New Content Management, Plagiarism Prevention, and Academic Resource Sharing Features in Blackboard

Date Posted: 1/14/2008

Beginning Tuesday, January 15, 2008, several significant new features will be available in Blackboard.

Content Collection
The Blackboard Content Collection is a tool that allows NIU faculty to store, manage, and share content in new ways. The Content Collection has a number of features that enhance the capabilities that already exist in the Blackboard Learning System. This tool will especially eliminate the need for copying the same content into multiple sections of a course or into course sections from one semester to next semester as the content will be stored centrally in the Content Collection and linked to course sections.

The Blackboard Content Collection

  • is fully integrated with the Blackboard Learning System that faculty and students are already familiar with
  • makes reusing files much easier -- faculty can save a file in the Content Collection once and link to that file from many courses or course sections
  • allows easy file management -- when a file that resides in the Content Collection needs updating, faculty can update it only once and there won't be any need to go into each course to upload an updated version of the file
  • reduces resource consumption because the files can be managed and shared without the need for copying course content from semester to semester as the files will be located in the Content Collection and linked to the courses each semester
  • makes it easy for faculty and students to share their files with users both within NIU and outside
  • provides an easy drag-and-drop interface through the Web Folder feature that makes copying and managing large number of files much easier
  • functions as a virtual hard drive that is available from anywhere by logging in to Blackboard

For more details about the Content Collection feature in Blackboard, visit

SafeAssign: Plagiarism Prevention Using Blackboard
SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool that allows faculty/staff to protect the originality of work and ensure a fair playing ground for all students. SafeAssign is integrated with Blackboard and prevents plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in students' papers. SafeAssign can also further deter plagiarism by creating opportunities to educate students on proper attribution and citations while properly leveraging the wealth of information at their disposal.

For more details about SafeAssign, visit To learn more about an upcoming hands-on workshop for NIU faculty/staff introducing SafeAssign, visit

Scholar: Academic Resource Sharing Using Blackboard
Social bookmarking is an increasingly popular way to find, save, classify, evaluate and share Internet resources. Users can save or "bookmark" favorite Web sites and classify, or "tag" them any way that works for them. These bookmarks are then added not only to their personal list, but also to the overall repository where others can see them. Students and faculty can then use each other's classifications, as well as any of the other information they have regarding those resources (who saved it, how many people saved it, etc.) to evaluate and find what they are looking for.

Scholar is an academic resource sharing, or "social bookmarking", service that is customized for education and integrated with the Blackboard Learning System. Built on the principles of Web 2.0, Scholar provides students and faculty with an exciting new way to store, share and discover educationally viable resources on the Web and use them in their everyday teaching, learning and research.

For more details about Scholar, visit To learn more about an upcoming hands-on workshop for NIU faculty/staff introducing Scholar, visit

There will be several opportunities during the spring semester to learn more about these new features. For a complete listing of upcoming Blackboard workshops offered by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, visit

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at

Need Technical Assistance?

Call the IT Service Desk at 815.753.8100, email, or submit a ticket at

Need Assistance Teaching with Blackboard?

Call the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at 815.797.2477 or email

Keeping Current

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