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Quick Fix: Embedded Video Playback Error

In this blog post, we will show you how to quickly resolve a common playback issue with embedded videos in your Blackboard course.

After copying your course content into your new sections for the semester, you may have noticed certain embedded videos display the error message shown below.

This issue can often be resolved in less than a minute by following these steps.

First, access the edit menu for the location where the video is embedded.

Click on the yellow video placeholder in the text box, and click the "edit embedded media" option.

On the following screen, you will see a drop down pane labelled "Type". To correct the playback issue, toggle from HTML 5 Video to Iframe, and then back to HTML5 Video.

Select "update" and submit your changes. Your video should now play correctly within the browser.

If you still have issues with video playback or have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to contact us at instructionaldesign@winthrop.ed…
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Overwriting Files in the Content Collection

As we head toward the end of the semester, you have probably begun thinking about your Spring 2018 courses. We have blogged before about some of the helpful features in Blackboard that make preparing for a new semester easier: copying materials into your new courses, setting availability and due dates efficiently, and exporting or archiving your older courses for safe-keeping.

Likewise, making tweaks to your syllabus, updating your assignment descriptions, or replacing older presentations with a new ones can also eat up valuable time. In this post, you will find a quick way to replace older files and documents with new ones using the "Overwrite File" option in the Content Collection.

First, some helpful background information: each document you upload to Blackboard is automatically added to the Content Collection. For example, you will find a copy of your syllabus in the Content Collection if you have added it somewhere in your course.

Blackboard uses the file in the Content …

Online Learning Readiness Assessment

It's that time of year again. With advising upon us, you will soon have students knocking on your door with a proposed schedule in hand. It is likely that some of your advisees will be considering online coursework for the first time, and they may be unsure if this type of coursework is right for them. While you may know your advisees well enough to make a more personalized recommendation, you can also point them to our Online Learning Readiness Self-Assessment.

This assessment is a short questionnaire consisting of 12 questions focusing on your advisees' learning disposition, technical abilities, and expectations for online coursework. After answering each question, students will be presented with a short evaluation of how well-suited or prepared they are for taking an online course.

While this may not be the sole factor in decided to take an online course, we hope it provides a helpful foundation for your advisees' decisions. You can access the online learning readiness …

Blackboard Quick Tip: Navigating Between Courses

Do you ever feel lost in Blackboard, sorting through your long list of courses, or feel like navigating out from one course and into the another is cumbersome? Here is a quick tip to help you jump between your most relevant courses.
Enter a Blackboard course. Under the "Winthrop University" tab, you'll see a home icon and a drop-down arrow.  Click the arrow, and then from the list, choose title of the course you'd like to switch to. At the top of the list, you'll find your most recently visited courses; you do not have to sort through all of your courses to find the ones most relevant to you this term.
Voila! You're in the new course in the exact same location in Blackboard (eg. Grade Center, Announcements) with the quick click of the mouse.

For more information about Blackboard, please visit our website at

Student Preview Mode and Edit Mode in a Blackboard Course

When you enter your Blackboard course and are adding content or reorganizing materials, you are likely in Edit Mode. Edit Mode allows you to add, delete, move, and change settings of the materials in your course. You can check to see that you're in Edit Mode by looking at the top right corner of your course. When in Edit Mode, the indicator will have a green dot and states that "Edit Mode is ON"

However, there are two other modes that you can enter: Edit Mode Off, and Student Preview Mode. The following chart highlights some of the basic differences between these two modes.
Edit Mode Off Student Preview Mode View the course from the student's perspectiveDetermine which items are hidden from the student's view due to availability settings, empty content, or adaptive release settingsDisable ability to add, delete, move, or change any settings of the materials in your courseComplete student activities such as taking tests, submitting assignment, posting in blogs, jo…

Getting Started with Office Mix

Of all the programs in the Microsoft Office toolkit, PowerPoint may be the most familiar and widely used in the classroom. Whether they serve as a loose backbone to guide class activities and lectures, or as a comprehensive repository for all of your statements, notes, and links, chances are you have at least a few PowerPoint presentations you reach for a on a regular basis.

Office Mix is a relatively new add-on for PowerPoint 2016 - and a useful one at that. Using Office Mix, you can easily record and add lecture material to preexisting presentations, embed your PowerPoint presentations directly into Blackboard for easy access, and update your presentations easily from semester to semester.

For this blog post, we will direct you to three of our tutorials on Office Mix. The links below serve as crash-course on the topic, and should get you well on your way to creating more engaging content for your students.

Office Mix Part I: Installing Office Mix

Office Mix Part II: Recording Audio, …

Using Date Management

Whether you have just copied over an older course section to current one, as we discussed in our last blog, or you have recently built a course from scratch, chances are you have some tweaking to do with due dates and availability before the Fall. In this post, we will show you the most efficient way of setting up all the date and time criteria in your course using the Data Management tool. Date Management allows you to adjust availability and due date permissions for any Blackboard items currently using them - not only assignments and tests. For example, you can also adjust settings for Announcements, Discussion Boards, Journals, and even folders or modules that have availability parameters.

Date management is housed alongside the same course tools you use most often. You will find it about halfway down the list of course tools under the content management pane.

Upon selected the tool, you will be presented with three options for adjusting your dates.
Use Course Start Date: Allows you…