We all know the feeling – we work on an announcement or a content item in Blackboard for a while, confirm that it’s formatted just so, and we hit Submit…. only to find that Blackboard has mucked up all the formatting!
Well, my friends, those days are past! With our upgrade comes a new Content Editor for editing text and adding multimedia into your course, and it works much, much better!
Without reinventing the wheel, let me point out some of the key features of Blackboard’s new content editor. If you have any questions about what the other buttons do, I recommend taking a look at the excellent resources that Blackboard offers here, which includes a mapping of every button’s function.
To start, there are two views of the Content Editor – Simple Mode and Advanced Mode. Your browser may default to the Simple Mode view, which is just a single row of buttons. If you need to access any of the more advanced features, just click on the arrows at the far right (as seen below). This can also be used to collapse the toolbar from Advanced to Simple.
For the purposes of this overview, we’re going to be looking at the Advanced Mode of the Content Editor. Just remember — if you can’t find the button or option you’re looking for, expand the Editor with the button on the right.
Perhaps the most exciting option here is the multimedia tools you can now easily access via the Content Editor. As you always could, you can insert files, images and videos from your computer, but there are now two new embedding options –
- You can easily record and post video to your Blackboard course via an unlisted YouTube link using the Video Everywhere tool. This will allow you to use your computer’s webcam to record a quick message to your class, putting a face to your name. The video is connected to your YouTube/Google account and is automatically set to private, so it can only be accessed via the link in your course.
- You can also use YouTube Mashups to directly embed YouTube videos in to your course, so that students can access and play the videos right from Blackboard.
The new Content Editor also has a Spell Check tool that you can use on any text box (and your students can too!) With a click of the button, the text will be checked for any spelling errors. Unfortunately, this cannot be set to run automatically (it’s a browser security issue) but for those long discussion posts or quick announcements, it’s a very handy tool.
And last but not least on our quick tour, the Clear Formatting button lets you wipe out all the formatting on your text. This is handy if you’ve copy-pasted text from Microsoft Word, which has weird formatting glitches and problems.
As always, contact Tom or Lily with any problems or questions you might have. We’re here for you.