With the acquisition of the Content System earlier this summer, WesternU instructors using Blackboard now have access to a file sharing application that extends way beyond file management tool built into individual courses. With the Blackboard Content System, faculty can now exchange, reuse, and share individual work, as well as educational and digital library content. Among the new capabilities accessible to Blackboard instructors are: Content and File Management: Allows content and files to be managed, re-used, and shared. file-managementIndividual files and content objects can be used across multiple courses, organizations and modules without the need for duplication. Users can share their files, giving both read and write access to specific individuals, groups, and institution roles. For users outside of the institution, content owners can create “passes” that provide access and enable collaboration for specific time periods. version-iconVersioning: Allows users to automatically archive, track, and access previous versions of their files. The system creates separate copies after each contributor changes the document, providing an automatic backup for overwritten fi les. Users can access older versions of a file to review changes or revert to an earlier version thus erasing the changes. storage-iconCollaborative Web-enabled File Storage: Dedicated file and content storage areas for individual users, courses, organizations, or different constituent groups within the institution as well as the Library. The Web Folders capability allows users to drag and drop content from a local workstation into the Blackboard platform, and open, edit and save files on the Blackboard server directly from their computer’s desktop. eportfolio-icone-Portfolios: Electronic portfolios enable students and faculty members to assemble, present, and share information online for documenting academic growth, career evaluation, and course preparation. Portfolios can be generated via the Portfolio Creation Wizard or customized based on pre-established portfolio templates. Institutions can also develop their own portfolio templates to guide their students in developing their portfolios. workflo-icon Workflow: Provides the ability to define a workflow activity (such as Review, Approve, or Grade) and designate settings such as priority, deadline, and permissions. Workflows route content to other users and allow the sender to track the progress on completion of workflow activities. catalogue-iconLearning Object Catalog: Enables the institution to set up a searchable, hierarchical taxonomy to catalog learning objects and resources that can be accessed by individual users both within and outside the institution. Resources in the Learning Object Catalog can be easily included in courses by instructors. ereserve-icone-Reserves: Digital versions of copyright-cleared reserve readings that libraries create for faculty and students. Separate e-Reserve folders can be enabled for each course, and administration of these folders can be delegated to librarians. This capability assures that the library has the necessary level of administrative control to ensure that copyrighted digital content is used properly. For more information on the Blackboard’s Content System, please contact: kolarz-thumb   Frances Kolarz, Educational Technology Administrator, at fkolarz@western.edu.   Related articles: