Blackboard: Using Mashups


You can use mashups to easily integrate content that resides on an external website. For example, you can encourage discussion by creating a mashup that links to relevant YouTube video and a link to a newspaper review.

There are three default mashups included in the system. You can add other mashup sources as building blocks.

  • Flickr®: This site is for viewing and sharing photographic images.
  • SlideShare: This site is for viewing and sharing slide presentations, documents, or Adobe PDF Portfolios.
  • YouTube™: This site is for viewing and sharing online videos.

You can create mashups as standalone content items in a course area. You can also create them in other places such as test questions, discussion board forums, blogs, or assignments by using the content editor.

If a mashup stops appearing or generates an error, it is possible that the URL changed or the item was deleted from Flickr, Slideshare, or YouTube.

Creating a Mashup Item as a Content Item

  • Change Edit Mode to ON.
  • Access a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.
  • On the action bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
  • Select one of the available mashups, Flickr Photo, SlideShare Presentation, or YouTube Video.
  • On the Search or Search Results page, select a type from the Search drop-down list, type Keywords, and select how the keywords should be used in the search. Click More Options to further narrow your search.
    Image illustrating associated text
  • Click Go.
  • In the Search Results, click Select for an item. You have the option to Preview it before selecting it.
  • On the Create Mashup Item page, type a Name for the link if you do not want to use the title that automatically appears in the box.
    Image illustrating associated text
  • Optionally, type a Description. You can use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the Content Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
  • Set the Mashup Options. Options vary depending on the type of mashup.
    1. View: Select Embed to display the mashup directly on the page when a user opens the item or thumbnail to display a small picture of the mashup on the page with controls to launch it. Text Link with Player displays a link to the mashup that users click to launch it.
    2. Size: Select the appropriate size.
    3. Show URL: Display the source URL.
    4. Show Information: Display the information about the content from the external website.
      Note: Choose "No" for the Show YouTube Information option if you do not want to show YouTube’s suggested videos at the end of playback.
  • Optionally, in the Attachments section, attach a file using one of the following options.
    • To upload a file from your computer, click "Browse My Computer".
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository, "Browse Course"
  • Set the Options: Click "Submit".
    1. Select "Yes" to Permit Users to View this Content.
    2. Select "Yes" for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window outside of the course’s content frame.
    3. Select "Yes" to Track Number of Views.
    4. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set mashups to display on a specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect mashup availability, only when it appears.

Creating a Mashup Using the Content Editor

You can create a mashup in most places where the Content Editor is available. This means that you can put mashups in areas such as content descriptions, test questions, discussion posts, and blogs.

  1. Set Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access the content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder and create a content item or edit an existing one.
  3. In the content editor, click "Insert Mashup".
  4. Select Flickr Photo, Slideshare Presentation, or YouTube Video.
  5. In the pop-up Search page, select from the Search drop-down list, type in Keywords, and select how the keywords should be used in the search. Click "More Options" to further narrow your search.
  6. Click Go.
  7. In the Search Results, click Select for an item. You have the option to Preview it before selecting it.
  8. On the Create Mashup Item page, type a Name for the link if you do not want to use the title that automatically appears in the box.
  9. Set the Mashup Options.
  10. Note: Choose No for the Show YouTube Information option if you do not want to show YouTube’s suggested videos at the end of playback.
  11. Click Submit.