Hands-On: Rotating Content in Blackboard

Okay, now you've seen some examples of the script in action, and you've learned about some of the basic ideas and principles that are being promoted here. Now it's time to do some hands-on work, so that you can learn how to use the scripts yourself!

What we are going to do is use one of the javascripts in a Blackboard environment, which is something I imagine is very familiar to a lot of you. This will allow you to see how a Rotating Content script can be used to add content to a course management website.

1. Go to Laura's Rotating Content website. Open an Internet Explorer browser window, and type mythfolklore.net in the address bar. This takes you to the mythfolklore.net homepage. Then click on the Calendar icon in the right-hand column. This takes you to the Rotating Content website, http://www.mythfolklore.net/calendars/ .

Keep this browser window open. You will come back to this site later to choose the javascript you want to add to Blackboard.

2. Go to the OU Blackboard site. Open another Internet Explorer browser window (you can just click Control-N to open a new window). Type ou.blackboard.com into the address bar. Click on the login button. When prompted, log in with the username student1 and the password student.

3. Go to "Teaching an A&S Online Course." After you have logged in, click on the link to "Teaching an A&S Online Course" in the My Courses area.

4. Create a new Announcement. Click on the Control Panel button along the left hand side of the screen, and then click on the Announcements link in the "Content Areas" section of the Control Panel.

Once you are in the Announcements area, click on the hatching-egg icon to create a New Announcement:

5. Put your name in the Subject line. Since you are all logged in as the same user, you will need to make sure you type your name in the Subject line of the new Announcement so that you will be able to keep track of which announcement you have posted.

6. Choose a Rotating Content script to include. Now go to the other browser window that you have open and choose one of the available Rotating Content scripts to add to your Blackboard Announcement. Find the script you want to use, and then click on the link to go to a page with more information about that particular content script.

(I would recommend against choosing one which contains Greek fonts, because that requires some special formatting, but any of the other scripts will work just fine.)

7. Choose the script you want to use. For much of the content, you have a choice between a calendar-based script ("___ of the Day") and a random script. Choose the version of the script that you want, and then highlight the script contained in the box. Then copy the script (using Control-C or Edit-Copy).

8. Paste the script into Blackboard. After copying the script, go to the browser window where you are creating the Blackboard Announcement. You can now paste the script into the Message area in Blackboard (using Control-V to paste, or Edit-Paste). Also, make sure you check the HTML button at the bottom of the Message area.

Note: If you want to type additional information in the Message area, in addition to the script, you can do that! Just make sure you do not type anything inbetween the <script> and the </script> tags. You can type anything you want before or after these tags. Since this message is written in HTML, you will need to insert a <br> tag if you want to have a line return.

9. Return to the course homepage. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the screen to submit your Announcement. Then click OK to return to the Announcements area, and click OK again to return to the Control Panel. Then click on the Teaching Online link along the top of the screen to return to the course homepage. You should now see the contents of the script displayed in the Announcements area.

10. Refresh for random content. If you have inserted a script with random content, press the Refresh button in the browser to see new contents displayed automatically.













Contact: laura-gibbs@ou.edu or visit mythfolklore.net. Last updated: July 22, 2005 9:15 PM