Course content can be delivered in Blackboard courses using a large variety of tools. When you add content to your course most of these tools share the same basic setup process. If you need advice or are unsure of the correct course tools to use, please contact your Faculty Learning Technologist.
This section will provide guidance on building basic content in Blackboard for your course. For each section, further information can be found on the Blackboard help website.
We recommended that staff with an interest in learning more about Blackboard Learn attend the Digital Education Team’s Blackboard training workshop.
The Course Menu on the left of the screen is the main navigation tool for a course.
In this section, you can organise your course into logical sections, providing links to content areas, as well as links to built-in Blackboard tools such as discussion forums, student grades and course calendars.
Sections that can be added include:
Content Area - a blank area in which course content can be built
Module Area - a blank area that modules or widgets can be added
Blank Page - a single page that can be designed to include text and multimedia
Tool Link - a link to a specific tool in Blackboard
Web Link - a link to an external site
Course Link - a link to a specific item in the Blackboard course
Adding Content Areas
Content Areas are a good way to deliver the majority of course content to students.
In a content area, you can add content items, file attachments, links to websites, tests, assignments, and multimedia. You can also add other containers to organise your content such as folders and learning modules.
To create a Content Area, follow the steps below:
Select the Add Menu Item plus icon (+) above the Course Menu to add a content area.
Select Content Area and enter a name for the new area.
Select the Available to Users check box if you're ready for students to see it. You can create content areas ahead of time and make them unavailable to students; then, make them available at the appropriate time.
After you submit, a link to the new content area appears on the course menu. Select the link to the Content Area to begin adding content.
Follow the same process to add different types of content areas to your course.
For further information and guidance about Content Areas, visit the Blackboard help website.
Adding Items and Documents
Items are one of the main building blocks of a course, being used in Content Areas to add content such as text, multimedia or files.
The steps taken to create an Item are very similar to those when creating other content in a Blackboard course, so the instructions listed below can be used as a guide to creating other tools.
To create an Item , complete the following steps:
- Navigate to the Content Area in your course that you would like to start building content. Select Build Content and then select Item.
- Type a name and an optional description or instructions. You can use the options in the editor to format text, attach files, embed multimedia, and insert equations, links, and tables.
- In the Attachments section, you can add a file as a downloadable attachment. Select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer.
- The Standard Options sections section is used by all Blackboard content. Here you can set the availability of the item so that it displays from/until a certain date. The Permit Users to View this Content allows you to hide content from students.
- Select Submit and your item will be created at the bottom of the Content Area. You can rearrange the order of your content by dragging and dropping individual items.
To edit a Item that you have already created, select the grey arrow next to the Item's title. This menu allows you to edit, delete or move the Item to a different location.
For further information and guidance about Items and other content, visit the Blackboard help website.
A Scorm (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) defines a specific way of constructing course content so it can be shared with other Scorm compliant systems. It enables you to package your content and share it with other systems.
A package will be developed externally to Blackboard (using a programme such as Articulate) and then compiled and compressed into a single file. These are then deployed within a course in Blackboard for students to participate in. When selecting the Scorm package, it will be opened in a separate window.
As Scorm content is often provided by a third-party developer, it is important to ensure that the package is compatible with Blackboard when compiled. If not, it may not function correctly in Blackboard. A common issue found is that the Scorm package does not communicate to the Blackboard grade centre when elements have been completed.
Note that ICT cannot provide support with individual Scorm packages, this should be provided by the vendor.