How do I access content in my course?

Your instructors can add different types of content to your courses, such as files, text, assignments, images, multimedia, and links. They can organize content in folders, learning modules, and lesson plans.

You access course content from links on the course menu. Links that hold content are called content areas. For example, an instructor may add a content area that contains a week's worth of course material. Week 1 may include content such as readings, assignments, a discussion, and a link to website. Select an item to open it.

More on the course menu

Types of content

This table describes the types of content that your instructors can add to courses.

Each item may appear with an icon to denote its content type. Your institution may choose different sets of icons.

If you see a menu with alternative file versions, your institution uses Blackboard Ally to offer alternative download options of your course's content. To learn more, see Ally help for students.

Description of content types
Icon Content Type Description
Item An item is a piece of content such as a file, image, or text. Your instructor can include a description and attach files, images, video, and audio.
Assignment Instructors use assignments to assess your knowledge of course content and objectives. Your instructors often assign grades to assignments.
Survey Instructors use surveys for polling purposes, evaluations, and to assess your knowledge at that point in time. Surveys aren't graded.
Test Instructors use tests to assess your knowledge of course content and objectives. Your instructors often assign point values to questions in the test. Your answers are submitted for grading.
File A file appears as a page within your course or as a separate piece of content in a separate browser window.
Audio An audio file may play when you open the page and continue to play until you pause it or navigate away from the page.
Image Images appear on the page.
Video Videos appear on the page. You have controls to pause, play, and adjust the volume.
Web link Select the web link to go to a website or resource.
Learning module A learning module is a content container. You navigate through the content from a table of contents. Your instructor can add all types of content, such as text, images, multimedia, assignments, and tests.
Lesson plan A lesson plan is a content container. A lesson plan can contain lesson profiles, instructional objectives, and the content items you need to complete a lesson.
Syllabus A syllabus may contain course information, objectives, grading information, instructor contact information, dates, and textbook information.
Course link A course link is a shortcut to an item, tool, or area in a course for quick access to relevant materials.
Content folder A content folder is a content container. Instructors can use folders and sub-folders to group related material, such as a "Week 1 Case Studies" folder inside the "Week 1 Assignments" folder.
Blank page Instructors can include files, images, and text together on one page. Select the title to view the content. No description appears.
Module page A module page is a specialized content page that presents content in boxes, such as on a course Home Page or the page you see after you log in. You can keep track of tasks, tests, assignments, and new content created in your course.
Tool Instructors can add a shortcut to a specific tool in your course, such as the discussion board, blogs, or groups. Or, if the Tools link appears on the course menu, you can access all available tools from the Tools page.
Flickr® Photo You can view photos and images from their website.
SlideShare Presentation You can view slide presentations, documents, or Adobe PDF portfolios from other websites.
YouTube video You can view online videos from their website.

What if I don't see some content?

Instructors can limit which content items you see based on date, time, individual users, course groups, and your performance on graded items.

For example, your instructor restricts access to the next assignment until you complete a test. Your instructor can also require that the assignment doesn't appear until you complete the test and score at least 70 percent.

Ask your instructor about content that you think may not appear for you but should. You might have to meet specific criteria.

When your instructor adds new content in the learning module and you don't see it yet, you can:

  • Select the 'Refresh' icon at the top right of the course menu, or
  • Log out, log in and try again.

Can I show I've reviewed content?

Review status allows your instructor to track interaction with specific content items. Review status sometimes affects when you can see additional content.

For example, your instructor enables review status for an article. The release of a test is contingent upon your review of the article. After you mark the article reviewed, the test appears.

A Mark Reviewed option appears with items chosen by your instructor. After you review one of the items, select the option to mark it as Reviewed.

You can switch between Reviewed and Mark Reviewed if you want to go back to a content item and review it again. Your instructor only views the current setting. If you mark an item as Reviewed, then switch to Mark Review, your instructor doesn't see that the item was marked Reviewed at any time.

Ally in Learn Original - Student

View alternative file formats

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about viewing alternative file formats.

Your institution controls which tools are available.

Each student has unique learning abilities and preferences. When your instructor provides more accessible content, each individual can choose formats that work best for them. If your institution uses Blackboard Ally, instructors can use the tool to help ensure course content is accessible to every student.

After your instructor attaches files to a course, Ally creates alternative formats of the file based on the original. For example, if the original file is a PDF, Ally creates audio, electronic braille, and ePub formats of the same content. These formats are made available with the original file so everything is in one convenient location.

The alternative formats created depend on the original file type. If you don't see an option to download alternative formats, Ally isn’t enabled for that course or the file isn't a supported content type.

Find a file in your course. Select the menu beside it and select Alternative Formats. Choose the version that is best for your needs! Select Download to save the alternative format to your device.

More on alternative formats for course content