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In this course, Patrick Crispen teaches the ins and outs of Blackboard 9 so that educators and trainers can get up to speed in the system quickly—even if they've never used Blackboard before. The course explores customizing a course site, managing users, and adding and organizing content, including multimedia. It also shows how to perform student assessments in the Grade Center, as well as how to communicate with students and encourage participation and collaboration.
Once you log in to Blackboard, the next step is to access your course and upload files. Now, the version of Blackboard that we are using right now might look a little different than what you're used to at your institution, and we've got different colors, a different logo. Our tabs are over on the left-hand side. Your campus might have the tabs in the middle, or the right-hand side. That's perfectly fine. What you want to do is you want to look for the main tab, the first tab that opens when you log in to Blackboard--in this case it's called My Institution. Some other campuses call it the Home tab. You want to be in the main tab.
And on that tab you are going to see these boxes, these modules. There's Tools, My Announcements, My Calendar, My Courses, My Organizations. You want to look for a box called My Courses. My Courses, it's going to show you a list of all the courses in which you are enrolled as an instructor, a teaching assistant, a course builder, a course grader, or a student. Now if you don't see the course that you are teaching right now--it just doesn't show up in My Courses-- contact your helpdesk immediately. They can help you figure out where that course went.
But for now, we want to upload a file. So what you want to do is find one of the content areas in your course menu into which you can upload the file, usually called Content, some campuses call it Course Document. In this case we've got something called Content. Now, in older versions of Blackboard, you'd actually have to upload files by going to the Control panel. In Blackboard 9, what you do is you click on where you want to go. So if I want to add content, I click on Content. This opens up the Content folder. There's a button bar across the top of the page, and if you're running Blackboard 9, not 9.1 but 9, you are going to see the first button that says Create Item.
You want to click on that. We are in 9.1, so we want to click on Build Content > Item. It's going to ask us to type in a name for what we are going to upload. This is required. That's what that star stands for. So I am just going to call it the Cognitive Art, which is a PowerPoint presentation I am going to give to my students. I can, in this textbox--and this is optional--type instructions for my students like, "Please review prior to class." That's completely optional. Again, I've got formatting commands there if I want to go a little further.
I am just going to scroll down, and now I need to find the file that I want to upload to Blackboard. And you are going to know this that this is an awful lot like uploading a file or attaching a file to an email message. We are going to Browse My Computer, and on my Desktop I've got a folder called Exercise Files. I am going to double-click on that. I am going to take the PowerPoint presentation and click on open, and there it is. Now, if I wanted to, I can go and keep adding more files. I click on Browse My Computer and Upload Files.
This is kind of the old-fashioned way to upload files. We'll show you a newer way a little later on. Remember that when you get to this page, the Name is absolutely required. You are going to go and, in the attachments, browse your computer, look for the file or files, that you want to upload. Make sure that file names follow Internet rules. In other words, if you have a Mac, make sure that you add the file extensions like a .DOC for a Microsoft Word document, .PDF for an Adobe Acrobat file, and make sure that you don't have any special characters in it.
Also, please be aware, some campuses limit the size of files that you can upload to Blackboard. This keeps you from uploading very, very large videos. As long as it's a small PowerPoint presentation or Microsoft Word document, that's fine. If you run into a file size limitation, you'll know it when you upload it, and you need to talk to your helpdesk to find a better way to break this file into a smaller chunk, or find another place to store it. So in this case we've got this presentation, the Cognitive Art PowerPoint. I am going to ignore the options. We'll get to that in a later movie, and just click on Submit.
Now this might take a few seconds because what it's doing is it's copying this file from My Computer and putting it onto Blackboard. And guess what? We're done. We've now uploaded a file from my computer to Blackboard. So let's go through this one more time really, really quickly. I'll show you how to do it. What you do is click on the My Institution tab, or the Home tab, whatever the main tab is. Look for the course that you are teaching, click on the name of the course, click on the content area somewhere on the left-hand side--could be course document, could be content.
If you have Blackboard 9, what you are going to do is click on Create > Item. Blackboard 9.1, you are going to click on Build Content > Item. You're going to have to type in a name. The name is absolutely required, so I'll type this as number Two. The text box here is completely optional, just extra information for your students. Scroll down, browse your computer. In this case, I will take my descriptive_statistics and then click on Submit. That submits the file up to Blackboard.
To see what this looks like from a student point of view, click the Edit mode switch in the top right-hand corner. That puts you into Student mode, and you can see exactly what your course looks like from a student's point of view, for the most part.
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