Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
Email is a very important communication tool in the online classroom. Blackboard has a built in email system that is very similar to most web-based email systems on the Internet. One nice feature of Blackboard’s email is that it automatically creates distribution lists for you. This makes it easy if you want to send an email to all your classmates, your instructor or to everyone in an assigned group.
Note: Blackboard automatically sends a copy of the message to the sender. Please save a copy of the important messages — just in case you need them at a later date.
This visual quick-start guide explains how to include a link to a Web site in your Blackboard messages. The same technique can also be used to add links to Word documents etc.
If you are typing a message in Blackboard and want to include a link to a relevant Web site, this is how you do it:
Suppose you are using Blackboard and have started typing the message that will include the link – how do you find the link’s URL (Internet address) without losing your place in Blackboard?
If you simply navigate to another page (or even click the Browser’s Back button) you will lose all of the message text you have typed so far.
You need to open a second Browser window and use that to find the Web page you want while the first window keeps your place in Blackboard. To open the second Browser window, either:
To start with, the second Browser window shows exactly the same Web page as the first window – but you will see that the message text has disappeared.
You can use the Windows Task Bar at the bottom of your screen to switch between the first and second Browser windows
You can open more than two Browser windows if you wish – but more than five will slow down your PC and get confusing to use.
The next step is to use the new second window to find and view the Web page you want to link to.
You might use a search engine like Google to find the page, or you might already have it as a bookmark or favorite. You might have seen it mentioned in a journal or news article – in which case you will have to type its URL (Internet address) in the "Address box" of your Browser.
Suppose you wanted to include a link to a page on the CenterWatch web site – you will need to copy its URL (Internet address), which is shown in the Browser’s Address Bar (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/drugs/DRUGLIST.html)
1. click once on the URL to select and highlight the whole address
2. copy the URL to your PC’s clipboard – you can:
Use the Windows Task Bar at the bottom of your screen to switch back to Blackboard in the original Browser window. You may find it handy to leave the second window open so you can find and view more Web sites if you need to.
1. click on your message’s text to position the text cursor where you want to paste the Web site’s URL
2. paste the URL from your PC’s clipboard – you can:
3. Click the [Submit] button to send the message.