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Using the Text Editor

From: Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

Video: Using the Text Editor

Blackboard's text editor appears in many locations within Blackboard, and it's a way for you to add and format text, equations, and multimedia. Now, a few institutions disable this tool, but it should be available in your version of Blackboard. What I am going to do is I am in the Course Documents, I am going to click on Week 1. I want to give my students something to think about prior to class. I am going to click on Build Content and Create Item, and instead of attaching something this time, I am actually going to have them think about some stuff.

Using the Text Editor

Blackboard's text editor appears in many locations within Blackboard, and it's a way for you to add and format text, equations, and multimedia. Now, a few institutions disable this tool, but it should be available in your version of Blackboard. What I am going to do is I am in the Course Documents, I am going to click on Week 1. I want to give my students something to think about prior to class. I am going to click on Build Content and Create Item, and instead of attaching something this time, I am actually going to have them think about some stuff.

So I am going to create some content in Blackboard, and I am going to ask the question in this case, "Question for next week." Let me put some text in here and rather than making look it how solidly I type, I'll just paste some text. So I have got this text here, and I want you to notice that we've got this text editor that looks an awful lot like a word processor, and it turns out it is a word processor. The default text that we see here is 12-point left-justified Arial, but I can, if I want to, change that.

So I can say I want to highlight chapter 2 and make it in a different font, so I can choose Arial Black, and then I can say for cognitive theories, I can go and change that to oh, say Comic Sans. However, friends do not let friends use Comic Sans. Notice that I have got the ability here to go and change some of the formatting here. I can go here and highlight the word 'large'. I can make it bold. I can make it italic. I do not recommend underlining. The reason why is if I were to go and underline, the students are going to see something that's underlined on their web browser, they are going to think it's a hyperlink.

They are going to try to click on it. My recommendation in this case is don't underline anything. I've got the ability to strike through. I can do subscript and superscript. I can change the alignment--left, center, right--pretty much like Microsoft Word. If you've used Word, you've pretty much got this. I've got the ability to change the direction. I can add lists. I can even do indents and outdents. That really is the first row of the text editor. Second row, there is a spell check, there is a cut, there is a copy and a paste.

There is an ability for you to clear formatting. So in this case, I can highlight everything and clear the formatting. It should take me back to the original version that I had. It sort of works, but I will show you an example in just a minute where it doesn't work as well as I hoped it would. I've got the ability to undo and redo. I can actually insert a hyperlink. I will link to some place on the Internet, can do a table, insert a line. I can actually go here and let's go and make chapter 2 bold again. I can change the text color to say red-- click on Apply to make that happen.

I have got the ability, if I want to, to pick a symbol. I can do a highlighting. And if you play around with equations, notice that Blackboard does have WebEQ and MathML, and we will talk about this HTML Toggle HTML Source Code. If you know HTML, this is actually kind of helpful for you to get into the HTML view. There is also a Markup Validation. Last row are the Attach features. We'll I'll talk about that in an upcoming movie, but I want to show you a particular problem, and this isn't actually Blackboard problem.

It's kind of an Internet problem. It's the way the Internet works, and it's a Microsoft Word problem. I have got this paragraph here. This in Microsoft Word. This is from the Results chapter, which is part of the exercise files, but if you don't have it, you can use anything. I am going to copy this. I am going to go back now, and I want you to notice something. If I go here and I try to paste, it may not work. I might not have anything happen. Or it might pop up a message saying, do you give me permission to access your clipboard? In this case, that's what it's doing.

That's not actually a Blackboard issue. It turns out that the cutting and pasting buttons in some web browsers just may not work, and it's not really a Blackboard issue. It's because your browser doesn't have permission to access your computer's clipboard. Your operating system will actually put a wall between your browser and your clipboard. It's a security feature to keep you from getting a virus on your computer. So if you try to click on these buttons and they don't work, that's not a big problem, because it turns out the keyboard shortcuts, and even the mouse shortcuts, still work.

So I could write here, go click and paste it, and it's going to paste it in. So you may notice here that this Microsoft Word pasted text just doesn't actually look very good. It doesn't match, and it turns out what's going on--and if you click on the HTML Source Code, you'd be able to see this-- is that the formatting is out of whack. It's not really a Blackboard issue, it's a Microsoft issue. Microsoft Word will also include a whole bunch of just weird HTML. It's true across multiple browsers.

In fact, Dreamweaver has a Cleanup Word HTML command. There is a way here--and we will try it, it may work, it may not--where I can go and try to Clear Formatting. This case it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Actually, in this case I have still got double space, so it didn't completely clear the formatting. That's why I say that clear formatting doesn't work as well as I hope it would. But remember, when you are cutting and pasting from Microsoft Word, it sometimes presents a problem, and formatting is going to be out of whack, and this is going to be a problem when you start cutting and pasting test questions.

We will talk about that in a minute. My recommendation is, instead of cutting and pasting from Microsoft Word directly into Blackboard, go to your computer's text editor first-- not Blackboard's text editor, but your computer's text editor. If you've got a PC, there is a program on your computer called Notepad. If you've got a Mac, you've got TextEdit. Cut and paste from Microsoft Word into Notepad or text editor and then cut and paste from the text editor into Blackboard.

That will remove all the formatting and make sure it looks absolutely the way you want it to look. So that's the text editor in a nutshell. In our next movie we are going to talk about how to insert a multimedia file into your Blackboard course.

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This video is part of

Image for Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

84 video lessons · 11835 viewers

Patrick Crispen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
    3. What is an LMS?
      4m 15s
    4. Understanding Blackboard 9.X versions and campus customizations
      1m 52s
  2. 28m 38s
    1. The new graphical user interface
      5m 53s
    2. Exploring course-to-course navigation
      2m 20s
    3. Using course themes
      2m 15s
    4. Looking at course structures and the Quick Setup Guide
      6m 56s
    5. Using new and improved assessments
      7m 24s
    6. Looking at temporary obstacles and workarounds
      2m 36s
    7. Finding more Blackboard information
      1m 14s
  3. 26m 27s
    1. Logging in to Blackboard
      2m 9s
    2. Accessing your course and uploading files
      5m 40s
    3. Creating announcements
      4m 15s
    4. Sending emails
      4m 57s
    5. Viewing your roster
      3m 50s
    6. Downloading the Grade Center
      3m 17s
    7. Setting course availability
      2m 19s
  4. 14m 9s
    1. Understanding the tabs and sub-tabs
      5m 51s
    2. Working with modules
      3m 25s
    3. Personalizing the My Institution page
      1m 40s
    4. Editing the My Courses module
      3m 13s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding the course layout and breadcrumbs
      5m 13s
    2. Toggling the Edit Mode
      1m 26s
    3. Hiding and unhiding the Course Menu
      1m 9s
    4. Touring the Control Panel
      4m 50s
  6. 23m 53s
    1. Renaming, reorganizing, and deleting
      4m 58s
    2. Adding new menu items
      6m 4s
    3. Managing tools
      3m 40s
    4. Customizing a course
      9m 11s
  7. 16m 17s
    1. Viewing the course roster
      4m 55s
    2. Enrolling students and others
      7m 31s
    3. Why not to unenroll
      3m 51s
  8. 53m 34s
    1. Organizing content into folders
      5m 24s
    2. Uploading files
      11m 49s
    3. Using the Text Editor
      6m 19s
    4. Inserting a multimedia file
      9m 56s
    5. Linking to an external web resource
      4m 25s
    6. Linking to an internal course file
      6m 3s
    7. Making content available to students
      2m 2s
    8. Using the Content Collection
      3m 35s
    9. Copying and moving content
      4m 1s
  9. 24m 24s
    1. Exploring how students view course grades
      4m 1s
    2. Optimizing the Grade Center
      1m 36s
    3. Changing the default letter grading schema
      4m 24s
    4. Creating score columns
      6m 37s
    5. Entering grades
      5m 19s
    6. Viewing grade histories
      2m 27s
  10. 56m 19s
    1. Creating text columns
      3m 1s
    2. Managing columns
      4m 52s
    3. Creating grading periods
      5m 34s
    4. Creating categories
      5m 42s
    5. Dropping scores in the Grade Center
      9m 3s
    6. Weighting grades in the Grade Center
      6m 4s
    7. Downloading grades and editing in Excel
      7m 51s
    8. Uploading student grades
      4m 29s
    9. Changing grades
      3m 37s
    10. Changing a final grade
      6m 6s
  11. 16m 26s
    1. Creating assignments
      6m 22s
    2. Downloading assignments
      5m 16s
    3. Grading assignments
      4m 48s
  12. 37m 51s
    1. Best practices for using online assessments
      4m 21s
    2. Creating an empty test and choosing the Question Settings
      5m 29s
    3. Creating multiple choice questions
      7m 57s
    4. Creating true/false questions
      2m 48s
    5. Creating essay or short answer questions
      4m 5s
    6. Creating fill-in-the-blanks questions
      3m 39s
    7. Creating opinion scale/Likert questions
      5m 51s
    8. Reusing questions
      3m 41s
  13. 30m 28s
    1. Setting test availability and deploying the test
      13m 13s
    2. Assisting students with common testing obstacles
      8m 16s
    3. Viewing the student results
      6m 40s
    4. Reviewing the differences between surveys and tests
      2m 19s
  14. 16m 43s
    1. Sending emails
      6m 20s
    2. Creating announcements
      7m 14s
    3. Using the Course Calendar
      3m 9s
  15. 33m 15s
    1. Creating discussion forums and threads
      13m 1s
    2. Facilitating discussions
      9m 32s
    3. Moderating forums
      3m 36s
    4. Rating posts
      2m 47s
    5. Grading discussions
      4m 19s
  16. 9m 2s
    1. Creating groups
      7m 57s
    2. Adding members to groups
      1m 5s
  17. 4m 32s
    1. Next steps
      4m 32s

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