From filmstrips to field trips, enhanced classes are more fun than a plain lecture format. As you plan for Fall you’re probably thinking about incorporating media to wow your students. Blackboard allows you to add a variety of multimedia content. From the Content section of your course you can upload audio, image, or video files. That’s handy if you’ve recorded a podcast-style lecture or if you’d like to upload a video from your computer.
Incorporating Rich Media Found on the Web
Another choice for adding multimedia content is to include materials found on the Web. The “Web Link” option in the Content area allows you to link to any website as part of your course. Professors can even track the number of students who view the website.
Another option allows you to post the link for a set period of time, say one week or one month. The links you add will appear in the Content section of course with an icon of the World Wide Web. Students click on the link to open the website. Some students have recently reported problems with embedded players not playing Prezi presentations in Blackboard. The solution? Use a link. Opening sites, videos, and presentations with a link removes the chance that Blackboard’s settings will cause problems.
Mashup Links to Add YouTube Videos and Other Outside Online Content
YouTube videos can be brought into your course using the ‘Mashup’ option in the right hand column of the Build Content menu. “Mashup” is the name Blackboard uses to reference course material from external websites viewed inside your course.
Using Mashups you can embed links, so you can set them to display on the page as soon as a student views it, put in a thumbnail view, or have a text link with a player.
But why not let students get in on the fun? Professors can create a class YouTube channel and allow students to upload videos. The best of these could be included in the class content area. Another option is to create a discussion forum where students can include links to their favorite videos without any assistance from the professor.
Resources to Help You Get Started
Curious? Here are some helpful short video tutorials from Blackboard:
And here are a couple of video tutorials produced by William & Mary staff:
Of course, not every topic lends itself to a video or audio file, and you won’t always want to include a link for your class, but occasionally rich media can add interest. If you have any questions about including rich media in your Blackboard-based W&M course, please feel free to contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.