Course Building

Every U of T course represented in the Repository of Student Information (ROSI) has a course shell automatically created for it in Blackboard, based on a daily synchronization between these two systems. When you are shown as the instructor of record in ROSI, your course shell will appear on your home page in Blackboard (within 24h) so you can begin course building.  Remember, the course does NOT appear to students until you make it available.

Generally, the course building process is a reflection of how you would like to use Blackboard to support your teaching. If you are familiar with the intranet, you will probably find that there are a lot of screens to manage the sophisticated Blackboard toolset. However, the layout of instructions is very clear, consistent, and easy to follow.

Adding Course Documents to "My Content" in Bb 9.1

Making course documents available online is one of the most popular, although nominal uses of the Blackboard system. In the sense that each course has a limited amount of storage associated with it for BOTH student and faculty files, you need to manage your storage carefully--particularly if you use the assignment tool, which allows students to submit work electronically. 

We suggest that Faculty post documents within "My Content" by clicking the content tab, to take advantage of your personal 300MB Faculty storage limit. This way you can reserve the course quota for student files, journal entries, discussion board content, etc.

Click the 'Content' tab to access the content collection. Once you have created a folder for your course and uploaded a set of files, you can link to them from within the course shell. In addition to maximizing storage space and conserving the amount of space available to everyone, this method makes it easy to refer to the same documents or files across a number of courses as learning objects and prevents the files from becoming unavailable when the course is taken offline.

Adding Items to Content Areas in Bb 9.1

In this image, I have selected a content area called "Course Materials" within a course. Make sure the Edit Mode is "On" in the upper right hand corner to access all the content management functions.  At any point you can create additional content areas, rename them around specific themes or lectures, etc.

 Screen shot of the Blackboard 9.1 add item screen

 

Select the "Create Item" button to name and describe the resource. Although "Attach Local File" is the easiest option to upload files, these files count towards the course quota: "Link to Content Collection Item" is usually better.

 Once you have mastered adding individual content items (the most versatile function) you may want to experiment with more specialized tools -- adding specific content types, organizing containers such as folders, or adding Web 2.0 content using 'Mashups'.

Screen shot of Blackboard 9.1 content add

 

Editing and Deleting Items to Content Areas in Bb 9.1

At any point it is easy to go back and edit or delete an item you have created. Simply click the double-downward pointing arrow to reveal a context menu with available options.

Screen shot of Blackboard 9.1 illustrating context menu for an item in a content area

Resequencing Items within Content Areas in Bb 9.1

Simply click on the tab with the double ended vertical arrow and drag-drop the item where you want it.  Be sure to drag vertically.

 

To explore Blackboard 'course building' further, please contact Brian Sutherland or Adon Irani at: [portal@utsc.utoronto.ca].