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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.
To link from one part of your Blackboard course to an area, tool, or item that already exists within your Blackboard course, make sure Edit Mode is on, click the content area where you want to add the link--in this case I am going to go into Week 2--and then click Build Content, and at the very bottom, click Course Link. Let me explain what we are talking about here. I'm going to go back into Course Documents. You may remember in our Week 1 folder we've got a bunch of items, and I have got Week 1 Files. I have got the Theory into Practice hyperlink. I've got a JAWS_citylights.mp3.
I want a link from my Week 2 folder back to my Week 1 Files. In other words, I want my students in my Week 2 folder to see a hyperlink. They are going to click on it, leave the Week 2 folder, and come into the Week 1 folder and see the Week 1 files. So, let's try that. I am going to go into the Course Documents--I am going to use the breadcrumb trail here--I am going to go into my empty Week 2 folder, I am going to click on Build Content, and at the very bottom, I am going to click on Course Link. By the way, this is not something that you will see under Create Item if you are using Blackboard 9; you have to be on Blackboard 9.1 to see this menu. Click Course Link.
And I am now going to browse for that item, and I am going to choose the Week 1 files in my Week 1 folder. And what I am doing now is I am in effect creating a hyperlink, but it's a hyperlink that's not taking me outside of my course, but to something else within my course. So the location here is going to be Course Documents/Week 1/Week 1 Files. I can scroll down. There's a description here. I can say, do I want my students to see this now? Yes. Or later? No.
Do I want to track the number of views? I always say Yes. I am going to click on Submit. And what I have now is a link from my Week 2 folder that when I click on, takes me to my Week 1 folder and that content there. It just keeps you from having to re-upload the files over and over again. So if you have content in one area of the course that you want to link to from another, all you need to do is go into the area where you want to add the link, click Build Content, and create a course link.
There are some problems with this. Problem number one, if you link to a tool or item that is no longer available at its original place--in other words, something that's hidden from the students-- it's not going to be visible here either. And you can't link from course to course. You can't have a student say, oh, I want to have it link from this course to another course. Blackboard is kind of a walled garden. You have to stay within your course. You can't go link to another course on the Blackboard course site. I do want to show you one other alternative.
There is a way besides doing these sort of internal hyperlinks that allows you to use content that you've already uploaded again and again in the course, without you having to upload it again and again in the course. So I am going to click on Build Content. I am going to create an item. I will come back and enter the name in a minute, even though it's required. And instead of browsing my computer for a file I am going to browse my course.
This is going to show you a list of files that you've already uploaded. You might actually see the same file over and over and over again because you've uploaded it multiple times. For example, in my Week 1 folder I uploaded the JAW_citylights three times. So I have got that file three times in my course site. But in this case, let's actually just link to the descriptive statistics file. So what I'm doing now is the file already exists in Blackboard. I don't have to upload it again.
It's there in what we are going to talk about a little later, called the Content Collection or Course Files, depending on what version of Blackboard you are running. So I can link to a particular file that already exists on my course site that I have already uploaded. I am going to click on Submit, and now I'll have to go up here and type in the name, which would be Descriptive, Descriptive Statistics, and I can scroll down. Again, I have got the ability here to track the number of views. I could go back up here, add some more information here in the text edit.
I can add a question. I can add a prompt. I can add extra instructions. I can attach other files from my computer or the course, but in this case we are just going to link to the descriptive_statistics excel spreadsheet. I am going to click on Submit, and now I've added a link to that file, and I didn't have to upload it because it's already there on Blackboard. Remember that once I've added this here, I can always move items up and down by clicking the up-and-down arrow on the left side of the item. And if I ever need to go back and edit anything, remember that if you see a button with downward- facing chevrons that means Edit or More. I am going to click on Edit, and I will be able to get this.
And finally, let me just show you what this looks like from a student's point of view. Turn Edit Mode off. I'm in the Student Mode, and this is what this link looks like from a student's point of view. If they click on this, they go back to the Week 1 folder. If they click on this, they will actually download the file. So Browse Course is actually a neat introduction to what we're going to be talking about in the Content Collection. So when we were here and we were, instead of browsing our computer, we were browsing our course.
In fact, this whole concept of browsing course files rather than browsing your computer is a great introduction to something called the Content Collection, or Course Files. We are going to talk about that in two movies, but first let's talk about making content available to students.
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