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 you to add external media to discussions and exams, and can be displayed in the following ways:

Click on the below listed titles to learn more about each of the Mashup tools.

Flickr

To add an image to a discussion posting:

  1. Navigate to the Discussion forum/ posting that will display the image (see Discussion forum tutorial for assistance on posting a thread).
  2. Click on the "Add Mashup" link mashup iconin the menu bar then click on Flickr Photo in the dropdown menu. The Search screen will be displayed.

    flickr search window
  3. 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.
  4. Enter your search terms in the Keywords field.
  5. 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
  6. Click the [Go] button to execute the search. Search Results page will be returned.
    flickr search results page
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
    flickr image add
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 viewers.
  12. Click the [Submit] button. The image will be displayed in your discussion posting, and you can continue to text to your posting.
Paste Word Text into Assignments, Discussion Forums and Tests

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.

Slideshare

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.
    mashup 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.
    Slideshare preview window
  4. Click on the [Preview] button under the Slideshare thumbnails to open the review window.
  5. 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.
  6. Click on the [Select] button to add the item to your course. The Create Mashup Item page will be displayed.
    Create mashup item window
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Click the [Submit] button to embed the slideshare into your discussion posting, assignment,quiz or exam
Adding YouTube Videos

To add an image to a discussion posting:

  1. Navigate to the Discussion forum/ posting that will display the image (see Discussion forum tutorial for assistance on posting a thread).
  2. Click on the "Add Mashup" link mashup iconin the menu bar then click on YouTube in the dropdown menu. 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 preview window
  4. Click on the [Preview] button under the YouTube thumbnails to open the review window.
  5. Next click on the play button in the popup window to play the video.
  6. Click the [X] at the top of the view window when you have finished viewing the video to close the pop-up window.
  7. Click on the [Select] button to add the item to your course. The Create Mashup Item page will be displayed.
    Youtube add item screen
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 YouTube Information field to hide the information from viewers.
  11. Click the [Submit] button to insert the YouTube video into your discussion posting.