August 13, 2013

Course Files

Course Files: Manage Content at the Course Level

Course files eliminate redundancy and simplify the management of content updates.
An in-course file storage structure makes it easier to keep track of documents used in courses,
similar to the type of file and folder structure that is used on your PC.

content management

The new table of contents allows students to see and navigate the organization of the
set of content on the same page as the materials. A new thumb nail view and
drag and drop upload applet make it quick and easy to get files into Blackboard and to view the image files.

Preparing to use i>Clickers is your Course

A. Download the integration files:

  1. Click heretto download the integration files needed to ensure you can transfer information (You will be prompted to enter your blazer ID and password).
    1. Click on the drop-down menu
    2. Select iClicker and follow the directions provided.
  2. Extract the appropriate set of files (Select appropriate set of files for Windows [4 files] or Mac[3 files])
  3. IF you intend using both Windows and MAC, [e.g. a classroom PC and a home Mac] you will need to take these steps .
  4. Copy the selected files to the resources folder within the i>clicker software on your flash drive

B. Set up the student registration link in your course:

  1. Create a content area in your course (alternatively, you can use an existing content area. Click here for help on creating a content area).
  2. Within this content area, Select Tools, More Tools, then Select i>clicker Remote Registration:


The following page will be displayed, just click Submit:


When your students enter your course, they will see the following link:



Students will click on the link and enter their remote ID:


Create Course Tools

Most tools can be created using one of two approaches:

  1. Create a content area and build the tool using the Add Interactive Tool menu
  2. Build the tool using the Tools link in the control panel, then link to it in a content area or on the course menu

In this workshop session you will build and populate four tools. You will build the discussion board and blog from the Add Interactive Tool menu; then create a wiki and journal using the control panel, and we will lthen ink to them in the course menu.


Create a Discussion Board

A discussion forum is made up of threads. You must create the forum before students can access and post to it. You can add descriptive and explanatory content to a forum to guide student posts, replies, and comments. A thread can be a question posed by you, a student's response to a forum topic, or a new question raised by a student related to the forum in question.

To add a discussion forum to a content area:

Here, we will create a new forum; when you select the Create New Forum button, you will be prompted to fill out standard forum information and to apply settings:

There are a lot of settings you can use in the discussion forum. Here's a detailed explanation of each one.

Forum Settings

Using Course Tools

There are a number of tools in blackboard that you can use to communicate with your students and to generate student-to-student communication in your course. This session focuses on the creation and maintenance of four distinct tools:

  • Discussion boards
  • Journals
  • Blogs
  • Wikis

At their root, all of these tools serve essentially the same purpose - connecting students to you and to each other outside of the classroom. However, their design facilitates certain types of activities and exercise types and you can select any one based on the specifics of the assignment that you would like your students to complete.

Discussion Boards
Discussion boards are useful for generating debate, and are very useful in most social and behavioral science fields. For example, students in a government or political science course could spend a lot of time online analyzing and commenting on the clauses of Alabama HB 56, the Beason-Hammon Act. In an economics course, students could be tasked with discussing the impact and merits of the stimulus, and the impact of the political process on implementing its programs.

Blogs and Journals
Blogs and journal are essentially the same, the difference is in the default setting: blogs are public by nature, journals private (Although they can be made public). these tools are particularly useful for courses in which a student might record field observations, in biology for example. They are also effective in documenting attitude changes and development in critical thinking throughout a semester. For example, students in a difficult dialogues project course could be asked to maintain a blog or journal on their attitudes towards gays in the military over the course of a semester. Biology students in a study away program can post observations from the field to a blog directly from a smart phone or other mobile device. Students in public health that might do clinical observation can maintain a journal to record these observations over the course of the observation period.

Wikis are most useful for group work. Each student in a group can contribute, edit and comment on all the work posted. For example, students in a human geography course might be assigned to examine the reasons why settlements developed in specific locations. One student will examine flora and fauna, another terrain and climate, another water resources, and a fourth might examine geopolitics. The exercise can be continually reviewed, revised, and commented on as they proceed through the semester, and all changes to the wiki posts can be tracked and evaluated. The students collaborate, construct their own knowledge base, and learn a little about virtual team participation as they go.

These tools take a little time to learn, set up, and implement, but it can be very worthwhile if your goal is to generate dialog among your students.

Create a discussion board

Course Tools

You can set tool availability for your course in the control panel:

A large portion of, but not all, tools are available by default under the Tools link in your course. (This is link is part of the default template and appears in all unmodified courses). Any available tool can hidden from /shown to users. To hide a tool, click on the Tools link in the course menu:




Tool Types

Customizing Elements of Your Course

The system allows for limited customization of your course view, including:

  • The color palette of the default home page
  • The menu font and background color
  • Content view
  • Course entry point
  • Course banner

Customize the Default Home Page

You can customize the color palette of the default course home page (module page) as follows:

The remaining elements can be customized using the Customization menu on the Control Panel:

Menu Display

You can opt for either a list or folder view:

Default Content View


Select Course Entry Point and Select Banner

You can select any course menu link as the default entry point for your course. Once change, you and all of your students will see the selected page when you click on the course link from the MY Courses List on the My Institution tab. For example, you could link to your syllabus for the first week of class, then switch the course home page to announcements to ensure that students see any announcements you post during the term:

Basic communication with students

Adding Content to Your Course

There are a number of ways that you can add content to your course, and how you structure that content can vary depending on your subject matter, assessment methods, and teaching style.

Some instructors primarily use course menu links to create content, while others use content areas, or both. Further you can build content using the control panel and link to this content when structuring your course.

Add Content using a Content Area


The Content Area is the most flexible component that Bb Learn provides for building content in your course. You can also create assessments and tool links in a content area, and you can also display text book information for your course.

The content area mimics a folder or a learning module in that you can add several items in a content area (including a learning module or a content folder) and arrange those items in a form that is digestible for students. If you want to force students to view content in a sequence, it is more convenient to use the learning module tool than a content area.

Build Content

The build content menu allows you to add any of the following content types:

• Items, which can contain text, files, and images

• Assignments

• Individual tool links

• External Links

• Multimedia (audio, video, slide presentations)

• Course Links

• Folders

• Module Pages

• Tests and surveys


The Create Assignment and Add Interactive Tools Menus


Content Types