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What is this?


Blackboard now provides blogging capability for Blackboard courses. It's a way for instructors and students to participate in an ongoing discussion on specific course topics. Since it's inside a Blackboard course it's only available to members of the course.

If you are new to blogs, visit our Blogs and Websites page to learn more about blogs in general.

Why would I use this?


Blogs provide a way for instructors to communicate with students in a manner that is familiar to them. This communication can happen both inside and outside of the classroom on an ongoing basis. 

Blogs also provide a certain kind of freedom that allows today's students to express themselves on a topic in a less formal way. Perhaps the fact that most blogs used in courses are not graded is part of the magic. Having said that, there are ways to include blog participation in student grades (just like grading discussion board participation).

How do instructors create blogs?


Only an instructor can create a blog, but in most cases students participate in them. 

  1. Open Blackboard and enter the course you want to add a blog to.

  2. Double check that Edit Mode is On for the course by looking towards the top right of th page. If it isn't, click the slider to turn it on.
    Blackboard edit mode toggle button

  3. From the navigation menu on the left, under Control Panel click Course Tools.
    Blackboard control panel

  4. Click Blogs.
    Blackboard blogs link

  5. Click Create Blog.
    Blackboard create blog button

  6. In section 1, give your blog a Name. If you want to write any instructions or notes for your students about the blog you can do that here.
    Blackboard blog info page

  7. In section 2, you can select if you want your blog to be immediately available or not. By default, your blog will be available. 
    Blackboard blog availability options

  8. Section 3 allows you to select time restrictions for your blog. By default, there are no time restrictions for your blog.
    Blackboard blog retrictions options

  9. Section 4 allows you to choose your blog type and allow anonymous comments if you wish. 

    Individual to all students

    Each student gets their own individual blog. They can look at the blogs of other students by clicking the pull-down menu on the right of the page and selecting another member of the course. You can also use the arrows on the left and the right of the name to scroll through all of the available blogs.
    Blackboard individual blog example

    Course

    All members of the course post to one blog and all posts are seen on the main screen. Members of the course can use the allows on the right to only show posts by a specific member of the course if they wish.
    Blackboard course blog example

    Blackboard blog participation options

  10. Section 5 allows you to choose your blog settings.
    Blackboard blog settings

  11. If you would like to add a grading component to your blog you can do so in section 6. By default, this section is set to No Grading.
    Blackboard blog grading options

  12. After completing all sections, croll to the bottom and click Submit.
    Blackboard submit button

  13. Your blog will now be shown in the Blogs section of Course Tools. You will be able to see how many entries have been made in it and have a quick link to it. However, at this point, students can't access the blog.
    Blackboard blogs list

How instructors add a link to blogs in a content area


In order for students to be able to access a blog, an instructor needs to create a link to it in a content area of the course.

  1. You can place a blog in any content area,  but for this example we will choose Course Documents.Click the link to enter Course Documents.
    Blackboard navigation menu

  2. From the top menu, click Tools and the select Blogs.
    Blackboard tools menu

  3. Click the Link to a Blog radio button and select the blog you want to link to from the list of available blogs.
    Blackboard create blog link

  4. Click the Next button.
    Blackboard next button

  5. In section 1, enter a name and description (optional) for your new link. By default, the name of the link is the name of the blog you selected.
    Blackboard link information options

  6. In section 2, select the availability of your link and decide if you want to track the number of views.
    Blackboard link availability options

  7. Click Submit.
    Blackboard submit button

Contribute to a Blackboard blog


Once a link for a blog is available, students and instructors can add text, hyperlinks, images and more to a blog. Enter the content area and choose the blog you want to add content to. Then follow the instructions below.

Creating a new blog entry

Click the Create Blog Entry button to start creating a new blog.

Blackboard create blog button

If you don't see the Create Blog Entry button, this may be the type of blog where you have to select your name before you post. Find your name and click on it using the pull-down menu on the right.

Blackboard button that shows members of a course ina blog

Adding text

Enter a title for your post and the content using the two text boxes shown.

Blackboard blog text entry box

EdTech Tip

You can write your blog entry in Microsoft Word and then copy and paste it into the larger text box above. Depending on the browser you are using, you may be required to use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + V (COMMAND + V on a Mac) to paste into this box.

  1. Highlight the text in the text box that you want to make a hyperlink using your mouse or keyboard.
    Blackboard blog text entry box with text highlighted

  2. Click the Insert/Edit Link button from the toolbar.
    Blackboard blog link button that looks like a chain

  3. Enter the web address in the Link Path box, select Open in New Window from the Target pull-down menu and then click insert.

    IMPORTANT:

    You MUST include http:// at the beginning of the link and choose Open in New Window to avoid getting errors after clicking the Insert button.

    Blackboard insert hyperlink options

Inserting images

  1. Click the Insert/Edit Image button on the toolbar.
    Blackboard insert images button

  2. In most cases you will be adding images that are already on your computer. Click the Browse My Computer button.
    Blackboard browse my computer button

  3. Click the image you want to add and then click Open. Alternatively, you can double-click the image you want to add.
    Blackboard file upload window

  4. Enter an Image Description and Title for your image and click Insert.
    Blackboard upload image options

You can also add images on the web by entering the FULL URL of the image in the Image URL box. For example, (http://thehofstrachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/adm_phototour_mascots.jpg).

Inserting a YouTube video

  1. Click the Mashups button and select YouTube Video from the menu that opens.
    Blackboard mashup youtube button

  2. Enter a search term and click Go. This will show you the YouTube search results for your search term. If you know the exact title of the video you want to insert, type it in to the Search box.
    Blackboard youtube search box

  3. Click the Select button under the video you want to insert.
    Blackboard youtube search box with results

  4. There will be a few options you can modify, but in most cases you can just click Submit.
    Blackboard submit button

  5. A link to the video you selected with a thumbnail will now appear in your blog post.
    Blackboard blog post with youtube video inserted

Inserting links to miscellaneous file types 

You can insert links to any type any type of file (MP4, MP3, WAV, etc.) that you want your blog readers to download.

  1. Click the Insert File button.
    Blackboard insert file button

  2. In most cases, you will be uploading files that are on your compter. Click Browse My Computer.
    Blackboard insert content link window

  3. Click the file you want to add and then click Open. Alternatively, you can double-click the image you want to add.
    Blackboard file upload window

  4. Enter a descriptive name for your file and alt text (to assist visually impaired students) and click Submit.
    Blackboard Select content link window

Post your blog entry

After entering all of the text, images, hyperlinks and other file types into your blog, scroll down to the bottom and click Post Entry to post your new blog.

Blackboard Post Entry button

Adding a comment to a blog entry


  1. Locate the blog entry you want to comment on and click the Comment button.
    Blackboard comment button for blog

  2. Enter your comment and click Add.
    Blackboard enter a comment window

How instructors grade blogs


If an instructor has enabled grading for their blog, they can follow the instructions below to grade student blog entries.

  1. Enter the blog you want to grade and click the words All Course Members on the right. This will show you a pull-down menu with the list of all of your students. Select a student from the list.
    Blackboard blog student selection pull-down

  2. You will see all of the blog entries for the student you selected. Enter a grade and feedback in the appropriate boxes on the right, then click Submit.
    Blackboard blog grading screen

Where can I find additional resources?


Video on creating and editing a blog entry by Blackboard
How to create a blog video by Blackboard (shows alternate way to create a blog)
Training information



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