Friday, May 13, 2011

New in Blackboard 9.1 - Build Content Menus

Today I'll continue my post from Tuesday about the new menus in Blackboard version 9.1. To refresh your memory, here is the new Build Content menu.

I covered Item last time, so let's move on to File. As I wrote in an earlier post, Bb 9.1 has an entirely new file system and the file link in this menu is how you would add a link to a file in your course. The video titled "Course Files"  gives an overview of this file sytem, and these Hands-on exercises will show you step-by-step how to use Course files, upload a file to Course Files, and make a link to a file using the file option of the Build Content menu.

Below is an image of the audio dialog. This option is used to create a link to an audio file that is uploaded into Blackboard. We suggest you use this only for short audio files, say 5 minutes or less. The reason is that large files put too much burden on the Blackboard system and slow it down for everyone. If you have larger files, please save the file to your website file area or iTunes U and link to it using the URL option in the Build Content drop-down. For more information on how to do this, please email me. 

Audio Dialog window:
In step 2 of this audio dialog, please say no to Autostart and Loop in order to meet accessibility guidelines mandated by law. If the audio file you are uploading or linking to is required for your students to succeed in your course, you must also provide a transcript of the audio in step 1.

The Image dialog is pretty straightforward. There is a new option under the Browse Mashups button to load images from Flickr. When adding images, make sure to type a short description of the image in the Alt Text area. This is another accessibility feature that we are mandated to comply with. Use the Long Description if a short description in the Alt Text is not adequate to communicate the meaning of the image. Long Description is not required, only Alt Text is required.

I'll continue covering this Build Content menu in my next post.

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