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Add Content Packages

Add content packages to use the content player

One type of web-based learning content you can use in your course is called an SCO, or Shareable Content Object. These SCOs are gathered together into a compressed, zipped file called a content package. The zipped file can be unpackaged and played through a content player. Typically, individual components or entire packages are provided to you by schools, publishers, commercial companies, or other sources.

Blackboard Learn currently has two content players:

  • SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) Engine
  • Open Standards Content Player
Content types
Content Player Content Types Supported
SCORM Engine SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 4th Edition) IMS, NLN, AICC (Level 1) and Basic Tin Can API
Open Standards Content Player SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 3rd Edition), IMS, NLN

Your institution controls whether the SCORM Engine, the Open Standards Content Player, or both are enabled. If enabled by your institution, the SCORM Engine B2 becomes the default content player for all newly uploaded content packages, as well as any existing content package that are re-uploaded, even if the Open Standards Content Player B2 is also enabled. To check which players in content areas, go to the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Tool Availability.

The Open Standards Content Player is based on a Java applet and as it is a legacy player, it was not updated when the frames changes were implemented in Learn April 2015 release. This means the player will not work correctly in April 2015 release and above. The player no longer works with modern browsers due to it being applet based and will be removed in a future release of Blackboard Learn. It is important that administrators and instructors complete migration, re-uploading, and testing of existing content to use the SCORM Engine instead.

SCORM content

The SCORM Engine supports content that conforms to the SCORM 1.2 standard, the SCORM 2004 standard, as well as AICC and the playing of Tin Can API packages. Blackboard Learn currently doesn't include a Tin Can Learning Record Store (LRS) however basic data passed will be viewable in the Learn Grade Center. 

You do not need to determine ahead of time what the content type is, as the add content option uses the same process for all supported types. For instance, in the case of uploading IMS content packages, the Add Content work-flow will display a message saying Some issues were found with this course which may affect playability and a sub message that the package is not in SCORM format and it will assume it is IMS Content package.

More on SCORM content

More on Tin Can API content

IMS content

The SCORM Engine Building Block supports content that conforms to the IMS Content and Packaging 1.1.2 standard with the web content attribute. These types of packages don't track user attempt details so don't create a grade column. Otherwise, you'll see no major differences.

More on IMS content

NLN content

The SCORM Engine Building Block supports NLN content, which conforms to SCORM and IMS standards. The United Kingdom NLN Materials Team is responsible for commissioning and developing e-learning materials for the NLN, and offers advice on best practice in integrating the NLN materials into teaching and learning schemes.

More on NLN content

More on NLN content packages 


Add a content package

  1. Access a content area or folder.
  2. Point to Build Content and select Content Package (SCORM).
  3. On the Add Content Package page, attach a file that conforms to the required standards. Select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. You can also upload a file from the course's storage repository: Course Files or the Content Collection.

After the file has been uploaded and checked, a second Add Content Package page displays where you can set the content package details.

  1. On the second Add Content Package page, in the SCORM Information section, type a Title.
  2. Optionally, type a Description.
  3. Select the SCORM Availability options. The choices enable you to determine whether the content player is available to students, control the number of attempts, and set course content availability.
    1. Select Yes to Make SCORM Available.
    2. For Number of Attempts, you can select Allow single attempts, Allow unlimited attempts, or type a number for Number of attempts allowed.
    3. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect content package availability, only when it appears
    4. Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
  4. Select the Grading options.
    1. For Grade SCORM, you can choose No Grading or type a number for Grade: Points Possible, based on the SCORM Score, SCORM Completion, or SCORM Satisfaction.
    2. Select Yes to Grade SCOS, and then select the individual items to grade.

View SCORM attempt details

When a SCORM package has been set for grading, you can view attempt details related to the users’ interactions with the content. The details may include the total time the user has viewed the content, the completion status, responses to any questions contained in the package, and whether the responses were correct. The attempt data helps you determine a score for the Grade Center item. Not all packages track all data. If the package does not provide information to Blackboard Learn, the data will show as N/A. If you have questions about missing data, contact the creator of the package to determine which data was designed to be tracked.

To view individual attempts:

  1. On the Control Panel, access the Full Grade Center and locate the column for the course content item.
  2. Select the user attempt.
  3. On the Edit Grade page, select View. The Attempt Details page displays.

To run a report to view the details on all attempts:

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section and select SCORM Reports.
  2. On the SCORM Reports page, access an item's menu and select Run.

Edit the SCORM player advanced options

Most of the time, you do not need to access or change the SCORM player Advanced Options because the default settings are set for maximum compatibility and performance. The content package should already have the intended navigation, flow, and behavior, and the default settings are most likely to display it correctly and consistently.  The Navigational Controls and Launch Behavior are likely to be the most useful for instructors with a basic level of understanding of how SCORM content works, while Debugger Options and History Options can help in troubleshooting. If you feel that you do need to change them, you should first contact your institution for assistance and guidance.

To access the SCORM player Advanced Options, you must edit an existing SCORM content package.

  1. Access a content area or folder where the SCORM content package has already been uploaded.
  2. Open the SCORM content package's menu and select Edit.
  3. To access the otherwise hidden SCORM player Advanced Options, set Edit SCORM Player Behavior to Yes. The SCORM engine Advanced Options will display in two or three columns. The left column allows you to select the category of advanced options controls, while the right columns list the choices and settings associated with the category selected. The categories are:
    • Navigational Controls
    • Launch Behavior
    • Rudimentary Sequencing
    • Rudimentary Rollup
    • Compatibility Settings
    • Communication Settings
    • Debugger Options
    • History Options
    • Other Behavioral Options
  4. Select Submit. If you don't want to commit any changes you have made, select Cancel.


Navigational controls

The Navigational Controls allow you to include buttons, bars, and other navigational aids the student will see and be able to use when accessing the course content using the SCORM player.

Option Function
Show Navigation Bar Determine whether the SCORM player will display a navigation bar to the student. The navigation bar must be enabled for any of the following settings to take effect:
  • Show Finish Button: Display an Exit Course button on the navigation bar. Pressing this attempts to finish the current content and go back to the main lesson, regardless of the current state of completion.
  • Show Close SCO Button: Display a Close SCO button on the navigation bar. Pressing this closes the current SCO. This option should remain off because it is not useful for most students.
  • Enable Previous/Next: Include Previous and Next controls on the navigation bar, enabling the student to move forward or backward in the content.
  • Show Progress Bar: Show a progress bar for the content, so students can gauge their progress.
    • Use Measure For Progress Bar: If set, the player uses the Progress Measure Rollup values to calculate progress. Otherwise, the current content object completion is used. This is applicable only in SCORM 2004 4th edition and later content.
  • Show Help: Display a Help button to the student.
Show Title Bar Determine whether the SCORM player displays a title bar to the student. The Show Navigation Bar option must be enabled for this setting to take effect.
Prevent Right Click Prevents a student from right-clicking in the SCORM player windows. If the right mouse button is clicked, nothing happens. This can be useful in high-stakes assessments or where you do not want the student to be able to see the internal structure or content in the player. This setting only affects the SCORM player windows, including the course structure and the navigation bar (if present), and does not affect any other content, browser windows, or computer desktop functions.
Show Course Structure Determines if the SCORM player should display the course structure. If selected, the course structure displays to the left of the content, in an outline format. This can be useful for courses containing multiple content objects. This option must be enabled for any of the following settings to take effect:
  • Course Structure Starts Open: Determines whether SCORM player should begin with the course structure shown or hidden. The student can show or hide the structure in any case as long as the Show Course Structure and Show Navigation Bar are enabled.
  • Enable Choice Navigation: Determines whether the SCORM player will allow the student to navigate within the course structure by selecting links in the outline. Otherwise the course structure display is for information and reference only.
  • Course Structure Width: Sets the width of the course structure window, in pixels. The default, zero (0), sets it to automatic width.
  • Structure Status Display: Defines how icons are presented to the student to indicate success and completion status.
    • Success Only: Course success status only (passed/failed).
    • Completion Only: Completion status only (complete/incomplete).
    • Separate: Both success and completion status are presented separately.
    • Combined: Success and completion are presented as a combined metric.
    • None: No SCO-level status is shown to the student.
  • Invalid Menu Item Action: Determines how the SCORM player handles menu item option selections which are invalid.
    • Show and Enable Links: Invalid menu item links are visible, but selecting them will display an invalid action message.
    • Hide: Invalid menu item links are not shown.
    • Show but Disable Links: Invalid menu item links are visible, but selecting them does nothing.

Launch behavior

The Launch Behavior options control the initial appearance of the content when first launched by the student.

Options
Option Function
SCO Launch Type These settings determine how each SCO will be launched. Possible values are:
  • Frameset: Launch the SCO in-line, in a browser frame, rather than opening it in a new window.
  • New Window: Launch the SCO in a new browser window.
  • New Window After Click: Launch the SCO in a new browser window after requiring the student to click a link. This setting can be useful when dealing with browser pop-up blockers, since clicking a link will usually override the blocker.
  • New Window Without Browser Toolbar: Launch the SCO in a new browser window without a toolbar.
  • New Window Without Browser Toolbar After Click: Launch the SCO in a browser window without a toolbar, after requiring the student to click on a link.
Player Launch Type These settings determine how the SCORM player will be launched. Possible values are:
  • Frameset: Launch the SCORM player in-line, in a browser frame, rather than opening it in a new window.
  • New Window: Launch the player in a new browser window.
  • New Window After Click: Launch the player in a new browser window after requiring the student to click a link. This setting can be useful when dealing with pop-up blockers, since clicking a link will usually override the blocker.
  • New Window Without Browser Toolbar: Launch the player in a new browser window without a toolbar.
  • New Window Without Browser Toolbar After Click: Launch the player in a browser window without a toolbar, after requiring the student to click a link.
New Window Options These settings determine the dimensions of either the content player when launched in a new window. These settings have no effect unless a new window option has been selected as SCO Launch Type or Player Launch Type.
  • User Value Defaults: Launch the new window using the client browser's default dimensions.
  • Full Screen: Launch the new window in full screen mode. If this option is selected, you must provide some means for the student to exit the content, such as an exit or close button or link.
  • Specify New Window Dimensions: Set the new window dimensions explicitly.
    • Width for content: The width of new windows in pixels.
    • Height for content: The height of new windows in pixels.
  • REQUIRED: Above dimensions are required for the course to function properly: If selected and the client browser cannot support the specified dimensions, a warning message is displayed to the student.
Prevent Window Resize Determines whether to prevent the content player windows from being resized by the student.

Rudimentary sequencing

The Rudimentary Sequencing options enable you to control what should happen next, under both normal and error conditions, when a student either completes or leaves a SCORM Content Package before completion. Based on these settings, the SCORM player determines what should happen next.

Several factors are key in determining what action to take:

  • Whether the SCO is the first (and possibly only) one, a middle SCO, or the last one
  • The status of the SCO, both individually and as part of the complete Content Package course
  • The exit status of the SCO that has been completed or aborted

These settings are applicable only to SCORM 1.2 Content Packages, and provide a means of emulating the advanced sequencing built into the SCORM 2004 standards. In SCORM 2004 (all editions), Simple Sequencing allows the content to determine how SCO sequencing is to be handled.

Options
Option Function
Intermediate SCO These are the settings that apply to Shareable Content Objects (SCOs) that are at the beginning or in the middle of a course sequence consisting of multiple SCOs, that is, every SCO except for the last one. Whether Course Satisfied or Course Not Satisfied applies, you can control what happens next for each of the possible conditions:
  • Normal: The student has exited the content in the current SCO using the correct navigation methods.
  • Suspend: The student has suspended the current session, such as when skipping between SCOs in a course consisting of multiple SCOs.
  • Timeout: The course session has experienced a timeout due to the student not completing the SCO in the time allotted or caused by a communication failure between the computer and the server.
  • Logout: The student has logged out of the current session, with the SCO is still active.

The available choices for each exit and course satisfaction condition are:

  • Exit course after confirmation: Ask the student to confirm exit, and if so, to return to the main lesson. If confirmation is not given, an appropriate message is displayed.
  • Exit course: Simply close the SCORM player and return to the main lesson.
  • Go to next SCO: Take the student to the next SCO in the sequence.
  • Display message: Display a message page. The SCORM player determines what message to display depending on the current status of the player.
  • Do nothing: The SCORM player will take no action.
Final SCO These are the settings that apply to the last SCO in a course. If a course consists of a single SCO, it is treated as if it is the final SCO. Whether Course Satisfied or Course Not Satisfied applies, you can control what happens next for each of the possible conditions:
  • Normal: The student has finished the content in the current SCO.
  • Suspend: The student has suspended the current session.
  • Timeout: The session has experienced a timeout due to the student not completing the SCO in the time allotted or caused by a communication failure between the computer and the server.
  • Logout: The student has logged out of the current session.

The available choices for each exit and course satisfaction condition are:

  • Exit course after confirmation: Ask the student to confirm exit, and if so, to return to the main lesson. If confirmation is not given, an appropriate message is displayed.
  • Exit course: Simply close the SCORM player and return to the main lesson.
  • Go to next SCO: Displays a message page, since this is already the last SCO in the sequence.
  • Display message: Display a message page. The SCORM player determines what message to display depending on the current status of the player.
  • Do nothing: The SCORM player will take no action.

Rudimentary rollup

The Rudimentary Rollup options allow you to determine how you want to evaluate the SCO scores and status for a given student. The term rollup refers to the process of collecting individual SCO scores and completion status, and using that data to calculate and assign a cumulative final grade and overall completion status for the SCORM Content Package course. There are several different ways to select criteria, average test scores, and calculate both a grade and completion status.

These settings are applicable only to SCORM 1.2 content, and provide a way to emulate the score and status rollup behavior built into the SCORM 2004 standard. They are not applicable to SCORM 2004 content since SCORM 2004 Simple Sequencing allows the content to determine how rollups are to be handled.

Options
Option Function
Score Rollup Mode Determines the way in which the SCORM player will collect individual SCO scores, analyze them and report an overall calculated score. Possible values are:
  • Score Provided by Course: Useful mainly for Content Packages consisting of a single SCO, this setting simply reports the score provided by the first SCO.
  • Average Score of All Units: Adds up all the scores provided, and divides that number by the total number of SCOs in the course, regardless how many have reported a score.
  • Fixed Average: Adds up all the scores provided and divides by the number specified in Number of Scoring Objects
  • Average Score of All Units with Non-Zero Scores: Adds up all the scores and divides that number by the total number of SCOs reporting a score.
  • Last SCO Score: Simply reports the last SCO score.

Number of Scoring Objects: Indicates how many SCOs should be reporting a score. This value is only relevant if Score Rollup Mode is set to Fixed Average.

Status Rollup Mode Determines how overall completion status is determined. Possible values are:
  • Status Provided by Course: Useful mainly for Content Packages consisting of a single SCO, this setting simply reports the completion status provided by the first SCO.
  • Complete When All Units Complete: The course is considered complete when all the SCOs in the Content Package are complete, regardless whether the result is failed, completed, or passed.
  • Complete When All Units are Complete and Not Failed: The course is considered complete when all the SCOs in the Content Package are complete, with a status of either completed or passed.
  • Complete When Threshold Score is Met: The course is considered complete with its score (as determined by the Score Rollup Mode) meets or exceeds the threshold set in Threshold Score for Completion. In this instance, not all SCO units need to have been completed.
  • Complete When All Units are Complete and Threshold Score is Met: The course is considered complete when all the SCOs in the Content Package are complete and the score (as determined by the Score Rollup Mode) meets or exceeds the threshold set in Threshold Score for Completion.
  • Complete When All Units are Passed: The course is considered complete when all of the SCOs in the Content Package are complete and passed.

Threshold Score for Completion: 0.0-1.0: Determines the threshold for course completion, and is applicable only if the Status Rollup Mode has been set to Complete When Threshold Score is Met or Complete When All Units are Complete and Threshold Score is Met. The value is a decimal number between 0.0 and 1.0. (For an equivalent percentage value, multiply by 100; for example, if set to 0.8, this means the required threshold score is 80%.)

Apply Rollup Status to Success Status Selecting this option causes the Status Rollup Mode to be applied to the success status, instead of just the completion status.
First SCO is Pretest Enabling this option indicates that if the first SCO in a lesson sequence achieves a status of passed, the rest of the SCOs in the SCORM Content Package will be marked complete. This makes it possible for you to design a set of courses that allow students to bypass topics for which they are able to demonstrate mastery.

Compatibility settings

Although usually there is no need to change these settings from the defaults, the Compatibility Settings can help in troubleshooting course content packages which encounter errors, fail to launch, or have other problems. As with all the advanced settings, but especially here, if you do feel there is a need to adjust the Compatibility Settings, you should first contact your institution for assistance and guidance.

When re-uploading course content that previously had been using the Open Standards content player, if there are problems or errors, these are the settings that may need changing, especially for older and possibly non-standard content. To aid in determining exactly where the problem lies, it is recommended to enable the detailed Debugger Options, and review the resulting message logs.

Options
Option Function
Finish Causes Immediate Commit This setting is provided to deal with single SCO courses where there is difficulty in capturing exit status. You may want to try enabling this option if a single SCO course is failing to record completions accurately.
Wrap SCO Window with API When an SCO is launched in a new window, some non-standard or poorly coded content may not be able to find and communicate properly with the SCORM Engine. Enabling this setting puts a kind of wrapper—an API, or application program interface—around the player, and this API automatically knows how to talk to the SCORM Engine.
Always Flow to First SCO If enabled, the SCORM player always loads the first course in a SCO, regardless whether the sequencing rules dictate this behavior.
Mastery Score Overrides Lesson Status When enabled, if the mastery score indicates the SCO is complete or not complete, this overrides whatever the actual lesson status may be.
Allow Complete Lesson Status To Change Applicable to SCORM 1.2, this setting determines whether a lesson marked as complete can be changed at a later date to something other than complete.
Rollup Empty Set to Unknown For SCORM 2004 courses, this setting determines the rollup status when there are no activities providing information to set the status. If selected, both course completion and satisfaction status are set to unknown.
Disable Root Activity Prevents a student from creating a new attempt by forcing the course navigation tree and any other links which could restart the course or an SCO within it to be disabled and not to respond to clicks.
Rollup at SCO Unload Forces score rollup when the SCO unloads, to handle those SCOs which fail to explicitly call for a rollup to be performed.
Override Objective and Completion Set by Content to True The default for SCORM 2004 and the default for the SCORM 1.2 player can sometimes lead to an SCO being marked as completed and satisfied if the SCO fails to report the correct runtime status data. This setting overrides the default behavior for courses that do not set the appropriate default sequencing rules.
Make Student Preferences Global to Course Causes any student preferences set in a given SCO to apply to all SCOs in a given SCORM Content Package course.
Launch Completed Registrations as No-Credit Determines whether completed course registrations are launched subsequently as normal or as no-credit.
Completion Status of Failed Success Status Set an override value for the completion status of an SCO that a student has failed:
  • Completed
  • Incomplete
  • Unknown
Lookahead Sequencer Mode Lookahead processing enables the SCORM Engine to dynamically update the course navigation structure that is visible and available depending on the state of the current SCO. By default, this setting should be enabled. For very large courses, this may cause noticeable slowing in web browsers and if deemed unacceptable, you can set this to disabled. Available settings are:
  • Disabled: Disable the SCORM lookahead sequencer
  • Enabled: Enable the SCORM lookahead sequencer (default)
  • Real-time: Enable the SCORM real-time lookahead sequencer, which runs after certain runtime values change, immediately updating the visible course navigation structure
Reset Runtime Data Timing Determines when the SCORM player will reset the CMI (computer managed instruction) data timing. The choices are:
  • Never: The SCORM player will never reset runtime status
  • When Exit is Not Suspend: The SCORM player only preserves runtime data when the exit status is not Suspend
  • On Each New Sequencing Attempt: The SCORM player will reset the runtime data every time the system rules dictate that a new attempt should begin
Return to LMS Action Because the SCORM 2004 4th Edition requires learning content to provide an interface allowing students to choose an exit type when leaving a course, the SCORM player can display a prompt when the student clicks Exit Course. Since it is possible to turn this prompt on and off, this option allows you to select the action to take automatically when the prompt is off. The setting determines whether the course suspends and saves the current state or ends the course entirely upon exit. The available choices are:
  • Legacy: Use the SCORM 3rd Edition behavior, returning to the main course while saving the current state of the attempt
  • Suspend All: Save the current state of all current attempt, including all open SCOs (SCORM 4th Edition only)
  • Exit All: End the attempt (SCORM 4th Edition only)
  • Selectable: Allow the student to choose between Suspend All or Exit All (SCORM 4th Edition only)

Communication settings

The Communication Settings determine how the Content Player interacts with the server. These settings may need to be adjusted if there are reported timeouts or communication failures between the students' computers and the server, but should only be changed by an administrator or experienced SCORM developer.

Options
Option Function
Maximum Failed Attempts Sets the maximum number of attempts to attempt a runtime data update to the server before declaring failure. If this number is exceeded, an error message is displayed.
Commit Frequency Determines how often, in milliseconds, the runtime data is updated to the server. Some events, such as completing a course, force an update.

Debugger options

The Debugger Options determine whether and how much logging information will be recorded within the various SCORM subsystems.

When encountering problems or errors with course content playback or presentation, enabling the Debugger Options so you, your administrator, or an expert SCORM support person can review the message logs is often an essential step in troubleshooting and resolving the issue. Using the History Options to record routine (non-error) status details can also provide useful information.

Options
Option Function
Debugger Options Determines the level of logging to be performed within each of the associated SCORM subsystems: Control (overall system functions), Runtime (the launching and operation of SCOs), or Sequencing (what happens outside of and between SCOs)
  • Off: No debug log messages are recorded.
  • Audit: Basic debug log messages are recorded.
  • Detailed: Audit-level log messages are recorded, along with additional detail messages.
Include Timestamps Determines whether timestamps will be recorded with the events in the debugger log files.

History options

The History Options control whether and how much routine (non-error) status information about the SCORM Content Package course content is logged.

Options
Option Function
Capture History Determines whether the Content Package should send back information about each attempt.
Capture Detailed History Determines whether the Content Package should send back detailed information about each attempt.

Other behavioral options

Options
Option Function
Time Limit The total time, in minutes, the student is permitted to spend in the Content Package. If the time specified expires, the student will be automatically exited, with scores and status calculated from the current state of completion. If this value is set to zero (0), there is no time limit.