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Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content

Last Modified
15:39, 16 Jan 2013

After you build course areas, such as content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders, you create content within them. All of the items and course areas, except Content Areas, are edited and managed in the same way. By clicking a content item’s action link and accessing the contextual menu, you can change settings, modify availability, create metadata, and turn on options such as review status, adaptive release, and statistics tracking. You can also copy, move, and delete content. You can drag content to new positions in the page and hide content details to save screen space.

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 Item corresponding to the image above  Click an item's action link to access the contextual menu. You can change settings, modify availability, create metadata, and turn on options such as review status, adaptive release, and statistics tracking. You can also copy, move, and delete content.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder links in the course area.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool in the action barend definition> to reorder the links.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Click Hide Details to collapse the description and save screen space.

 Item corresponding to the image above  Click Show Details to expand the item’s description.

How to Reorder Content

Content appears in the course area in the order it was added, but you can rearrange items for logical presentation.

Reorder items using the drag-and-drop function—a double-tipped arrow or handle—to move them into place. Alternatively, reorder items using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the action bar.

Drag-and-Drop Function

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access the content area, lesson plan, or folder and press the arrows next to an item you want to move. The item is highlighted.
  3. Drag the item to a new location in the list.
  4. Release the item to place it in its new location.

Keyboard Accessible Reordering Tool

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. On the action bar, click the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon represented by two arrows.
  3. In the Items box, select an item title.
  4. Click the up and down arrows to change the order.
  5. Click Submit. A pop-up window states: Items have been reordered.
  6. Click OK.

How to Hide Details to Limit Scrolling

In a course area with several items and descriptions, you have to scroll to see the entire page. Each assignment, test, folder, and content item can have a text description and attached files which make the page longer. You can use the Hide Details function to collapse the descriptions and save screen space. A collapsed description remains collapsed even after logging out and logging in again.

The student view of the course area is not affected. Students do not have the ability to collapse descriptions.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.
  3. Click the Hide Details icon for an item. The item’s description is collapsed.
  4. Click Show Details to expand the description.

How to Edit Course Areas and Content Items

To change the name, description, appearance, options, or availability for a folder, learning module, lesson plan, or content item, you need to edit the item. Most course areas and items are edited in the same way.

Note:  Content Areas are edited with a different method. See How to Manage Content Area Links.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access the course area that contains the learning module, lesson plan, folder, or content item that you want to edit.
  3. Click an item's action link to access its contextual menu.

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  4. Select Edit.
  5. On the Edit page, make changes to the title, description, file attachments, options, or settings. For example, to make an item unavailable to students, select No for Permit Users to View this Content. Options vary depending on the item type.

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  6. Click Submit.

Alternatively, while viewing a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder, you can click the action link next to the title at the top of the page to access the contextual menu.

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How to Make Content Unavailable

You can edit an item’s settings to make it unavailable to students or to apply Date and Time Restrictions to control when it appears. You can also apply Adaptive Release to an item to control which users can access it and when they can access it.

Availability of items is set on an item-by-item basis. Entire course areas can also be made unavailable. For example, if you edit a Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder and select No for Permit Users to View this Content, the course area is no longer visible to users. This means that all items within the unavailable course area are also unavailable to users, regardless of their individual availability settings. Therefore, the display of an item to users is contingent upon the availability of its parent folder.

Items in an unavailable course area are not visible to users in that location. However, users are able to access those items if additional links to them exist in different course areas. For example, if you have an available URL in course area A that you copied to course area B, the link exists in both locations. If you make course area A unavailable, users can still access the URL in course area B. Links to tools behave in the same way. If you link to a Discussion Board forum in course area A and make course area A unavailable, users can still access the Discussion forum by going directly to the Discussion Board by using a link in a different course area or the Course Menu.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content Area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.
  3. Click an item's action llnk to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select Edit and change the setting for Permit Users to View this Content to No to make the item unavailable. Alternatively, Select Date and Time Restrictions to set items to display on a specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time.

    -OR-

    Select Adaptive Release and set criteria that must be met for the item to be released to users. To learn more, see Controlling the Release of Content.

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  5. Click Submit.

Note:  Content Areas are made unavailable with a different method.

How to Copy and Move Course Areas

You can copy and move course areas such as folders, learning modules, and lesson plans from one area or course to another area or course. If copying or moving between courses, the instructor must be enrolled in both courses.

  • Copying a course area does not remove it from the original location in the course.
  • Moving a course area removes it from its original location in the course.

Note:  Content Areas are copied with a different method. To learn how to copy, see Copying Courses.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access the course area containing the content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder to copy.
  3. For the course area you want to copy or move, click its action link to access the contextual menu.

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  4. Select Copy or Move.
  5. On the Copy page or Move page, select the Destination Course from the drop-down list. The default setting is the current course. Only courses where the instructor has a role permitting content copying appear in the list.
  6. Click Browse to select the Destination Folder. For copying only, select Yes or No for Create links for items which cannot be copied.
    • If a course area contains items that cannot be copied, such as a test, survey, or assignment, a link is created to it instead. After the Copy action is complete, a message appears: "Some items copied. The following items were created as links." The specific items are listed.
    • If a course area contains items that cannot be moved to another course, such as a test, a message appears: "The move operation has completed but the following items could not be successfully moved." The specific items are listed.
  7. Click Submit.

Result

A copied course area is not removed from the original location in the course. A moved course area is removed it from its original location.

How to Copy and Move Content Items

You can copy and move content to organize and rearrange your course material. For example, if your course area contains a large number of items, organize them with folders to help users navigate your content. If you create folders after the items, you can move items to the new folders.

Note:   See the preceding section for information about copying and moving content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders.

Some content items have copy and move restrictions. For example, Course Links can only be copied or moved to another area within the same course. Assignments, tests, and surveys cannot be copied, but can be moved within the same course.

  • Copying content does not delete it from the original location in the course.
  • Moving content removes it from its original location in the course.

For items that cannot be copied, such as a test, survey, or assignment, the Copy option does not appear in the item’s contextual menu.

If a course area contains items that cannot be moved to another course, such as a test, the option to move it to another course does not appear on the Move page.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder containing the item to copy or move.
  3. For the item you want to copy or move, click its action link to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select Copy or Move. If Copy or Move is not available for the item, it will not appear in the contextual menu.
  5. On the Copy page or Move page, select the Destination Course from the drop-down list. The default setting is the current course. Only courses where the instructor has a role permitting content copying appear in the list. For items that cannot be moved out of the current course, Destination Course is already listed as the current course and the drop-down list does not appear.

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  6. Click Browse to select the Destination Folder.
  7. Click Submit.

Result

A copied content item is not removed from the original location in the course. A moved content item is removed it from its original location.

Deleting Course Areas and Content Items

Folders, learning modules, lesson plans, and content items are deleted in the same way. Be aware that sometimes this means the content is permanently removed from the system.

Deleting a course area, such as a content area learning module, lesson plan or folder permanently removes that container. For example, deleting a learning module permanently removes the learning module container as well as its Table of Contents.

Items within the container may not be permanently deleted, depending on the item type:

  • Files that have been added to a course area from Course Files remain in Course Files and are not deleted from the system.
  • Any files uploaded from your computer to the course area are automatically stored in Course Files and can be linked again.
  • Items created within the course area by pointing to Build Content are permanently deleted.
  • Test or survey links are deleted but the test or survey remains available in the Test tool and can be added to a course area again.
  • An assignment created in a course area and all of its submissions are permanently deleted. The assignment grades are not removed from the Grade Center.
  • Links to tools, such as the Discussion Board, blogs, or journals are deleted, but the tools themselves are not deleted.
  • Links to assigned textbooks are permanently deleted.
  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access the course area containing the learning module, lesson plan, folder or content item to delete.
  3. Click its action link to access the contextual menu.

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  4. Select Delete.
  5. Click OK to confirm the deletion. This action is final and cannot be undone.

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    Tip:  You can make a course area or item unavailable instead of deleting it. If there are items in a course area that will be permanently deleted that you want to retain, consider moving them to a different course area that is not available to students before deleting the course area.

How to Create Metadata for Content

Metadata stores information about a content item, including bibliographic, lifecycle, and copyright information. Metadata allows content to be imported from and exported to other applications that use IMS (Instructional Management Systems) standards, creating interoperability for learning content.

The information provided in metadata cannot be tracked or reported on. It can only be viewed on the Content Metadata page as reference information for the content item. You can view and edit metadata for a content item.

Note:  The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.

There are four types of metadata that can be added to an item:

  • General Information: Includes the title, catalog entry, source, entry, language, and a description of the item.
  • Lifecycle Information: Includes the creation date and time, contributors, name and role of author or editor, organization, and date of latest changes or updates.
  • Technical Information: Includes the format of the content item and its location.
  • Rights Management Information: Displays copyright restrictions and a description of any conditions on item usage.
  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan or folder containing the item to delete.
  3. Click the action link for the item to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select Metadata.
  5. On the Course Item Metadata page, type a New Catalog Entry.
    • Type a Source: The name of the catalog or source of the content.
    • Type an Entry: The number or version of the catalog.
    • Click Add Catalog Entry to implement your changes.
    • Click Mark for Removal to delete the catalog entry.

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  6. Select a Language from the drop-down list to indicate the language used in the content item.
  7. Type a Description.
  8. Type information for a New Contributor. List the name, role, organization, and date a person contributed to this content item. Click Add Contributor. The contributor information is now listed. Click Mark for Removal to remove a contributor when you submit the page.
  9. Select the Resource Format from the drop-down list.
  10. Under Rights Management Information click Yes for Free Resource to indicate that the content was free. For Copyright/Restriction, indicate whether or not the content is copyrighted or has restrictions for use. Use the Description box to comment on conditions for use of this item.
  11. Click Submit.

Note:  When instructors attach items from the Content Collection to a course, they can select associated metadata from the Content Collection to display with the linked item in the content area. The Content Collection metadata cannot be modified.

How to Enable Statistics Tracking and View Statistics Reports

Item statistics provide you detailed usage information about your content, such as how many times the item was viewed and when it was accessed. Statistics Tracking can be enabled at any time, and will begin collecting data from the moment it is enabled. If users access an item before Statistics Tracking is turned on, their access is not recorded.

Note:  If users are unenrolled, their data will be deleted from all course statistics. To retain their statistics, change their availability to No rather than unenrolling them.

Statistics Tracking is a type of Course Report for individual content items. To obtain Course Reports on overall user activity as well as activity in content areas, forums, and groups, go to the Control Panel, expand Evaluation, and select Course Reports.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder containing the item.
  3. Click the action link for the item to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select Statistics Tracking.
  5. Select On to enable Statistics Tracking for the item.

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  6. Click Submit. In the course area, Enabled: Statistics Tracking appears below the item name.

Viewing Statistics Reports

The report displays three sections of data:

  • Access by Date
  • Access by Hour of the Day
  • Access by Day of the Week.

The Access by Date section displays information for all enrolled users. Access information for system guests and unenrolled users (previously enrolled users who were deleted from the course) is displayed under the guest user. Observer access to content items is not tracked.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder containing the item.
  3. Click the action link for the item to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select View Statistics Report. This link is not displayed if Statistics Tracking is not enabled for the content item.
  5. On the Course Reports page, click the action link for Content Usage Statistics and select Run from the contextual menu.

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  6. On the Run Reports page, select a format for the generated report from the drop-down list.

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  7. Type dates in the Select a Start Date and Select an End Date boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar to select dates.
  8. If you do not select users, the report will automatically run the report with all users. Alternatively, you can specify users in the Select Users list. Press and hold CTRL to select more than one user from the list; for Mac systems, use the COMMAND key.
  9. Click Submit to run the report.
  10. On the Successful Run: Content Usage Statistics page, click Download Report to view the results. Depending on the format you selected, you may be prompted by your browser to open or save the file. Use your browser’s print function to print the report. Alternatively, click Run a New Report to change the parameters for the report and run it again.

How to Enable Review Status

When Review Status is enabled for an item, there are benefits for you and your students. You can check who has reviewed the item, and you can use Review Status as Adaptive Release criteria. Students can use Review Status to keep track of their progress, especially if students review content in a non-linear fashion.

A Mark Reviewed button appears on the item when users access the course area. After reviewing the item, users select this button to mark it Reviewed. You can check the item's Review Status on the User Progress page.

If the Review Status tool is disabled by you or an administrator, the Mark Reviewed buttons on the items are no longer shown. If Review Status is enabled again, the Mark Reviewed buttons reappear and any data associated with Review Status, such as an individual’s progress, is restored.

Note:  The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool available. If this tool is not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan or folder containing the item.
  3. Click the action link for the item to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select Set Review Status.
  5. On the Review Status page, select Enable. To turn off Review Status, select Disable.

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  6. Click Submit. Enabled: Review appears under the content item’s title.

Note:  Review Status settings and information are included during a full course copy with users and during archive and restore operations. Review Status settings and information are not saved during a copy of course materials into a new course or existing course or for exporting and importing.

How to Check User Progress

You can check whether students can access your content items. If you have made a content item unavailable, the User Progress page indicates that the item is not visible to users. The User Progress page also lists Adaptive Release rules that affect the visibility of an item. If Review Status is enabled for an item, you can check which students have reviewed it and when they reviewed it.

Note:  The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether the Adaptive Release and Review Status tools are available. If these tools are not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss the tools’ status.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan or folder containing the item.
  3. Click the action link for the item to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select User Progress.
  5. The User Progress page displays. You can sort a column by clicking its title. For example, you can sort the reviewed column to see which students have not yet reviewed the item.
  6. When you have finished the review, use the breadcrumbs to navigate to a previous page.

The User Progress Page

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 Item corresponding to the image above  An open eye icon in the Visibility column indicates the item is visible to users. An eye with a slash icon indicates the item is not visible to users because of an Adaptive Release rule or the item’s availability settings.

 Item corresponding to the image above  The existing Adaptive Release rule that affects visibility of the item is listed under the page title. They type of rule is listed in parentheses. Click the rule name to edit it. To learn about rules, see About Adaptive Release.

 Item corresponding to the image above A check mark in the Reviewed column indicates the item has been reviewed and the student has clicked the item’s Mark Reviewed link. An unselected circle indicates the item has not been reviewed.

 Item corresponding to the image above  The date and time of the review are listed in the Date Reviewed column.

How to Check User Progress from the Performance Dashboard

Review Status is also available in the Performance Dashboard. To learn more, see Using the Performance Dashboard.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section and select Performance Dashboard.
  2. For any user, click the number in the Review Status column. The Review Status page displays.
  3. Alternatively, click the Adaptive Release icon for any user to open a course map that shows which course content is available to that user as well as which items have been reviewed.

Related Tutorials    Flash video Turning On Statistics Tracking for an Item (Flash video | 1m 43s)

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