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Adding content to Concourse

January 11, 2011

I regularly post articles intended to help faculty at Notre Dame take advantage of Concourse (Blackboard Vista). Most of my tips to date have been aimed at folks already using Concourse, including some specifically for advanced users. This time I’m stepping back to basics.

Concourse it’s not the best tool for everything, but it’s ubiquitous and relatively easy to use. One of the most popular ways faculty use it is to deliver course content in the form of documents and links to websites. Documents can come from any program to which students have access, including Word, PowerPoint, Mathematica, AutoCAD, LaTeX, Flash, and more. You can also create text files, including web pages with embedded multimedia content. The websites you link to can be anything from an on-campus resource to a blog to a commercial database.

Upload a file directly

From the “Build” tab, click Add File and choose Browse for Files

  1. Viewable in browser – PDF, image, etc.
  2. Downloadable – DOC, PPT, XLS, etc.

If you want students to be able to view a file without leaving Concourse, choose a format that will display in the browser window. I recommend Acrobat PDF files, but images and some other kinds of media will also open right up in the browser. Otherwise, students will have to download the file and open it in a separate application. Windows users should be aware that Word and PowerPoint files you can see in Internet Explorer will need to be downloaded by anyone using a Mac or any browser other than IE.

Create a new file

From the “Build” tab, click Add File and choose Create File

You can use this feature to quickly create a simple text file (graphic above) that might contain a class announcement or a clarification on a homework assignment. A more powerful application is for creating pages with embedded content (graphic below). For more, read How to embed in Concourse and Add a YouTube video to Concourse.

create html

Link to Internet content

From the “Build” tab, click Add Content Link and choose Web Link

The easiest way to add content is to link to it. Rather than scanning articles for students to read, ask the library to do it and then link to the page they create. Don’t email students that blog essay, link to it in Concourse. Instead of uploading art images to your course, find them in Artcyclopedia and link to them. There are all kinds of things you can incorporate into Concourse by simply linking to them.

  1. Library resources
  2. Static web page – dependable, doesn’t change
  3. Dynamic website – always fresh or easy to change
    • Wiki or Google docs
    • Data source – weather, finance, etc.
  4. Your own web space

Detailed instructions on adding content

See the resources here – Getting started with Concourse

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