With Blackboard, you can create, upload and organise your course material. Content in Blackboard is typically located in one of two areas -- the menu on the left hand side, and within the main page.
Talk to one of our learning and teaching team about using Blackboard in your teaching.
Types of Content
There are several different types of content you can create in Blackboard. Below are the most commonly used types.
Left Hand Menu
By far the most commonly used type in the menu, a content area is a space where you can build all sorts of course material. It's essentially a folder.
A subheader puts a bold heading in the list of menu links. This is very helpful for grouping and organising the menu.
A divider puts a thin horizontal line in the list of menu links. This is very helpful for grouping and organising the menu.
Within a Content Area
Quick Guide to Adding Content
Best Practice Guidelines
Here are some best practice guidelines to keep in mind when you are creating a Blackboard course. If you would like to discuss these ideas further, please talk to one of our learning and teaching team.
Consider Your Students
Always keep in mind how your students will be interacting with your course.
- What will they need to access most often?
- What kind of activities do you expect them to do?
- How often should they be accessing your Blackboard?
- How easy is it for someone who has never seen your course to find their way around it?
Talking to a range of different past or current students is a good way to find out how they use your Blackboard.
Make Your Course Easy to Navigate
Structure your course so that it is set out as logically and simply as possible. Ways to do this include:
- Use subheaders and dividers to organise your left hand menu
- Use logical and descriptive names for links and folders
- Group content according to week or topic if possible
- Balance the number clicks with how much scrolling is needed to reach something.
- Aim for around three to ten items per page
- Make frequently used content quicker to get to
- Make your course layouts as consistent as possible. Consider making a school- or programme-wide template.
Use PDFs Where Possible
Students often use mobile devices to access Blackboard, which means they don't always have access to Word or Powerpoint.
- Use pdf files for any content they don't need to edit themselves
Always Check How Your Course Looks to Students
You may find that students can see something they shouldn't, or that they can't see something they need to. The best way to do this is to use the student preview.
The student preview creates a test student who is linked to your account. When you're in student preview, you can do almost anything a student might do, such as viewing content and submitting assignments.
When you exit the student preview, you'll be offered a choice of either deleting or keeping the user. If you delete it, everything you have done as the student will disappear. If you keep it, you'll find a student called yourusername_previewuser listed in the course. Keeping the student preview is helpful for testing out things like grading or adaptive release.
Using Student Preview
To enter student preview, click on the student preview icon in the top right corner of the course page
To exit student preview, click on the exit preview button in the yellow bar at the top of the page.
Third Party Tools
The Blackboard help pages may have useful information. Be aware that the Victoria version of Blackboard is highly customised, so not all of the information will be relevant.
Some useful resources created by the Learning and Teaching Team include: