Faculty Content Area View Video tutorialopen in new window
Add Items

The Add Items tool lets you add content to your course site. You can upload files in their original format (.doc, .pdf, .xls, .ppt, etc.), so when students click on these links, they will download the files onto their computer and open the file with the application which created it. You can also add HTML or web-supported files (such as .jpg, .gif, .swf, or .mov) that your students can view directly within Blackboard.
Note: All files should have a three letter file extension (such as .doc or .htm) that designates its file type. File names should not contain spaces or special characters, except for the underscore (_) and only one period before the file extension (such as HomeWorkOne.doc).

Adding an Item
Adding a Media Item
Adding a ZIP Item


Adding an Item

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Content Area link where you want the item added (Syllabus, Course Materials, Assignments, External Links).
  2. Click on the Add Item Icon Item icon.
  3. Choose a name from the Name drop-down menu or type a name in the Name field.
  4. Type a description of the item in the Text field.
  5. Click on the Browse button in the Content - Attach section to find the item to upload.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Format Options:

Content Attachments:

Options:

More Information

Q: What kinds of documents can I upload to Blackboard?
A: You can upload just about any file type to Blackboard. However, the type of document that you upload affects how your students can view it. If you upload documents that you have created and saved in specific software programs such as Word or Excel, your students must have that particular software installed on their computer to view the documents.

For example, if you upload a PowerPoint document, your students will have to download and open the file in PowerPoint or the PowerPoint viewer. However, if you save and upload your files as HTML (.htm), your students can view the documents within Blackboard.

Q: When should I save and upload my files as HTML?
A: Uploading HTML documents to Blackboard lets your students access the information within the Blackboard framework. This is preferable for course information and documents such as assignment instructions and timelines that students may need to check often. When you want to upload bigger files or files such as templates or forms that need to be modified or copied, leave the document in its original format.

Q: What should I put in the Name of Link to File field?
A: Type something like "Click to download" if you want your students to download the file. Type something like "Click to view" if the file is in a web format (.htm, .swf, .jpg, .gif, or .mov), and you want your students to view it on the screen. The text in this field becomes the actual link that your students will click on.

Q: How can I move my file from the bottom of the page to the top?
A: Each time you add an item to your Content Area, a number and pull down list will appear on the left of the item. Click on the arrow and choose the number (order). After choosing the new number the item will move to that new order.

Q: Does Blackboard automatically check files for viruses?
A: No, the Blackboard server does not check for viruses. You should have a virus protection program on your personal computer. You can request virus protection software from your college computing consultant. You should protect your computer from documents you download within Blackboard and from documents you download from the Internet.

Q: How should I save my graphics?
A: In general, use .gif format for graphics that have few colors, graphics that contain text or type, or graphics that have large areas of a single color. Use .jpg format for graphics that have many colors and lots of fine detail, such as photos. You should not use .bmp graphics with Blackboard. These files are very large and are slow to load, especially for modem users. Many scanners create .bmp files on their default settings, so check this setting if you scan photos or images. Blackboard also uploads all graphics in their original size. Make sure you have appropriately sized your graphics for your course site.

Q: How fast (or slow) will my students download my files?
A: Download time will vary based on Internet traffic and connection speed. You should keep your files small enough, so your students with slower connections can access them in a reasonable amount of time. If you cannot keep the file size down, use the field in the Add Item area to provide your student with information describing what the file is, how large it is, and why it is important that they view it. Notifying your students of this information will let them know that they should wait a little longer for the file.

 

Adding a Media Item (such as .jpg, .gif, .swf, .wav or .mov)

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Content Area link where you want the item added (Syllabus, Course Materials, Assignments, External Links).
  2. Click on the add item icon Item icon.
  3. Choose a name from the Name drop-down menu or type a name in the Name field.
  4. Click on the Browse button in the Content - Attach section to find the item to upload.
  5. Choose Display media file within this page for the Special Action - Content option.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.
  7. Choose the appropriate radial buttons. Universal Design Icon Type in the Alt Text a short description of the item for Universal Design.

    Audio File
    Media Screen Image

    Video File
    Video Item Media Screem image

    Image File
    Media File Image Screen image
  8. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

More Information

Q: What kind of media files are supported by Blackboard?
A: The following media files can be viewed within Blackboard:

Graphics: GIF and JPG
Video: MPG, MOV and AVI
Audio: WAV, AIFFand MPG

Universal Design Icon Your students will need the appropriate software and plug-ins to view the media files.
Note: large audio or video files should be placed on the MDS streaming server. Placing large audio or video files into the Blackboard course can take an extreme amount of time for the student to download the full file before being able to view it. Streaming the file allows the student to view while it is downloading.

Q: How fast (or slow) will my students download my files?
A: Download time will vary based on Internet traffic and connection speed. You should keep your files small enough, so your students with slower connections can access them in a reasonable amount of time. If you cannot keep the file size down, use the field in the Add Item area to provide your student with information describing what the file is, how large it is, and why it is important that they view it. Notifying your students of this information will let them know that they should wait a little longer for the file.

Adding a ZIP Item

You may have a folder full of files that you would like to zip up and upload into Blackboard. Example if you have 50 slides that you want to bring into Blackboard, you could use iPhoto to create the web pages, take that folder full of HTML, JPG files and zip the whole thing up. This will also work for PowerPoint saved as a web page. With that zipped file you could upload those image web pages with ONE item entry.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Content Area link where you want the item added (Syllabus, Course Materials, Assignments, External Links).
  2. Click on the add item icon Item icon.
  3. Choose a name from the Name drop-down menu or type a name in the Name field.
  4. Type a description of the item in the Text field.
  5. Click on the Browse button in the Content - Attach section to find the item to upload.
  6. Choose Unpackage this file for the Special Action - Content option.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.
  8. Click on the home page .html name.
    Note: For PowerPoint Mac files, select the default.htm file.

    Unpackage Screen Image
  9. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

More Information

Q: I browsed for a ZIP file, but when I clicked on the Submit button the Next window to choose the home page didn't appear, why?
A: Some time the Unpackage this file didn't get clicked on which will cause the next window not to appear. You can modify the file and reload the ZIP file again. Make sure you select the Unpackage this file before you click on the Submit button.

Supported Media Types

Extension

File Type

Programs associated with the File Type

.aam

Multimedia

Macromedia® Authorware® plug-in

Note that the .aam file is the starting point for a series of files that must be enclosed in a .ZIP file.

.aiff

Audio

Audio program

.asf

Multimedia

Microsoft® .NET™ Show

.au

Audio

Real Audio Player™

.avi

Video

Video player (not Macintosh® compatible)

.doc

Text

Microsoft® Word® or other word processor

.exe

Executable

Executable file

.gif

Image

Graphics program or Web browser

.html, .htm

Web page

HTML editor or Web browser

.jpg, .jpeg

Image

Graphics program or Web browser

.jif

Image

Graphics program or Web browser

.mp3

Audio

Audio program

.mpe

Audio/Video

Audio program

.mpg, .mpeg

Image

Graphics program or Web browser

.mov,movie

Movie

QuickTime® movie

 

.mov

Video

Movie or media player

.pdf

Text

Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®

.png

Image

Portable Network Graphics

.ppt, .pps

Slide show

Microsoft® PowerPoint® and PowerPoint Player®

.qt

Movie

QuickTime®

.ra

Audio

Real Audio Player™

.ram

Video

Real Audio Movie™

.rm

Audio

Audio program

.rtf

Text

Rich Text Format

.swf

Multimedia

Macromedia® Shockwave® plug-in

.tiff, .tif

Image

Graphics program or Web browser

.txt

Text

Text or HTML editor, word processor

.wav

Audio

Audio program

.wma

Audio

Audio program

.wmf

Graphic

Microsoft® Windows®

.wmv

Media/Audio

Microsoft® Windows®

.wpd

Text

WordPerfect® or other word processor

.xls

Spreadsheet

Microsoft® Excel®

.zip

Text

WinZip®