.
How to Create a Web Link
Create a website link in a course area to provide quick access to a resource on the Internet.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Web Link.
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5. On the Create Web Link page, type a Name for the link that will display in the course area.
6. Type a URL. It must be in the correct format, such as http://www.myschool.edu/.
Tip: Copy the URL from your browser and paste it into this page.
7. Optionally, attach a file using one of the following options.
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
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o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
After you have uploaded a file, you can click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked.
8. Set the Options :
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window
outside of the course’s content frame.
c. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
d. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
9. Click Submit.
How to Create a Web Link to a Tool Provider
A Tool Provider is a third party tool that implements the Basic LTI protocol. Basic Learning Tools
Interoperability is an initiative managed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium to seamlessly integrate
externally hosted web-based learning tools into courses. If you use external resources that require logins for
activities, such as virtual science experiments, interactive demonstrations, or assessments, you can specify a
web link as a Link to a Tool Provider. Depending on configuration, this can then pass user information to the
Tool Provider, creating a seamless experience for students.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Web Link.
5. On the Create Web Link page, type a Name.
6. Select the This link is to a Tool Provider check box.
7. If the Blackboard administrator at your school has already set up the Tool Provider, type the web
address for the Tool Provider in the URL box. If not, and you have been given an XML tool
descriptor by the Tool Provider, paste it in the Tool Provider Configuration XML box.
How to Create Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and Content Folders
Within a course area, you can create containers to further organize your course materials. For example, within a
single Content Area you can create ten folders – one folder for each unit in your textbook.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or Content Folder.
5. On the Create page, type a Name. Specify the settings and options.
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To learn more about Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and folders, including specific instructions for creating
them, see Creating Course Areas for Content.
How to Create a Syllabus
You can create a syllabus in two ways. You can upload an existing file or use the Blackboard LearnSyllabus
Builder. For both options, you create the syllabus in a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module,
Lesson Plan, or folder.
Using an Existing Syllabus File
Uploading an existing file for your syllabus minimizes vertical scrolling because it takes up less space in the
course area. If you have an existing syllabus file or files, this method is the most efficient way to create your
syllabus.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Syllabus.
5. On the Add Syllabus page, type a Syllabus Name.
6. Select the Use Existing File option.
7. Attach a file using one of the following options:
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
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Tip: Additional files can be attached on the next page that appears after submitting. If you want to
remove the file you attached, click the Do not attach link.
8. Click Submit.
9. On the Edit Item page, you can select a color for the Syllabus Name.
10. Optionally, in the Text box, type instructions or a description. You can use the Text Editor functions
to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files
uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level
folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can
include alternate text to describe the attachment.
11. Under Attachments, you can attach additional files. Optionally, type names for the attached files.
If link names are not provided, the file names will be used.
12. Select Options:
a. Select Yes for Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes for Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the syllabus to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
syllabus availability, only when it appears.
13. Click Submit.
You can change the syllabus content at any time. From the course area where the syllabus was created, click
) and select Edit from the contextual menu.
its Action Link (
Using the Syllabus Builder
You can use the Syllabus Builder to create a syllabus in a modular format. The Syllabus Builder provides
three sections by default: Description, Learning Objectives, and Required Materials. These section
headings can be edited. Further customize the syllabus by adding Lessons and specifying the design.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Syllabus.
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5. On the Add Syllabus page, type a Syllabus Name.
6. Select the Create New Syllabus option.
7. Click Submit.
8. On the Syllabus Builder page, type instructions or a description in the default body text boxes.
You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links,
multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the
Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be
launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
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9. Under Syllabus Design, select the Styles and Colors for the syllabus.
10. Under Build Lessons, select the Create Specified Number of Lesson Shells option, and type a
number. You type Lesson information in later steps. Alternatively, you can select Do Not Create
Lesson Shells.
11. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the syllabus to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
syllabus availability, only when it appears.
12. Click Submit.
13. If you did not create Lesson Shells, your syllabus is complete. Click OK to return to the course area
and view the syllabus.
-ORIf you need to provide details for lessons, continue with the subsequent steps.
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14. Click the Action Link for the lesson to access the contextual menu and select Edit.
15. On the Edit Lesson page, type the lesson title. Optionally, select a date and time when the lesson
will appear in the syllabus.
16. Type a Lesson Description. You can use the functions to format the text and include files,
images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in
Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text
Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
17. Click Submit.
18. Click OK to return to the course area and view the syllabus. Change Edit Mode to OFF to view the
syllabus as users see it.
You can change the syllabus content at any time. From the course area where the syllabus was created, click
its Action Link and select Edit from the contextual menu.
How to Create a Course Link
A Course Link is a shortcut to an existing area, tool, or item in a course. Course Links can be added to a
Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, folder, the Course Menu, and within some tools. For example, if
you have created all assignments in their own Content Area, you can create Course Links to individual
assignments in other areas of the course, such as in a unit folder or Learning Module.
If you create a Course Link to a tool that is not turned on, users accessing the Course Link see a message that
the tool is not turned on. The same is true of a Course Link to a content item that has Adaptive Release applied
to it. Users who are not permitted to access the content because of a rule receive a message informing them
that access to the content is not permitted.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Course Link.
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5. On the Create Course Link page click Browse to find the course item you want to link to.
6. In the pop-up Course Map, select the item.
7. The Name and Location text boxes are populated automatically on the Create Course Link page.
8. Optionally, edit the Name and select the color of the link. The name appears as a link in the course
area.
9. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Description box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any
files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top
level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can
include alternate text to describe the attachment.
10. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the Course Link to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
Course Link availability, only when it appears.
11. Click Submit.
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How to Create a Blank Page
The Blank Page tool allows you to include files, images, and text as a link in a course area. Blank pages
present content in a different way than items do. There is no description that appears below the title of the page.
Users see your content only after clicking the link. This reduces the amount of scrolling and streamlines the
appearance of the course area. Blank pages can include Mashups, links to course content, and file
attachments.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Blank Page.
5. On the Blank Page display, replace the "New Page" title with a descriptive name for the page. This
becomes the link in the course area. No description appears with the link title.
6. Type your content for the page in the Content box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format
the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from
your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder.
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Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include
alternate text to describe the attachment. Files attached in the Text Editor are visible to students
only after they click the blank page link.
7. Attach a file using one of the following options. File attachments appear as links with the blank
page link in the course area.
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
8. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the blank page to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
blank page availability, only when it appears.
9. Click Submit.
When Edit Mode is ON and you click the link to a blank page, you see the Edit page. To see the blank page as
users do, change Edit Mode to OFF.
Note: A blank page can also be created directly on the Course Menu. Include blank pages on the Course Menu
for critical information. Remove blank pages from the Course Menu as soon as the information is no longer
needed.
How to Create a Module Page
Module Pages contain Course Modules that you select from a list. A Course Module can be a tool, such as a
calculator, or it can display dynamic information such as grades, alerts, and announcements. Course Modules
can be added to Module Pages only. Many instructors will create a Module Page called Homepage that
contains the modules that you and your students find most useful.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Module Page.
5. On the Create Module Page, type a Name for the page. This becomes the link in the course area.
Optionally, type a Description that will appear with the link in the course area. It does not appear
on the Module Page.
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6. Select Permit Users to Personalize the Page to allow users to change the color theme, reorder
modules, and add modules to their personal view of the page. Users' customizations affect their
view only.
7. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the blank page to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
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Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
blank page availability, only when it appears.
8. Click Submit.
Note: Module Pages can also be created on the Course Menu. To learn more, see The Course Menu.
Customize Module Page Banner
You edit a Module Page’s settings and title just as you would any other content item. Click its Action Link (
to access the contextual menu and select Edit. However, changing a Module Page’s banner is done in a
different way.
)
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder where the Module Page is
located.
3. Click the link to the Module Page.
4. On the Module Page, click the title's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
5. Select Page Banner.
6. Type the Page Banner Content in the Text Box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format
the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from
your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder.
Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include
alternate text to describe the attachment.
7. Click Use Custom Page Banner display your banner to users. When Edit Mode is ON, the
custom page banner will appear above the default banner. Users see only the custom page banner.
8. Click Submit.
Note: A recommended size for banners is approximately 480 by 80 pixels. Keep in mind that users
can resize their browser windows, expand and collapse the Course Menu, and use monitors of
varying sizes and screen resolutions. After uploading a banner, view it under those varying
conditions to ensure that it looks as you intended.
Adding Course Modules
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the Module Page.
3. Click Add Course Module.
4. On the Add Module page, select a Module by clicking its Add button. Alternatively, click its
Remove button to delete the module from the Module Page.
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5. Click OK.
Managing Modules
Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder Course Modules.
Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool to reorder the modules.
Collapse to display only the header area.
Remove a module by clicking Close—represented by the X.
Change the display of a module by clicking Personalize. For example, you can select how many days of
announcements will appear in the module.
How to Create Mashups
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You can use Mashups to easily integrate content that resides on an external website. For example, you can
encourage discussion about a classic play by creating a Mashup that links to a YouTube video of a scene from
the play and a link to a newspaper review of that production.
There are three default Mashups included in the system. Other Mashup sources can be added as Building
Blocks.
l
Flickr®: This site is for viewing and sharing photographic images.
l
SlideShare: This site is for viewing and sharing PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, or
Adobe PDF Portfolios.
l
YouTube™: This site is for viewing and sharing online videos.
You can create Mashups as standalone content items in a course area. They can also be created in places
such as test questions, Discussion Board forums, blogs, or assignments by using the Text Editor.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. Mashups are often disabled to comply with
institutional rules that govern online teaching and learning. In addition, Mashups are not available with a Basic
License.
Tip: If a Mashup stops appearing or generates an error, it is possible that the URL changed or the item was
deleted from Flickr, Slideshare, or YouTube.
Creating a Mashup Item as a Content Item
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select one of the available Mashups, Flickr Photo, SlideShare Presentation, or YouTube
Video.
5. On the Search or Search Results page, select a type from the Search drop-down list, type in
Keywords, and select how the keywords should be used in the search. Click More Options to
further narrow your search.
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6. Click Go.
7. In the Search Results, click Select for an item. You have the option to Preview it before selecting
it.
8. On the Create Mashup Item page, type a Name for the link if you do not want to use the title that
automatically appears in the box.
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9. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer
are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe
the attachment.
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10. Set the Mashup Options. Options vary depending on the type of Mashup.
a. View: Select Embed to display the Mashup directly on the page when a user opens the
item or thumbnail to display a small picture of the Mashup on the page with controls to
launch it. Text Link with Player displays a link to the Mashup that users click to
launch it.
b. Size: Select the appropriate size.
c. Show URL: Display the source URL.
d. Show Information: Display the information about the content from the external
website.
11. Optionally, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options.
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
12. Set the Options :
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window
outside of the course’s content frame.
c. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
d. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set Mashups to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect Mashup
availability, only when it appears.
13. Click Submit.
Creating a Mashup Using the Text Editor
You can create a Mashup in most places where the Text Editor is available. This means that you can put
Mashups in areas such as content descriptions, test questions, Discussion Boards, and blogs.
Note: Mashups are not available in the Text Editor with a basic license.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder and either create a content item or
edit an existing one.
3. In the Text Editor, click Add Mashup on the bottom row of buttons.
4. Select Flickr Photo, Slideshare Presentation, or YouTube Video.
5. In the pop-up Search page, select from the Search drop-down list, type in Keywords, and select
how the keywords should be used in the search. Click More Options to further narrow your search.
6. Click Go.
7. In the Search Results click Select for an item. You have the option to Preview it before selecting
it.
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8. On the Create Mashup Item page, type a Name for the link if you do not want to use the title that
automatically appears in the box.
9. Set the Mashup Options.
10. Click Submit.
How to Add Content Packages to Use the Content Player
One type of web-based learning content you can use in your course is called an SCO, or Shareable Content
Object. These SCOs are gathered together into a compressed, zipped file called a Content Package, which can
be unpackaged and played through a Content Player. Although you can design and build Content Packages
yourself, often the individual components or entire packages will be provided to you by schools, private
companies, or other sources for you to use in your course.
Blackboard Learn currently has two Content Players: The SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference
Model) Engine and the Open Standards Content Player.
Content Player
Content Types Supported
SCORM Engine
SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 4th Edition)
Open Standards Content Player
SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 3rd Edition), IMS, NLN
If enabled by your administrator, the SCORM Engine becomes the default content player for all newly uploaded
content packages, as well as any existing content package that is re-uploaded, even if the Open Standards
Content Player is also enabled.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether the SCORM Engine, the Open Standards
Content Player, or both are enabled. If neither of these tools is available, you can contact your administrator to
discuss the status. To see if they are available in Content Areas, go to the Control Panel, expand
Customization and select Tool Availability.
Note: The Open Standards Content Player will be removed in a future release of Blackboard Learn, but
remains available at present so that existing course content can continue to function normally. For this reason,
it is important for administrators and instructors to plan for the timely migration, re-uploading, and testing of
existing content to use the SCORM Engine instead. Existing IMS and NLN content will need to be converted to
be SCORM compliant.
SCORM Content
The SCORM Engine and Open Standards Content Player Building Blocks support content that conforms to the
SCORM 1.2 standard and the SCORM 2004 standard. You do not need to determine ahead of time whether the
content is designed as 1.2 or 2004 compliant, as both types can be played.
Note: The SCORM Engine supports SCORM 2004 up to the 4th edition, while the Open Standards Content
Player supports up to the 3rd edition.
To learn more about SCORM Content, go to http://www.adlnet.org.
IMS Content
The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports content that conforms to the IMS Content and
Packaging 1.1.2 standard with the web content attribute. When including this content type in a Course, it is
useful to note that most of these types of packages do not track User Attempt Details. Otherwise, no major
differences will be seen.
To learn more about IMS Content, go to http://www.imsproject.org.
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NLN Content
The Open Standards Content Player Building Blocks supports NLN content, which conforms to SCORM and
IMS standards. The United Kingdom NLN Materials Team is responsible for commissioning and developing elearning materials for the NLN, and offers advice on best practices in integrating the NLN materials into
teaching and learning schemes.
To learn more about NLN Content, go to http://www.nln.ac.uk.
How to Add a Content Package to Use the SCORM Engine
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Content Package (SCORM).
5. On the Add Content Package page, attach a file that conforms to the required standards using
one of the following options:
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
6. To upload the selected file, click Submit.
After the file has been uploaded and checked, a second Add Content Package page displays where you can
set the Content Package details.
1. On the second Add Content Package page, in the SCORM Information section, type a Title.
2. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer
are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded
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using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe
the attachment.
3. Select the SCORM Availability options. The choices enable you to determine whether the
Content Player is available to the student, control the number of attempts, and set course content
availability.
a. Select Yes to Make SCORM Available.
b. For Number of Attempts, you can select Allow single attempts, Allow unlimited
attempts, or enter a number for Number of attempts allowed.
c. For Limit Availability, you can set content packages to display on a specific date and
time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and
Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type dates and
times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection
Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect content package
availability, only when it appears
d. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
4. Select the Grading options. The choices allow you to determine whether and how the student is
graded.
a. For Grade SCORM, you can select No Grading or type a number for Grade: Points
Possible, based on either the SCORM Score, SCORM Completion, or SCORM
Satisfaction.
b. Select Yes to Grade SCOS, and then select the individual items to grade.
5. When you are satisfied with the settings, click Submit.
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How to View SCORM Attempt Details
When a SCORM package has been set for grading, you can view attempt details related to the users’
interactions with the content. The details may include the total time the user has viewed the content, the
completion status, responses to any questions contained in the package, and whether the responses were
correct. The attempt data helps you determine a score for the Grade Center item.
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Note: Not all packages are designed to track all data. If the package does not provide the information to
Blackboard Learn, the data will show as N/A. If you have questions about missing data, contact the creator of
the package to determine which data was designed to be tracked.
Follow these steps to view individual attempts:
1. From the Control Panel, access the Full Grade Center.
2. Locate the column for the course content item.
3. Click the user attempt.
4. On the Edit Grade page click View. The Attempt Details page displays.
Follow these steps to run a report to view the details on all attempts:
1. From the Control Panel, click Evaluation.
2. Click SCORM Reports.
3. On the SCORM Reports page, click the Action Link next to an item's name and select Run.
How to Edit the SCORM Player Advanced Options
Most of the time, you should not need to access or change the SCORM Player Advanced Options, since the
default settings are set for maximum compatibility and performance. The Content Package should already have
the intended navigation, flow, and behavior, and the default settings are most likely to display it correctly and
consistently. If you feel that you do need to change them, you should first contact your school's Blackboard
administrator for assistance and guidance.
To access the SCORM PlayerAdvanced Options, you must edit an existing SCORM Content Package.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder where the SCORM Content
Package has already been uploaded.
3. Click the SCORM Content Package's Action Link to access the Contextual Menu and select Edit.
4. To access the otherwise hidden SCORM player Advanced Options, set Edit SCORM Player
Behavior to Yes. The SCORM Engine Advanced Options will display in two or three columns.
The left column allows you to select the category of advanced options controls, while the right
columns list the choices and settings associated with the category selected. The categories are:
l
Navigational Controls
l
Launch Behavior
l
Rudimentary Sequencing
l
Rudimentary Rollup
l
Compatibility Settings
l
Communication Settings
l
Debugger Options
l
History Options
l
Other Behavioral Options
Note: Of these, the Navigational Controls and Launch Behavior are likely to be the most useful
for Instructors with a basic level of understanding of how SCORM content works, while Debugger
Options and History Options can help in troubleshooting Content Packages that are not working
properly.
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5. When you are satisfied with the settings, click Submit. If instead you want not to commit any
changes you may have made, click Cancel.
Navigational Controls
The Navigational Controls allow you to include buttons, bars, and other navigational aids the student will see
and be able to use when accessing the course content using the SCORM player.
Option
Function
Show
Determine whether the SCORM player will display a navigation bar to the student. The navigation bar
Navigation must be enabled for any of the following settings to take effect:
Bar
l Show Finish Button: Display an Exit Course button on the navigation bar. Pressing this
attempts to finish the current content and go back to the main lesson, regardless of the
current state of completion.
l
Show Close SCO Button: Display a Close SCO button on the navigation bar. Pressing this
closes the current SCO. This option should remain off because it is not useful for most
students.
l
Enable Previous/Next: Include Previous and Next controls on the navigation bar, enabling
the student to move forward or backward in the content.
l
Show Progress Bar: Show a progress bar for the content, so students can gauge their
progress.
o Use Measure For Progress Bar: If set, the player uses the Progress Measure
Rollup values to calculate progress. Otherwise, the current content object
completion is used. This is applicable only in SCORM 2004 4th edition and later
content.
l
Show Title
Bar
Show Help: Display a Help button to the student.
Determine whether the SCORM player displays a title bar to the student. The Show Navigation Bar
option must be enabled for this setting to take effect.
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Option
Function
Prevent
Right
Click
Prevents the student from right-clicking in the SCORM player windows. If the right mouse button is
clicked, nothing happens. This can be useful in high-stakes assessments or where you do not want the
student to be able to see the internal structure or content in the player. This setting only affects the
SCORM player windows, including the course structure and the navigation bar (if present), and does
not affect any other content, browser windows, or computer desktop functions.
Show
Course
Structure
Determines if the SCORM player should display the course structure. If selected, the course structure
displays to the left of the content, in an outline format. This can be useful for courses containing
multiple content objects. This option must be enabled for any of the following settings to take effect:
l
Course Structure Starts Open: Determines whether SCORM player should begin with the
course structure shown or hidden. The student can show or hide the structure in any case as
long as the Show Course Structure and Show Navigation Bar are enabled.
l
Enable Choice Navigation: Determines whether the SCORM player will allow the student to
navigate within the course structure by selecting links in the outline. Otherwise the course
structure display is for information and reference only.
l
Course Structure Width: Sets the width of the course structure window, in pixels. The
default, zero (0), sets it to automatic width.
l
Structure Status Display: Defines how icons are presented to the student to indicate
success and completion status.
o Success Only: Course success status only (passed/failed).
o Completion Only: Completion status only (complete/incomplete).
o Separate: Both success and completion status are presented separately.
o Combined: Success and completion are presented as a combined metric.
o None: No SCO-level status is shown to the student.
l
Invalid Menu Item Action: Determines how the SCORM player handles menu item option
selections which are invalid.
o Show and Enable Links: Invalid menu item links are visible, but clicking on them
will display an invalid action message.
o Hide: Invalid menu item links are not shown.
o Show but Disable Links: Invalid menu item links are visible, but clicking on them
does nothing.
Launch Behavior
The Launch Behavior options control the initial appearance of the content when first launched by the student.
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Option
Function
SCO Launch These settings determine how each SCO will be launched. Selected by a drop-down list, possible
Type
values are:
Player
Launch
Type
New
Window
Options
l
Frameset: Launch the SCO in-line, in a browser frame, rather than opening it in a new
window.
l
New Window: Launch the SCO in a new browser window.
l
New Window After Click: Launch the SCO in a new browser window after requiring the
student to click a link. This setting can be useful when dealing with browser pop-up
blockers, since clicking a link will usually override the blocker.
l
New Window Without Browser Toolbar: Launch the SCO in a new browser window
without a toolbar.
l
New Window Without Browser Toolbar After Click: Launch the SCO in a browser
window without a toolbar, after requiring the student to click on a link.
These settings determine how the SCORM player will be launched. Selected by a drop-down list,
possible values are:
l
Frameset: Launch the SCORM player in-line, in a browser frame, rather than opening it in
a new window.
l
New Window: Launch the player in a new browser window.
l
New Window After Click: Launch the player in a new browser window after requiring the
student to click a link. This setting can be useful when dealing with pop-up blockers, since
clicking a link will usually override the blocker.
l
New Window Without Browser Toolbar: Launch the player in a new browser window
without a toolbar.
l
New Window Without Browser Toolbar After Click: Launch the player in a browser
window without a toolbar, after requiring the student to click on a link.
These settings determine the dimensions of either the content player when launched in a new
window. These settings have no effect unless a new window option has been selected as
SCO Launch Type or Player Launch Type.
l
User Value Defaults: Launch the new window using the client browser's default
dimensions.
l
Full Screen: Launch the new window in full screen mode. If this option is selected, you
must provide some means for the student to exit the content, such as an exit or close
button or link.
l
Specify New Window Dimensions: Set the new window dimensions explicitly.
o Width for content: The width of new windows in pixels.
o Height for content: The height of new windows in pixels.
l
Prevent
Window
Resize
REQUIRED: Above dimensions are required for the course to function properly: If
selected and the client browser cannot support the specified dimensions, a warning
message is displayed to the student.
Determines whether to prevent the content player windows from being resized by the student.
Rudimentary Sequencing
The Rudimentary Sequencing options enable you to control what should happen next, under both normal and
error conditions, when a student either completes or leaves a SCORM Content Package before completion.
Based on these settings, the SCORM player determines what should happen next.
Several factors are key in determining what action to take:
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l
Whether the SCO is the first (and possibly only) one, a middle SCO, or the last one
l
The status of the SCO, both individually and as part of the complete Content Package course
l
The exit status of the SCO that has been completed or aborted
Note: These settings are applicable only to SCORM 1.2 Content Packages, and provide a means of emulating
the advanced sequencing built into the SCORM 2004 standards. In SCORM 2004 (all editions), Simple
Sequencing allows the content to determine how SCO sequencing is to be handled.
Option
Function
Intermediate These are the settings that apply to Shareable Content Objects (SCOs) that are at the beginning or in
SCO
the middle of a course sequence consisting of multiple SCOs, that is, every SCO except for the last
one. Whether Course Satisfied or Course Not Satisfied applies, you can control what happens next
for each of the possible conditions:
l
Normal: The student has exited the content in the current SCO using the correct navigation
methods.
l
Suspend: The student has suspended the current session, such as when skipping
between SCOs in a course consisting of multiple SCOs.
l
Timeout: The course session has experienced a timeout due to the student not completing
the SCO in the time allotted or caused by a communication failure between the computer
and the server.
l
Logout: The student has logged out of the current session, with the SCO is still active.
The available choices for each exit and course satisfaction condition are:
Final SCO
l
Exit course after confirmation: Ask the student to confirm exit, and if so, to return to the
main lesson. If confirmation is not given, an appropriate message is displayed.
l
Exit course: Simply close the SCORM player and return to the main lesson.
l
Go to next SCO: Take the student to the next SCO in the sequence.
l
Display message: Display a message page. The SCORM player determines what
message to display depending on the current status of the player.
l
Do nothing: The SCORM player will take no action.
These are the settings that apply to the last SCO in a course. If a course consists of a single SCO, it is
treated as if it is the final SCO. Whether Course Satisfied or Course Not Satisfied applies, you can
control what happens next for each of the possible conditions:
l
Normal: The student has finished the content in the current SCO.
l
Suspend: The student has suspended the current session.
l
Timeout: The session has experienced a timeout due to the student not completing the
SCO in the time allotted or caused by a communication failure between the computer and
the server.
l
Logout: The student has logged out of the current session.
The available choices for each exit and course satisfaction condition are:
l
Exit course after confirmation: Ask the student to confirm exit, and if so, to return to the
main lesson. If confirmation is not given, an appropriate message is displayed.
l
Exit course: Simply close the SCORM player and return to the main lesson.
l
Go to next SCO: Displays a message page, since this is already the last SCO in the
sequence.
l
Display message: Display a message page. The SCORM player determines what
message to display depending on the current status of the player.
l
Do nothing: The SCORM player will take no action.
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Course Content > Content Creation
Rudimentary Rollup
The Rudimentary Rollup options allow you to determine how you want to evaluate the SCO scores and
status for a given student. The term "rollup" refers to the process of collecting individual SCO scores and
completion status, and using that data to calculate and assign a cumulative final grade and overall completion
status for the SCORM Content Package course. There are several different ways to select criteria, average
test scores, and calculate both a grade and completion status.
Note: These settings are applicable only to SCORM 1.2 content, and provide a way to emulate the score and
status rollup behavior built into the SCORM 2004 standard. They are not applicable to SCORM 2004 content
since SCORM 2004 Simple Sequencing allows the content to determine how rollups are to be handled.
Option
Function
Score
Rollup
Mode
Determines the way in which the SCORM player will collect individual SCO scores, analyze them and
report an overall calculated score. Possible values are:
l
Score Provided by Course: Useful mainly for Content Packages consisting of a single SCO,
this setting simply reports the score provided by the first SCO.
l
Average Score of All Units: Adds up all the scores provided, and divides that number by the
total number of SCOs in the course, regardless how many have reported a score.
l
Fixed Average: Adds up all the scores provided and divides by the number specified in
Number of Scoring Objects
l
Average Score of All Units with Non-Zero Scores: Adds up all the scores and divides that
number by the total number of SCOs reporting a score.
l
Last SCO Score: Simply reports the last SCO score.
Number of Scoring Objects: Indicates how many SCOs should be reporting a score. This value is only
relevant if Score Rollup Mode is set to Fixed Average.
Status
Rollup
Mode
Determines how overall completion status is determined. Possible values are:
l
Status Provided by Course: Useful mainly for Content Packages consisting of a single SCO,
this setting simply reports the completion status provided by the first SCO.
l
Complete When All Units Complete: The course is considered complete when all the SCOs
in the Content Package are complete, regardless whether the result is failed, completed, or
passed.
l
Complete When All Units are Complete and Not Failed: The course is considered complete
when all the SCOs in the Content Package are complete, with a status of either completed or
passed.
l
Complete When Threshold Score is Met: The course is considered complete with its score
(as determined by the Score Rollup Mode) meets or exceeds the threshold set in Threshold
Score for Completion. In this instance, not all SCO units need to have been completed.
l
Complete When All Units are Complete and Threshold Score is Met: The course is
considered complete when all the SCOs in the Content Package are complete and the score
(as determined by the Score Rollup Mode) meets or exceeds the threshold set in Threshold
Score for Completion.
l
Complete When All Units are Passed: The course is considered complete when all of the
SCOs in the Content Package are complete and passed.
Threshold Score for Completion: 0.0-1.0: Determines the threshold for course completion, and is
applicable only if the Status Rollup Mode has been set to Complete When Threshold Score is Met or
Complete When All Units are Complete and Threshold Score is Met. The value is a decimal number
between 0.0 and 1.0. (For an equivalent percentage value, multiply by 100; for example, if set to 0.8, this
means the required threshold score is 80%.)
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Course Content > Content Creation
Option
Function
Apply
Selecting this option causes the Status Rollup Mode to be applied to the success status, instead of just
Rollup
the completion status.
Status
to
Success
Status
First
SCO is
Pretest
Enabling this option indicates that if the first SCO in a lesson sequence achieves a status of passed, the
rest of the SCOs in the SCORM Content Package will be marked complete. This makes it possible for
you to design a set of courses that allow students to bypass topics for which they are able to
demonstrate mastery.
Compatibility Settings
Although usually there is no need to change these settings from the defaults, the Compatibility Settings can
help in troubleshooting course content packages which encounter errors, fail to launch, or have other problems.
Note: As with all the advanced settings, but especially here, if you do feel there is a need to adjust the
Compatibility Settings, you should first contact your school's Blackboard administrator for assistance and
guidance.
Note: When re-uploading course content that previously had been using the Open Standards Content Player, if
there are problems or errors, these are the settings that may need changing, especially for older and possibly
non-standard content. To aid in determining exactly where the problem lies, it is recommended to enable the
detailed Debugger Options, and review the resulting message logs.
Option
Function
Finish
Causes
Immediate
Commit
This setting is provided to deal with single SCO courses where there is difficulty in capturing exit
status. You may want to try enabling this option if a single SCO course is failing to record
completions accurately.
Wrap SCO
Window with
API
When an SCO is launched in a new window, some non-standard or poorly coded content may not
be able to find and communicate properly with the SCORM Engine. Enabling this setting puts a kind
of wrapper—an API, or application program interface—around the player, and this API
automatically knows how to talk to the SCORM Engine.
Always Flow
to First SCO
If enabled, the SCORM player always loads the first course in an SCO, regardless whether the
sequencing rules dictate this behavior.
Mastery
Score
Overrides
Lesson
Status
When enabled, if the mastery score indicates the SCO is complete or not complete, this overrides
whatever the actual lesson status may be.
Allow
Complete
Lesson
Status To
Change
Applicable to SCORM 1.2, this setting determines whether a lesson marked as complete can be
changed at a later date to something other than complete.
Rollup Empty For SCORM 2004 courses, this setting determines the rollup status when there are no activities
Set to
providing information to set the status. If selected, both course completion and satisfaction status
Unknown
are set to unknown.
Disable Root
Activity
Prevents a student from creating a new attempt by forcing the course navigation tree and any other
links which could restart the course or an SCO within it to be disabled and not to respond to clicks.
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Option
Function
Rollup at
SCO Unload
Forces score rollup when the SCO unloads, to handle those SCOs which fail to explicitly call for a
rollup to be performed.
Override
Objective
and
Completion
Set by
Content to
True
The default for SCORM 2004 and the default for the SCORM 1.2 player can sometimes lead to an
SCO being marked as completed and satisfied if the SCO fails to report the correct runtime status
data. This setting overrides the default behavior for courses that do not set the appropriate default
sequencing rules.
Make
Student
Preferences
Global to
Course
Causes any student preferences set in a given SCO to apply to all SCOs in a given SCORM
Content Package course.
Launch
Determines whether completed course registrations are launched subsequently as normal or as
Completed
no-credit.
Registrations
as No-Credit
Completion
Status of
Failed
Success
Status
Set an override value for the completion status of an SCO that a student has failed:
Lookahead
Sequencer
Mode
Lookahead processing enables the SCORM Engine to dynamically update the course navigation
structure that is visible and available depending on the state of the current SCO. By default, this
setting should be enabled. For very large courses, this may cause noticeable slowing in web
browsers and if deemed unacceptable, you can set this to disabled. Available settings are:
l
Completed
l
Incomplete
l
Unknown
l
Disabled: Disable the SCORM lookahead sequencer
l
Enabled: Enable the SCORM lookahead sequencer (default)
l
Real-time: Enable the SCORM real-time lookahead sequencer, which runs after certain
runtime values change, immediately updating the visible course navigation structure
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Option
Function
Reset
Runtime
Data Timing
Determines when the SCORM player will reset the CMI (computer managed instruction) data
timing. The choices are:
Return to
LMS Action
l
Never: The SCORM player will never reset runtime status
l
When Exit is Not Suspend: The SCORM player only preserves runtime data when the
exit status is not Suspend
l
On Each New Sequencing Attempt: The SCORM player will reset the runtime data every
time the system rules dictate that a new attempt should begin
Because the SCORM 2004 4th Edition requires learning content to provide an interface allowing
students to choose an exit type when leaving a course, the SCORM player can display a prompt
when the student clicks Exit Course. Since it is possible to turn this prompt on and off, this option
allows you to select the action to take automatically when the prompt is off. The setting determines
whether the course suspends and saves the current state or ends the course entirely upon exit. The
available choices are:
l
Legacy: Use the SCORM 3rd Edition behavior, returning to the main course while saving
the current state of the attempt
l
Suspend All: Save the current state of all current attempt, including all open SCOs
(SCORM 4th Edition only)
l
Exit All: End the attempt (SCORM 4th Edition only)
l
Selectable: Allow the student to choose between Suspend All or Exit All (SCORM 4th
Edition only)
Communication Settings
The Communication Settings determine how the Content Player interacts with the server. These settings
may need to be adjusted if there are reported timeouts or communication failures between the students'
computers and the server, but should only be changed by an administrator or experienced SCORM developer.
Option
Function
Maximum
Failed
Attempts
Sets the maximum number of attempts to attempt a runtime data update to the server before
declaring failure. If this number is exceeded, an error message is displayed.
Commit
Frequency
Determines how often, in milliseconds, the runtime data is updated to the server.
Note: Some events, such as completing a course, force an update.
Debugger Options
The Debugger Options determine whether and how much logging information will be recorded within the
various SCORM subsystems.
Note: When encountering problems or errors with course content playback or presentation, enabling the
Debugger Options so you, your administrator, or an expert SCORM support person can review the message
logs is often an essential step in troubleshooting and resolving the issue. Using the History Options to record
routine (non-error) status details can also provide useful information.
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Option
Function
Debugger
Options
Determines the level of logging to be performed within each of the associated SCORM subsystems:
Control (overall system functions), Runtime (the launching and operation of SCOs), or Sequencing
(what happens outside of and between SCOs)
l
Off: No debug log messages are recorded.
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Audit: Basic debug log messages are recorded.
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Detailed: Audit-level log messages are recorded, along with additional detail messages.
Include
Determines whether timestamps will be recorded with the events in the debugger log files.
Timestamps
History Options
The History Options control whether and how much routine (non-error) status information about the SCORM
Content Package course content is logged.
Option
Function
Capture History
Determines whether the Content Package should send back information about each
attempt.
Capture Detailed
History
Determines whether the Content Package should send back detailed information about
each attempt.
Other Behavioral Options
Option
Function
Time
Limit
The total time, in minutes, the student is permitted to spend in the Content Package. If the time specified
expires, the student will be automatically exited, with scores and status calculated from the current state of
completion. If this value is set to zero (0), there is no time limit.
How to Add a Content Package to Use the Open Standards Content Player
Note: These instructions apply to instances of Blackboard Learn where the SCORM Engine Building Block
has not been enabled. If the SCORM Engine Building Block is enabled, new and re-uploaded content will be
required to use it instead. However, you will still be able to access and edit the options associated with existing
content uploaded with the Open Standards Content Player.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Content Package (SCORM), Content Package (IMS) or Content Package (NLN).
5. On the Add Content Package page, type a Title.
6. Attach a file that conforms to the SCORM, IMS, or NLN standards using one of the following
options:.
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
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7. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer
are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe
the attachment.
8. Select the Interaction Option. Choice enables the viewer can use a left navigation menu to select
content to view. Flow hides the left navigation menu and the viewer must use the Next and
Previous buttons to view content sequentially.
9. For Grade Center options:
a. Select Yes for Add Grade Center Item to add a Grade Center column. The column
name will be the name of the package. This can be edited and managed from the Grade
Center.
b. Select Yes to Track Attempt Details to collect user interaction with the content, such
as total viewing time and question responses. You view the details from the Grade
Center.
c. If Yes is selected for First Attempt Only, attempt details will only display for the first
time the user accesses the content. If the user does not go through the whole package,
subsequent attempts will not be tracked. Leaving this value as No will always show
the last attempt data. This setting is for tracking data only. It does not restrict how
often the content is viewed by the user.
10. Set the Content Options:
a. Select Yes to Make Content Visible.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set content packages to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
content package availability, only when it appears.
11. Click Submit.
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How to See Content From the Student View
It is a good practice to always check your content in the student view. To do this, change Edit Mode to OFF.
Viewing from the student perspective ensures you reveal only the information you intend to show and that it
displays correctly.
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Related Tutorials
Using the Text Editor (Flash movie | 3m 17s | 2,744 KB) |
Editing the Course
Homepage (Flash movie | 2m 37s | 2,382 KB) |
Creating a Web Link (Flash movie | 1m 50s | 1,821 KB) |
Creating a
Mashup (Flash movie | 3m 15s | 2,216 KB) | Getting Started with Course Content (PDF file | 6.97 MB)
Creating Assessments in a Course Area
You can provide tests, surveys, and assignments in Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, or
folders. You can create a new test, survey, or assignment or link to an existing one.
You create assessments by pointing to Create Assessment in the course area’s Action Bar to select the type
of assessment.
You can provide relevant assessments with your teaching materials. For example, include a pre-test at the
beginning of a Learning Module and a post-test at the end. Or take a survey of students' background knowledge
in the subject in your course orientation folder.
About Assessment Types
You can create many different types of assessments in your course areas. Include assessments alongside
your other course materials to create a cohesive learning experience for students. You can create assessments
in advance, making them available only as they are needed.
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Assessment
Description
Type
Test
You can create tests to assess student knowledge. Numerous question types are available,
including multiple choice, true/false, matching, calculated, and essay. You assign point values to the
questions as you create them.
The majority of questions are auto-graded, so after students submit their answers for grading, the
results are recorded in the Grade Center. Students can find out their score immediately after
completing it if all questions are auto-graded and you release this information.
To learn more, see Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
Survey
Surveys are ungraded tests. You can use surveys to poll student opinion and conduct class
evaluations. Survey results are anonymous, but you can see whether a student has completed a
survey and view aggregate results for each survey question. Survey creation and deployment is
almost identical to test creation, except for:
l
Survey creation settings do not include options for assigning scoring defaults because
survey questions are not graded.
l
When questions are added, you do not specify which answers are correct.
l
Random blocks of questions cannot be added to surveys.
To learn more, see Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
Assignment
You can use assignments to present a variety of learning activities to students which they can view
and submit from one location. Assignments can be submitted as:
l
Text students include on the Upload Assignment page
l
Attached files
l
A combination of both text and attached files rubrics and examples may be provided as
part of the assignment to let students know how they will be evaluated.
To learn more, see Assignments.
Self and
Peer
Assessment
The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block is designed to enhance the reflective learning skills of
students. Students receive constructive feedback from their peers as well as provide it.
Safe
Assignment
The SafeAssign building block enables comparison of submitted assignments against a database of
academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.
You can use SafeAssign to prevent plagiarism and to create opportunities to help students properly
cite sources. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent to plagiarism and an educational tool.
To learn more, see Self and Peer Assessment.
SafeAssignments and regular assignments are created and graded in similar ways. However, they
are completely separate tools and you cannot change an existing assignment into a
SafeAssignment.
To learn more, see SafeAssign.
Note: Self and Peer Assignments and SafeAssignments are not available with a Basic License
How to Create a Test or Survey in a Course Area
You can link to an existing test or survey or create a new one in a course area.
Link to an Existing Test or Survey
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Test or Survey.
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5. On the Create Test or Create Survey page select an existing test or survey from the list.
6. On the Test Options or Survey Options page, you can change the name and set the options.
7. The test is unavailable by default, but you can deploy the test to students by selecting Yes for
Make the Link Available.
8. Click Submit. A link to the test or survey appears in the course area.
Create a New Test or Survey
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Test or Survey.
5. On the Create Test or Create Survey page, click Create to build a new test or survey.
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6. On the Test Information or Survey Information page, provide a name.
7. Optionally, type Instructions and a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format
the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from
your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder.
Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include
alternate text to describe the attachment.
8. Click Submit.
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9. On the Test Canvas or Survey Canvas page, create questions.
10. Click OK.
11. On the Create Test or Create Survey page, select your newly created test or survey from the list.
12. Click Submit.
13. On the Test Options or Survey Options page, you can change the Name and provide a
Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files.
14. The test is unavailable by default, but you can deploy the test to students by selecting Yes for
Make the Link Available.
15. Set other test and survey options as needed.
16. Click Submit. A link to the test or survey appears in the course area.
Result
When you select an existing test or survey, a link to it is created in the course area. The original test or survey
remains in the Test tool. When you create a new test or survey, it is added to the Test tool and the link is
created in the course area.
If you delete a link to a test in a course area, the test remains in the Test tool and can be linked again in another
course area.
Be sure to make sure the test is deployed to students by selecting Yes for Make the Link Available on the
Test Options page. To do this after the test creation process, access the test link in the course area. The link
indicates if it is not available. Click the test’s Action Link to access the contextual menu and select Edit the
Test Options.
Note: Alternatively, you can create tests and surveys by accessing the Control Panel, expanding Course
Tools, and selecting Test, Surveys, and Pools. When tests and surveys are created here, you must create a
link to your test in a course area to deploy it to students as described in this section.
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Next Steps
To learn about creating tests and surveys from the Control Panel as well as question types, options, settings,
and grading, see Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
How to Create an Assignment in a Course Area
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Assignment.
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5. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name.
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6. Type Instructions. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files,
images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in
Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text
Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
7. You can add files in the Assignment Files section. To upload a file from your computer, click
Browse My Computer. The attached file will display with the assignment link in the course area. 8. Type the Points Possible.
9. The assignment is available by default, but you can make it unavailable by clearing the check box
for Make the Assignment Available. Select the number of attempts allowed.
10. Set the Due Date.
11. Select Recipients. Selecting All Students Individually requires each student to submit the
assignment. Selecting Groups of Students enables you to select a group to receive one
assignment that they will submit for one collective grade.
12. Click Submit. The assignment appears in the course area.
Result
When you create a new assignment, it resides only in the course area where you created it. If you delete an
assignment from a course area, it is permanently removed from the system.
Next Steps
This section provided basic information on assignment creation. To learn more about assignment options,
settings, and grading, see Assignments.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Test (Flash movie |3m 50s | 2,960 KB) |
Getting Started with Assignments (PDF
file | 19.7 MB)
Linking to Tools in a Course Area
Links to individual tools or a specific area of a tool, such as a particular Discussion Board forum, can be placed
in a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder. You may also link to the entire Tools Area, which
provides a list of links to all available tools.
Point to Tools in the course area’s Action Bar to create links to tools or the Tools Area. You can show or hide
additional tools by clicking More Tools.
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Providing the relevant tools for a lesson within a course area creates a seamless experience for users. For
example, Discussion Board forums and journals can exist in the same Content Area with multimedia, files, and
tests.
When you include a tool in a course area, you can describe what it is used for, provide instructions for the tool,
and attach necessary files. For example, you can link to a blog, attach a file to read, and explain that users need
to post to the blog next week.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls which tools are available. If a tool is not available,
you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. Instructors have the ability to disable tools in a course
by expanding the Customization section of the Control Panel and selecting Tool Availability.
About Tool Types
Learn about the types of tools available and choose the ones that help students meet your learning objectives.
Tool Type
Description
Discussion The Discussion Board is an asynchronous tool for sharing thoughts and ideas about class materials.
Board
The Discussion Board is made up of Forums that may appear anywhere in the course but are also all
centrally located in the Discussion Board tool.
To learn more, see Discussion Board.
Blog
A blog is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for public viewing. Each
blog entry can include any combination of text, images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments.
To learn more, see Blogs.
Journal
Journals provide a personal space for students to communicate privately with you, the instructor.
Students can also use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns
about the course, or discuss and analyze course materials.
To learn more, see Journals.
Wikis
A wiki is a collaborative tool that enables multiple writers to collaboratively contribute and modify one
or more pages of content. Pages can be created and edited quickly, while tracking changes and
additions.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Groups
You can link to the Groups tool for links to all groups, or link to a specific group page.
To learn more, see Course Groups.
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Tool Type
Description
Chat
Chat allows users to interact with each other using a text-based messaging tool in real time.
To learn more, see Chat.
Virtual
The Virtual Classroom includes a shared whiteboard, chat, group browser, and a map that can be
Classroom used to navigate to places in the course.
To learn more, see Managing Virtual Classroom.
Tools Area The Tools Area provides a list of links to all tools that are available to students.
More
Tools
Click More Tools to expand the drop-down list to include additional tools. Click it again to hide the
additional tools.
Note: Wikis are not available with a Basic License
How to Add Links to Tools in a Course Area
You can link to an entire tool, such as the main Blogs page, or an area of the tool, such as a specific blog. You
can also create a new blog while working in the course area.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Tools to access the drop-down list.
4. Select one of the tools, such as Journal. The following steps refer to creating a journal link. The
steps are similar for other tools.
5. On the Create Link: Journal page:
l
Select Link to Journal Page to link to the full Journal tool.
-OR-
l
Select Link to a Journal and select a specific journal from the list.
-OR-
l
Click Create New Journal to add a link to a journal you create at this time. On the Create
Journal page, type a Name and select settings for the new journal. After clicking Submit,
the newly created journal appears in the list of journals to choose from when adding a link
in your course
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6. Click Next.
7. On the Create Link page, type a Link Name.
8. Optionally, type a description in the box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text
and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your
computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments
uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to
describe the attachment.
9. Select Options.
a. Select Yes for Available to make the link visible to users.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Date Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific date and time and to
stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display
Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the
boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to
select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item availability, only when it
appears.
10. Click Submit.
How to Create a Link to the Tools Area
Instead of linking to a specific tool, you can provide a link to the Tools Area that lists all available tools.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Tools to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Tools Area.
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5. On the Create Link: Tools page, type a Link Name.
6. Optionally, type a description in the box.
7. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the tool link to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect the
tool link's availability, only when it appears.
8. Click Submit.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Journal (Flash movie |3m 25s | 1,840 KB) |
Creating a Blog (Flash movie | 2m 19s |
1,175 KB) |
Creating a Wiki (Flash movie | 2m 01s | 1,044 KB) |
Creating a Tool Link (Flash movie | 2m 01s | 1,044 KB)
Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area
Information about the textbooks used in your course can be included in a course area. When you use the
Assign Textbook tool, the textbook information is also included in the Course Catalog where prospective
students can access this information prior to enrollment. The Course Catalog is accessed on the logon page or
on the Courses tab after logging in.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. In addition, this tool is not available with a
Basic License.
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How to Assign a Textbook
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Assign Textbook to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Search for Textbook.
5. On the Search for Textbook page, select a Search category from the drop-down list: ISBN, Title,
Author, or Subject.
6. Type Keywords, such as an author's name or title.
7. To further narrow the search, select the Type of book: Digital, Print, or All. You can also select a
Currency.
8. Click Go when you have provided all necessary information.
9. From the list of search results, click Select for a textbook to assign it to your course.
10. On the Create Textbook page, select Required or Recommended for the textbook.
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11. Optionally, provide a Description.
12. In the Options section:
a. Select Yes for Permit Users to View this Content so that students can see it.
b. Select Yes for Track Number of Views to record the number of times the item is
viewed, when it is viewed, and by whom.
c. Select Date and Time Restrictions to display the textbook on a specific date and
time and to stop displaying it on a specific date and time.
13. Click Submit to add the textbook information as a content item to the course area.
If your search does not return the needed result, point to Assign Textbook on the Action Bar and select
Manual Entry Textbook from the drop-down list.
Related Tutorials
Adding Textbook Information to Your Course (Flash movie | 2m 21s | 1,381 KB)
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
After you build course areas, such as Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and folders, you create
content within them. All of the items and course areas, except Content Areas, are edited and managed in the
same way. By clicking a content item’s Action Link and accessing the contextual menu, you can change
settings, modify availability, create metadata, and turn on options such as review status, adaptive release, and
statistics tracking. You can also copy, move, and delete content. You can drag content to new positions in the
page and hide content details to save screen space.
Note: To learn how to reorder, rename, delete, and change the availability of Content Area links in the Course
Menu, see How to Manage Content Area Links.
Click an item's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can change settings, modify availability,
create metadata, and turn on options such as review status, adaptive release, and statistics tracking. You can
also copy, move, and delete content.
Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder links in the course area.
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Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool in the Action Bar to reorder the links.
Click Hide Details to collapse the description and save screen space.
Click Show Details to expand the item’s description.
How to Reorder Content
Content appears in the course area in the order it was added, but you can rearrange items for logical
presentation.
Reorder items using the drag-and-drop function—a double-tipped arrow or handle—to move them into place.
Alternatively, reorder items using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar.
Drag-and-Drop Function
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder and press the arrows next to an
item you want to move. The item is highlighted.
3. Drag the item to a new location in the list.
4. Release the item to place it in its new location.
Keyboard Accessible Reordering Tool
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Action Bar, click the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon represented by two arrows.
3. In the Items box, select an item title.
4. Click the up and down arrows to change the order.
5. Click Submit. A pop-up window states: Items have been reordered.
6. Click OK.
How to Hide Details to Limit Scrolling
In a course area with several items and descriptions, you have to scroll to see the entire page. Each
assignment, test, folder, and content item can have a text description and attached files which make the page
longer. You can use the Hide Details function to collapse the descriptions and save screen space. A collapsed
description remains collapsed even after logging out and logging in again.
The student view of the course area is not affected. Students do not have the ability to collapse descriptions.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. Click the Hide Details icon for an item. The item’s description is collapsed.
4. Click Show Details to expand the description.
How to Edit Course Areas and Content Items
To change the name, description, appearance, options, or availability for a folder, Learning Module, Lesson
Plan, or content item, you need to edit the item. Most course areas and items are edited in the same way.
Note: Content Areas are edited with a different method. See How to Manage Content Area Links.
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1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the course area that contains the Learning Module, Lesson Plan, folder, or content item
that you want to edit.
3. Click an item's Action Link to access its contextual menu.
4. Select Edit.
5. On the Edit page, make changes to the title, description, file attachments, options, or settings. For
example, to make an item unavailable to students, select No for Permit Users to View this
Content. Options vary depending on the item type.
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6. Click Submit.
Alternatively, while viewing a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder, you can click the Action
Link next to the title at the top of the page to access the contextual menu.
How to Make Content Unavailable
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You can edit an item’s settings to make it unavailable to students or to apply Date and Time Restrictions to
control when it appears. You can also apply Adaptive Release to an item to control which users can access it
and when they can access it.
Availability of items is set on an item-by-item basis. Entire course areas can also be made unavailable. For
example, if you edit a Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder and select No for Permit Users to View this
Content, the course area is no longer visible to users. This means that all items within the unavailable course
area are also unavailable to users, regardless of their individual availability settings. Therefore, the display of an
item to users is contingent upon the availability of its parent folder.
Items in an unavailable course area are not visible to users in that location. However, users are able to access
those items if additional links to them exist in different course areas. For example, if you have an available URL
in course area A that you copied to course area B, the link exists in both locations. If you make course area A
unavailable, users can still access the URL in course area B. Links to tools behave in the same way. If you link
to a Discussion Board forum in course area A and make course area A unavailable, users can still access the
Discussion forum by going directly to the Discussion Board by using a link in a different course area or the
Course Menu.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. Click an item's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Edit and change the setting for Permit Users to View this Content to No to make the item
unavailable. Alternatively, Select Date and Time Restrictions to set items to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time.
-ORSelect Adaptive Release and set criteria that must be met for the item to be released to users. To
learn more, see Adaptive Release.
5. Click Submit.
Note: Content Areas are made unavailable with a different method. See How to Manage Content Area Links.
How to Copy and Move Course Areas
You can copy and move course areas such as folders, Learning Modules, and Lesson Plans from one area or
course to another area or course. If copying or moving between courses, the instructor must be enrolled in both
courses.
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Copying a course area does not remove it from the original location in the course.
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Moving a course area removes it from its original location in the course.
Note: Content Areas are copied with a different method. To learn how to copy Content Areas materials into a
new or existing course, see Copying Courses.
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1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the course area containing the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder to
copy.
3. For the course area you want to copy or move, click its Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Copy or Move.
5. On the Copy page or Move page, select the Destination Course from the drop-down list. The
default setting is the current course. Only courses where the instructor has a role permitting content
copying appear in the list.
6. Click Browse to select the Destination Folder. For copying only, select Yes or No for Create
links for items which cannot be copied.
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If a course area contains items that cannot be copied, such as a test, survey, or
assignment, a link is created to it instead. After the Copy action is complete, a message
appears: "Some items copied. The following items were created as links." The specific
items are listed.
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If a course area contains items that cannot be moved to another course, such as a test, a
message appears: "The move operation has completed but the following items could not
be successfully moved." The specific items are listed.
7. Click Submit.
Result
A copied course area is not removed from the original location in the course. A moved course area is removed it
from its original location.
How to Copy and Move Content Items
You can copy and move content to organize and rearrange your course material. For example, if your course
area contains a large number of items, organize them with folders to help users navigate your content. If you
create folders after the items, you can move items to the new folders.
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Note: See the preceding section for information about copying and moving Content Areas, Learning Modules,
Lesson Plans, and folders.
Some content items have copy and move restrictions. For example, Course Links can only be copied or moved
to another area within the same course. Assignments, tests, and surveys cannot be copied, but can be moved
within the same course.
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Copying content does not delete it from the original location in the course.
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Moving content removes it from its original location in the course.
For items that cannot be copied, such as a test, survey, or assignment, the Copy option does not appear in the
item’s contextual menu.
If a course area contains items that cannot be moved to another course, such as a test, the option to move it to
another course does not appear on the Move page.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item to copy or
move.
3. For the item you want to copy or move, click its Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Copy or Move. If Copy or Move is not available for the item, it will not appear in the
contextual menu.
5. On the Copy page or Move page, select the Destination Course from the drop-down list. The
default setting is the current course. Only courses where the instructor has a role permitting content
copying appear in the list. For items that cannot be moved out of the current course, Destination
Course is already listed as the current course and the drop-down list does not appear.
6. Click Browse to select the Destination Folder.
7. Click Submit.
Result
A copied content item is not removed from the original location in the course. A moved content item is removed
it from its original location.
How to Delete Course Areas and Content Items
Folders, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and content items are deleted in the same way. Be aware that
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sometimes this means the content is permanently removed from the system.
Note: To delete a Content Area, see How to Manage Content Area Links.
WARNING! Deleting a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder
permanently removes that container. For example, deleting a Learning Module permanently removes the
Learning Module container as well as its Table of Contents. Items within the container may not be
permanently deleted, depending on the item type:
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Files that have been added to a course area from Course Files remain in Course Files and are not
deleted from the system.
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Any files uploaded from your computer to the course area are automatically stored in Course Files
and can be linked again.
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Items created within the course area by pointing to Build Content are permanently deleted.
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Test or survey links are deleted but the test or survey remains available in the Test tool and can be
added to a course area again.
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An assignment created in a course area and all of its submissions are permanently deleted. The
assignment grades are not removed from the Grade Center.
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Links to tools, such as the Discussion Board, blogs, or journals are deleted, but the tools themselves
are not deleted.
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Links to assigned textbooks are permanently deleted.
Note: The Assign Textbook tool is not available with a Basic License.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the course area containing the Learning Module, Lesson Plan, folder, or content item to
delete.
3. Click its Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Delete.
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5. Click OK to confirm the deletion. This action is final and cannot be undone.
Tip: You can make a course area or item unavailable instead of deleting it. If there are items in a
course area that will be permanently deleted that you want to retain, consider moving them to a
different course area that is not available to students before deleting the course area.
How to Create Metadata for Content
Metadata stores information about a content item, including bibliographic, lifecycle, and copyright information.
Metadata allows content to be imported from and exported to other applications that use IMS (Instructional
Management Systems) standards, creating interoperability for learning content.
The information provided in metadata cannot be tracked or reported on. It can only be viewed on the Content
Metadata page as reference information for the content item. You can view and edit metadata for a content
item.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
There are four types of metadata that can be added to an item:
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General Information: Includes the title, catalog entry, source, entry, language, and a description of
the item.
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Lifecycle Information: Includes the creation date and time, contributors, name and role of author or
editor, organization, and date of latest changes or updates.
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Technical Information: Includes the format of the content item and its location.
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Rights Management Information: Displays copyright restrictions and a description of any
conditions on item usage.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item to delete.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Metadata.
5. On the Course Item Metadata page, type a New Catalog Entry.
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Type a Source: The name of the catalog or source of the content.
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Type an Entry: The number or version of the catalog.
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Click Add Catalog Entry to implement your changes.
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Click Mark for Removal to delete the catalog entry.
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6. Select a Language from the drop-down list to indicate the language used in the content item.
7. Type a Description.
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8. Type information for a New Contributor. List the name, role, organization, and date a person
contributed to this content item. Click Add Contributor. The contributor information is now listed.
Click Mark for Removal to remove a contributor when you submit the page.
9. Select the Resource Format from the drop-down list.
10. Under Rights Management Information click Yes for Free Resource to indicate that the content
was free. For Copyright/Restriction, indicate whether or not the content is copyrighted or has
restrictions for use. Use the Description box to comment on conditions for use of this item.
11. Click Submit.
Note: When instructors attach items from the Content Collection to a course, they can select associated
metadata from the Content Collection to display with the linked item in the Content Area. The Content
Collection metadata cannot be modified.
How to Enable Statistics Tracking and View Statistics Reports
Item statistics provide you detailed usage information about your content, such as how many times the item
was viewed and when it was accessed. Statistics Tracking can be enabled at any time, and will begin
collecting data from the moment it is enabled. If users access an item before Statistics Tracking is turned on,
their access is not recorded.
Note: If users are unenrolled, their data will be deleted from all course statistics. To retain their statistics,
change their availability to No rather than unenrolling them.
Statistics Tracking is a type of Course Report for individual content items. To obtain Course Reports on overall
user activity as well as activity in Content Areas, forums, and groups, go to the Control Panel, expand
Evaluation, and select Course Reports.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Statistics Tracking.
5. Select On to enable Statistics Tracking for the item.
6. Click Submit. In the course area, Enabled: Statistics Tracking appears below the item name.
Viewing Statistics Reports
The report displays three sections of data:
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Access by Date
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Access by Hour of the Day
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Access by Day of the Week.
The Access by Date section displays information for all enrolled users. Access information for system guests
and unenrolled users (previously enrolled users who were deleted from the course) is displayed under the guest
user. Observer access to content items is not tracked.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select View Statistics Report. This link is not displayed if Statistics Tracking is not enabled for
the content item.
5. On the Course Reports page, click the Action Link for Content Usage Statistics and select Run
from the contextual menu.
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6. On the Run Reports page, select a format for the generated report from the drop-down list.
7. Type dates in the Select a Start Date and Select an End Date boxes or use the pop-up Date
Selection Calendar to select dates.
8. If you do not select users, the report will automatically run the report with all users. Alternatively,
you can specify users in the Select Users list. Press and hold CTRL to select more than one user
from the list; for Mac systems, use the COMMAND key.
9. Click Submit to run the report.
10. On the Successful Run: Content Usage Statistics page, click Download Report to view the
results. Depending on the format you selected, you may be prompted by your browser to open or
save the file. Use your browser’s print function to print the report. Alternatively, click Run a New
Report to change the parameters for the report and run it again.
How to Enable Review Status
When Review Status is enabled for an item, there are benefits for you and your students. You can check who
has reviewed the item, and you can use Review Status as Adaptive Release criteria. Students can use Review
Status to keep track of their progress, especially if students review content in a non-linear fashion.
A Mark Reviewed button appears on the item when users access the course area. After reviewing the item,
users select this button to mark it Reviewed. You can check the item's Review Status on the User Progress
page.
If the Review Status tool is disabled by you or an administrator, the Mark Reviewed buttons on the items are
no longer shown. If Review Status is enabled again, the Mark Reviewed buttons reappear and any data
associated with Review Status, such as an individual’s progress, is restored.
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Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. In addition, this tool is not available with a
Basic License.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Set Review Status.
5. On the Review Status page, select Enable. To turn off Review Status, select Disable.
6. Click Submit. Enabled: Review appears under the content item’s title.
Note: Review Status settings and information are included during a full course copy with users and during
archive and restore operations. Review Status settings and information are not saved during a copy of course
materials into a new course or existing course or for exporting and importing.
How to Check User Progress
You can check whether students can access your content items. If you have made a content item unavailable,
the User Progress page indicates that the item is not visible to users. The User Progress page also lists
Adaptive Release rules that affect the visibility of an item. If Review Status is enabled for an item, you can
check which students have reviewed it and when they reviewed it.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether the Adaptive Release and Review Status
tools are available. If these tools are not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss the tools’
status. In addition, these tools are not available with a Basic License.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select User Progress.
5. The User Progress page displays. You can sort a column by clicking its title. For example, you
can sort the reviewed column to see which students have not yet reviewed the item.
6. When you have finished the review, use the breadcrumbs to navigate to a previous page.
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The User Progress Page
An open eye icon in the Visibility column indicates the item is visible to users. An eye with a slash icon
indicates the item is not visible to users because of an Adaptive Release rule or the item’s availability settings.
The existing Adaptive Release rule that affects visibility of the item is listed under the page title. They type
of rule is listed in parentheses. Click the rule name to edit it. To learn about rules, see About Adaptive Release.
A check mark in the Reviewed column indicates the item has been reviewed and the student has clicked
the item’s Mark Reviewed link. An unselected circle indicates the item has not been reviewed. The Review
Status tool is not available with a Basic License, so this column does not appear in that case.
The date and time of the review are listed in the Date Reviewed column.
How to Check User Progress from the Performance Dashboard
Review Status is also available in the Performance Dashboard. To learn more, see Using the Performance
Dashboard.
Note: The Performance Dashboard is not available with a Basic License.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section and select Performance Dashboard.
2. For any user, click the number in the Review Status column. The Review Status page displays.
3. Alternatively, click the Adaptive Release icon for any user to open a course map that shows which
course content is available to that user as well as which items have been reviewed.
Related Tutorials
Turning On Statistics Tracking for an Item (Flash movie | 1m 43s | 1,368 KB)
Align Content to Goals
This section includes the following topics:
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Aligning Content to Goals
Institutions and instructors continually strive to demonstrate student performance effectiveness based on
content and activity alignment with internal and external goals.
External learning goals from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., can be added to the system and made
available within Blackboard Learn courses. You can then align course items to goals to produce goals coverage
data reports. By showing where goals are covered by course content and by identifying gaps in coverage,
programs and course content can be adjusted.
You can browse and search for goals that have been imported and made available to them. All content items
within courses or organizations, including Discussion Board topics and threads, Learning Modules, lesson
plans, folders, Blogs, Journals, and test questions can be specifically aligned to one or multiple goals. Users
can also align individual Grade Center columns to goals.
Aligning goals to content enables you to produce Course Coverage reports that present data on how a course
covers goals and where there are gaps in goals coverage.
How to Align a Content Item to Goals
The same steps are used to align goals to course containers, such as Learning Modules, lesson plans, and
folders. Goals can be aligned to the entire container or to one or more content items inside.
1. Within a course, select a content item and click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Add Alignments. The Goals Discovery window appears. If goals from more than one
source or learning level have been associated with the course, you need to select which set
appears first.
3. Locate specific goals using the Browse Criteria options in the left side panel. Also, you can type
key words in the top text box and use any of the other filtering options including:
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Source: Only one source can appear at a time
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Goal Set Type: The name of the goal set
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Goal Set Name: The branch of learning or subject of the goal
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Grades: The learning level
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Goals Type: The classification of the goal, such as Benchmark or Content Goal
4. Goals that fit the criteria appear. Select the goals to align to the content item using the associated
check boxes.
5. View the selected goals by expanding the Selected Goals area at the bottom of the Goals
Discovery window. Selected goals can be removed by clicking the X icon.
6. Click Submit.
7. The selected goals appear under the content item, where they can be made visible to students by
clicking the Student Visibility icon. Goals can be removed by clicking the X icon.
How to Align Files and Folders to Goals
Files and folders can be aligned to goals. Depending on your institution's license, you may be able to do this
from within your course in or in the Content Collection.
1. Access your files.
2. Select a file or folder to be aligned to goals.
3. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Alignments.
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5. Click Add Alignments.
6. Browse criteria for the alignments.
7. Select the alignments you want to add to the file or folder.
8. Click Submit.
How to Align Discussion Board Topics or Threads to Goals
In the Discussion Board, you can add alignments to goals for a topic or a thread. The options for aligning are
dependent on the grade option chosen when the topic is created.
On the Create or Edit Topic page, under Topic Settings:
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If No Grading in Topic is selected for the Grade option, you can choose to align either topics or
threads.
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If Grade Topic is selected for the Grade option, the Alignments option is automatically set to Topic
alignments and cannot be changed. The alignments options appear grayed out.
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If Grade Threads is selected for the Grade option, the Alignments option is automatically set to
Thread alignments and cannot be changed. The alignments options appear grayed out.
How to Add Alignments to Discussion Board Topics or Threads
You can add alignments to existing Discussion Board topics or threads.
1. Access the topic or thread.
2. Select Alignments on the Action Bar.
3. Click Add Alignments to open the Goals Discovery window. If goals from more than one source
or learning level have been associated with the course, you need to select which set appears first.
4. Locate specific goals using the Browse Criteria options in the left side panel. Also, you can type
key words in the top text box.
5. Goals that fit the criteria appear. Select the goals to align to the topic or thread using the associated
check boxes.
6. View the selected goals by expanding the Selected Goals area at the bottom of the Goals
Discovery window. Selected goals can be removed by clicking the X icon.
7. Click Submit. The selected goals appear. They can be made visible to students by clicking the
Student Visibility icon. Standards can be removed by clicking the X icon.
8. Click Alignments on the Action Bar to view the selected standards at any time. Students also
view standards that are visible by clicking Alignments on the Action Bar.
9. Click the X to close the Alignments table.
How to Align a Grade Center Column to Goals
You can align an entire Grade Center column to goals.
1. From the Grade Center, click a column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select View and Add Alignments. Any existing alignments appear in a table.
3. Click Add Alignments to open the Goals Discovery window. If goals from more than one source
or learning level have been associated with the course, you need to select which set appears first.
4. Locate specific goals using the Browse Criteria options in the left side panel. Also, you can type
key words in the top text box.
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5. Goals that fit the criteria appear. Select the goals to align to the column using their associated
check boxes.
6. View the selected goals by expanding the Selected Goals area at the bottom of the Goals
Discovery window. Selected goals can be removed by clicking the X icon.
7. Click Submit.
8. To view the selected alignments, select View and Add Alignments from the column's contextual
menu. The selected goals appear in a table, where they can be made visible in the course to
students by clicking the Student Visibility icon. Goals can be removed by clicking the X icon.
How to View a Test Question's Alignment to Goals from the Grade Center
The goals aligned to individual test questions can be viewed from the Grade Center.
1. In the Grade Center, click the test column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Attempts Statistics.
3. On the Test Statistics page, the goal or goals aligned to each test question appear in the Active
Goals section following each test question.
How to Run and Save a Goals Report
You can run a course coverage details report from your courses. These reports show detailed coverage
information for a single Blackboard Learn course. Data includes both covered and gap values for all curricular
areas that the course is associated with, as well as a breakdown of course items that have been aligned to
goals.
1. From the Course Control Panel, click Evaluation.
2. Click Tracking Reports to open Course Reports in the main frame.
3. Access the Course Coverage Report contextual menu and click Run.
4. Set the report specifications by selecting one or more standards types to include in the report.
5. Click Submit. A new window will open and display the report in HTML format.
6. Click Report Options to print the report from a PDF file or download it in Microsoft® Excel®.
7. Save reports by downloading, or in the Content Collection when available.
Reading Goals Reports
All goals reports default to HTML and open in a new window. Reports contain clickable areas that drill down into
the supporting data, and then drill back up. In the Course Coverage Details Report the following areas can be
used to access addition data:
Report Area
Supporting Data Report
Goals Comparison Bars
Not Used
A list of goals that are not used
Covered
A list of goals that are covered, and aligned content types
Not Covered
A list of goals that are not covered
Goals Column Numbers
Not Used
A list of goals that are not used
Covered
A list of goals that are covered, and aligned content types
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Not Covered
A list of goals that are not covered
Goal Set Name Column
Name of the Goal Set
Goal Set Name Coverage Overview
Learning Level Column
Name of the Learning Level Learning Level Coverage Details
Courses Column
Name of the course
Course Coverage Report
The name of a goal
Goal Coverage Detail
Measuring Student Performance
You can measure student performance against desired learning outcomes. The reports come in two flavors:
1. Student Performance Against Goals - This is a student-centric view measuring how a particular
student has performed against the stated goals. This is measured by reporting their performance
against all graded items that were aligned to a goal. At the course level, the instructor can see how
the student has performed against goals and content items within that course. Administrators may
see how the student has performed against goals across ALL courses.
2. Course Performance - This is a Goal-centric view that shows all student performance against a
particular goal. Again we report on all student’s performance against this goal by measuring
performance against all graded items aligned to a goal. Instructors can view this report for the
Goals/ Students in their course. Administrators may see this report for all Goals and all Students.
Note: Goals must be created and aligned to content in your course before running these reports to view an
accurate picture on how your course and students are performing. To learn more, see Creating and Managing
Goals and Aligning Goals to Content.
To learn more, see How to Run and Save a Goals Report.
Content Reuse
Copying Courses
Copying courses can be a convenient way to reuse and adapt existing course structures, materials, and
content.
Selecting a Course Copy Option
Courses can be copied using any of the following Course Copy options:
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Copy Course Materials into a New Course: Copying course materials into a new course creates a
course in the system and populates it with content from a course already on the system. The menu
specified in the source course will replace the default menu in the new course.
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Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course: Copying course materials into an existing
course will add content to a course, but it will not remove existing content. You can only copy
materials into a course if you have the role of instructor, Teaching Assistant (TA), or course builder.
(For more information on roles, see Course Roles.)
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Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy): This is the only copy option that copies user records, such
as grades and discussion board posts, to the new course. This option copies everything in the course
to the new course exactly as it appears in the existing course, and is useful if a course is split into
multiple sections. You can perform an exact copy and then un-enroll specific students to create two
sections of the same course.
How to Copy a Course
1. On the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Course Copy.
2. Select the appropriate option:
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Copy Course Materials into a New Course
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Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course
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Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy)
3. In the Destination Course ID field, type a Course ID for the new course that will be created and
populated with content from the current course. Please make sure that the new Course ID matches
the naming convention used at the Institution. Also, the Course ID should not have any spaces or
characters other than numbers and letters (A-Z), dash (-), underscore (_), and period (.). The Course
ID must be unique and remain static. Once the copied course has been created, the Course ID
cannot be edited.
4. If you selected Copy Course Materials into a New Course or Copy Materials into an Existing
Course, select the course materials that you want to copy over to the new or existing course.
Note: A course copy operation cannot be completed if you do not select at least one of the
following areas: Content, Staff Information or Settings. If none of these options is selected a
warning is displayed.
5. Select the option to copy links to Course Files or Include all Course Files.
Note: There are permissions constraints. You will need to have Manage permissions on an item to
include copies of those files. If you do not have this permission, you may be missing some files
after the copy.
6. Select the Folder for Content Collection Files (if applicable).
7. Select Enrollments to copy the list of users in the course. User records, such as discussion board
posts, grades, and assessment attempts will not be copied. User records are only copied if the
Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option is selected.
8. Click Submit.
Understanding the Behavior of Copied Materials
When copying course materials, certain things occur:
l
Content: Course materials, including uploaded files, Learning Modules, and links are copied. Course
information, course documents, assignments and URLs are optional.
Note: Assignments created inside lesson plans will not copy properly. Be sure to copy your
assignments separately to ensure that everything is correct.
l
Announcements: All announcements are copied.
l
Tests, Surveys, and Pools: All assessments and surveys, including questions and options for
deploying them are copied. All Pools are copied.
l
Calendar: All calendar items are copied to the new course.
l
Discussion Board: Discussion board forums, including the initial message in the forum, are copied.
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Grade Center Items and Settings: Items in the Grade Center, and their settings, such as type,
categories, and display options, are copied.
l
Group Settings: Settings include the names of the groups, the settings for tool availability, and the
discussion board forum names.
l
Contacts: All contacts are copied.
l
Course Settings: When you select Settings, the following settings are copied:
o
Course Name
o
Course Description
o
Course Entry Point
o
Course Design
o
Course Banner
o
Blackboard Tools
o
Building Block Tools
o
Content Tools
o
Course ID
o
Course Availability
o
Guest Access
o
Observer Access
o
Course Duration
o
Enrollment Options
Note: While copying, the course availability of the source course will be applied to the destination
course. If the destination course's availability is set to unavailable, but the original course is available,
the destination course's availability will be changed.
l
Links: Links to parts of a course that are not included in the copy will break when the links appear in
the destination course. For example, if there is a link to a test in a course area and assessments are
not copied, the link to the test will break.
l
Course Cartridge Materials: The Course Cartridge Materials option is only successful if the source
course includes Copy Protected cartridge content and the destination course does not have a
Cartridge ID.
l
Content Areas: Content from course menu content areas that have the same name in each course
will be added in the same content area. Nothing will be removed from the destination course and
replaced with content from the source course.
l
Enrollments: If Enrollment is selected, the list of users in the course will be copied. User records,
such as discussion board posts, grades, and assessment attempts will not be copied.
Note: User records are only copied if the Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option is
selected.
Resolving Copied Course Items
When copying content and tools from one course to an existing course, the course menu must resolve itself in
the destination course. This table describes how course menu items are resolved:
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If . . .
then . . .
a course area in the source course does not exist
in the destination course
the area will be added to the course menu in the destination
course.
the course area in the source course and the
course area in the destination course have the
same name and are of the same type (for
example, Web Links, Staff Information, or content)
the content from the source course will be added, but will not
replace, the content in the area within the destination course.
the course area in the source course and the
course area in the destination course have the
same name but are of different types
the course area from the source course will be added to the
destination course under a different name. The new name will
append an incremental numeral to the name (for example,
Course Materials will become Course Materials1.
Copying Course Cartridge Content
Copy-protected cartridge content is only copied if the Course Cartridge Materials option is selected. This
option only appears if there is copy-protected cartridge content in the course. The destination course maintains
the availability settings for the source course.
If the destination course already has a Cartridge ID (meaning it already includes copy-protected cartridge
content), neither the cartridge content nor the Cartridge ID may be copied from the source course to the
destination course. If the Course Cartridge Materials option is selected, the copy operation will be
successful, but a note in the receipt states that the course cartridge materials will not be copied.
If the source course and the destination course have the same Cartridge ID, the content may be copied
successfully.
Exporting and Archiving Courses
The Export/Archive Course page organizes all export and archive packages that are created from the course.
When the course is exported or archived, a link to the package appears on this page. You can download the
package to a local computer, and then use it in the future for import or restore operations.
When a package is exported or archived, it does not appear on this page immediately. An email is sent to you
as soon as the system has created the package. You can then open this page to find the package and
download it.
Note: It is recommended that packages be deleted from this page once they are downloaded. Each package
counts against the course quota; so keeping packages on this page may result in limited space to add
additional content to the course.
How to Access the Export/Archive Course Page
On the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Export/Archive Course.
Exporting a Course
The Export Course feature creates a package of the course content that can later be imported and used to
teach another course with the same content. It is important to note that, unlike the Archive Course feature,
Export Course does not include any user interactions with the course—it only includes the content and the
tools.
Note: Files within Course Files that are not used in the course or not linked in the course are not included when
exporting.
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Export packages are downloaded as compressed .zip files and are imported in the same format. Do not unzip
an export package or delete files from the package, otherwise the package will not be imported correctly.
Exporting a Course in Common Cartridge Format
Common Cartridge is an initiative, led by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, to support course packages that
can be used across learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard Learn.
Course packages can be exported from Blackboard Learn Common Cartridge 1.0 and 1.1 format. To enable reuse in a broad number of LMS, the package is limited to widely available features. Types of content not
supported by Common Cartridge will not be included when a course is exported in Common Cartridge format.
l
Files, items, discussion forums, web links (URLs), and assessments will be exported, but certain
components may be excluded (for instance, topics in discussion forums are exported, but grading,
which is not supported by other LMS, is not).
l
The IMS Common Cartridge standards do not currently support all assessment question types or
attributes, so exported tests and pools will not include incompatible questions.
Common Cartridge exports a course into a single folder of content. Each content area is then exported as a
sub-folder inside the main course folder. As an example, if a Common Cartridge package were exported from a
Blackboard Learn course and then re-imported, the result would be a course with a single content area
containing a folder for each original content area, and a WebLinks content area containing all the web links.
Please consult the Blackboard administrator at your school or computing help desk for detailed information on
Common Cartridge specifications.
How to Export a Course in Common Cartridge Format
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Export/Archive
Course.
2. Click Export Common Cartridge.
Note: To export the package in Common Cartridge 1.1 format, select the check box. If the check
box is not selected, the course will export in Common Cartridge 1.0 format. The preferred version
will depend on whether the system where the package will be imported supports version 1.0 or 1.1
3. Click Submit.
Archiving a Course
Archive Course creates a permanent record of a course including all the content and user interactions.
Archived courses are saved as .zip files. Archiving a course does not delete it from the system.
Note: All files within Course are included in the archive. It does not matter if the file was linked in the course or
not.
When archiving a course, choose to Include the Grade Center History and to Copy links to Course Files or
Copy links and copies of the content.
How to Download the Course Package
When the Archive Course page or the Export Course page is submitted, the system begins to create the
course package. When the package is complete, you will receive an email from the system. After the email is
received, you can download the course package.
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Export/Archive
Course.
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2. Click the link for the package that you want to download.
3. Save the file to the appropriate location.
For steps to import the package, see Importing Course Packages.
Viewing the Basic or Detailed Log
These options are available from the contextual menu of the archived course.
Importing Course Packages
A course import package is a .zip file of exported course content. Importing a course package into an existing
course copies the content of the package into the existing course. Import packages do not include user
enrollments or records, such as discussion board posts and assessment attempts.
Note: Never upload an exported course package that has been edited since it was created and downloaded.
Opening the .zip file and changing any of the files in the exported course package will result in unstable and
unpredictable behavior when the course is imported.
How to Import a Course Package
1. From the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Import Package / View Logs.
2. Click Import Package.
3. Provide the path to the course package or click Browse to search for the package.
4. Select the course materials to include.
5. Click Submit.
About Content Areas
Content from menu content areas that have the same name in the package as in the existing course will be
added in the same content area. Nothing will be removed from the course and replaced with content from the
package. Imported content is appended to existing content in the same content area.
About Discussion Board Forums
Discussion board forums are copied, but only the initial thread in each forum is included.
About Course Links
Links to parts of a course that are not imported will break when the links appear in the destination course. For
example, if there is a link to a test in a content area and assessments are not imported, the link to the test is
broken.
How to View Import Logs
1. From the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Import Package / View Logs.
2. In the Import Log Name column, click the package link.
Options to email and download the log are available. You can also expand each log detail to view more
information.
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Importing Common Cartridge Packages
Blackboard supports the IMS Global Learning Consortium's Common Cartridge project to encourage the
sharing of content across learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard Learn.
Course packages in Common Cartridge 1.0 and 1.1 format can be imported into Blackboard Learn in the same
way as other course packages. To enable re-use in a broad number of LMS, the package is limited to widely
available features. Types of content not supported by Common Cartridge will not be included when a course is
exported and imported in Common Cartridge format.
l
Files, items, discussion forums, web links (URLs), and assessments will be included, but certain
components may be excluded (for instance, topics in discussion forums are exported, but grading,
which is not supported by other LMS, is not).
l
The IMS Common Cartridge standards do not currently support all assessment question types or
attributes, so exported tests and pools will not include incompatible questions.
Common Cartridge imports a course into a single folder of content. Each content area is then imported as a
sub-folder inside the main course folder. As an example, if a Common Cartridge package was exported from a
Blackboard Learn course and then re-imported, the result would be a course with a single content area
containing a folder for each original content area, and a WebLinks content area containing all the web links.
Please consult the Blackboard administrator at your school or computing help desk for detailed information on
Common Cartridge specifications.
Importing Course Cartridges
Course Cartridges are premade materials produced by professional authors, editors, and publishers that you
can download and add to a course.
They offer complete sets of teaching tools provided by academic publishers. In one central location, you can
find relevant, publisher-created materials. After the materials are downloaded to a course, you are free to
customize the content by adding and deleting materials to correlate with specific topics covered in the
classroom.
Course Cartridges can serve as supplements to existing online courses or provide an excellent start for faculty
who are just beginning to develop online teaching strategies. You can benefit greatly from the ease of use,
variety, and professional quality of the materials available on Course Cartridges.
To use Course Cartridges in a course, download them from the site listed in the download instructions below
and install using a download key obtained from the publisher.
Note: Without a download key, you cannot add Course Cartridge content.
About Copy Protected Cartridges
Cartridges may be designated as copy-protected or open access.
Content in copy-protected cartridges is not included when exporting or copying a course. Only one copyprotected cartridge may exist in a course.
Multiple open access cartridges may be added to a course, including a course that already contains a copyprotected cartridge.
You can freely copy, export, and import open access cartridge content added to a course.
About Cartridge Functionality
No restrictions exist for open access cartridge content during import, export, archive, restore or copy
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operations. This content is treated like any other content in a course.
Copy-protected cartridge content has the following limitations when being archived, restored, exported,
imported, or copied:
l
Archive: When a course is archived, all cartridge content in the course is saved with the archive.
l
Restore: When an archived course is restored by the Blackboard administrator at your school, the
cartridge content is included in the restored course.
l
Export: When a course is exported, cartridge content is not included.
l
Import: The only time cartridge content is included during a course import is if the package was
created as an archive. Cartridge content is not included in exported packages.
l
Copy: Cartridge content is always included in a Course Copy with Users (exact copy) operation.
You have the option to include cartridge content as part of a Copy Course Materials into a New
Course operation or a Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course operation.
Note: Content from only one copy-protected cartridge may be copied into a course.
How to Import a Course Cartridge
1. Obtain the instructor download key from the textbook publisher.
2. On the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Import Course
Cartridge.
3. Type the Course Cartridge Download Key in the text box.
Note: Without a download key, you cannot import course cartridge content.
4. Click Submit. The Course Cartridge content is added to the course materials.
How to Download a Course Cartridge
1. Select a textbook with a companion Course Cartridge by browsing the Course Cartridge list, which
is located at http://www.blackboard.com/Partnerships/Extensions.aspx. On the Extensions page,
in the Filter By drop-down list, select Course Cartridge.
2. Obtain the instructor download key from the textbook publisher.
Note: Without a download key, you cannot download course cartridge content.
3. Begin the course creation process.
4. During the course creation process, provide the instructor download key obtained in Step 2.
5. Click Submit to create the course.
6. An email arrives when the Course Cartridge has finished loading into your new course.
How Students Access Course Cartridges
1. Enroll students in your course.
2. Instruct students to purchase required textbook or other publisher provided materials that contain
the access key.
3. When first accessing the course content, students are required to provide an access key. Once
validated, students no longer need the access key.
Troubleshooting Student Course Cartridges
If you are unable to help a student with a Course Cartridge question, ask the student to contact the cartridge
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publisher directly. The campus bookstore or department in charge of ordering textbooks at your school may be
able to help the student contact the publisher.
Managing Chalk Titles
Chalk Titles are course cartridges that are integrated with external applications and content from publishers.
Chalk Titles include both content and tools. Tools included in a Chalk Title connect to an outside source to run
each tool.
Important features in Chalk Titles include:
l
Integration with the Course: Chalk Titles link courses to applications running on the publisher's
servers. These applications are often popular tools that are familiar to Instructors. Please contact the
publisher to learn more about the applications included with a Chalk Title.
l
Single Sign-on: Users that are logged into the course are logged into the publisher applications
linked to the course. Users pass between the course and the publisher application seamlessly.
l
Roster synchronization: Users enrolled in the course are automatically enrolled in the publisher
application.
l
Grade passing: Grades from the publisher application are passed to the course.
Prerequisites for Using Chalk Titles
The Chalk Titles tool must be made available by your administrator. By default, you can use Chalk Title tools in
courses.
Chalk Title tools appear in the Tools area of the Control Panel after a Chalk Title is added to a course. You can
restrict availability to Chalk Title tools in the same way that you can restrict availability to other tools.
Installing Chalk Titles
Chalk Titles are installed in the same way as other Course Cartridges. Like other course cartridges, Chalk
Titles require a download key and student access keys.
Using Chalk Titles with the Grade Center
Chalk Title tools can synch with the Grade Center in a course to report student performance. Note that student
attempts are stored on the server that runs the tool, not within the course. Therefore, student attempts are not
included when the course is archived. The reported grade is the only recorded information about a student
attempt.
Troubleshooting Chalk Titles
It is important to remember when reporting problems with a Chalk Title that its tools and content are linked to
outside servers hosted by publishers. In many cases, the problem may be with the publisher server. Make sure
to let the Blackboard administrator at your school know that a problem is related to Chalk Title tool.
Chalk Title tools will not work if a course that contains Chalk Title tools is exported or archived and later added
to system that does not support Chalk Titles.
Configuring Browser Privacy Settings
To fully use links added to a course by a Chalk Title, browser settings must be set to Accept All Cookies or at
least to be set to accept cookies from Chalk provider’s server.
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If the browser privacy settings are set on Medium or High, cookies from third party content, including Chalk
Title applications, are silently blocked. Users will receive an error message when attempting to access some of
the links for a Chalk Title.
If the user specifically sets the browser to accept cookies from the Chalk provider’s server, the browser privacy
settings can be maintained at Medium or High. Contact the Chalk Title publisher for additional information.
Maintaining User Privacy
It is important to consider user privacy when making a Chalk Title available to students. Outside servers use
personal information, such as name and email address to provide the tool and link the tool with the Grade
Center.
You will receive a privacy notice when first accessing a Chalk Title. This message is set to display each time
you access a Chalk Title. It is a good idea to display this message each time if more than one user is
responsible for teaching a course.
You can require students to fill out an authorization form before accessing a Chalk Title.
How to Manage Chalk Titles
1. From the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Manage Chalk Title.
2. Complete the following fields.
Field
Description
Student Authorization
Does each Student need to provide online
authorization before that Student's personal
information can be displayed to the Publisher?
Select Yes to require authorization from
students to release their personal
information to the publisher's server.
Instructor Notice
Show privacy notice to Instructors each time they
request a Publisher Resource?
Select Yes to display the privacy notice
each time an instructor accesses a Chalk
Title tool.
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Assignments > Creating and Editing Assignments
Assignments
Creating and Editing Assignments
Assignments allow you to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student
separately. In an assignment, you can include a description, point value, and file attachments. You can create
assignments in several courses areas, such as in a Content Area or in a Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or
folder. Students access the assignment, type a submission, attach files, and submit it. You can respond to
each student separately with comments and attached files.
You can distribute assignments to course groups. To learn more, see Creating Group Assignments.
Note: You access submitted assignments in the Grade Center. To learn about grading assignments, see
Grading Assignments.
How to Create an Assignment
1. Change Edit Mode to ON and access the course area where you want to create the assignment.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Assessments to access the drop-down list.
3. Select Assignment.
4. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name. Students click this name in the course area to
access the assignment.
5. In the Assignment Information box, type instructions for the assignment. Format the text and
include images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text
Editor, if needed. Attachments added using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and
have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
6. Optionally, in the Assignment Files section, attach a file using one of the following options:
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If the course files are in the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
7. Type Points Possible.
8. Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric to access the drop-down list. Rubrics are
a way to create criteria for evaluating student performance on assignments. To learn more, see
Rubrics.
9. Select the check box to Make the Assignment Available.
10. Select the appropriate option for Number of Attempts. You can allow students to submit and
resubmit work for an assignment more than once, and receive comments and a grade for each
submission.
11. For Limit Availability, you can set the assignment to display on a specific date and time and stop
displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to
enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date
Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do
not affect availability, only when the assignment appears.
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12. Optionally, select a Due Date. Due dates are used to organize and assign gradable items to
grading periods in the Grade Center.
13. In the Recipients section, select the All Students Individually option.
14. Click Submit.
How to Edit an Assignment in a Course Area
1. Navigate to the course area containing the assignment.
2. Click the Action Link to the right of an assignment's name to access the contextual menu and
select Edit.
3. On the Edit Assignment page, make the desired changes.
4. When you are satisfied with the changes to the assignment, click Submit.
How to Delete an Assignment in a Course Area
You can delete an assignment at any time. If students have submitted work, deleting the assignment will also
delete the submissions. You can choose whether or not to keep the associated grades.
1. Navigate to the course area containing the assignment.
2. Click the Action Link to the right of an assignment's name to access the contextual menu and
select Delete.
3. Click OK to continue.
4. On the Delete Assignment page, choose to:
Preserve scores in the Grade Center for this Assignment, but delete the assignment and all
its submissions.
-ORDelete this Assignment, the Grade Center item for this Assignment, all grades for this
Assignment, and all submissions for this Assignment.
5. Click Remove to delete the assignment or Cancel to keep it.
Remember that even if you keep the scores in the Grade Center, you will not be able to access the assignment
submissions again.
Downloading Assignments
You can download assignment submissions to review them offline instead of reviewing them online in the
Grade Center. Choose to download all or only selected submissions as a single .zip file. Unzip (expand) the file
to view the contents, where each submission is saved as a separate file.
Note: Both Windows and Apple computers have built-in capabilities to view and extract compressed ZIP file
packages. To learn more, see the help available for your computer's operating system.
To learn more about grading assignments, see Grading Assignments.
How to Download Assignments
1. In the Grade Center, locate the column for the assignment you want to download.
2. Click the assignment column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Assignment File Download.
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Assignments > Grading Assignments
4. On the Download Assignment page, select the student submissions to download, or select the
check box in the header bar to choose all available submissions.
5. Click Submit.
6. On the next Download Assignment page, click the Download assignments now link. A pop-up
window displays to prompt you for instructions on what to do with the file.
7. In the pop-up window, select Save File and click OK.
8. Browse to the location where you want to download the file, and then click Save.
9. To return to the Grade Center, click OK on the Download Assignment page.
When using the Assignment File Download function, user names are included automatically in the file names
for easy identification. However, files downloaded one by one from the Grade Assignment page will not
include the user names. To avoid confusion, you should specify that students use a detailed file name that
includes their last name or their user name when submitting assignments.
If a student has added an attachment, the downloaded .zip file may contain two files for each student: the
attached file as well as a file produced by the Grade Center that contains information about the submission and
any information that the student provided in the Text Editor or comment areas of the assignment. Both files will
have the student's user name included in the file name for easy identification.
Note: The Assignment File Cleanup function allows you to select students and delete files associated with
their submissions. This function is available from the assignment column's contextual menu, which you access
by clicking the column's Action Link.
Grading Downloaded Assignments
After reviewing submissions offline and determining grades, you can provide grades and comments in the
Grade Center. Click the assignment cell's Action Link to access the contextual menu, and then select View
Grade Details. On the Grade Details page, click Edit Grade. If you want to attach files or add comments,
click View Attempt instead of Edit Grade.
Alternatively, grades can be typed directly into the Grade Center cells. A grade entered this way is referred to
as an override grade. To learn more, see Overriding Grades.
For general information about working and grading offline, see Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items
for Working Offline.
Related Tutorials
Downloading Assignments (Flash movie | 1m 35s )
Grading Assignments
When an assignment is created, a column is added automatically to the Grade Center. An assignment that has
been submitted, but not graded, is indicated with an exclamation mark—the needs grading icon.
You can access assignments that have been submitted by students and need grading from:
l
Needs Grading page
-OR-
l
Grade Center
Note: You have the option to grade assignments anonymously.
How to Access Submitted Assignments From the Needs Grading Page
For courses with many enrolled students and gradable items, the Needs Grading page can help you determine
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Assignments > Grading Assignments
which assignments need grading first. For example, you can sort by the date submitted to provide feedback to
the earliest submitters first.
To access the Needs Grading page:
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Needs Grading. The total number of items to grade appears on the Needs Grading page.
To filter and sort attempts:
1. Use the Filter drop-down lists to narrow the list of items to grade by Category, Item, User, and
Date Submitted. For example, make selections in both the Category and User drop-down lists to
display assignments submitted by a particular user.
2. Click Go. The filtered items appear on the Needs Grading page.
3. Click any column heading or the caret to sort the assignments. For example, sort the assignments
by Item Name.
4. Click Grade All on the Action Bar to begin grading the assignment attempts.
5. The filtered assignment attempts appear on the Grade Assignment page in the order they were
sorted and filtered on the Needs Grading page.
To learn more, see About the Needs Grading Page.
How to Access Submitted Assignments From the Grade Center
The Grade Center shows all gradable items. The number of items may influence how you organize your time for
grading tasks. You may also find it beneficial to view a student's previous grades as items are graded.
To access the Grade Center:
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center or the Assignments smart view to access assignment attempts.
To grade a single assignment attempt:
1. Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
2. Move the mouse pointer over the cell to see the Action Link.
3. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Attempt. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade all submissions for an assignment:
1. In the assignment's column header, click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Attempts. The Grade Assignment page appears.
About the Grade Assignment Page
The Grade Assignment page is accessed from the Needs Grading page or the Grade Center. You can
navigate among users and attempts, view rubrics, grade anonymously, and view information about an
assignment.
On the Action Bar, the following actions can be performed:
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Click Hide User Names to grade attempts anonymously, if needed. Click Show User Names to
display user information.
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Click View Rubric to view the rubrics that are associated with an assignment's column in the Grade
Center. To learn more, see Rubrics.
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Click Jump to and select another attempt to view or grade.
Expand the Assignment Information link to view the following information:
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Instructions
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Due Date
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Submitted Date
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Status: Needs Grading, In Progress, Completed
Note: If an assignment is listed as In Progress, you must submit the assignment to grade it.
How to Grade Assignments From the Grade Assignment Page
The Grade Assignment page is accessed from the Needs Grading page or the Grade Center.
1. On the Grade Assignment page, view the submission text, attached files, and comments.
2. Type a Grade for the assignment, or if a gradable rubric has been associated, click View Rubric to
use the rubric for grading. To learn more about rubrics, see Rubrics.
3. Optionally, type comments in Feedback to User box and attach a file. Use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and add files, images, links, multimedia, and Mashups.
4. Optionally, type comments in the Instructor Notes box. This text is not seen by students.
5. Click Save and Exit to return to the Full Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, or the Grade
Details page, depending on where grading began.
-ORClick Save and Next to display the next user, when available.
-ORClick View Previous to display the previous user, when available.
If multiple attempts for an assignment have been allowed, a student's grade is not released until all of the
attempts have been graded.
Note: If a student has attached a file containing a potential security risk, you will see a warning. You can
continue opening the original file, or if you have security concerns, contact the computing help desk on campus
for assistance.
How to Grade Assignments Anonymously
You can choose to grade assignments anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of student work. For
example, an opinion-based assignment that is graded anonymously may offer students a higher level of comfort
when expressing themselves.
In anonymous grading, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each student
is assigned a number, such as Student 8.
To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:
1. Click an assignment attempt’s Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Center:
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1. Click an assignment's Action Link in the column header to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Assignment page:
1. On the Action Bar, click Hide User Names.
2. Click OK in the pop-up window to verify the action. If grading was in progress, any unsaved
changes to the open attempt are lost. The Grade Assignment page refreshes and all identifying
information is hidden.
How to Allow Additional Attempts
If a student has submitted the maximum number of attempts for an assignment but you want to give them
another opportunity, you can invite them to submit again.
To allow an additional attempt:
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center or the Assignments smart view to access assignment attempts.
3. Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
4. Move the mouse pointer over the cell to see the Action Link.
5. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
6. Select View Grade Details. The Grade Details page appears.
7. Click Allow Additional Attempt, and then confirm.
Note: The Allow Additional Attempt button will only appear if the student has already submitted the
maximum number of attempts allowed for that assignment. You can continue to offer opportunities to resubmit
attempts each time the student reaches that maximum number. Previous attempts do not have to be graded to
allow the student to submit again.
Related Tutorials
Clean Out Graded Assignment Files (Flash movie | 1m 47s )
SafeAssign
About SafeAssign
SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap
between the submitted assignment and existing works. Safe Assign is used to prevent plagiarism and to create
opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is
effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.
How SafeAssignments Work
SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching
between a paper and source material. SafeAssignments are compared against several different databases,
including:
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Internet: Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the Internet
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ProQuest ABI/Inform database: More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles
from 1990s to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access)
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Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their
respective institutions
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Global Reference Database: Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard
client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism
Global Reference Database
Blackboard’s Global Reference Database is a separate database where students voluntarily donate copies of
their papers to help prevent plagiarism. It is separated from each institution’s internal database, where all
papers are stored by each corresponding institution, and students are free to select the option to check their
papers without submitting them to the Global Reference Database. Students submit their papers to the
database voluntarily and agree not to delete papers in the future. Submissions to the Global Reference
Database are extra copies that are given voluntarily for the purpose of helping with plagiarism prevention.
Blackboard does not claim ownership of submitted papers.
SafeAssign Originality Reports
After a paper has been processed, a report will be available detailing the percentage of text in the submitted
paper that matches existing sources. It also shows the suspected sources of each section of the submitted
paper that returns a match. Instructors can delete matching sources from the report and process it again. This
may be useful if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student.
Because SafeAssign identifies all matching blocks of text, it is important to read the report carefully and
investigate whether or not the block of text is properly attributed.
Interpreting SafeAssign Scores
Sentence matching scores represent the percentage probability that two phrases have the same meaning. This
number can also be interpreted as the reciprocal to the probability that these two phrases are similar by chance.
For example, a score of 90 percent means that there is a 90 percent probability that these two phrases are the
same and a 10 percent probability that they are similar by chance and not because the submitted paper includes
content from the existing source (whether or not it is appropriately attributed).
Overall score is an indicator of what percentage of the submitted paper matches existing sources. This score is
a warning indicator only and papers should be reviewed to see if the matches are properly attributed.
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Scores below 15 percent: These papers typical include some quotes and few common phrases or
blocks of text that match other documents. These papers typically do not require further analysis, as
there is no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism in these papers.
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Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or
paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism. These papers should be reviewed to determine
if the matching content is properly attributed.
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Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other
sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and should be reviewed for
plagiarism.
Grade Center Integration
SafeAssignments are created with associated Grade Center items. The score is then recorded in the Grade
Center.
How to Submit a SafeAssignment
Note: You can only submit a SafeAssignment once. If you would like to edit, delete, or resubmit a
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SafeAssignment, contact your instructor and request that they clear your first submission.
1. On the Course Menu, select the Content Area that holds the SafeAssignment, for example, the
Assignments Content Area.
2. On the Assignments page, look for the SafeAssignment and click View/Complete.
3. On the Upload SafeAssignment page, optionally, type your comment in the Comment box.
4. Click Browse to select a file to attach as your submission.
5. Optionally, select the Global Reference Database check box to upload your paper to the Global
Reference Database.
Note: Submitting to the SafeAssign Global Reference Database allows papers from other
institutions to be checked against your paper to protect the originality of your work across
institutions.
6. Click Submit.
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Note: After you submit SafeAssignments, there is a slight delay between the upload and the
availability of the SafeAssign report. Results are normally available within 10-15 minutes.
How to View SafeAssignment Submissions
Your submissions and the SafeAssign reports associated with submissions are viewable by accessing the
SafeAssignment after submitting your paper. Note: This option is only available if allowed by your instructor.
Viewing a SafeAssign Submission
1. Return to the assignment link in the Content Area that holds the SafeAssignment, for example, the
Assignments Content Area.
2. On the Assignments page, look for the SafeAssignment and click View/Complete. The View
SafeAssignment page appears. This page includes:
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Assignment Information: This section displays the name of the SafeAssignment and its
description.
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Submitted Work: This section provides link to the following :
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Text: Select this option to view your paper and comments.
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File: Select this option to download the submission.
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Matching: The percentage listed is the percentage of your paper that matches
other sources. Read the full report to determine if the matching is properly
attributed.
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SA Report: Select this option to view the full SafeAssign report.
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View Grade: This section lists the grade given by your instructor.
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Instructor's Feedback: This section lists any feedback, and provides links to open or
download any files attached by your instructor..
Viewing a SafeAssign Report
SafeAssign Report provides detailed information about the matches found between your submitted paper and
existing sources. The SafeAssign Report identifies all matching blocks of text. It is your and your instructor's
responsibility to investigate whether the matching text is properly referenced or not. Detailing every match
prevents detection errors due to differences in citing standards.
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1. Return to the View SafeAssignment page.
2. On the View SafeAssignment page, click the green check mark link under SA Report. The SA
Report provides extensive information to help you determine whether you are appropriately citing
your works. This page includes:
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Paper Information: This section lists data about the paper, such as the author, percent
matching, and when it was submitted. This section also includes options for downloading
the report, emailing the report, or viewing a printable version. Note that the printable
version may be the most effective view of the report for those users that rely on assistive
technologies to access Blackboard Learn.
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Suspected Sources: This section lists the original sources that match sections of the
submitted paper.
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To display the original work, click on the source title.
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To display the related phrase within your paper, click the magnifying glass.
Paper Text: This section shows the submitted paper. All matching blocks of text are
identified and numbered. Click a phrase to display the Source Comparison Window which
provides a direct comparison between your paper’s phrase and the source document it
matches.
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Interpreting the Overall SafeAssign Score
The overall SafeAssign score indicates the percentage of the submitted paper that matches existing sources.
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Scores below 15 percent: These papers typically include some quotes and few common phrases or
blocks of text matching other documents.
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Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or
paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism.
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Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other
sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess.
Creating SafeAssignments
SafeAssignments appear in courses as a new content type and are added to any course content area. Please
note that SafeAssignments are different from Assignments and there is no connection between the content
types. It is not possible to make an existing Assignment a SafeAssignment without starting from the beginning.
Like regular Assignments, however, SafeAssignments are integrated with the Grade Center.
When students access a SafeAssignment, they can view instructions, type comments in a text box, and attach
a file, just as they do with regular assignments. Students can submit papers in Word (DOC, DOCX, ODT),
Plain Text (TXT), Rich Text Format (RTF), PDF, and HTML formats.
How to Create a SafeAssignment
1. From a content area within a course, point to Assessments on the Action Bar and select
SafeAssignment. The Add SafeAssignment page appears.
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2. Complete the page using the following table as a guide and click Submit.
Field
Description
Title
Type a title for the SafeAssignment.
Points
Possible
Type the points possible for the SafeAssignment. This value will be shared with the
Grade Center Item created for the Safe Assignment.
Text
Type instructions for completing the SafeAssignment.
Available
Select whether or not the SafeAssignment should be visible to students.
Availability Use these controls to set the date range when students can interact with the
Dates
SafeAssignment. It is possible to set only a start date or only an end date.
Drafts
Allows students to validate their paper without submitting it to the institutional database.
Useful as an instructive tool to help students learn how to attribute papers properly. You
will be able to see the draft submission.
Students
Viewable
Determines whether or not students can see the report generated when their papers are
submitted.
Urgent
Checking
Sets papers to a high priority in the queue.
Optional Announcement
Create
Select Yes to create an announcement about the SafeAssignment.
Subject
Type a subject for the announcement.
Message
Type a message for the announcement.
Using DirectSubmit
DirectSubmit generates SafeAssign reports on papers submitted outside of a SafeAssignment and it may also
be used to add papers to the institutional database. Because DirectSubmit is not integrated with the Grade
Center, Instructors should use SafeAssignments to collect submissions whenever possible.
DirectSubmit allows Instructors to submit papers one at a time or several at once by including them in a .ZIP
file. Note that .ZIP packages should contain no more than 100 papers and submitting more than 300 papers in a
session is not recommended.
As well, papers with over 5000 phrases or that are more than 10 MB in size cannot be submitted.
How to Submit Papers through DirectSubmit
1. From the Control Panel, under Course Tools, click SafeAssign.
2. Click DirectSubmit. A list of folders and papers will appear. This list includes papers already
uploaded through DirectSubmit. Blackboard recommends that files not be deleted from
DirectSubmit as this will delete them from the institutional database of existing materials.
3. Navigate to a folder where the paper or papers will be uploaded.
4. Click Submit Papers.
5. Select Upload File and browse for the file. Individual papers as well as papers that are grouped in
a .ZIP package are accepted. Alternatively, select Copy/Paste Document and add the document
text in the field.
6. Select the upload options:
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Submit as Draft: A SafeAssign report will be generated however the paper will not be
added to the institutional database and will not be used to check other papers.
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Skip Plagiarism Checking: Adds the papers to the institutional database without
checking for content copied from other sources. This is useful if an Instructor wants to
upload papers from an earlier course to ensure that current students are not reusing work.
7. Click Submit.
Shared Folders and Private Folders
Direct Submit Shared Folders are viewable by anyone with access to the Direct Submit tool through the course.
Multiple Instructors and Teaching Assistants can view submissions related to a course in Shared Folders
Private folders can be used to manage papers for an individual instructors. These folders follow the instructor
and are available in any course where that user has Instructor level privileges.
Supported File Types
Direct Submit supports the following file types:
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Microsoft Word document (.doc)
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Rich Text Format (.rtf)
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HTML (.htm or .html)
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Text (.txt)
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Zip-compressed multiple files (.ZIP)
Managing Submissions
Student submissions and the Safe Assign reports associated with submissions are viewed from the
SafeAssign link on the Control Panel, found under the Course Tools heading. The SafeAssign area lists the
SafeAssignments in the course. Click a SafeAssignment to view and grade submissions.
How to View Submissions
1. From the Control Panel, under Course Tools, click SafeAssign.
2. Locate the specific SafeAssignment in the list and click View. A list of Student submissions will
appear with the following columns appear for each SafeAssignment:
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Text: Select this option to view the Student’s paper and any comments from the Student.
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File: Select this option to download the Student Submission.
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Matching: The percentage listed is the percentage of the paper that matches other
sources. Please read the full report to determine if the matching is properly attributed.
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SA Report: Select this option to view the full Safe Assignment report.
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Clear Attempt: Select this option to delete the submission from the database, for
example, if the Student uploaded the wrong file.
Grading a Submission
SafeAssignments are integrated into the Grade Center and may be accessed and graded directly from the
Grade Center like other Assignments. SafeAssignments are not automatically graded; like existing manually
graded Assignments they will display with a ‘!’ indicating action required by the instructor.
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Running SafeAssign Originality Reports
SafeAssign Originality Reports provide detailed information about the matches found between a submitted
paper and existing sources. The SafeAssign report identifies all matching blocks of text. It is the responsibility
of the instructor and student to investigate whether the matching text is properly referenced or not. Detailing
every match prevents detection errors due to differences in citing standards.
Report Layout
SafeAssign reports are divided into three sections:
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Report Information: This section lists data about the paper, such as the author, percent Matching,
and when it was submitted. This section also includes options for downloading the report, emailing
the report, or viewing a printable version. Note that the printable version may be the most effective
view of the report for those users that rely on assistive technologies to access Blackboard Learn.
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Suspected Sources: This section lists the sources that have text that matches the text of the
submitted paper. Users may select sources, exclude them from the review, and process the paper
again. This is useful if a source is a previous work from the same student for the same assignment, or
if there is some reason that lengthy sections of a particular source appear in the paper. Processing
the paper again will generate a new value for the percent matching without using the excluded
sources.
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Manuscript Text: This section shows the submitted paper. All matching blocks of text are identified.
Clicking a matching block of text will display information about the original source and the probability
that the block or sentence was copied from the source.
Self and Peer Assessment
About the Self and Peer Assessment Building Block
The Self and Peer Assessment building block allows you to create an exercise composed of one or more
questions, each with one or more criteria, to be presented to your students for completion and evaluation.
These tests, along with their questions and criteria, are exported and then imported for later use.
Questions provide structure and content to the assessment. They are simple ("What is 2 plus 2?") or complex
("Describe the main reason for the fall of the Roman Empire.").
The criteria accompanying each question provide the means to evaluate the responses to those questions. The
number or criteria can also range from one ("Did the answer = 4?") to many:
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Does the response place the issue within the broader context of the subject?
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Is the response well organized and clearly laid out?
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Was the response proofread carefully? Was it free of significant grammatical, spelling, or
typographical errors?
The Self and Peer Assessment building block is a tool designed to facilitate the objective, analytical, and
learning comprehension skills of students. Reviewing the work of fellow students through criteria-based
reference evaluation allows constructive feedback. The constructive feedback that students give to and
receive from their peers can enhance their comprehension of the subject material and provide valuable insights
into their own efforts.
Features and Functions
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Large classes can benefit from the Self and Peer Assessment building block by distributing the administrative
workload; quality feedback is provided from several different individuals, instead of relying upon a single
instructor.
Tests are precisely scheduled to allow the proper time for the submission and evaluation process to be
completed; including the time to access any content items associated with the assessment.
You have the option of using both self and anonymous evaluations. These options may provide a comfort level
that can result in more candid tests and evaluations. However, they can also impact the integrity of the
assessment process, and so it is recommended care be exercised in their use.
Enabling the Self and Peer Assessment Building Block
The Self and Peer Assessment building block is included in Blackboard Learn. By default, it is turned on and
available for use immediately. If it is not available, see your school's Blackboard administrator.
Creating a New Self and Peer Assessment
The Self and Peer Assessment process begins by creating a new assessment. Tests are created from any of
the content areas within a course.
Note: Use the Instructions field to provide clear instructions and other information that may be helpful in
completing the assessment.
Specifying Assessment Date Ranges
Three date ranges are necessary to the successful creation and deployment of an assessment: Display
After/Until, Submission Start/End and Evaluation Start/End. The following table describes these ranges.
Date Range
Description
Display
After/Until
The date range which the assessment is available to students.
Submission
Start/End
The date range which students can submit answers to an assessment.
Evaluation
Start/End
The date range which students can submit evaluations of their peers' work on the assessment as
well as their own (if self evaluations are enabled).
How to Create a New Self and Peer Assessment
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1. Click Control Panel within a course.
2. Click any of the links within the Content Areas section.
3. Select Self and Peer from the Select drop-down list.
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4. Click Go.
5. Type a name for the assessment in the Name field.
Note: At this point, a new column in the Grade Center is created with the same name.
6. Type instructions for the assessment in the Instructions Text Editor.
Note: In the Text Editor there is an option to save these Instructions as a Reusable Object. If
selected, these instructions will be available to Content Collection Users. The Content Collection
must be available to use this option.
7. (Optional) Use the Text Editor to reference any Content Collection files.
8. Set the Submission Start Date and Submission End Date by using the date and time fields.
9. Set the Start Date and End Date for the peer evaluations by using the date and time fields.
10. Allow Anonymous Evaluations by clicking the Yes radio button. Click No to disallow.
11. Allow Self Evaluations by clicking the Yes radio button. Click No to disallow.
12. Allow submitters to view their own evaluation results by clicking the Yes radio button next to Show
Evaluation Results to Submitter. Click No to disallow.
13. In the Number of Submissions to Evaluate field, define how many of their peers's tests each
student is expected to evaluate
Note: The number entered in the Number of Submissions to Evaluate field does not include the
creator of the assessment. Type zero (0) in this field if self evaluations are the only kind desired for
an assessment.
14. Make the assessment available by selecting Yes. Select No to make it unavailable.
15. Track the number of views by selecting Yes. Select No to disable tracking.
16. Select Display After and/or Display Until to control when the content is available.
17. Set the date and time restrictions for the attached content by using the date and time fields under
Display After or Display Until.
18. Click Submit.
Exporting and Importing an Assessment
Assessments can be saved outside Blackboard Learn by exporting them. Exported assessments can then be
imported for later use.
Assessments can be imported from a variety of locations: Course documents, the Content Collection, or from a
local hard drive.
Note: If the start date of the imported assessment is in the past, the system resets it to 24 hours from the time
it is imported. All other dates are adjusted forward in time while maintaining the same relationships that were
established in the original assessment. So for example if you were to import an assessment with due date four
weeks after the start date, the new default start date would be tomorrow and the due date would be four weeks
plus one day.
How to Import an Assessment
1. Click Control Panel within a Course.
2. Click any of the links within the content areas section.
3. Select Self and Peer from the Select drop-down list.
4. Click Go.
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5. Click the Import radio button.
6. Click Go.
7. Click Browse to locate the Assessment File.
8. Type a Name for the imported assessment. If this field is left blank, the imported assessment
name is used.
9. Click Submit.
Exporting an Assessment
Assessments are exported to a network or local drive so they can be imported at a later time. The assessment
file is packaged in a compressed .zip file so it is easily accessed by Blackboard Learn. Only the assessment
(with its questions and criteria) is exported. Previous submissions for the assessment are not exported.
How to Export an Assessment
1. Click Edit next to the assessment to be exported.
2. Click Export Assessment.
3. Click Save and select the location to export the assessment.
4. Click OK.
Adding a Question to an Assessment
Questions are the basic component of any assessment. Questions provide both the structure and content of
the assessment. Questions are simple or complex:
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What year did Queen Elizabeth I die?
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What is the square root of 144?
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Explain why Napoleon's armies were defeated at the battle of Waterloo.
There are two important options that must be considered when creating questions:
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Content Management items are added by using their permanent URLs.
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A Model Response, an example of a correct response to a question, is provided. The Model
Response allows evaluators to compare submitted answers to an example. It is not displayed to
students taking the assessment, only to the evaluators after the assessment has been submitted.
Note: Beneath the Question and Model Response Text Editors there is an option to save this question or
Model Response as a Reusable Object. If selected, the question or answer will be available to Content
Collection users. The Content Collection must be available to use this option.
How to Add a Question to an Assessment
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Click Add Question.
4. Type the question in the Question Text Editor.
5. Type a Model Response in the Text Editor.
6. Click Yes to make the Model Response Available.
7. Click Submit.
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Adding a Default Question
Adding a default question is a quick and easy way to construct an effective assessment. The Self and Peer
Assessment Building Block comes with a set of default questions you can use to build your tests.
How Add a Default Question
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Type search text in the Search for Question field and click Go. Or leave the field blank and click
Go to display a list of all default questions.
4. Click Expand next to the appropriate question to view all the details.
5. Click the check box next to the questions to add.
6. Click OK.
Adding a Question from the Library
Questions and criteria are stored and reused in other tests. Adding questions from the library is a quick and
easy way to construct an effective assessment. Reusing questions and criteria also insures consistency
across courses and departments. Once an assessment has been created, questions and criteria are added
from a central location.
How to Add a Question from the Library
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Type search text in the Search for Question field and click Go. This field is left blank to display a
list of all stored Questions.
4. Click Expand next to the appropriate question to view all the details.
5. Click the check box next to the question to add.
6. Click OK.
Adding Criteria to a Question
The criteria that accompany each question provide the means to evaluate the responses to those questions.
The number or criteria can also range from one ("Did the answer =4") to many:
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Does the response place the issue within the broader context of the subject?
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Is the response well organized and clearly laid out?
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Was the response proofread carefully? Was it free of significant grammatical, spelling, or
typographical errors?
In general, essay questions may require many criteria per question while shorter questions may only require
one or two criteria.
How to Add Criteria to a Question
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
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3. Click Criteria next to the appropriate question.
4. Click Add Criteria.
5. Type criteria text in the Criteria Text Editor.
Note: Beneath the Text Editor there is an option to save this criterion as a Reusable Object. If
selected, the criterion will be available to Content Collection users. The Content Collection must be
available to use this option.
6. Type the number of points possible for this question in the Points Possible field.
7. Click All or Nothing or Partial Credit to decide how to Assign Points.
8. Click Yes or No to decide whether or not to Allow Feedback to User.
9. Click Submit.
How to Add Word Count Criteria
If you want to evaluate the length of an answer, it is possible to add a word count criteria to a question. You may
specify that an answer should be around 200 words. The word count criteria enables points to be awarded
based on the length of an answer (for example, points awarded if the answer is within 20 words of the 200 word
maximum).
1. Select Edit next to the created Self and Peer Assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Click Criteria next to the desired question.
4. Click Add Word Count Criteria.
5. Type the number of Points Possible.
6. Type the Maximum Word Count.
7. Type the Allowed Variation.
8. Click Submit.
Adding Default Criteria
Adding default criteria is a quick and easy way to construct an effective assessment. The Self and Peer
Assessment Building Block comes with a set of default criteria you can use to build your tests.
How to Add Default Criteria
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Click Criteria next to the appropriate question.
4. Type search text in the Search for Criteria field and click Go. This field is left blank to display a
list of all stored criteria.
5. Click Expand next to the appropriate criteria to view all the details.
6. Click the check box next to the criteria to add.
7. Click OK.
Previewing the Assessment
There are two ways to preview an assessment once it has been created:
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Submission Preview
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Evaluation Preview.
These options provide with a way to see the tests exactly as your students will. You can also use these
preview options to fine-tune the assessment.
The Preview option is available from the Assessment Canvas page for the appropriate assessment. Select
either Submission or Evaluation from the drop-down list and click Go.
Viewing the Submission Preview Page
The Submissions Preview page offers a complete view of the assessment. To preview each question in turn,
click its name.
Note: Preview pages are read-only and cannot be edited or modified.
Using the Evaluation Preview Page
The Evaluations Preview page offers a view of all of the evaluations, regardless of their status. The features
of this page are described in the following table:
Function
Description
Evaluator links
Click the evaluator user name to display their Evaluation page.
Each question is displayed in a grouping of tabs.
Navigate through the tabs to display the submitted response for
that question.
For questions that contain a model response and which has
been made available, click Model Response to display the
model response for that question in a separate window.
Status
Displays the status of the evaluation. In preview mode the
status is always Not Started.
Points Allocated
Displays the number of points given out of how many points
are possible. In preview mode it is displayed as 0 / xxx.
Completing an Assessment
Completing an assessment allows the student to interact with you by providing answers to a series of
questions. These answers are evaluated by their fellow students. Their feedback can assist in their overall
comprehension of the material.
Students who have an assessment assigned to them can access them in appropriate course Content Area.
The Submission and Evaluation date ranges are visible under the Assessment listing. In addition to
submitting answers directly on the question page, students can also submit a local file or copy an item from the
Content Collection to support their answer.
How to Complete an Assessment
1. Click the View/Complete Assessment link to begin the assessment.
2. Click a question link.
3. Type a response in the Response Text Editor.
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Note: In the Text Editor there is an option to save this response as a Reusable Object. If selected,
the response will be available to Content Collection users. The Content Collection must be
available to use this option.
4. Click Browse to Attach local file.
-orClick Browse to Copy file from Content Collection.
Note: Only one file is attached to an assessment. If a second file is attached the first one is
deleted. To attach multiple files, use the Text Editor.
5. Type a Name of Link to File to give a name to the attachment link.
6. Click Submit.
7. Click Next.
8. Repeat the preceding steps as necessary until all of the questions have been answered.
9. Click OK when the assessment is complete.
Evaluating a Self and Peer Assessment
Allowing your students to evaluate their peers' assessments allows them to provide valuable feedback on
submitted answers. This feedback can provide improved comprehension of the material for both the assessed
peer and the student providing the evaluation.
Students can access the assessment using the same link they used to complete it and begin the evaluation.
The Evaluation Overview page lists the number of submissions the student needs to evaluate (including their
own), with the evaluators own name at the top of the list.
If anonymous evaluations are enabled, the evaluator does not see the name of the student whose assessment
they are evaluating.
Note: Do not enroll or un-enroll students after the evaluation state date, because doing so can negatively
affect the results already gathered.
Note: Tests can only be evaluated during the evaluation period designated during the assessment creation.
How to Evaluate an Assessment
1. Click the View/Complete Assessment link to begin the evaluation.
2. Click the appropriate Evaluator name link.
3. Review the text in the Submission field.
4. Type the number of points to award that submission in the Points possible field.
5. Type text in the Feedback field (if requested).
6. Click the Allocate Points check box.
7. Click Save and Next to move to the next criteria.
8. Click OK.
Managing an Assessment
The Self and Peer Assessment building block provides many tools to assist the management of an
assessment. These include three adaptive release options: Review status, statistics tracking and assessment
metadata.
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How to Manage an Assessment
To manage an assessment, click Manage next to the appropriate assessment.
How to Create Adaptive Release Rules for an Assessment
Use the Adaptive Release tool to create and edit basic adaptive release rules for this assessment.
1. Set the Display After and Display Until dates using the check boxes and Date and Time fields.
2. Type the user name of any specific user to assign membership to this assessment in the
Username field.
3. Click Browse to select specific users.
4. Use the right and left arrow buttons to assign membership to specific Course Groups.
5. Use the Select a Grade Center Column drop-down list to assign a Grade Center column for this
assessment.
6. Click one of the Select Condition radio buttons:
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User has at least one attempt for this item.
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Choose between Score Less than or equal to, Greater than or equal to, or Equal to
and then enter a number in the field.
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Define a scoring range by entering numbers in the fields after Score Between.
7. Click Browse and select the assessment to enable Review Status. Click the Clear button to
delete the previous entry.
8. Click Submit.
About Adaptive Release: Advanced
Use the Adaptive Release: Advanced tool to create and edit rules that determine the visibility of this
assessment to users. To learn more about the use of advanced adaptive release rules, see About Adaptive
Release.
How to Review Status
Use the Review Status tool to provide users the ability to mark the assessment as reviewed.
1. Click the Enable radio button.
2. Click Submit.
How to View the Availability and Review Status of an Assessment
Use the User Progress tool to view the availability and review status of this assessment for all users.
1. Click Adaptive Release and Review Status: User Progress.
2. View the information described in the following table:
Function
Description
Rule
Click the Rule link to display the criteria information for the adaptive release rule that
governs this assessment.
Last Name
Displays the last name of the user.
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Function
Description
First Name
Displays the first name of the user.
Username
Displays the username.
Course Role
Displays the course role of the user.
Visibility
Displays an icon indicating whether or not the assessment is visible to the user.
Navigation
Links
Click the number links, Next, or Previous to navigate through the user information.
3. Click OK when finished.
How to Enable or Disable Statistics Tracking
Use the Statistics Tracking tool to enable or disable tracking and to view system tracking information for this
assessment.
1. Click Enable/Disable Tracking.
2. Click the Enable or Disable radio button.
3. Click Submit.
How to View System Tracking Statistics
1. Click View Statistics.
2. Use the Start Date and End Date check boxes and the date and time fields to define the Time
Period for the statistics report.
3. Click the All Users radio button to include the statistics for all users.
-or4. Click the Selected Users radio button and select the statistics of a specific student, or select
multiple students by using holding down the CTRL key and clicking on each user name.
5. Click Submit.
How to View and Apply Metadata to this Assessment
Use the Metadata tool to apply metadata information for this assessment.To learn more, see Adding Question
Metadata.
1. Click Metadata.
2. Click Edit next to the appropriate metadata.
3. Type the appropriate information in the appropriate fields.
4. Click Submit.
Rules for Editing Assessments
Once an assessment has been created, it is edited in a number of ways. However, there are specific rules that
govern what is edited and when that modification can take place.
These rules are presented to help prevent problems such as setting the dates incorrectly and rendering the
assessment unusable. This occurs when the assessment is saved with the Submission End Date in the past
or the Submission Start and Submission End dates matching each other. In this case, the only remedy is to
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export the assessment, import it, fix the dates, and then delete the original assessment. All submissions for the
original are lost in this process.
Understanding the Assessment Timeline
An assessment is defined by the following timeline:
Timeline
Period
Description
Create &
Deploy
Before any participant has submitted anything, even after the submission start date.
Submit
After the submission start date and something has been submitted and before the submission
end date.
Complete
After the submission end date but before the evaluation start date.
Evaluate
After the evaluation start date and before the evaluation end date.
Results
After the evaluation end date.
Assessment Rules
The rules that govern the modification of assessment elements are defined in the following table. These
changes are made without system warnings, except when noted.
Timeline Period
What Can be Edited (System Warning)
What Cannot Be Edited
Create & Deploy
Any element can be changed with no restrictions or warnings.
Nothing
Submit
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Name
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Delete questions
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Instructions—students who have already submitted this
assessment might not come back to see instructions
changes
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Order of questions
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Submission start date
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Submission end date
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Evaluation start/end eate
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Anonymous evaluation
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Self evaluation
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Number of peers
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Availability flag
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Tracking
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Date restrictions
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Added questions—students who have already
submitted this assessment might not come back to see
question changes
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Add/edit/delete/re-order criteria
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Edited question text—students who have already
submitted this assessment might not come back to see
question changes
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Edited model response
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Timeline Period
Complete
Evaluate
Results
What Can be Edited (System Warning)
What Cannot Be Edited
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Name
l
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Instructions—the submission process for this
assessment has ended
Add/edit/delete/reorder questions
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Submission start sate
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Evaluation start/end date
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Anonymous evaluation
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Self evaluation
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Number of peers
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Availability flag
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Tracking
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Date restrictions
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Add/edit/delete/re-order criteria
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Edited model response
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Name
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Number of peers
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Instructions—the submission process for this
assessment has ended
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Add/edit/delete/reorder questions
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Evaluation end date
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Anonymous evaluation
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Availability flag
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Delete/re-order Criteria
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Tracking
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Edit criteria points
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Date restrictions
l
l
Added criteria—users who have already completed the
evaluation might not come back to see criteria changes
Possible points,
assigned points
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Evaluation start date
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Edited criteria text—users who have already completed
the evaluation might not come back to see criteria
changes
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Self evaluation
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Submission end date
l
Submission start date
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Edited criteria to allow feedback to user—users who
have already completed the evaluation might not come
back to see criteria changes
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Edited model response—users who have already
completed the evaluation might not come back to see
criteria changes
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Name
l
Number of peers
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Instructions—the submission process for this
assessment has ended
l
Add criteria
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Allow feedback
l
Evaluation end date
l
Anonymous evaluation
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Availability flag
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Delete/re-order criteria
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Tracking
l
Edit criteria
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Date restrictions
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Edit criteria points
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Possible points,
assigned points
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Edit criteria text
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Edit model response
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Evaluation start date
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Add/edit/delete/reorder questions
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Self evaluation
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Submission end date
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Submission start date
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Editing an Assessment
From the Edit Assessment page, you can access the Assessment Canvas to change questions or criteria,
change the properties of an assessment or export it for later use. For detailed information about what can and
cannot be edited, see Rules for Editing Assessments.
How to Edit an Assessment
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate assessment.
2. To add questions and criteria, or to reorder them, use the Assessment Canvas. To learn more
about adding questions or criteria, see Adding a Question to an Assessment.
a. To reorder questions, click the number drop down list next to the appropriate question
and select a new number for that question. The questions are reordered automatically.
b. To change the criteria order, click Criteria next to the appropriate question, then click
the number drop down list next to the appropriate criteria and select a new number for
the criteria. The criteria are reordered automatically.
3. Click OK when finished.
Setting Assessment Properties
Clicking the Properties link displays the Properties page for the assessment. For details on the fields and
functions, see Creating a New Self and Peer Assessment.
Note: Fields that cannot be edited are grayed out.
Note: The Update Grade Center Column Name check box appears beside the assessment name if you
have permission to update the Grade Center. If this is checked and a change is made to the assessment name
then the name of the Grade Center column is also changed. If this is not checked, or if you do not have Grade
Center permissions, then the name of the assessment can still be changed but the change is not reflected in
the Grade Center.
Monitoring Assessment Submissions
Assessment submissions are monitored and reviewed during the assessment process. Submissions are
downloaded as a collection or on an individual basis so they can be reviewed later. The submissions are
bundled in a .zip file that contains an HTML file for each submission. The submissions can be opened and read
in any web browser.
How to Monitor the Submissions for an Assessment
1. On the Control Panel within the course, under Course Tools, click the Self and Peer
Assessment link.
2. Click the name of the appropriate Assessment.
3. Click Submissions.
Using the Submissions Page
The Submissions page contains the following features and functions:
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Feature
Description
Assessment
Displays the name of the assessment.
Submission
Dates
Displays the submission date range.
Evaluation Dates
Displays the evaluation date range.
Download All
Click to download all submissions as a .zip file.
Filter by
Select an option to filter the submission list and click Go to apply the filter.
Completed
Displays an icon showing whether or not a submission is complete.
Name
Displays the name of the student.
Username
Displays the user name of the student.
Question
Responses
Displays the number of question responses that have been recorded so far and the total
number of questions.
Submission
View
Click to view a specific submission.
Download
Click to download a specific submission as a .zip file.
Displaying the View Submission Page
The View Submission page is displayed by clicking View next to a submission on the Submissions page.
The page contains the following information:
Feature
Description
Assessment Name
Displays the name of the assessment.
Questions
Displays the number of questions in this assessment.
Instructions
Displays the instructions for this assessment.
Evaluations to Complete Displays the number of evaluations that need to be completed.
Submission End Date
Displays the submission end date.
Last Submitted Date
Displays the date that the last submission was received.
Question 1
Displays the question text.
Submission
Displays the submission text for the question.
Monitoring the Evaluations
Assessment evaluations are monitored and reviewed during the assessment process. Evaluations are
downloaded as a collection or on an individual basis so they can be reviewed later. The evaluations are bundled
in a .zip file that contains an HTML file for each evaluation. The evaluations can be opened and read in any web
browser.
How to Monitor Assessment Evaluations
1. On the Control Panel within the course, under Course Tools, click the Self and Peer
Assessment link.
2. Click the name of the appropriate assessment.
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3. Click Evaluations.
The Evaluations Page
The Evaluations page contains the following features and functions:
Feature
Description
Assessment
Displays the name of the assessment.
Submission Dates
Displays the submission date range.
Evaluation Dates
Displays the evaluation date range.
Download All
Click to download all evaluations as a comma separated values file (.csv).
Filter by:
Select an option to filter the submission list and click Go to apply the filter.
Completed
Displays an icon showing whether or not an evaluation is complete.
Evaluator
Displays the name of the evaluator.
Evaluator Username
Displays the username of the evaluator.
Submissions
Evaluated
Displays the names of students whose submissions have been assigned to this
evaluator.
Percentages
Displays the points given to this student in a percentage format.
Points
Displays the points allocated by a specific evaluator.
Average
Displays the average of all the percentages that have been submitted.
Evaluated Self
Displays an icon showing whether or not a self-evaluation has been submitted.
Evaluation
View
Click to view a specific evaluation.
Download
Click to download a specific evaluation as a .zip file.
How to Display the View Evaluation Page
The View Evaluation page is displayed by clicking View next to an evaluation on the Evaluations page. The
page contains the following features:
Feature
Description
Assessment Name
Displays the name of the assessment.
Questions
Displays the number of questions for this assessment.
Instructions
Displays the Instructions for this assessment.
Evaluations to Complete Displays the number of evaluations that need to be completed.
Evaluation End Date
Displays the evaluation end date.
Current Time
Displays the time this page was accessed.
Evaluator Header
Displays the name of the evaluator.
Submission
Displays the name of a submitter (appears in parentheses).
Criteria
Question Header
Displays the question text.
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Feature
Description
Points Allocated
Displays the number of points allocated for this criteria.
Points Possible
Displays the number of points that are possible for the criteria.
Feedback to User
Displays any feedback text that the submitter has entered.
Viewing the Assessment Results
Assessment results are monitored and reviewed once the submission phase has ended. Results can be
downloaded as a collection or on an individual basis.
How to Monitor the Results for an Assessment
1. On the Control Panel within the course, under Course Tools, click the Self and Peer
Assessment link.
2. Click the name of the appropriate assessment.
3. Click Results.
Using the Assessment Results Page
The Assessment Results page contains the following features and functions.
Feature
Description
Assessment
Displays the name of the assessment.
Submission End Date
Displays the submission end date.
Evaluation End Date
Displays the evaluation end date.
Download
Click to download all evaluations as a tab-delimited file (.CSV).
Update column total in Grade
Center when updating grades
Check this box to update the Grade Center with the results from this
assessment.
Send to Grade Center
Click to send the results to the Grade Center.
Evaluated
Displays an icon showing whether or not a user has completed an evaluation.
Name
Displays the name of the student.
Username
Displays the username of the student.
Average Percentage
Displays the average of all points the evaluators of this student gave for the
student's submission as a percentage of total points possible.
Average Score
Displays the average of all points the evaluators of this student gave for the
student's submission.
Results Sent
Indicates whether or not the results for this student have been sent to the
Grade Center.
Evaluated Self
Displays an icon showing whether or not a self-evaluation has been
submitted.
Peer Markers
Displays how many peers have completed the evaluation of this student.
View
Click to view a specific submission.
Download
Click to download a specific submission as a .zip file.
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Assignments > Digital Dropbox
Digital Dropbox
The Digital Dropbox has been replaced by the Assignments tool in Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1.
If your instructor has asked you to submit something to the Digital Dropbox, please contact them for alternative
instructions.
The Assignments tool has many improvements over the Digital Dropbox, including the ability to download all
student submissions in a single file, associate the assignment with a Grade Center column, manage multiple
files at once, and determine the number of attempts a student can make. To learn more, see Assignments.
Other alternatives for student file sharing include Blogs, Journals, the Discussion Board, and Wikis.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > About Creating Tests and Surveys
Tests, Surveys, and Pools
About Creating Tests and Surveys
Tests and surveys are used to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from
students. You can create tests and surveys and then deploy them in a course area. The difference between
tests and surveys is test questions have points assigned to them for grading evaluation, whereas surveys do
not.
Before You Begin
When creating a test there are a number of things you should consider:
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Is this to be a test or survey?
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Are special instructions needed ?
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How many questions?
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What type of questions?
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If creating a test, what is the point value associated with each question?
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Will partial credit be acceptable for some or all test questions?
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Are some test questions very difficult and may count as extra credit?
Creating Tests and Surveys
Tests and surveys are used to measure a student’s understanding of the course, and are deployed to students
in the course by adding them to a Content Area. Once added to a Content Area, test and survey properties such
as availability and presentation options are managed there. To learn more, see Creating Tests and Surveys.
After a test or survey is added to a Content Area, the Test Options or Survey Options page appears. To learn
more, see Deploying Tests and Surveys.
Note: You can view and grade tests submitted by students in the Grade Center. Tests and surveys submitted
by students may not be viewed or graded from the Content Area where they are posted.
Specifying Question Settings
Before you begin adding questions, you may want to change the test or survey's question settings. Question
settings include options to change default point values for a test, add images, files, or web links to questions
and answers, and designate questions as extra credit.
To learn more, see Changing Question Settings.
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey From a Content Area Before Attempts
Are Made
When a test or survey is deleted from a Content Area, the assessment itself is not deleted. It is still available on
the Tests or Surveys page and can be edited, redeployed, or deleted from the system.
If students have not attempted to take the assessment, it may be safely deleted from the Content Area without
any loss of data.
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If the assessment is deployed again, it is presented as a new assessment. There is no connection or shared
data between the first and second deployments and the Grade Center will treat each deployment as separate
Grade Center Items.
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey From a Content Area After Attempts
Have Been Made
If any students have already taken an assessment be cautious and consider the consequences before deleting
the assessment. It is recommended that an assessment first be made unavailable before considering the more
drastic step of deleting it.
If one or more users have attempted the assessment, deleting it from the Content Area has consequences. A
warning will appear with options to consider.
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Preserve scores in the Grade Center for this test, but all attempts for this test will be deleted.
This option deletes the assessment from the Content Area. Any grades in the Grade Center related to
this assessment will remain but the attempt itself will be deleted. In this instance, the grade stays but
the assessment and any attempts are deleted. It will not be possible to view any of the student’s
responses to questions. This can have serious consequences, for example, if an essay question still
needs to be graded, it will not be possible to do so after deleting the assessment because the details
of the attempt were deleted.
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Remove this content item, the Grade Center item for this test, all grades for this test, and all
attempts for this test. This option deletes the assessment from the Content Area and erases any
record of the assessment from the Grade Center. This will destroy all record of student performance
on the assessment.
Use the following steps to delete an assessment from a Content Area:
1. Open the Content Area where the assessment is located.
2. Change Edit Mode to ON.
3. Select Delete from the contextual menu for the assessment.
4. Click OK on the dialog box.
5. Select Preserve scores in the Grade Center for this test, but delete all attempts for this test
or Delete this content item, the Grade Center item for this test, all grades for this test, and
all attempts for this test. (See above for definitions.)
6. Click Submit.
Deleting an Assessment From the Tests or Surveys Pages
Tests are deleted by selecting the Delete option from the contextual menu for the assessment located on the
Tests or Surveys pages.
If a Remove function does not appear for an assessment in the test or survey manager, follow the instructions
for deleting a deployed assessment before trying to delete the assessment from the test or survey manager.
Removing an assessment deletes the assessment, but does not have any impact on the Grade Center.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Test (Flash movie | 3m 50s ) |
Getting Started with Building a Test (PDF file |
22.6 MB)
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Creating Tests and Surveys
Creating Tests and Surveys
Once a test or survey is built, questions are created or added from existing questions in tests, surveys, and
pools.
About Question Settings
On the Test Canvas, click Question Settings on the Action Bar to change settings for different aspects of a
test or survey. Question settings include options for the following:
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Enabling the feedback option for questions
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Adding images, files, or web links to questions and answers
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Adding metadata to questions
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Determining default point values for questions in tests
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Designating questions as extra credit, and enabling negative and partial credit scoring
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Specifying display options, such as numbering options for answers
To learn more, see Changing Question Settings.
How to Build a Test or Survey and Add New Questions
Follow these steps to create a test and begin adding questions to it:
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
2. Select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
3. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, select Tests.
4. On the Tests page, click Build Test on the Action Bar.
5. On the Test Information page, type a name, and optional description and instructions.
6. Click Submit.
7. On the Test Canvas, point to Create Question on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
8. Select a question type.
9. On the Create/Edit page, provide the necessary information to create a question.
10. Click Submit.
11. On the Test Canvas, you can change a question's point value.
a. Click a question's current point value.
b. In the Update Points pop-up, edit the points.
c. Click Submit.
12. Repeat Step 7 through Step 11 to add more questions.
13. Click OK. The test is added to the list on the Tests page and is ready to deploy in a course area.
Surveys are created the same way, except that points are not assigned to survey questions:
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
2. Select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
3. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, select Surveys.
4. On the Surveys page, click Build Survey on the Action Bar.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Editing Tests and Questions
5. On the Survey Information page, type a name, and optional description and instructions.
6. Click Submit.
7. On the Survey Canvas, point to Create Question on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
8. Select a question type.
9. On the Create/Edit page, provide the necessary information to create a survey question.
10. Click Submit.
11. Repeat Step 7 through Step 10 to add more questions.
12. Click OK. The survey is added to the list on the Surveys page and is ready to deploy in a course
area.
How to Reorder Questions
By default, when new questions are created, they are added to the end of the test. Reorder items using the
drag-and-drop function or the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool.
Note: Changing question order only affects new test attempts, assuming the test is not set to display
questions in random order. Attempts already submitted retain the order as originally viewed when the test was
taken.
Questions are numbered automatically in the order they are added, and the question numbers update when
items are reordered or randomized. Therefore, use caution when referring to specific question numbers in the
questions' text.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Test (Flash movie | 3m 50s ) |
Getting Started with Building a Test (PDF file |
22.6 MB)
Editing Tests and Questions
On the Test Canvas, you can add, edit, and delete questions in a test. You can also add question sets or
random blocks, reorder questions, and edit a test's information before students submit attempts.
Access the Test Canvas from the Grade Center, the Course Tools section in the Control Panel, and by
accessing a deployed test in a course area, such as a Content Area or Learning Module.
After students submit attempts, the ability to modify a test is limited. Once a test has attempts associated with
it, you cannot add a question, modify the number of questions in a question set, or change a random block
definition or options. However, you can edit, delete, reorder, and change the point values of existing questions.
Deleting questions or changing the point values affect all previously submitted test attempts. All affected
submissions are regraded.
Note: If a test has one or more attempts in progress, you cannot delete questions.
How to Edit Tests From the Grade Center
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center or the Tests Smart View, if available, to access the tests.
3. Locate the column for the test and click the Action Link in the column heading to access the
contextual menu.
4. Select Edit Test. The Test Canvas appears.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Editing Tests and Questions
How to Edit Tests From the Course Tools Section
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
2. Select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
3. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, select Tests.
4. On the Tests page, click the Action Link to the right of a test's title to access the contextual menu.
5. Select Edit. The Test Canvas appears.
How to Edit Tests From a Course Area
You can edit a test that is deployed in a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or
folder. In this example, a test is edited from a Content Area.
1. In a Content Area, click the Action Link to the right of a test's title to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit the Test. The Test Canvas appears.
How to Edit Test Questions
1. On the Test Canvas, click the Action Link to the right of a question's title to access the contextual
menu.
2. Select Edit. The question's Create/Edit page appears.
How to Change Point Values
You can change possible points awarded for answering questions correctly.
1. On the Test Canvas, select the check box for each question requiring a change.
2. On the Action Bar, type a number in the Points box.
3. Click Update or Update and Regrade to make your changes.
-OR1. On the Test Canvas, click a question's current point value.
2. In the Update Points pop-up, edit the points, set the question as Extra Credit, or give Full Credit.
3. Click Submit or Submit and Regrade to make your changes.
In both cases, new grades are recalculated for all previously submitted tests. To remove a question's Extra
Credit or Full Credit designation, click the question's current point value and clear the appropriate check box.
How to Delete Test Questions
After a test is deployed and students submit attempts, you can delete questions. All affected submissions are
regraded. If a test has one or more attempts in progress, you cannot delete questions.
1. On the Test Canvas, select the check box for each question to delete.
2. On the Action Bar, click Delete and Regrade.
The question numbers update after one or more questions are deleted. New grades are recalculated for all
previously submitted tests.
How to Reorder Questions Once Submissions Exist
By default, when new questions are created, they are added to the end of the test. Reorder items using the
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Options
drag-and-drop function or the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool.
Note: Changing question order only affects new test attempts, assuming the test is not set to display
questions in random order. Attempts already submitted retain the order as originally viewed when the test was
taken.
Questions are automatically numbered in the order they are added, and the question numbers update when
items are reordered or randomized. Therefore, use caution when referring to specific question numbers in the
questions' text.
Test and Survey Options
Test and survey options allow you to edit the name and description of a test or survey. Options control the
availability, presentation, and feedback for an assessment. These options are available only after an
assessment is added to a Content Area. Tests added to a Content Area are said to be "deployed," at which
point the options to change them become more limited.
After a test or survey is deployed, the Test Options or Survey Options page appears. To edit an existing
assessment, select Edit the Test Options or Edit the Survey Options from the contextual menu.
Editing Test or Survey Availability
Test and survey availability is set after the assessment is added to a Content Area. Availability is managed on
the Options page. When an assessment is unavailable, it is deployed to a Content Area but a link does not
appear to students. Unavailable tests can be seen by instructors and course builders when Edit Mode is ON.
To learn more, see Edit Mode.
The following are descriptions of the test and survey availability options:
Option
Description
Make the Link
Available
Select Yes to make a link to the assessment appear to students. If this option is set to No, it will not
appear to students. You can set this to available, and then use the Display After and Display
Until fields to limit the amount of time the link to the assessment appears.
Add a New
Announcement
for this
Test/Survey
Select Yes to create an announcement for the test or survey. The announcement will include the
date and state, "An assessment has been made available in [Course area that includes the link to
the Assessment]". This announcement will appear in the course announcements as well as the
My Course and My Announcements modules.
If an announcement has previously been posted using this feature, the date and time of the most
recent announcement will be displayed.
Multiple
Attempts
This option allows students to take the assessment multiple times. The status of multiple attempts
is displayed to students at the top of the assessment. Select Allow Unlimited Attempts for
students to take the assessment as many times as they wish. Select Number of Attempts and
enter a numeral to indicate a specific number of attempts that is allowed.
Force
Completion
Students must complete the assessment the first time it is launched if Force Completion is
selected. Students may not exit the assessment and continue working on it at a later date. The
Save button is available for students to save the assessment as they work through it, but they may
not exit and re-enter the assessment. If the Force Completion option is enabled, it is noted and
explained to students at the top of the assessment. If Force Completion is not enabled, students
may save their progress and complete the assessment at another time.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Options
Option
Description
Set Timer
Select this check box to set a time limit for finishing the assessment. If this option is selected, enter
the amount of time to allow for the test or survey in the hours and minutes boxes. The time elapsed
is displayed to the student during the assessment. A one-minute warning is also displayed as
students approach the time limit.
Selecting this option also records completion time, available under Test Information when the
attempt is complete.
Note: If a student saves and exits the assessment the timer continues. For example, if they begin
the test on Tuesday, save and exit it, then complete it on Thursday the student's completion time
will be 48 hours.
If a timer is set, turning Auto-Submit on will save and submit the assessment automatically when
time expires. Leaving it off will give students the option to continue after time expires.
Display After
Select the date and time when the test or survey will become available to students. This field is
optional. You can control availability through the Make the Link Available option without setting
specific dates.
Display Until
Select the date and time the test will be made unavailable to students. This field may be left blank.
Password
Select this check box to require a password for students to access the assessment. If this check
box is selected, enter a password in the field below. Passwords cannot be longer than 15
characters and are case sensitive.
About Unavailable Tests and Surveys
There is a difference between unavailable and deleted assessments.
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Deleted assessments have been deleted from the course. Deleting an assessment cannot be
undone.
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Unavailable assessments are deployed to a Content Area but a link does not appear to students. You
can access the assessment through the Control Panel under Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, and
Pools when Edit Mode is ON. To learn more, see Edit Mode.
Assessment availability is managed on the Test Options or Survey Options page. Assessment availability is
limited to a specific time period by setting the Display After and Display Until fields. The availability can also
be open ended by setting only a start date or only an end date. If the link to an assessment is available, but
neither date is set, the assessment is immediately and always available.
Using the Self-Assessment Options
By default, a deployed test is included in Grade Center calculations. However, sometimes you may want to
allow students to take assessments for review or practice without impacting Grade Center calculations.
You can turn the test into a self-assessment by hiding students’ scores in the Grade Center. This allows
students to take tests to reinforce learning without feeling pressure about a score affecting their total grade.
Select all of the options under Test Feedback so students are able to see how they did. If all options are
selected, students will see the answers they selected and which ones are correct.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Options
Option
Description
Include this Test in
Grade Center Score
Calculations
Select this option to include this test in Grade Center calculations. If the test is not included,
the score does not affect any Grade Center calculations.
Hide Results for this
Test Completely
from Instructor and
the Grade Center
Select this option to hide this test score from you and exclude it from Grade Center
calculations. The display in the Grade Center will read Complete/Incomplete and N/A or
zero appears on the Grade Details page. You cannot see the student's answers to
questions. Students are still able to view their own scores.
Selecting this option makes Include this Column in Other Grade Center Calculations and
Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades
unavailable when editing column information in the Grade Center.
Editing Test Feedback
When a test is deployed, four options for test feedback appear on the Test Options page. The feedback
options determine the type of results users receive after a test is submitted. One or more options may be
selected. If you are using the test as a self-assessment, selecting all of the feedback options will give students
the most information to help them improve.
Select all of the options under Test Feedback so students are able to see how they did. If all options are
selected, students will see the answers they selected and which ones are correct.
Feedback Mode
Description
Score
Present the final score to students.
Submitted Answers Present the student’s answers.
Correct answers
Present the correct answers to the questions.
Feedback
Present the question feedback to the student.
If students are taking the test at different times, you can choose to make a limited amount of feedback available
until all students have completed the test.
For example, you can choose to present only the Score when you first deploy the test, and when all students
have taken the test, edit the test options to show Submitted Answers, Correct Answers, and Feedback. You
can create an announcement to notify students that additional feedback is available, and students can return to
the test to view the additional feedback.
Editing Survey Feedback
When a survey is deployed, two feedback options appear on the Survey Options page. The survey feedback
options determine the type of results students receive after a survey is submitted. One or both options may be
selected.
Feedback Mode
Description
Status
Students see whether the survey is complete or incomplete.
Submitted Answers Students see the answers they submitted.
Editing Test Presentation
The following table describes the options for presenting quest