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Blackboard Help

Create Content Items or Documents

Your institution controls which tools are available in the Original Course View. The documents tool is always available to instructors in the Ultra Course View.

You can create content that combines a variety of materials to view together, such as text, multimedia, and attachments.

Create a content item

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about creating documents.

You can create a content item to present a combination of content that serves as a handout or document with visual aspects. You can create content items that are as simple as one line of text or include many elements.

For example, in one content item, you can include introductory text for a lesson, an image, a table of data, and links to web resources. The materials are all presented together in the content list. The longer your content item is, the more your students have to scroll to see all the other materials in the content area.

If you don't want longer content items to appear in the content list, you can create blank pages instead. You create a blank page in the same way you create a content item. However, students select the blank page link in the content area to view the materials. Blank pages save screen real estate and reduce the amount of scrolling.

Be sure Edit Mode is ON so that you can access all of the instructor's functions.

  1. In a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder, select Build Content to access the menu and select Item.
  2. Type a name and an optional description or instructions. You can use the functions in the editor to format text, attach files, embed multimedia, and insert equations, links, and tables. You have creative control over how your content appears and the flexibility to change the order and appearance when you want.

    More on embedding multimedia

  3. In the Attachments section, select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. The file is saved in the top-level folder in your course's file repository: Course Files or the Content Collection. You can also attach a file from the repository.

    -OR-

    Drag files from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. If your browser allows, you can also drag a folder of files. The files will upload individually. If the browser doesn't allow you to submit your item after you upload a folder, select Do not attach in the folder's row to remove it. You can drag the files individually and submit again.

    You won’t be able to drag files to upload if your institution uses an older version of Blackboard Learn.

    You can use the file name or provide another name for the file.

  4. Select the appropriate options for availability, tracking, and display dates. Display dates don't affect an item's availability, only when it appears.

After you submit, the new content item appears in the content list.

You can email a link to a file you add to a content item. In the Content Collection or Course Files, access the file's menu and select 360° View. Copy the permanent URL address and paste it in an email.


Edit and move content items

You can change the item's content at any time. Access the item's menu and select Edit.

You can change where the item appears in the list with the drag-and-drop function or the keyboard accessible reordering tool.

You can email a link to a file you add to a content item. In the Content Collection or Course Files, access the file's menu and select 360° View. Copy the permanent URL address and paste it in an email.

What happens to content items if I preview the Ultra Course View?

Your content items become documents in the Ultra Course View. You may see some loss of formatting to text and files that you added in the editor. Learn more about Ultra documents in the next sections.

More on previewing the Ultra Course View


ULTRA: Create a document

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about creating content items.

On the Course Content page, you can create a document or page to present a combination of content. For example, you can include introductory text for a lesson, an audio file of a lecture, and an image. When students select the document title, the materials you added are all presented together on one page. Students see the content just as you see it, without the editing options.

Select the plus sign wherever you want to add a document. You can also expand or create a folder and add a document. Select Create to open the Create Item panel and select Document. The New Document page opens.

New Document page

On the New Document page, use the functions to add content. You can add as many text blocks and files as you want.

  1. Type a title. The title appears as the link students select to view the materials. If you don't add a title, "New Document" appears in the content list.
  2. Add text blocks. Select Add Text to open the editor. You can also paste text from a Word doc. If you click outside of the text box, your work is saved automatically.

    To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

  3. Add files. Select Upload and browse for or drag files from your computer, such as a Word doc and an audio file. You can't add a folder of items. You're asked if you want to add the individual items inside the folder. Your institution controls the maximum size of a file that you can upload.

    More on how media files appear

    OneDrive: Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud-based storage platform for your files and photos. You can access OneDrive from multiple devices. The files you add are copies. If you make a change to a file in OneDrive, you need to upload a new copy in your course. If your browser allows, media files you add from OneDrive display inline. If you choose a folder of files from OneDrive, the contents of the folder are removed and appear as single items in the document.

    On small devices, you can't access OneDrive.

  4. Show or hide the document. Students can't see a document until you choose to show it. You can create all your content ahead of time and choose what you want students to see based on your schedule. You can also set a document's availability with show and hide dates. On the Course Content page, students can see when the document is set to be available.
  5. Allow class conversations. What if your students have questions? You can allow conversations within a document, and anyone can contribute. Select the Settings icon to open the Document Settings panel and select the conversations check box. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the document.
  6. Add goals and standards. You and your institution can use goals to measure student achievement across programs and curriculums. When you create a document, you can align one or multiple goals. In the document, select the Settings icon. Select Align with goals to search for available goals to align with the document.

    Students won't be able to see the goals you align with a document.

    More on how to align goals with course content

  7. Close the layer. Your document automatically saves as you type and upload files. When you're finished, select the X to close the document and return to the Course Content page.

After you submit, the document appears in the content list. You can change the document's content at any time and change the order of the items you added to document. Press the Move icon in an item's row and move it to a new location.

In their activity streams, students are notified that a new document is available.


ULTRA: Edit, reorder, and delete documents

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about managing content items.

You can make changes to existing documents and change where they appear on your Course Content page. Press the Move icon in a document's row and move it to a new location. You can also move a document into an expanded folder.

You can use your keyboard to move a document.

  1. Tab to an item's Move icon.
  2. Press Enter to activate move mode.
  3. Use the arrow keys to choose a location.
  4. Press Enter to drop the item in the new location.

In a document's row, select the More options icon to access the Edit and Delete functions.

Delete documents

You can delete a document from your course or hide it from students to preserve the information. Students can't access hidden documents on the Course Content page.

Edit documents and media files

Based on the document element and settings, you can move, edit, delete, or download it.

Point to an element to access the available options. Press the Move icon to move an element to a new location on the document page.

Select the plus sign wherever you want to add another file or text block on the document page.

Media viewing options

If your browser allows, media files you add to documents display inline by default. If your browser can't display a media file inline, it appears as an attachment. Files you add from OneDrive behave in the same way.

Images that display inline are embedded in a 768 px block at the biggest breakpoints. The closer to that size the images are, the less padding appears around them.

Select a media file's More options icon to access the menu and select Edit File. In the panel, you can choose how your video, audio, or image file appears in the document: inline or as an attachment. For example, you can display extremely large files as attachments that students can download. You can edit the file names for files displayed as attachments.

You can also add alternative text to describe images you add. Alternative text is read aloud by screen readers and helps describe what some users can’t see. Alternative text is limited to 100 characters.

For image files that appear inline, students can select an image to view it separately.

For video and audio files that appear inline, students have controls for play, pause, and volume control. For video files, students can view the video in full screen.

View media files as attachments

For media files that appear as attachments, students access a file's menu to view them. Select Download File to open the file in a new window or tab. Select View File to open the file on the document page. Instructors have the additional functions of move, edit, and delete.


ULTRA: Encourage conversation

If you enable class conversations, students can discuss the document with you and their classmates. They can ask for help, share sources, or answer questions others have. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the relevant document. Conversations don't appear on the discussions page.

To view the conversation, select the speech bubble icon in the document's row on the Course Content page. You can also access the conversation in the upper-right corner of the document page. You can read what your students have written and add your thoughts. Optionally, use the functions in the editor to format the text.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a bulleted list.

Select the Delete icon to remove anyone's contribution. Students can delete their own contributions, but no one may make edits.


ULTRA: What happens during copy and import?

You can import an Ultra course or copy all the content from one of your courses on the system into another Ultra course. The new content is added to the end of the content list of the course you're in.

More on importing content

More on copying content

When you import Original content or choose to preview your Original course in the Ultra Course View, content items are converted to Ultra documents. All text, attachments, and links that you added in the editor are converted and media files will open inline by default. Files that you added as attachments in the section after the Original editor are grouped together in alphabetical order at the end of the Ultra document. Media files will open inline by default. You can edit images, video, and audio files to change the default and change any file's title. Students will need to download some file types to view them.

More on Original content items

Review the document as you may see some loss of formatting during the conversion process. For example, if you added a title for one of your files in the Original Course View, the title may not appear in Ultra. You can edit the file to change the file name. You can reorder the items in the document as needed.