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Otterbein Academic Continuity

This guide is designed to give suggestions and support for when there are obstacles for face-to-face instruction. For instance, a snow day, power outage, and other unplanned closures.

Blackboard Learn

Design Course Content in Blackboard Learn

This guide provides an overview of the various forms of content that can be created in a Blackboard course. This information is intended to help faculty get started with the course-building process.

Blackboard gives you a wide range of options for creating or uploading content or managing activities for your courses. For example, you can use your course as online storage to share course-related documents with your students or you can use it to build Web-based content to be read online, much like a Web site.  You can also use Blackboard's course tools to engage your students through online discussion or collaboration and to collect and grade student work. 

Most Blackboard courses use a combination of these features; but when you are starting out, it's better to focus on one and expand from there.  To determine the best fit for your course, think about the following:

Course Content vs. Course Tools

Will you use Blackboard mainly to share content (e.g., weekly readings, images, audio, video, Web-based articles, etc.) or to conduct course activities (e.g., student writing, tests or projects, discussions, etc.)?

  • If you will use Blackboard primarily to share large amounts of information with your students, then Blackboard's content-building features may be the best option for you.

Blackboard uses a series of Course Areas or "containers" to organize and display course content. The Course Content portion of a Blackboard course is accessible to participants through the Course Menu, located at the top of the left-hand side column of the Blackboard interface.

By-and-large, each of these "containers" is a blank slate where you can place course content as needed (e.g., downloadable files, links to course tools & activities, multimedia content, etc.). The difference between them lies in how each one displays information (e.g., as a Web page, a list of links, a set of indexed pages, etc.). Choosing the best fit for you depends on the structure of your course and your particular needs as an instructor.

  • Content Areas: large sections or all activities of a certain type within your course (e.g., "Readings", "Homework", "Projects", "Topic A", "Topic B", etc.).
  • Folders: smaller divisions used to organize the content within an area (e.g., within "Readings" = "Week 1", "Week 2", etc.).
  • Learning Modules: used to display material for online viewing, like a page on a Web site or an article in a blog. 
  • Lesson Plans: used to collect and present content in a way that shows continuity based on a course's schedule or goals.

Technical Support Help Numbers

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: 1-888-788-5264

Digication ePortfolio:

Center for Teaching and Learning: 614-823-1035,

IT Helpdesk: 614-823-3100,

Otterbein University Police, 614-823-1222

Course Content Overview: Links & Downloads