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Blackboard Help

Types of Resources

In Blackboard Open Content (formerly xpLor), you can create seven types of resources as well as import those resource types in the IMS Common Cartridge format:


You can create an HTML page that accepts embedded content. Similar to a Blackboard Learn blank page, you can create content from scratch using a content editor.

You can expand the HTML editor to fullscreen mode.

For the instructor and student views, see Delivery.


If you do not see file, your school has not turned it on.

You can upload files for distribution. File resources are similar to the file content type in Blackboard Learn. Upload any file type for consumption by other users. Optionally, you can show a link for download or embed resources within an iframe.

Embedding resources within an iframe is dependent on what the viewing user has installed and browser capabilities. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Audio
    • WAV 
    • MP3
  • Video
    • FLV (requires flash)
    • MPG (MPEG1, MPEG2)
    • AVI (depends on codec, h.264)
    • MP4 (depends on codec, h.264) 
  • Image
    • GIF 
    • JPG 
    • JPEG 
    • PNG 
    • BMP
  • Text
    • TXT 
    • PDF 
    • HTML
  • Browsers
    • Internet Explorer
    • Google Chrome
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Macintosh Safari

For the instructor and student views, see Delivery.


You can create HTML links to websites that render within Blackboard Learn. Link resources are similar to the web link content type in Blackboard Learn.

For the instructor and student views, see Delivery.


If you do not see collection, your school has not turned it on.

Collections are a group of resources organized around a specific structure that you can add as a whole into a course or channel. A collection may consist of an entire course or a single lesson or module with content, assignments, quizzes, and related activities. For example, your collection might consist of an entire 5th grade science course or a unit on photosynthesis.

The main use case for creating a collection is to develop a course structure within Blackboard Open Content that can be populated back into a Blackboard Learn course. If you add a collection to a course, the course receives all folders and resources from the collection.  Each folder within the collection corresponds to a Blackboard Learn content folder.

You can interact with collections in two modes: view mode and edit mode.

Collection View Mode

The collection view mode is displayed to all users who can view the collection. This is based on the Sharing settings of the collection. It displays the title, description, icon, and contents (folders and resources) of the collection.

Collection Edit Mode

Click Edit Settings to edit the contents of a collection.

You can:

  • Rearrange folders and resources within the collection using drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Remove or rename items within the collection using the contextual menu next to individual items.

    Image illustrating associated text

    Renaming a resource within a collection only affects the reference to that resource within that collection. It does not rename the resource when searching more broadly within Blackboard Open Content. Courses that are populated using a collection with a renamed resource see the amended resource name.

  • Delete collections. Select Delete Collection.

    Once a collection has been deleted, it cannot be restored.

Import a Collection

You can create a collection by importing a common cartridge. Select the copyright and who can see the collection resources once they are imported. To learn more, see How to Import Common Cartridge Content.


If you do not see all of the quiz features, your school has not turned them on.

Similar to assessments in Blackboard Learn, create quizzes with essay, fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and true/false questions. When you add a question to a quiz, the question is listed within the overall quiz interface. Quiz questions may be added in-line between other questions using the Add a question links above and below the already inserted questions.

Click Use custom settings to reveal additional quiz options such as quiz scope, attempt options, and time limits.

To learn more about quizzes, see Assessing Students Using Blackboard Open Content.


If you do not see all of the assignment features, your school has not turned them on.

Assignment resources in Blackboard Open Content are similar to assignments in Blackboard Learn. You can allow students to either upload submissions or paste content directly into the Blackboard Open Content assignment submission interface. When you create an Blackboard Open Content assignment, you simply specify student instructions and the rest of the dropbox functionality is handled automatically.

To learn more about assignments, see Assessing Students Using Blackboard Open Content.


If you do not see all of the discussion features, your school has not turned them on.

Discussion resources in Blackboard Open Content parallel discussion forum resources within Blackboard Learn, and offer functionality for instructors to specify a seed topic for the forum.

To learn more about discussions, see Assessing Students Using Blackboard Open Content.

Common Cartridge

All of the resource types are universally supported in the IMS Common Cartridge format.

Common Cartridge is a set of standards developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium to enable easier transfer of content between learning software systems. Common Cartridge includes standards for metadata associated with content, question and test interoperability, launching and exchanging data with external applications, schemas for online discussion forums and weblinks, and an authorization standard for components within a Common Cartridge. More at

You can import course content from Blackboard Learn into Blackboard Open Content by creating a Common Cartridge export and uploading the file.

You cannot directly import assessments and assignments into Blackboard Open Content. They must be imported as part of a Common Cartridge export.

How to Import Common Cartridge Content

  1. Export a Blackboard Learn course in Common Cartridge format. To learn more, see the Exporting and Archiving Courses topic in the Instructor section of help for your version.
  2. Navigate to the Blackboard Open Content Create page. To learn more about navigating to Blackboard Open Content, see About Blackboard Open Content and Authoring.
  3. Click Common Cartridge.
  4. Upload the Common Cartridge file.
  5. In the Resource Settings section, set:
    • Collection Ownership: This setting determines the sharing permissions for the imported resources by default. To learn more, see Sharing.
    • Copyright. To learn more, see Copyright.

    These resource settings are applied to each of the resources in the Common Cartridge collection you are importing. They do not apply to the entire collection as a single entity. To minimize clutter and the risk of exposing entire collections, all collections created through the import process have sharing permissions set to No One. You can change this after the import is complete.

  6. Click Import.

    Import is available after the file has successfully uploaded. Some extremely large imports may take a long time to complete. You do not have to remain on the Import page while the process is completing. Select Send email notification when import is complete for an email alert when the import is complete.

After you initiate the import, you are directed to the Import Status page. You can also access this page from the Dashboard. To learn more about the dashboard, see About Blackboard Open Content.

Once completed, the import appears as a collection.;