Multimedia Tools (Mashups)

Blackboard 9.1 includes some quick-embed options for pulling content in from media sites into their new Mashup tool. The content types supported by the tool are:

Mashups allow instructors to add external media to online course content. The media can be used in a variety ways within the course: a standalone bit of course content, part of a test question, a topic on a Discussion Board, or as part of an assignment. The content displayed in a course will still reside on the external website. For example: To encourage a discussion about the implications of implementing change, the instructor can create a mashup that include the YouTube video 'Failure: The Secret of Success created by Toyota and a link to the "Importance of Failure" article by Unsworth.

Mashups are added as a Content Item in a folder or added through the Text Editor available within most course content areas. The Mashup content can be displayed in the following ways:

Click on the below listed titles to learn more about each of the Mashup tools, or click here to preview and download the tutorials in pdf format.

Adding Flickr Images

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

Flickr images can be added to course content from two different locations: the Build Content area in Content modules and most text areas throughout the course. To add an image as a Content Item:

  1. Navigate to the area where the image will be added and place your your pointer over the Build Content tab. A resource list will be displayed.
  2. build content selection
  3. Click on the "Flickr Photo" link. The Search screen will be displayed.

    flickr search window
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Search field. In the drop-down window click on:
    • Full text - Select this option to search all image narrative for keywords.
    • Only Tags - select this option to search image tags only for keywords.
    • Specific Photo (URL) - select this option to search image URLs for keywords.
  5. Enter your search terms in the Keywords field.
  6. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Keyword Conditions field. In the drop-down window click on:
    • All of the words = "and" condition
    • Any of the words = "or" condition
    • Exact Phrase
  7. Click the [Go] button to execute the search. Search Results page will be returned.
    flickr search results page
  8. Select the search results sorting criteria by clicking on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Sort By field, click on the sort order of interest and then click the [Go] button to reorder the items.
  9. Click on the [Preview] button to see a full size version of the thumbnail, next click the [Select] button to add an image to your course. The Create Mashup Item page will be displayed.
    Create Mashup Item flickr add
  10. The default name provided by Flickr will automatically by posted in the Name field. Click in the field to type in a new name for the image.
  11. Type a description of the image or instructions to the students in the Description field.
    flickr add section 2
  12. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the View field and select:
    • Thumbnail - to insert a small 50 X 50px image
    • Embed Photo - to insert a large version of the image. Next click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Size field to select the image size.
  13. By default Blackboard will display the image citation and usage licence information with the image. Click on the "No" radio button to the right of the Show Flickr Information field to hide the information from students.
    attach file to flickr image
  14. You can provide students with additional information associated with the image or the concept that the image represents by attaching a link or file to the image. For example you could link the Importance of Failure image to the "Importance of Failure" article by Unsworth, thereby providing a visual queue as well as textual information. Click:
    • [Browse My Computer] button to attach a file from your local computer.
    • [Browse Course] button to link to a file that is already in your course.
      Flickr image display options
  15. By default students will be able to view the Flickr image. If you click on the No radio button you will be able to view the item but it will be hidden from students.
  16. Click on the Yes radio button to the right of Track Number of Views if you would like to know how often students view the image.
  17. If you would like the Flickr image to be visible to students for limited window of time, enter dates and times in the Display After and/or the Display Until text fields, or click on the icons to the right of each of the fields the select dates from a pop-up calendar and pre-defined time periods from a drop-down menu. Blackboard will automatically display and/or hide the image based on these defined dates and times.

Resources

    • Click here to download a PDF version of this Quick Start guide
Paste From Word

Video Tutorial

The following video steps you through how to use the "Paste fromWord" feature. In the video he refers to it as a prototype, but it’s actually fully developed now and installed in our version of Blackboard 9.1.

Quick Start Instructions

Have you ever had a Word document with the content all formatted the way you want it to appear?  Complete with tables, heading styles, bold text, etc?  If the Word text is pasted into Blackboard, sometime it will displays correctly and other times the text will cause various undesired results.

The issue is that when formatting content in Word, there’s a lot of formatting code embedded in the document.  When this formatted text is copied from Word the hidden code is also copied.  That’s great if you’re pasting into a different Word document, but the Blackboard text editor already contains a lot of functionality, and it also applies it’s own coding to make the formatted text appear as you have intended.  The effect of two different programs each attempting to format your text is generally to insert additional coding that at times creates text display issues.

To address this issue we have installed the "Paste from Word" tool which allows you to copy content from Word, paste it into the text editor in Blackboard 9.1 and have all the Microsoft Word code stripped out and replaced with correct HTML code.

The following will narrative will step you through using the "Paste from Word" tool.

  1. Navigate to the area where the Word text will be added and place your pointer in the text block where the text will be placed. over the Build Content tab.
  2. Click on the Add Mashup icon mashup icon. The Mashup menu will be displayed.
    Mashup Menu
  3. Click on the Paste from Word link. The Paste your Word text here window will be displayed.
  4. If you are using Internet Explorer click on the Paste from Word Icon Word Paste Icon. (If prompted click on the [Allow Access] button in the popup window.)
  5. If you are using Firefox or Safari click in the text box and paste the Word text in the window.
  6. Click the [Submit] button to have the text pasted into the Blackboard text editor.

A version of your Word text will now appear in the text window. Check the content to assure that the Word formatting was retained, then click on the [Submit] button to save the data.

Resources

    • Click here to download a PDF version of this Quick Start guide
Adding Slideshare Items

Quick Start Instructions

Slideshare presentations can be added to course content from two different locations: the Build Content area in Content modules and most text areas throughout the course. To add a presentation as a Content Item:

  1. Navigate to the area where the Slideshare will be added and place your pointer over the Build Content tab. A resource list will be displayed.
    select SlideShare from Content Menu
  2. Click on the Slideshare Presentation link. The Search screen will be displayed.

slideshare search screen

  1. Click on the Search Type drop-down arrow and then click on:
    • Full Text - to search titles, narratives and tags for the text string entered in the Search field.
    • Tags Only -to only search tags for the text string entered in the Search field. (Warning: tag fields are optional in Slideshare and are often not populated.)
    • Specific Presentation (URL) - if you know the specific Slideshare that you want to link to, then type or paste the URL into the Search field.
  2. Enter the text string you wish to search for or the presentation URL in the Search text box.
  3. If you would like to limit the number of content languages to one, click on the Language drop-down arrow located to the right of the field, then click on a language. Next click on the [Go] button the start the search.
    Bb SlideShare filter screen
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the License field, then click on the license type that address how you plan on using the content in your course.
    slideshare preview window
  5. Click on the [Preview] button under the Slideshare thumbnails to open the review window.
  6. Next click on the review arrow in the popup window to play the presentation. Click the [X] at the top of the view window when you have finished reviewing the Slideshare to close the pop-up window.
    slideshare select button
  7. Click on the [Select] button to add the item to your course. The Create Mashup Item page will be displayed.
    slideshare add content
  8. The default name provided by Slideshare will automatically by posted in the Name field. Click in the field to type in a new name for the presentation.
  9. Type a description of the presentation or instructions to the students in the Description field.
    slideshare mashup options
  10. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the View field and select:
    • Thumbnail - to insert a small 50 X 50px clickable image. When the student clicks on the image a popup player window containing the Slideshare will be displayed.
    • Text Link with Player - to insert a hyperlink. When the student clicks on the hyperlink a popup player window containing the Slideshare will be displayed.
    • Embed Presentation - to insert the Slideshare player into a content page. This option takes up more room on the page, but will reduce the number of the clicks required to view materials.
  11. By default Blackboard will display the date the presentation was posted to Slideshare, who posted the item, how often it has been viewed and downloaded as well as a link to the resource on the Slideshare server. Click on the "No" radio button to the right of the Show Slideshare Information field to hide the information from students.
    slideshare add resource link
  12. You can provide students with additional information associated with the slide presentation or the concept addressed in the presentation by attaching a link or file to the Slideshare. For example you could link the Importance of Failure presentation to the "Importance of Failure" article by Unsworth, thereby providing a media presentation as well as textual information. Click:
    • [Browse My Computer] button to attach a file from your local computer.
    • [Browse Course] button to link to a file that is already in your course.
      slideshare options
  13. By default students will be able to view the Slideshare image. If you click on the No radio button you will be able to view the item but it will be hidden from students.
  14. Click on the Yes radio button to the right of Track Number of Views if you would like to know how often students view the Slideshare.
  15. If you would like to Slideshare presentation to be visible to students for a limited period of time, enter dates and times in the Display After and/or the Display Until text fields, or click on the icons to the right of each of the fields and select dates from a pop-up calendar and pre-defined time periods from a drop-down menu. Blackboard will automatically display and/or hide the presentation based on these defined dates and times.

Resources

    • Click here to download a PDF version of this Quick Start guide
Adding YouTube Videos

Video Tutorial

For instructions on adding YouTube videos to courses view the tutorial developed by Blackboard. The tutorial will open in a new page.

Quick Start Instructions

YouTube videos can be added to course content from two different locations: the Build Content area in Content modules and most text areas throughout the course. To add a video as a Content Item:

  1. Navigate to the area area where the YouTube video will be added and place your your pointer over the Build Content tab. A resource list will be displayed.
    youtube build content
  2. Click on the "YouTube" link. The Search screen will be displayed.

youtube search screen

  1. Enter the text string you wish to search for in the Search text box.
  2. Click on the Search Type drop-down arrow and then click on:
    • All of the words - to search titles, narratives and tags for the words entered in the Search field.
    • At lease one of the words -to search titles, narratives and tags that contain at least one of the words entered in the Search field.
    • Without the words - to exclude videos that contain the words entered in the Search field in their titles, narratives, or tags.
    • Exact Phrase - to search for videos that contain all of the words entered in the Search field in their titles, narratives, or tags.
  3. If you would like to limit the number of content languages to one, click on the Language drop-down arrow located to the right of the field, then click on a language. Next click on the [Go] button the start the search.
    youtube search results
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Sort by field to sort search results by a predefined set of criteria.
  5. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Uploaded field to sort the search results by the date they were added to YouTube.
  6. Click the [Go] button to arrange the results by the sort criteria.
    youtube view window
  7. Click on the [Preview] button under the YouTube thumbnails to open the review window.
  8. Next click on the play button in the popup window to play the video. Click the [X] at the top of the view window when you have finished viewing the video to close the pop-up window.
  9. Click on the [Select] button to add the item to your course. The Create Mashup Item page will be displayed.
    add youtube content to course sec 1
  10. The default name provided by YouTube will automatically by posted in the Name field. Click in the field to type in a new name for the video.
  11. Type a description of the video or instructions to the students in the Description field.
    youtube mashup options
  12. Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the View field and select:
    • Thumbnail - to insert a small 50 X 50px clickable image. When the student clicks on the image a popup player window containing the video will be displayed.
    • Text Link with Player - to insert a hyperlink. When the student clicks on the hyperlink a popup player window containing the video will be displayed.
    • Embed Video - to insert the YouTube player into a content page. This option takes up more room on the page, but will reduce the number of the clicks required to view materials.
  13. By default Blackboard will display the video duration, name of the person who posted the video, the date it was posted and link to the video on the YouTube server. Click on the "No" radio button to the right of the Show Slideshare Information field to hide the information from students.
    add link resources to video
  14. You can provide students with additional information associated with the video or the concept(s) addressed in the video by attaching a link or file to the video thumbnail. For example you could link the Importance of Failure video to the "Importance of Failure" article by Unsworth, thereby providing a media presentation as well as textual information. Click:
    • [Browse My Computer] button to attach a file from your local computer.
    • [Browse Course] button to link to a file that is already in your course.
      youtube add options
  15. By default students will be able to view the YouTube video. If you click on the No radio button you will be able to view the item but it will be hidden from students.
  16. Click on the Yes radio button to the right of Track Number of Views if you would like to know how often students view the video.
  17. If you would like the video to be visible to students for a specified window of time, enter dates and times in the Display After and/or the Display Until text fields, or click on the icons to the right of each of the fields and select dates from a pop-up calendar and pre-defined time periods from a drop-down menu. Blackboard will automatically display and/or hide the video based on these defined dates and times.

Resources

    • Click here to download a PDF version of this Quick Start guide
Adding Video from Other Sources

Any web based video source that provides embed code can be embedded in a Blackboard content page, test, discussion, wiki, or announcement. As noted above YouTube videos can be added with the Mashup tool. If you would like to augment text-based materials with videos from other sources complete the following steps.

How embed code is presented will vary from source to source. For this example we will copy the embed code for a TED video.

  1. Navigate to the video you wish to embed in the course materials

    select embed code

  2. Click on the [Share] button. The Share this talk window will be displayed.
  3. Click on the [Copy] button to the right of the Embed this video text box.
  4. Navigate to the Blackboard course location where you would like to embed the video and open the edit window.
  5. Type a brief description of what the video is and why the students are being asked to watch it in the text box.

    menu bar

  6. Click on the [<>] button in the text editor toolbar.

    paste embed code
  7. Paste the embed code into the html editor under the previously entered text.
  8. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the [Submit] button to save the changes.
External Resources

Usage Ideas

The following resources and ideas for designing learning events using social media tools.