Monday, November 29, 2004

Blackboard Survival Tip #1

If you're an instructor who uses Blackboard to deliver large amounts of course material each term, ask your local Blackboard administrators if they have looked into the "Document Unpackager" Building Block (or something like it). If you are a Blackboard administrator, you'd better go look it up before you get asked about it. Thanks to the distance education group at Joliet Junior College for creating the "duh" tool that seems like it should have been there from the start.

From the catalog description:
The Document Unpackager allows you to upload a zip file containing folders and files to Blackboard. It is then unpackaged and course content items are created with the files attached. The directory structure within the zipfile is translated into folders within Blackboard. All content created by the Building Block is usable even if the Building Block is removed at a later time.

Blackboard can really turn off some power-users. One of the big complaints is its insistence on form-driven content creation processes. They're helpful for the less tech-savvy teachers, but a real drag once you're a seasoned pro. This is handy little tool, and a real winner to show to your faculty when you're doing that little "What's new in Blackboard" session.

2 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Eric, this looks like it might be just the ticket for us librarians who upload large amounts of content onto Blackboard for e-reserves. I'll pass it along to my colleagues and see if we can't have a go with it. Cheers, John Anderies

7:15 PM  
Blogger EB said...

John A.-The good news is that it's already installed on the Trico Blackboard server.

12:16 AM  

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