Blackboard Content Editor

Introduction

The Blackboard Content Editor is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) text and media editing tool. It is available whenever you create various types of content items in Blackboard, and may be used to add text, links, images, and other media to your assignment instructions, test questions, and more!

Blackboard’s Content Editor Tool Update - November 5th, 2020
Bb's Content Editor has been updated to enhance the user experience and improve accessibility. Please see the following for an overview of the new features (and interface changes) along with a guide to what has remained the same.

 

Overview

New Features

The Bb Content Editor update adds new features and streamlines the user interface, so some tools have moved or can be found under updated icons. Please note: the way files are added to your document has changed: from images to videos, all types of media files are now added using the 'Add Content' icon - circle with plus symbol Add Content menu. Here are some of the other key changes:

Add Images, Videos, and Links

‘Add Content’ icon - circle with plus symbol The Power of Plus - Add Content is one easy menu for adding items from your computer, cloud storage, or a Bb integrated tool like YuJa. The Content Editor will automatically recognize the kinds of files you add. Just click, and browse for your file. Note: the following features have moved, and are now accessible from this ‘Add Content’ icon - circle with plus symbol Add Content menu ONLY: original 'Insert/Edit Link' icon - chain link symbol Content Collection items, 'Insert/Edit Recording' icon - video camera symbol Record Feedback, 'Insert Mashup' icon - "Mashups" button with four dots arranged in a triangle Mashups (including YuJa and VoiceThread), and 'Attachments: Files/Images/Video' icon - paperclip, photo, and video symbols Attach files/images/videos.

'Insert/Edit Link' icon - chain link symbol Simple Embed - When pasting links to websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion, the videos are automatically embedded for inline playback. Other sites including The New York Times, WordPress, SlideShare and Facebook will embed summary previews. Note: The Link Tool is now used for external sites ONLY. To add links to files in the Content Collection, use the ‘Add Content’ icon - circle with plus symbol Add Content tool.

'Insert Local Files' 'icon - paper with folded corner symbol Add Multiple Files of Different Types - Adding content used to be a two-step process. You had to choose the right tool for the type of content you were adding and then choose the source. The first step is gone. Pick one or multiple files at once from your computer or the Content Collection. And of course, you can still access files from your favorite cloud storage services. This menu is located within the ‘Add Content’ icon - circle with plus symbol Add Content tool.

Edit Text

'Paste' icon - clipboard symbol Better Copy and Paste - Pasting content from Word, Excel, and websites is even better. You can choose to remove extra HTML but retain basic formatting.

'Bulleted list' icon - list with bullet points symbol Text Formatting, Bullets, List - Options for formatting text, bullets, and lists are now presented in recognizable ways rather than just as text. For example, font choices will appear as those fonts and bullet options will display visually as those bullet types.

'Table' icon - simple table symbol New Table Options - Creating a table has been simplified with a grid selector instead of a pop-up. When adding tables, column widths default to use percentages rather than fixed widths for greater responsiveness across devices.

'Spell Check' icon -  "ABC" with a checkmark symbol Spellchecker Updates - The Spellchecker Tool more smartly picks the default language based on course selection and user choice when available. Dictionaries have been updated and expanded. Click the tool to run spellcheck.

'Special Character' icon - Ω (omega) symbol Find Special Characters More Easily - A larger library of special characters is organized into categories and searchable.

'Emoticons' icon - smiley face symbol Expanded Emoticon Library - The options for emoticons are expanded, grouped into categories, and searchable.

'Insert/Edit code sample' icon - semicolon inside of curly brackets symbol Display Computer Code - Authors can now share formatted computer code snippets – super handy for computer science classes and coding clubs.

'Source code' icon - less-than and greater-than arrow symbols Easier HTML Editing - When authoring or editing HTML, it’ll be easier to find what you’re looking for with line numbers and tag colors.

'Find and Replace' icon Search Only Selected Content - When using find and replace, you can now limit your search just to content that’s been selected.

Interface

'Full Screen' icon - four arrows, arranged in a square, pointing out/at corners Expands Automatically - When authoring with many tools such as creating an Item or a Discussion Thread, the authoring area will automatically expand for you. To edit a large amount of content and pin the toolbar to the top, use the full screen mode.

'More' icon - ellipses symbol Toolbar Wrapping - The toolbar will show as many tools as it can for the size of your screen before wrapping to the next line. Show and collapse the additional tools with the ellipsis icon.

'Access Full Editor' symbol - spellcheck and 'A' with pen in corner symbol Access Full Editor in More Places - When authoring a very complex test question with lots of question and answer options, a limited editor is presented so the page loads faster. You can now expand those into a full editor as needed.

Accessibility

'Preview' icon - eye symbol Better for All Devices - The editor is better suited for all devices—small screen or big. Pop-ups are gone for a better mobile experience.

'Accessibility Checker' icon - person symbolImproved Accessibility - The editor is more accessible, and a new accessibility checker helps authors make content more accessible.

Additional Information

For a detailed explanation of the changes and to see a chart comparing the old and new icons, please see the 'Bb Content Editor' document in the Attachments section of this article (near the top-right corner of this page). If the tool you are looking for is missing, it may have a new design or it may have been repositioned within the toolbar. Please consult the attached document to learn more.

How to Use the Content Editor

 Bb Content Editor - full menu with example content

The Bb Content Editor is primarily used to add text and media to items such as tests, assignments, and discussion boards, and is available almost anywhere you can build course content. Whether you're adding instructions for a new assignment or creating an exam question, the editor is used in the same way. Please see the following steps to get started:

  1. Create Course Content
    Choose which type of content you would like to build: assignment, test, item, etc. Then navigate to the area of your course where you'd like to add the item, and select the corresponding link in the the Build Content drop-down menu. This will open a 'Create (Item)' page where you can use the Content Editor – as well as set details such as point value and due date.
  2. Use the Content Editor
    Add and format text/tables/equations, insert media, link to websites, and more! Please see the following for more details about the different types of content you can add, or see this page for a table of all menu options and an icon key. If you are looking for a tool from the Content Editor old menu, please see the 'Bb Content Editor' document in this article's Attachments section for a visual guide to the icon changes. It can be found in the top-right area of this page.
    • Add & Edit Text, Tables, Links
      With controls similar to Word, you can create, copy/paste, format, and check spelling of text-based content.
    • Attach Files, Content Collection Items, Images, Video, Video Feedback, Mashups
      These features are now located in the Add Content menu – click the ‘Add Content’ icon - circle with plus symbol icon, and a pop-up menu will open. Select a location, browse and choose the document or media file you would like to use.
      'Add Content' pop-up menu - choose a location
    • Link & Embed Websites
      The link tool is now used to link external websites only, and Content Collection items are now 'added', rather than 'linked' – see the 'Attach Files, Content Collection Items...' section (above) for more information.
    • Add Equations with the Math Editor
      The Math Editor is Bb's formula building and display tool. It's based on Javascript, so it runs on any browser or OS (including phones and tablets). Note: the old old version of the 'Math Editor' icon - f(x) function symbol icon has been updated to 'Math Editor' icon - square root symbol, found in the expanded toolbar. Please see this page for a comprehensive explanation of all of its features.
  3. Configure the Content Item Settings & Submit
    Different settings are available, depending on the type of content you're creating. Most require you click Submit (in the bottom-right corner) to save your changes, then the content may be made available to students. They can also use their version of the editor to submit an assignment or answer an exam question. Please see this page for an introducation you can share with your class.

Due to the recent update, this section is currently under construction, and will be updated soon to reflect the tool's functionality and interface changes. Please check back for more details. For information about the original Content Editor (unavailable after the 11-5 update), please see Blackboard’s help site.


 

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