Up until recently, Blackboard instructors teaching more than one course had to contend with uploading the same file to each course. Files associated with one course were stored with the course shell and couldn’t be used elsewhere, leading to duplication of effort and redundant file storage With the acquisition of the Blackboard Content System in [month, year], WesternU instructors can now publish content in personal, course, and institution folders in the Content Collection. Files uploaded through their courses and added to the Content Collection can be linked not only to different areas of their course but to different courses. With appropriate permission, other faculty can access these files and link to them from their courses, assuring continuity of content, protocols or procedures from one course to another. The Content Collection is now the file repository for Bb, replacing the Files repository that used to be listed as an option in the Instructor Control Panel.
Old version Current version
bb-old-content-management bb-new-content-management
A Content Collection option is also available on the main Blackboard toolbar. bb-content-collection-menubar The crucial differences between the old Files option and the new Content Collection option include the following:
Files Content Collection
  • Content is stored for a single course.
  • You cannot share content across courses.
  •  Students do not have access to store or share files.
  • You can store content for multiple courses you teach.
  • You can share content across courses and with other users.
  • Students may have access to store or share files.
Managing Files and Folders Within the Content Collection, files are stored within folders that are hierarchically organized, with whole content areas represented by folders at the higher levels. There are a variety of folder types, including:
  • User Folder – for personal use, not to be shared
  • Course Folder – appears under each course by default, and is accessible to all course administrative personnel
  • Group Folder – shared by specific groups of usersFolders and subfolders can be created, searched on and moved or copied from your private space to a public space as needed.
To learn how to create a folder in the Content Collection, please view the following video tutorial: http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_content_collection_create_folder.htm Depending on the permissions you have for a file or folder, you may be able to read, write, remove or manage that item. You may also see options for comments and passes, which allow anyone, even without a Bb account, to have controlled access to that item. For more on Permissions, see Blackboard’s Help page at https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Content_Collection/Organize_and_Manage/Permissions For more on Passes, see Blackboard’s Help page at https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Content_Collection/Share_and_Find_Content/Use_Passes_to_Share_Content_Externally Other features of the file management system include the ability to align items with goals, tracking users interactions with an item, versioning, and metadata to make searching for the item easier. For more on Metadata, see Blackboard’s Help page at https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Content_Collection/Organize_and_Manage/Metadata For more on Managing Files, see Blackboard’s Help page at https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Content_Collection/Organize_and_Manage/Manage_Files   Learning Objects Catalog The Content Collection enables you to create a repository of the latest educational materials and research and make it available across your department or the entire institution. You can also access, incorporate, and share course elements and content using reusable objects. bb-reusable-objects For more information on Creating Reusable Objects, see Blackboard’s Help page at https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Content_Collection/Reusable_Objects_and_Learning_Objects_Catalog/Create_Reusable_Objects Once a learning objects catalog has been created, the reusable objects within it can be integrated into any of your courses using the Discover Content feature available in your content areas, discussion boards, or Grade Center. bb-reusable-objects-discover Finding and Evaluating Content Items You can browse the Content Collection as you did with Course Files, by simply clicking on the appropriate folder in the Control Panel. bb-content-browse           You can also use the search box to search on an item’s file or folder name, metadata, file contents, file comments, location, size, date created, or creator. bb-search-content-search               Other tools such as Go To and Bookmarks are available to help you find frequently used items. For more on Searching the Content Collection, see Blackboard’s Help page at https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Content_Collection/Share_and_Find_Content/Search_the_Content_Collection For more on Sharing and Finding Content, see Blackboard’s Help page at https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Content_Collection/Share_and_Find_Content Once you find a content item, the 360° View provides you with all the stored information about it. You can learn all of its basic properties of the item, any links to it, and any metadata associated with it. This view is helpful if you want to look at all the information for an item in one place. You access an item’s 360° View by selecting this option in the item’s menu. The 360° View page contains the following information.
  • Table of Contents
  • Properties
  • Comments
  • Versions
  • Learning Objects Catalog Entries
  • Permissions
  • Passes
  • Links
  • Tracking Data
  • Metadata
For more information on the Blackboard’s Content System, please contact: kolarz-thumb Frances Kolarz, Educational Technology Administrator, at fkolarz@western.edu.   Related Articles: