MCCC Knowledge Base

Faculty - Building Content in Blackboard: Understanding the Icons


Faculty - Building Content in Blackboard: Understanding the Icons


This article will show you the types of content you can add in your course and what the icons look like in Blackboard when they are added. It's important that you determine the best way to share content in your course. For example, if you want students to complete something and return it to you, then you will want to add and Assignment. 



Items in Blackboard are used to provide information or content to students. Items often have attached files. Use Items in Blackboard if you simply want to share information of content and do not require your students to submit anything to you. 

Examples include:

  • A list of the objectives or assessments for the week 
  • An attached PowerPoint with instructions
  • Typed information you want the students to read and review.

You can attach files to an Item as well. To open the attached file, click on the file name and the file will open with the appropriate software.








Add a file in Blackboard if you need to share a specific document with students without providing any directions or purpose. You are unable to provide a description of a File. To open, click the name of the file. 






Content Folder

The Blackboard Content Folder can be used to organize course content. Content can be placed in a folder for organizational purposes.

To open the Folder, click on the name of the Folder. Once inside the the Content Folders, content is displayed as a list on one page where users can scroll up and down to view and access course content.

It is recommended that content be organized by Content Folder for accessibility and navigational purposes.

Folder can be used for:

  • Week 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Topic
  • Unit 1, 2, 3, etc.


Web Link

Use Web Links in Blackboard to direct students to a website that is outside of the Blackboard environment.  Using Web Links will help students navigate to the correct URL with one click.

It is recommended that you use this tool to create links to websites instead of embedding the links into your Items. When adding a Web Link you are asked how you would like the link to open. It is also recommended that you have the Web Link open in a new window so students do not have difficulty getting back to the Blackboard site. 

To open the Web Link, click on the name of the Web Link.



Discussion Board

Use the Discussion Board feature to add a direct link to a Discussion Board page. When you create Discussion Board links, you can choose to link to the entire Discussion Board page or to a specific forum.

Think of the Discussion Board page as a hub for all of your discussion board forums  and the forum is one specific discussion inside the hub. 

If you link to the Discussion Board page, students must click on the required forum to post their response/thread.

Click on the name of the link to go to the Discussion Board page.




Use the video option to add links to YouTube videos or videos saved to your computer. 




video icon in Blackboard





Inserting a link to a Group can only be used if you use Groups in Blackboard. Groups must be set up prior to adding this link.

Use the Groups feature in Blackboard to allow students to quickly access their group and use various communication tools to interact with their group members. You can link to the entire Group page, or link to a specific group. Click on the name of the link to access the Group.

Groups can be used for:

  • Projects
  • Small Discussions
  • Collaboration
  • File Exchange


Insert a link to the Blogs page directly in your Blackboard course. The Blogs link will take students to the Blogs page. From the Blogs page, students can click on the appropriate blog to post their blog entry.

Blogs can be treated as an informal daily log that display posts in chronological order. Students can post comments and receive comments from their peers.




Use the Assignment feature if you want your students to do something that they will need to submit to you.  An Assignment gives students a place to submit their assignments in Blackboard.

Students can submit assignments as a file such as a Microsoft Word file or they can type them directly in the "Write Submission" space. It is recommended that students submit assignments as a file that can be attached in the submission area. 

Student click the name of the Assignment to go to the page where they can submit their work.




You can create Tests directly in Blackboard. Click the name  of the test and then click Begin to start the test.


Tests can be used as:


  • Formative Assessment
  • Summative Assessment
  • Practice Tests
  • Review Tests
  • Pre/Post Tests
  • Quizzes
  • Midterm Exam
  • Final Exam




The Survey feature in Blackboard is completely anonymous. Surveys are excellent for gathering feedback. Click the name of the survey and then click Begin to start the survey. 







A wiki is a web page where students can edit and contribute to the page in real time. Instructors can view the page participation summary/history to view student participation and word count. 


Click on the name of the Wiki link to go to the Wikis page. Then click on the appropriate Wiki. Once in the wiki students  can edit the content of the  Wiki  page or create a new  Wiki  page. Add  web links, images, video, text, etc. to the Wiki page.


You can use Wikis for:


  • Study guides
  • Chapter outlines
  • Group project presentations
  • Case Studies



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