Why Use Blackboard Content Collection?

5 Reasons your department should be using Blackboard Content Collection

You may have seen the words “Content Collection” within your Blackboard course sites, but did not know what it meant, or where afraid to click on the unknown. In this article, I hope to provide you with information on what Blackboard’s Institutional Content Collection is, how San Jacinto College is using it, and 5 benefits Institutional Content Collection can have for your department/program.

Blackboard Content Collection

Blackboard Content Collection

What is Blackboard Institutional Content Collection?
The Blackboard Institutional Content Collection System is an area within the SJC Blackboard LMS environment, where files are stored and can be shared/linked throughout Blackboard course sites.

How is San Jacinto College using Blackboard Institutional Content Collection?
San Jacinto College uses the Blackboard Institutional Content Collection System for two primary purposes:

1. To store institutionally used instructional files that are incorporated in multiple Faculty Blackboard course sites. This purpose primarily relates to the use of files in Ready-to-Teach (R2T / iR2T) courses.

2. To be utilized as a Blackboard content repository to share ideas, instructional documents/files, links, etc. amongst faculty teaching the same course. The Blackboard Content Collection system should only be utilized for these types of instructional materials resulting in the use of files in a Blackboard course site.

5 Benefits for utilizing Blackboard Institutional Content Collection
1. Singular repository for content that all faculty can access, view, and link files into their course sites.

2. An area for faculty across the district to share ideas, activities, assignments, etc. with other’s teaching the same course or discipline.

3. The Content Collection System allows you to link a single file to multiple Blackboard course sites. Once the link is created, any modifications to that file in the Content Collection System will automatically update in the Blackboard course sites.
Example: If lecture notes are uploaded to Content Collection and then linked to multiple individual course sites, when the notes need to be updated, the updated lecture notes file is uploaded into Content Collection and overwrites the original file. After the new file overwrites the old, within Content Collection, the file link is automatically updated to the new notes in any course site where the link may exist. This process removes additional steps organizing and updating content across multiple courses.

4. Having the ability to link one file to multiple Blackboard course sites reduces the amount of storage space that is used on the Blackboard servers.
Example: If you would like to link to a topic’s lecture notes in multiple course sites, instead of uploading the same file to each individual course site, the file should be added to the Institutional Content Collection folder, and then linked to all relative course sites. Resulting in only one upload of a file versus multiple uploads of the same file.

5. Due to Content Collection being within the Blackboard system, a user can access the system anywhere with an internet connection. This method of using Content Collection is more beneficial to the end-user than using a San Jacinto College network storage drive (G:/ or P:/), because it eliminates the need to use VPN to access College network drives.

If you are interested and would like to find out more information about how Institutional Content Collection works and how it can be implemented for your department, please contact your campus Instructional Designer or click here for on-demand resources.

5 Things to Know from EdTech – Spring 2015 Edition

Happy New Year!

In preparation for the Spring 2015 semester, here is the latest copy of 5 Things to Know from EdTech.  A copy of the handout  will be included in the packets distributed at the assembly event on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 .

In addition to the key information, our open lab schedule for College Community  Week is also listed on the flyer. Please stop by one of the open lab sessions if you need any course development or Blackboard support to prepare for the new semester.


EdTech 5 Things To Know - Spring 2015

EdTech 5 Things To Know – Spring 2015


1. Course Merges (Combines). Reminder: Due to system errors creating intermittent issues with faculty and student enrollments, Blackboard Support will not be able to continue course combines / merges. If you have a situation that makes it difficult to teach your course using multiple sites, contact the Bb Support office via email at bbsupport@sjcd.edu.

2. Blackboard Final Grade Submission. Reminder: As of the Fall 2014 semester, the College has transitioned to submitting final course grades via the Blackboard system. Beginning Spring 2015 semester, grade submission via SOS will not be an option. Visit the On Demand Training page at www.sanjac.edu/edtech.

3. Distance Learning Evaluation by Department Chairs. During the Fall 2014 semester, department chairs were trained on conducting Quality Matters aligned reviews of the distance learning courses within their area. If you are a department chair and have not completed training, contact the Distance Learning office at 281-998-6370 or dist-learn@sjcd.edu.

4. Faculty Mentors and Peer Faculty. To add faculty mentors or peer faculty to your Blackboard course sites, complete the “Request to Add Users” form available on the Forms page of the EdTech Blog. Submit your completed form to Blackboard Support at bbsupport@sjcd.edu. Blackboard Support will provide a confirmation once the process is complete.

5. Publisher Updates that Impact Bb. Faculty aware of updates to publisher content that will have an impact on their Blackboard sites are encouraged to contact Blackboard Support in advance to ensure a smooth transition. A testing process that can take 2 to 6 weeks to complete is required prior to implementation of new or updated tools.


app talk: LastPass

I’ll be honest, it’s my turn to write an AppTalk blog post and I had another app that I was going to highlight. I tried to log into the admin site for the blog and it was not accepting my username and password. I use several different password combinations between my personal accounts and my work-related accounts so it’s not an unusual occurrence for me. I went through all the different combinations that I use for my work-related accounts and I was unable to log in. I clicked on the ‘forgot password’ link and I was greeted by a blank page that said only ‘Disabled.’ Uh oh. As I wait for TechSupport to (hopefully) save me from this situation I realized that I need something to help me keep organized. Then I found:



LastPass keeps tracks of ALL your passwords and lets you access them from any device. While your days of remembering 13 different login/password combinations are over you’ll still have to remember your master password. Here is a list of the key features the manufacturer shares on the iTunes page:

• Sync all of your passwords and logins across all of your computers and devices
• Save and autofill usernames and passwords for all of your online accounts
• Use form fill profiles to streamline online shopping
• Create secure notes to store your memberships, credit cards, & other sensitive data
• Search for usernames and sites from your vault
• Organize sites by folders
• Enable multifactor authentication to lock down your LastPass account
• Share logins with friends and family
• Offline access to your data via the browser extensions



You can download the app and be started in just minutes! There are many features but the most intriguing feature is the random password generator.


Most passwords are ‘hacked’ because the user created a password with an identifying characteristic such as a birthday, family name, favorite sports team, etc. Now with LastPass the app can create a random password that will make it more difficult to ‘steal.’

While the app download is free it only comes with a 2 week trial period, you will need to subscribe to their premium service if you decide you like the product. To be fair the price seems to be minimal for the service it provides. Overall it appears to be a very useful application but ultimately its usefulness is only as strong as your master password to the program. So as difficult as it may sound, you’ll have to get rid of SanJac4Ever as your password.

LastPass is available for both Android and iOS devices.

by: mathew.baker