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Blackboard Help

Importing Course Cartridges

Course Cartridges are premade materials produced by professional authors, editors, and publishers that you can download and add to a course.

They offer complete sets of teaching tools provided by academic publishers. In one central location, you can find relevant, publisher-created materials. After the materials are downloaded to a course, you are free to customize the content by adding and deleting materials to correlate with specific topics covered in the classroom.

Course Cartridges can serve as supplements to existing online courses or provide an excellent start for faculty who are just beginning to develop online teaching strategies. You can benefit greatly from the ease of use, variety, and professional quality of the materials available on Course Cartridges.

To use Course Cartridges in a course, download them from the site listed in the download instructions below and install using a download key obtained from the publisher.

Without a download key, you cannot add Course Cartridge content.

About Copy Protected Cartridges

Cartridges may be designated as copy-protected or open access.

Content in copy-protected cartridges is not included when exporting or copying a course. Only one copy-protected cartridge may exist in a course.

Multiple open access cartridges may be added to a course, including a course that already contains a copy-protected cartridge.

You can freely copy, export, and import open access cartridge content added to a course.

About Cartridge Functionality

No restrictions exist for open access cartridge content during import, export, archive, restore or copy operations. This content is treated like any other content in a course.

Copy-protected cartridge content has the following limitations when being archived, restored, exported, imported, or copied:

  • Archive: When a course is archived, all cartridge content in the course is saved with the archive.
  • Restore: When an archived course is restored by the Blackboard administrator at your school, the cartridge content is included in the restored course.
  • Export: When a course is exported, cartridge content is not included.
  • Import: The only time cartridge content is included during a course import is if the package was created as an archive. Cartridge content is not included in exported packages.
  • Copy: Cartridge content is always included in a Course Copy with Users (exact copy) operation. You have the option to include cartridge content as part of a Copy Course Materials into a New Course operation or a Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course operation.

Content from only one copy-protected cartridge may be copied into a course.

How to Import a Course Cartridge

  1. Obtain the instructor download key from the textbook publisher.
  2. On the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Import Course Cartridge.
  3. Type the Course Cartridge Download Key in the text box.

    Without a download key, you cannot import course cartridge content.

  4. Click Submit. The Course Cartridge content is added to the course materials.

How to Download a Course Cartridge

  1. Select a textbook with a companion Course Cartridge by browsing the Course Cartridge list, which is located at On the Extensions page, in the Filter By drop-down list, select Course Cartridge.
  2. Obtain the instructor download key from the textbook publisher.

    Without a download key, you cannot download course cartridge content.

  3. Begin the course creation process.
  4. During the course creation process, provide the instructor download key obtained in Step 2.
  5. Click Submit to create the course.
  6. An email arrives when the Course Cartridge has finished loading into your new course.

How Students Access Course Cartridges

  1. Enroll students in your course.
  2. Instruct students to purchase required textbook or other publisher provided materials that contain the access key.
  3. When first accessing the course content, students are required to provide an access key. Once validated, students no longer need the access key.

Troubleshooting Student Course Cartridges

If you are unable to help a student with a Course Cartridge question, ask the student to contact the cartridge publisher directly. The campus bookstore or department in charge of ordering textbooks at your school may be able to help the student contact the publisher.