Create item

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Create item

  1. 1. Create ItemThe Create Items feature allows you to add content to your course site. Files can be uploaded in their originalformat (such as .doc or .ppt documents) and when students click on the link created, the files are downloadedto the students computer (may open in browser depending on the browser and the computer setup). HTMLor web supported graphic files (such as .jpgs or .gifs) can also be added, which can be viewed directly withinthe Blackboard page.Note: Because Blackboard is cross platform (works on Macs and PCs) all files should have a three letter fileextension (such as .doc or .htm), which designates its file type. To prevent conflicts, file names should containno spaces or special character except the underscore (_) and only one period before the file extension (ex:HomeWorkOne.doc).With Edit Mode On:1. Click on desired Content Areas (Syllabus, Course Documents, Assignments, etc…).2. Click the Create Item icon.3. Enter a name for the document into the Name field.4. Enter a description into the Text field.5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Submit button. Create Item - 1
  2. 2. Special Action ChoicesAttach local file – This tool allows you to attach a file, such as a Word document or PowerPoint, which resideson your personal computer.Link to Content Collection Item: IS NOT AN AVAILABLE FEATURE FOR OUR CAMPUSCreate a link to this file - Use this default option to create a link to a document or download.Display media file within the page - Use this option when working with graphic images or media files youwant to display within the page.Unpackage this file - Use this option when uploading .zip (or compressed) files. This is typically used withPowerPoint presentations saved as HTML or collections of linked web pages.Options SectionDo you want to permit users to view the content item? – By selecting yes, you are allowing your students tosee the document. Typically, documents are made "invisible" when you dont want students to access themyet. You can change this at any time.Do you want to track number of views? - This option lets you track how often individual users view thedocument.Select Date and Time Restrictions - This option lets you set the dates that the document will be visible andinvisible. This automates the "permit users to view the content item" option. Create Item - 2
  3. 3. More InformationQ: What kinds of documents can I upload to Blackboard?A: Uploading just means putting your document up onto the Blackboard server or any Internet server. You canupload just about any file type to Blackboard, however the type of document that you upload affects howyour students can view it. If you upload documents that were created and saved in specific software programs(Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), your students will have to have that particular software installed on theircomputer to view the documents.For example, if you upload a PowerPoint document (as a .ppt or .pps), your students will have to download thefile and then open it in PowerPoint or the PowerPoint viewer. However, if you save your files as HTML andthen upload them to Blackboard, the students can view the documents directly on screen from withinBlackboard.Q: Why should I save and upload my files as HTML?A: Uploading HTML documents to Blackboard allows your students to directly access the information fromwithin the Blackboard page. This is preferable for course information and documents, such as assignmentinstructions and timelines, which students may need to check often. There may also be times where you wantto upload files for download, such as templates or forms that need to be modified or copied or longerdocuments that students will want to print. In those cases, leaving the document in its original form (.doc, .xls)would be preferable.Q: What should I put in the Name of Link to File field?A: If the file is for downloading, type something like "Click to download." If the file is in a web format and willbe viewed on screen, type something like "Click to view." This lets the student know what will happen whenthey click the link. Remember, whatever you type in this field becomes the actual link that students will clickon.Q: Are files uploaded to Blackboard automatically checked for viruses?A: No, there is no easy way to check for viruses on the Blackboard server or any Internet based server. Thebest way to protect yourself is to have a virus protection program on your personal computer. Students willhave to purchase virus protection software. It is recommended that you protect your computer not only fromdocuments you download within Blackboard, but also any documents you download from the Internet.Q: How should I save my graphics?A: The most universally supported file formats on the Web are .gif (Graphics Interchange Format) and .jpeg(Joint Photographic Experts Group) format. In general, use .gif format for graphics that have few colors,graphics that contain text or type, or graphics that have large areas of a single color. Use .jpg format forgraphics that have many colors and lots of fine detail, such as photos. It is NOT recommended to usebitmapped graphics with Blackboard. These files are very large and can affect your course performance, asthey are slow to load, especially for modem users. Many scanners default to .bmp files, so make sure youcheck this if you are scanning photos or images.It is also important to remember that Blackboard will upload all graphics in their original size. Make sure thatyou have sized and saved your graphics in an appropriate size for your course site. There are recommendedsizes shown in the Page Editors when uploading course banners and staff photos. Create Item - 3
  4. 4. Q: What kind of media files are supported by Blackboard?A: The following media files can be viewed within Blackboard. Graphics: GIF and JPEG Video: MPEG, Quicktime, AVI Audio: WAV and AIFFNote: students will need the appropriate software and plug-ins to view the media files.Q: How fast (or slow) will my files be downloaded?A: When developing your course materials, remember that the students may be connecting to the Internet viaa dial-up modem. Files should be kept small enough so users with slower connections will still be able toaccess the files in a reasonable amount of time. If you cannot keep the file size down, an alternative is to usethe text field in the Add Item area to provide the student with information describing what the file is, howlarge it is, and why it is important that they view it. Often, simply letting a student know that the downloadmay take longer than usual will diffuse any frustration associated with the long process. Keep in mind thatdownload time will vary based on Internet traffic and connection speed. Create Item - 4

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