Create an Introduction Video
Video everywhere is an expectation and the norm.
A quality introduction video shows that you’re prepared and provides a good first impression for your students.
Whether you're just starting the design process or a seasoned online instructor, you can add an engaging introduction video to welcome your students. A short video is an easy way to make a connection with your students.
Your introduction video can humanize the online experience for all students, but especially for the more hesitant and new users. You can help students realize that their instructor is a real person with enthusiasm for the subject matter. When you establish a social presence with videos, you build rapport with students and foster a sense of community.
Instructor videos can replicate the face-to-face interactions in the traditional classroom. You can ignite excitement about your course and explain how relevant the content is to them. You can give students a taste of your personality and dispel fears about the online learning environment.
See the Create a Course Introduction Video Best Practices help article for information on what to include, what doesn't belong and tips for success in creating an introduction video.
Outstanding online courses begin with outstanding content presented in a way that minimizes barriers to understanding.
Effective content design can create a more compelling and engaging showcase for your course material. Well-designed content can help your content meet these needs:
- : How quickly can a new student navigate through your course while learning the material?
- : After students are familiar with your course setup, how quickly can they accomplish tasks?
- : How much do students enjoy working through your course material?
- : Can users with different levels of ability, experience, knowledge, language skills, hardware, or concentration level use your course easily?
- : You want people with disabilities to receive the same level of information, services, and use that people without disabilities receive. Is your course a level playing field?
Effective design can also be a simple and straightforward design. Clean and simple can be aesthetically pleasing and still have impact.
A well-designed course requires planning. You must consider not only visual design, but also writing style, tone, the arrangement of information, and accessibility.
See the Presenting Content Best Practices help article for more information.
Your course creation starts on the Course Content page. You'll find it's easy to discover features and complete actions.
To add content, select the plus sign wherever you want to add content. You can also expand or create a folder or learning module and add content. Create new content, upload something you already have, or add content from external sources or from another course.
UND has access to content management where you can store, share, and publish content. You can store and find content in personal, course, and institution folders in the Content Collection, and link to these files in different areas of your course. You can store files you upload to your course in the Content Collection and link to them again.
Access the Content Collection
In the list where your name appears, select Tools to access the global functions that are outside a course.
The cross-course Blackboard tools you're familiar with are available on the Tools page, such as the Content Collection.
In the Content Collection, you can upload files to use in your courses. You also have access to the files you added to your courses when you created content.
About Files and Folders
A folder stores files and other folders in the Content Collection. All folders are contained within other folders up to the top-level (/) folder. Entire content areas are folders stored under the top-level folder. Be aware that top-level folder access is generally reserved for administrators.
The Content Collection also stores files. These files are automatically available to the user who added the files. To share the file with other users, they need appropriate permissions. Permissions, comments, and metadata functions work the same for files as for folders. Files include several other management features that aren't used for folders.
See the About Files and Folders help article for information on managing the Content Collection files and folders.
Create and Edit Content in the Content Collection
You can create files to contribute to the Content Collection or create folders to help keep things organized.
Remember that you can only create folders and files in areas of the Content Collection where you have permissions to do so.
See the Create and Edit Content in the Content Collection help article for more information.
Upload any documents, photos, folders, and work to the Content Collection. You can use your username folder to store personal course files that you're working on. When you're ready, you can submit the files or attach them to other coursework. In your courses, you can add links to files stored in the Content Collection. You can also link to projects you may be working on.
You can download items and any associated metadata from the Content Collection. The result is a .ZIP file package that contains the original structure of the files and folders as well as a single .XML file that defines the metadata for all files and folders in the package.
If you've downloaded an item from the Content Collection and made edits, you can upload the package and the associated metadata. When complete, the files and folders overwrite the existing files or folders (or add a new version) in the Content Collection. The item's metadata file in the package overwrites the existing metadata as well.
See the Upload and Download Packages help article for details.
Organize and Manage the Content Collection
In the Content Collection, you can manage content by organizing it in folders. Organized content makes it easier to manage permissions for that content, because you can grant permissions to users based on folders rather than individual files.
The Organize and Manage the Content Collection help article shows you how share and find content, how to set up a web folder or shared location for accessing your content, and how to enhance your course with content from the Library.
Share and Find Content in the Content Collection
The Content Collection contains many tools to share and search for content. These options depend on the level of the shared folder. For example, the permissions you set on a top-level folder versus a sub-folder affect the search tools that are available to those users.
See the Share and Find Content in the Content Collection help article for information on finding folders, bookmarks, workflows and emailing files and folders to specific users.
You can optimize course content to be sure that the materials you publish in the Blackboard Learn environment display as you intend on the mobile apps. The best way to create mobile-friendly content is to try out your course on a mobile device.
The Blackboard app handles many of the content types presented in your Blackboard Learn course, but it is not designed to handle every possible type of content. You can edit your course content so that it translates well to a mobile device.
See the Create Mobile-Friendly Content help page for information including previewing your course on the mobile app, using supported file types, reducingthe number of course items, using short titles, and using due dates
When you customize the release of content, you create a course that's more interactive and tailored to the needs of individual students. In the Ultra Course View, you can use the release content features to show the appropriate content, to select individuals, at the appropriate time.
Instructors can release content based on dates, performance, in sequential order or by users or groups.
See the Release Content help article for more information.
You can copy an entire course, import course content, share content with other instructors, or save your course as an archive. In addition, instructors now have access to the status of all the course tasks that they start. This includes:
- Convert to Ultra
Logs are available for all course tasks. Instructors will be able to view the conversion report, view/filter, and download logs. These logs will help instructors triage any issues that may arise.
See the Reuse Content help article for information on importing course packages, copying content from courses, copying complete courses and exporting and archiving courses.
Copy Content from Other Courses
Creating content for your courses takes time and thoughtful planning. If you teach multiple courses that use similar content, you may want to copy content items and folders between courses to help save time. In the Ultra Course View, you can copy content from other courses you teach so you don't have to start with a blank slate.
You can quickly build your list of content to copy from another course. You can choose to copy multiple pieces of content across your courses, including all content in your courses. Get started from the Course Content page.
See the Copy Content from Other Courses help article for information on copying content, supported content types and issues and exceptions with copying content. You can also watch the Copy Course Content from Original to Ultra video for an introducton on how to reuse Original course content for a Learn Ultra course.
Learn Ultra allows instructors to duplicate course content from within the Ultra courses they're teaching. This feature lets instructors or anyone that create or add content to Ultra select individual course items or entire folders. The ability to copy content items and not recreate content from scratch provides a time-saving solution for instructors building their courses.
See the Copy Courses help article for instructions on how to copy course content as well as a list of items that can be copied.
Export and Archive Courses
You can export your course content for use in the future. This content is included in an export/archive package:
- Course content
- Rubrics associated to assignments
- Calendar events, including office hours and course schedule
- Gradebook settings
- Manual gradebook items
- Goals alignments
- Attendance for archives only
- Course announcements
Export and archive packages are downloaded as compressed ZIP files and are imported or restored in the same format. Don't unzip a package or delete files from the package, as then the contents can't be imported correctly.
If you want to share your course content with other instructors, you can send them the ZIP file. Instructors can import the ZIP file into one of their courses or an administrator can restore an archive package. All content is hidden from students so that you or another instructor can set visibility.
See the Export and Archive Courses help article for instructions to export or archive your course.
Import Course Packages
You can import a course package from a previous course or from another instructor. When you import content, the content comes over in bulk—all of the content comes over at once. This information also applies to organizations.
You can also import ZIP files of question pools or other question resources into your Ultra course. The Original course's question pools appear as question banks after conversion.
Export/import creates an attendance column that you can't delete, but no attendance data is added.
See the Import Course Packages help article for instructions.
Content management is a time-consuming part of course setup and maintenance. Instructors spend valuable time to carefully organize content and assessments and release it for students to access at certain times.
In the Ultra Course View, you can use Batch Edit to update common settings across all content, such as visibility and due dates. You can also use the tool to delete a group of selected course content. With Batch Edit, you can control content settings in one place and all at once.