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Blackboard Learn: Getting Started

Making a course available/unavailable

Objective:This activity will teach you how to change the availability of the course to students.

  1. Click on the My Blackboard tab and check if your course has (not currently available) next to the course name.  If it does this means students cannot access the course.
  2. Enter your course by clicking on the course name.

  3. In the Control Panel, click Customization to expand that section, then click Properties.

  4. Under Set Availability, Select the radio button for Yes if you wish to make the course available to students now.
    set availability

  5. Click Submit.

Navigating Your Course

Objective:This activity will teach you how to work with Learn’s menu options, whether you want to rearrange, add, edit or hide/show menu items.

Rearrange Menu Items

  1. Enter your course by clicking on it.
  2. Ensure that Edit Mode is On.
    mode on

  3. Hover over Discussions until you see the a vertical two sided arrow.
  4. Hover over that arrow until the mouse cursor changes to a 4-way arrow.
  5. Click the left mouse button, and with your left mouse button still clicked, drag Discussions below My Grades.

Adding a Menu Item

Step 1

  1. Click the + icon at the top left corner of your menu.
    add content

  2. Click Content Area.
    add content

  3. Type Week 1 in the Name field.

  4. Click the checkbox next to “Available to Users”.

  5. Click Submit.

Step 2

  1. Click the + icon at the top left corner of your menu.
  2. Click Tool Link.
    add tool link
  3. In the name field type Email.
  4. For type select Email.
  5. Leave “Available to Users” unchecked.  We’ll show you how to make it available in the next step.
  6. Click Submit.

Hiding/showing menu items

  1. With Edit Mode On, hover over Email and click on the edit arrow to the right. arrow
  2. Click Show Link to make the item available to students.
  3. Hover over  Discussions and click on the edit arrow to the right. arrow
  4. Click Hide Link to make the item unavailable to students.
  5. Turn Edit mode off and on to see what items look like when hidden and shown to students.

Rename a menu item

  1. With Edit Mode On, hover over Week 1 and click the edit arrow. arrow
    rename link
  2. Click Rename Link
  3. Type Week 1 Learning Module and click the green check box

Student Preview

  1. To view your course as a student would, click the Student Preview icon (which resembles an eye) in the upper right hand corner of your course’s page.
    student preview
  2. To go back to a normal view, click on Exit Preview button near the top right of the screen.
    Exit Preview
  3. Once you click on the Exit Preview button, you will receive a pop-up window asking if you wish to keep the preview user or delete the user.
    exit student preview
  4. For this workshop, click Keep the preview user and all data, and click Continue.  Please note that if you delete the preview user, a new preview user will be created when you access the Student Preview again.

    Note: If you check “Remember this choice and do not ask me again”, you can change this option by re-entering Student Preview and clicking on the Settings button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Adding Content to Your Course

Objective: As with any course, documents are essential to inform students, whether those are syllabi, homework/project files, readings, etc. This activity shows you how to add and edit these types of content in Learn.

Step 1 

  1. If you are not already in your course, enter it by clicking on it in your course list.

  2. Click Course Content in the menu.
    course content

  3. With Edit Mode On, mouse over Build Content, then click Item

Step 2

  1. Under Content Information, name the item Syllabus, and type an optional description in the text entry box

  2. Scroll down the page to the  Attachments section, then click Browse My Computer

  3. Browse to your desktop and select the Syllabus_Sample.doc file

  4. Click Open to attach the file.  You should see the file listed under Attached Files.

  5. Click Submit

  6. Your file should now appear in Course Content.

Uploading media to the Kaltura Streaming Media Server

Kaltura is a web-based application that allows users to host and share media. Complete with an easy connection to Blackboard, Kaltura’s platform supports all forms of rich media including video, images, and audio. Media uploaded to Kaltura are available to users across multiple platforms, including mobile devices.  We recommend using the Firefox or Chrome browser to upload content to Kaltura.

Step 1:

  1. Click Course Content in the menu.

  2. Hover over Tools, then click Kaltura Media.

Step 2:

  1. Click Add New on the right side of the “My Media” screen.

  2. Click Media Upload.

Step 3

  1. The Upload Media screen will open. Click +Choose a file to upload.
    upload media
  2. In the file selection screen that opens, navigate to C:\Users\Public\Videos\Sample Videos and double click the wildlife video. The video will start the upload process automatically.

  3. While the video is uploading, you may change the title of the video, add a description, and descriptive tags.

  4. Once the video is uploaded (this process may take some time), and after you’ve made any changes to the title/description/tags, click Save. save button

  5. Click Back to Browse and Embed next to the Save button.

  6. Click the Select button for the video.
    select video

Step 4

  1. You are now on the Create Mashup Item page.  Under Content Information, add a title for your video.

  2. Optionally, type a description in the box below the thumbnail preview of the video.

  3. Click Submit.

    Note: The video will take several minutes to process, but once processed, you and your students will be able to play the video from the course content page where the video was added.  The video will also be added to your My Media collection, which means it will never need to be re-uploaded.  If you want to add it to another course you will see this video as an option the the “Search for Kaltura Media” page.

Stretch Your Skill (optional) – Course Entry Point and embedding YouTube videos.

Objective: These exercises show you additional options that are available to Instructors in Blackboard Learn.

Setting course entry point

  1. In the Control Panel, click Customization to expand that section, then click Teaching Style.
    Teaching style

  2. Using the Entry Point dropdown menu, select another entry point (it must be a menu item – see “Adding a menu item” above).

  3. Click Submit

Embedding YouTube Videos

Step 1

  1. Click Course Content in the menu
  2. Hover over Build Content, then click YouTube Video.

Step 2

  1. Type a search term or the direct URL in the search box, then click Go.
  2. Click Select under the video you want to embed.

Step 3

  1. Scroll to the Mashup Options section, and change View to Embed Video.
    mashup options
  2. For the next option, Show YouTube URL, click the YES radio button
  3. Click Submit
  4. Your video should now appear in Course Content