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Blackboard Help


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Find Content Shared Globally

Spend less time looking in the wrong place by using advanced filtering functions that search by keyword, contributor, or subject. Subscribe to channels of interest or follow specific authors. Blackboard Open Content (formerly xpLor) has a rich global search engine that can find content shared globally or in specific channels integrated with your Learning Management System (LMS).

Browse For Content

If you are not looking for specific content, click Discover on the Dashboard to browse content.

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Search Box

At any time from Blackboard Open Content, you can search based on text strings and receive matching results within the search context.

Search Context

One of the unique features of Blackboard Open Content is the ability to search for content within a specific context. You can narrow content by any of the following contexts:

  • Courses: Narrow your search by your LMS courses.
  • Collections: Narrow your search by the collections you own.
  • Channels: Narrow your search by all of channels you own, channels you are subscribed to, channels you manage, or channels you have been invited to.
  • My Content: Narrow your search by your published, draft, retired, or favorite resources.

The context of your search is always visible below the Blackboard Open Content Search box. The options in the context drop-down list are determined by what you have created.

  • My Content context options: Published, Draft, Retired, and Favorites
  • Course context options: List of courses available and Common Cartridge.
  • Collection context options: List of collections available.
  • Channels context options: All channels, Subscribed, Managed by me, Invitations.

Search Filters

You can apply search filters to any listing of search results to help you filter out irrelevant results. Click Filter and select:

  • Contributors: Content authors who have contributed (published) content within Blackboard Open Content.
  • Grade Level: Resources associated with specific grade levels.
  • Resource Type: Filters by the different Blackboard Open Content resource types.
  • Standard: Resources associated with specific standards from within a standard set.
  • Tag: Resources associated with a specific tag.

You can apply multiple search filters.

Resource Preview

When you execute a search and results are returned, you can preview a resource by selecting the resource title. To learn more, see Navigating Blackboard Open Content.


Channels are the main feature for allowing users to browse for and disseminate content within Blackboard Open Content. As opposed to general searching and filtering, channels allow you to browse and discover learning objects that have been created recently or curated by specific users or organizations.

You can search for channels using the Channels Search page available from the Dashboard. Search results for channels are displayed based on title and description of the channel.

Select a channel to view:

  • Information about the channel, including who owns the channel and contact information (if applicable)
  • Number of resources, collections, and subscribers associated with the channel
  • Top contributors and recent additions to the channel

You can also select to subscribe to the channel or search for content within the channel using the channel toolbar options. Subscribing to a channel adds it to your channel context options in your context searches.

Creating a Channel

Create channels to share content with others. Click Channel on the Dashboard. 

You can control access to your channel from the About panel in the channel editor. You can allow specific institutions, members of other channels, or specific individuals access and rights to contribute content to a channel.

This control parallels the resource and collection Sharing, with a few key differences:

  • Rather than controlling who can add metadata to or share items to channels, you instead control users' rights to add content to your channel.
  • You can still control visibility and access to your channel with specific institutions, members of other channels, and individuals.
  • You can give channel administration rights to individuals. Channel administrators can manage subscription rights and the ability to add content to the channel.