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Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Course Content

Who do I contact for assistance with course content?

Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center staff assist faculty with issues relating to course design, document formatting and transfer, assessment tools, and the other teaching aspects of Blackboard. Contact facdev@niu.edu with questions or submit questions using our Ask a Question form.

What is the best way to get started organizing my course content?

Course organization will vary from discipline to discipline. Some basic planning will save you from having to restructure once your course creation is underway. One recommended approach includes the following steps:

  • Establish a rough syllabus
  • Consider where (in the course structure) students would logically look for the various types of class materials
  • Determine how the material will be presented: by units, weeks, individual class periods.
  • Begin building your folder structure in the most logical area--considering your discipline
  • Decide what components should be included in each folder (as topic overview, objectives, reading assignments, group project, online discussion topic, etc.)
  • Collect materials for each unit
    • Reformat material according to how students will use it (HTML for read-only files; Word or RTF for files students will download and complete; etc.)
  • Begin transferring files into the folder structure
  • Decide what types of multimedia will be needed.
    • Transfer files to course
    • Test the files for remote accessibility
  • Build formative and summative assessment opportunities

What happens to my course(s) when the semester ends?

Courses will remain on the campus servers for a minimum of 13 months. After that time, faculty will be notified that courses will be removed from the system. Courses can be copied and reused/redeveloped an infinite number of times.

I use Camtasia and Articulate software to record lectures and produce other course-related materials.  How do I upload these files into my Blackboard course?

Uploading Camtasia or Articulate files into Blackboard can be done by following these steps:

Load Package into Blackboard

  1. Log in to Blackboad and navigate to the correct course
  2. In the Control Panel, click the action link to the right of Content Collection
  3. Click Create Folder
  4. Name the new folder and click Submit
  5. Click on Upload and select Upload Package
  6. Browse for your Articulate / Camtasia .zip file and click Submit

Add the Tutorial to a Content Area

  1. In the Course Menu, navigate to the content area where you would like the file to be accessed
  2. Under Build Content, select Item
  3. Type in a name for he tutorial
  4. Next to Attach File, click Browse Content Collection
  5. Navigate to the folder with the tutorial, and click the checkbox next to player.html

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Last Updated: 2/7/2013