Blackboard Help

Table of Contents

Creating Content in a Course Area

Last Modified
10:56, 15 Aug 2013

Blackboard provides many options for creating content. You can read this page in its entirety, or click the Table of Contents icon (  ) in the upper-right and choose a topic that interests you.

After you create 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, tests, 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 surveys.

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.

File:Blackboard_Help/Help_for_Students/Content_Collection/Content_Folders/About_Folders_and_Items/build_content_drop_down.png

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 you can use online. Consider outlining or storyboarding a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder before creating content to create a logical organization.

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 which a description and other items can be attached.
File An HTML file that you can use in your course. These files can be viewed as a page within your course or as a separate piece of content in a separate browser window.
Audio

Image

Video

Upload files from your computer and incorporate them in a course area.
Web link Link to an outside website or resource.
Learning module A set of content that includes a structured path for progressing through the items.
Lesson plan A special content type that combines information about the lesson itself with the curriculum resources used to teach it.
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:

  • Flickr Photo: Link to a site for viewing and sharing photographic images
  • SlideShare: Link to a site for viewing and sharing PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, or Adobe PDF Portfolios
  • YouTube: Link to a site for viewing and sharing online videos

How to Create an Item

You can use content items to present a variety of course material.

  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.
  5. On the Create Item page, type a Name for the item.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. Optionally, in the Text box, type instructions or a description. You can use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment. In the Attachments section, you can attach additional files. Optionally, type names for the attached files. If you do not provide link names, the file names are used.
  7. Alternatively, in the Attachments section, attach a file using one of the following options. These files appear in the item before any Content Editor content.

    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.

    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  8. Select Options for the item.
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. 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.
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.

    Image illustrating associated text

  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.
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. 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 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 unzipped automatically.
  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 Courseor Browse Content Collection 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 Content 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:

  • Give users access to all files and folders in the folder: Choose this option to give users access to all files and sub-folders 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 sub-folders for CSS, Javascript, and images contained in the parent folder.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  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:
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
    • If the Browse Mashups function is available, you can browse for and link to content available on the internet, such as YouTube and Flickr.

      Image illustrating associated text

  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.
  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.
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. 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, .mp3, .midi, .mp, .wav, .wma.

Options for audio files in a course include:

  • Include Transcript: Including a text transcript is a standard web practice and allows users who 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.
  • Autostart: The file will begin playing when the user opens the course area that includes the audio file.
  • Loop: The file will play again from the beginning until stopped by the user.

Image Files

Blackboard Learn supports the following image file types: .gif, .jif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tiff, and .wmf.

Options for image files in a course include:

  • 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.
  • Long Description: Provides a similar function to alt text, but the text description is longer and more detailed.
  • 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.
  • Border: Include a solid black line, from one to four pixels in width, around the picture.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Compatible multimedia formats include:

  • 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.
  • QuickTime: 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, .moov, and .qt.
  • Flash/Shockwave: Adobe Flash and Shockwave files support audio, animation, and video. They are browser independent. These files have the following extensions: .swa and .swf.
  • Microsoft formats: ASF (Advanced Systems Format) is Microsoft's proprietary digital audio and video container which is especially suited for streaming media. WMV (Windows Media Video) is a video compression format. These files have the following extensions: .asf and .wmv.

Options for video files in a course include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Autostart: The file will begin playing when the user opens the course area that includes the video file.
  • 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.

Tip:  Copy the URL from your browser and paste it into this page.

After you have uploaded a file, you can click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked.

  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 for the link that will display in the course area.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. Type a URL. You must use the http:// protocol, such as http://www.myschool.edu/.
  7. Optionally, attach a file using one of the following options.
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  8. Set the Options :
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window outside of the course’s content frame.
    3. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    4. 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 LTI protocol. 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:  Your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not available, you can contact your school to discuss its status.Administrators can learn more at LTI Tool Providers.

  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 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 a key and secret by the tool provider, type them into the appropriate  boxes.
  8. Enter any Custom Parameters required by the tool provider. One parameter on each line.
  9. Select Yes to enable grading.

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.

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 Learn syllabus 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.

Tip:  You can attach additional files on the next page that appears after submitting. If you want to remove the file you attached, click the Do not attach link.

  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.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. Select the Use Existing File option.
  7. Attach a file using one of the following options:
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  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 content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment. In the Attachments section, you can attach additional files. Optionally, type names for the attached files. If you do not provide link names, the file names are used.
  11. Select Options:
    1. Select Yes for Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes for Track Number of Views.
    3. 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.

You can change the syllabus content at any time. From the course area where you created the syllabus, access its contextual menu.

Using the Syllabus Builder

You can use the syllabus builder tool to create a syllabus in a modular format. The syllabus provides three sections by default: Description, Learning Objectives, and Required Materials. You can edit these section headings. 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.
  5. On the Add Syllabus page, type a Syllabus Name.

    Image illustrating associated text

  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 Content Editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.

    Image illustrating associated text

  9. In the Syllabus Design section, select the styles and colors for the syllabus.
  10. In the Build Lessons section, select the Create Specified Number of Lesson Shells option and type a number. You provide lesson information in later steps. Alternatively, you can select the Do Not Create Lesson Shells option.
  11. Select Options:
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. 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.

    -OR-

    If you need to provide details for lessons, continue with the subsequent steps.

  14. Access the lesson's contextual menu and select Edit.

    Image illustrating associated text

  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 you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content 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, access its contextual menu.

How to Create a Course Link

A course link is a shortcut to an existing area, tool, or item in a course. You can add course links 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.
  5. On the Create Course Link page click Browse to find the course item you want to link to.

    Image illustrating associated text

  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 content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
  10. Select Options:
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. 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.

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. No description 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.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. Type your content for the page in the Content box. You can use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment. Files attached in the Content 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.
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  8. Select Options:
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. 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. You can control which events show in the notification modules. To learn more, see How to Turn Notifications On and Off.

You can add course modules to module pages only. Your course might have a default module page called Home Page 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.

    Image illustrating associated text

  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:
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the module 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 module page availability, only when it appears.
  8. Click Submit.

Note:  You can also create module pages on the course menu. To learn more, see Course Menu.

Customize the Module Page Banner

You edit a module page’s settings and title just as you do any other content item. Access its contextual menu and select Edit. However, changing a module page’s banner differs.

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.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.
  3. Click the link to the module page.
  4. On the module page, access the title's contextual menu.

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  5. Select Page Banner.
  6. Type the Page Banner Content in the text box. You can use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content 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.

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 function. Alternatively, click its Remove function to delete a module from the module page.

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  5. Click OK.

Managing Modules

Image corresponding to the key below

 Item corresponding to the image above  Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder course modules.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Alternatively, use the keyboard accessible reordering tool to reorder the modules.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Collapse to display only the header area.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Remove a module by clicking Close—represented by the X.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Change the display of a module by clicking Personalize. For example, you can select how many days of announcements will appear in a module.

How to Create Mashups

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. You can add other mashup sources as building blocks.

  • Flickr®: This site is for viewing and sharing photographic images.
  • SlideShare: This site is for viewing and sharing slide presentations, documents, or Adobe PDF Portfolios.
  • YouTube™: This site is for viewing and sharing online videos.

You can create mashups as standalone content items in a course area. You can also create them in other places such as test questions, discussion board forums, blogs, or assignments by using the content editor.

Note:  Your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not available, you can contact your school to discuss its status. Mashups are often disabled to comply with institutional rules that govern online teaching and learning.

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 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 content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
  10. Set the Mashup Options. Options vary depending on the type of mashup.
    1. 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.
    2. Size: Select the appropriate size.
    3. Show URL: Display the source URL.
    4. Show Information: Display the information about the content from the external website.

      Note: Choose No for the Show YouTube Information option if you do not want to show YouTube’s suggested videos at the end of playback.

  11. Optionally, in the Attachments section, attach a file using one of the following options.
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  12. Set the Options:
    1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window outside of the course’s content frame.
    3. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    4. 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 Content Editor

You can create a mashup in most places where the Content Editor is available. This means that you can put mashups in areas such as content descriptions, test questions, discussion posts, and blogs.

  1. Set Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access the content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder and create a content item or edit an existing one.
  3. In the content editor, click Insert Mashup.
  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.
  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.

    Note: Choose No for the Show YouTube Information option if you do not want to show YouTube’s suggested videos at the end of playback.

  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 school, the SCORM Engine becomes the default content player for all newly uploaded content packages, as well as any existing content package that is reuploaded, even if the Open Standards Content Player is also enabled.

Note:  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 school 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, reuploading, 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, you will see no major differences.

To learn more about IMS content, go to http://www.imsproject.org.

NLN Content

The Open Standards Content Player building block supports NLN content, which conforms to SCORM and IMS standards. The United Kingdom NLN Materials Team is responsible for commissioning and developing e-learning 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 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:
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        -OR-

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  6. To upload the selected file, click Submit.

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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 content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content 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.
    1. Select Yes to Make SCORM Available.
    2. For Number of Attempts, you can select Allow single attempts, Allow unlimited attempts, or enter a number for Number of attempts allowed.
    3. 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
    4. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. Select Yes to Grade SCOS, and then select the individual items to grade.
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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.

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. On 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. On the Control Panel, click Evaluation.
  2. Click SCORM Reports.
  3. On the SCORM Reports page, access an item's contextual menu 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 for assistance and guidance.

To access the SCORM player Advanced Options, you must edit an existing SCORM content package.

  1. Set 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. Access the SCORM content package's 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:
    • Navigational Controls
    • Launch Behavior
    • Rudimentary Sequencing
    • Rudimentary Rollup
    • Compatibility Settings
    • Communication Settings
    • Debugger Options
    • History Options
    • 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 you do not want to commit any changes you 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 Navigation Bar

Determine whether the SCORM player will display a navigation bar to the student. The navigation bar must be enabled for any of the following settings to take effect:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Enable Previous/Next: Include Previous and Next controls on the navigation bar, enabling the student to move forward or backward in the content.
  • Show Progress Bar: Show a progress bar for the content, so students can gauge their progress.
    • 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.
  • Show Help: Display a Help button to the student.
Show Title Bar 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.
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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Course Structure Width: Sets the width of the course structure window, in pixels. The default, zero (0), sets it to automatic width.
  • Structure Status Display: Defines how icons are presented to the student to indicate success and completion status.
    • Success Only: Course success status only (passed/failed).
    • Completion Only: Completion status only (complete/incomplete).
    • Separate: Both success and completion status are presented separately.
    • Combined: Success and completion are presented as a combined metric.
    • None: No SCO-level status is shown to the student.
  • Invalid Menu Item Action: Determines how the SCORM player handles menu item option selections which are invalid.
    • Show and Enable Links: Invalid menu item links are visible, but clicking on them will display an invalid action message.
    • Hide: Invalid menu item links are not shown.
    • 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.

 
Option Function
SCO Launch Type These settings determine how each SCO will be launched. Selected by a drop-down list, possible values are:
  • Frameset: Launch the SCO in-line, in a browser frame, rather than opening it in a new window.
  • New Window: Launch the SCO in a new browser window.
  • 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.
  • New Window Without Browser Toolbar: Launch the SCO in a new browser window without a toolbar.
  • 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.
Player Launch Type These settings determine how the SCORM player will be launched. Selected by a drop-down list, possible values are:
  • Frameset: Launch the SCORM player in-line, in a browser frame, rather than opening it in a new window.
  • New Window: Launch the player in a new browser window.
  • 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.
  • New Window Without Browser Toolbar: Launch the player in a new browser window without a toolbar.
  • 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.
New Window Options 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.
  • User Value Defaults: Launch the new window using the client browser's default dimensions.
  • 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.
  • Specify New Window Dimensions: Set the new window dimensions explicitly.
    • Width for content: The width of new windows in pixels.
    • Height for content: The height of new windows in pixels.
  • 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.
Prevent Window Resize 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:

  • Whether the SCO is the first (and possibly only) one, a middle SCO, or the last one
  • The status of the SCO, both individually and as part of the complete Content Package course
  • 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 SCO

These are the settings that apply to Shareable Content Objects (SCOs) that are at the beginning or in 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:

  • Normal: The student has exited the content in the current SCO using the correct navigation methods.
  • Suspend: The student has suspended the current session, such as when skipping between SCOs in a course consisting of multiple SCOs.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • Exit course: Simply close the SCORM player and return to the main lesson.
  • Go to next SCO: Take the student to the next SCO in the sequence.
  • Display message: Display a message page. The SCORM player determines what message to display depending on the current status of the player.
  • Do nothing: The SCORM player will take no action.
Final SCO 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:
  • Normal: The student has finished the content in the current SCO.
  • Suspend: The student has suspended the current session.
  • 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.
  • Logout: The student has logged out of the current session.

The available choices for each exit and course satisfaction condition are:

  • 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.
  • Exit course: Simply close the SCORM player and return to the main lesson.
  • Go to next SCO: Displays a message page, since this is already the last SCO in the sequence.
  • Display message: Display a message page. The SCORM player determines what message to display depending on the current status of the player.
  • Do nothing: The SCORM player will take no action.

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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fixed Average: Adds up all the scores provided and divides by the number specified in Number of Scoring Objects
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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%.)

Apply Rollup Status to Success Status Selecting this option causes the Status Rollup Mode to be applied to the success status, instead of just the completion 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 Set to Unknown For SCORM 2004 courses, this setting determines the rollup status when there are no activities providing information to set the status. If selected, both course completion and satisfaction status 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.
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 Completed Registrations as No-Credit Determines whether completed course registrations are launched subsequently as normal or 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:
  • Completed
  • Incomplete
  • Unknown
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:
  • Disabled: Disable the SCORM lookahead sequencer
  • Enabled: Enable the SCORM lookahead sequencer (default)
  • Real-time: Enable the SCORM real-time lookahead sequencer, which runs after certain runtime values change, immediately updating the visible course navigation structure
Reset Runtime Data Timing Determines when the SCORM player will reset the CMI (computer managed instruction) data timing. The choices are:
  • Never: The SCORM player will never reset runtime status
  • When Exit is Not Suspend: The SCORM player only preserves runtime data when the exit status is not Suspend
  • 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
Return to LMS Action 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:
  • Legacy: Use the SCORM 3rd Edition behavior, returning to the main course while saving the current state of the attempt
  • Suspend All: Save the current state of all current attempt, including all open SCOs (SCORM 4th Edition only)
  • Exit All: End the attempt (SCORM 4th Edition only)
  • 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.
 

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)
  • Off: No debug log messages are recorded.
  • Audit: Basic debug log messages are recorded.
  • Detailed: Audit-level log messages are recorded, along with additional detail messages.
Include Timestamps Determines whether timestamps will be recorded with the events in the debugger log files.

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 reuploaded 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:.
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
      • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

        - OR -

      • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  7. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the content editorfunctions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Folders or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content 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:
    1. Select Yes for Add Grade Center Item to add a Grade Center column. The column name will be the name of the package. You can edit and manage this from the Grade Center.
    2. 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.
    3. 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:
    1. Select Yes to Make Content Visible.
    2. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
    3. 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.

    Image illustrating associated text

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<end definition> to OFF. Viewing from the student perspective ensures you reveal only the information you intend to show and that it displays correctly.

Related Tutorials   File:Blackboard_Help/Help_for_Students/Content_Collection/Content_Folders/About_Folders_and_Items/tutorial_video_15x16.png Using the Text Editor ((Flash video | 3m 17s) | File:Blackboard_Help/Help_for_Students/Content_Collection/Content_Folders/About_Folders_and_Items/tutorial_video_15x16.png Editing the Course Homepage ( (Flash video |2m 37s) | File:Blackboard_Help/Help_for_Students/Content_Collection/Content_Folders/About_Folders_and_Items/tutorial_video_15x16.png Creating a Web Link (Flash video | 1m 50s) | File:Blackboard_Help/Help_for_Students/Content_Collection/Content_Folders/About_Folders_and_Items/tutorial_video_15x16.png Creating a Mashup ( (Flash video | 3m 15s)

File:Blackboard_Help/Help_for_Students/Content_Collection/Content_Folders/About_Folders_and_Items/tutorial_gsg_14x16.png Getting Started with Course Content ( (PDF file | 6.97 MB)

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