Blackboard

Export Blackboard Shell to DVD Format

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Ian Taylor posted on 11 Jul 2011 3:46 PM

Is it possible to convert an exported Blackboard Course shell into DVD format or another offline delivery medium?

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Ian,

Tomcat is not the database--it's the application that generates the pages and interacts with the user.  The database is where the data is stored for everything in the system (all users and classes), on either an Oracle or MS SQL server.   What you're basically asking for is the Blackboard application on a disk, and that really isn't possible.

Mike

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Ian,

No, I'm afraid you can't export a Blackboard class in DVD format for offline delivery.  There is a product called "Backpack" which is produced by Agilix (http://backpack.agilix.com/) that allows you to download content from a Blackboard course and access it offline, but it's not being updated as far as I know, and only works with Blackboard 7 and 8.

There is also a "reader" called "bFree" (http://its2.unc.edu/tl/tli/bFree/)that allows users to extract materials from Blackboard courses that have been exported to a .zip using the "Export Course" utility.  It does allow some materials to be saved in HTML format to be displayed like a website, but it doesn't have all the tools, or access restrictions, that a course in Blackboard would.

Hope that helps.

Mike

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Thanks for the links.  Are there any other tools that allow for offline Blackboard course navigation?  My college is working on a project where we need to provide offline access to our courses and I am hoping there is a transition tool so that we don't need to replicate all of the work already put into creating our Blackboard courses.

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Ian,

There aren't any other tools that I'm aware of, but maybe someone else is aware of something.  bFree sounds like your best bet, since it allows you to "Emailxtract selected materials as an independent web site that mimics the original course."  That's really only for content items, though--if you want to replicate tools like online tests, discussion boards, etc. then you'll need to look at a different approach.

Mike

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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the additional info.  Do you know if it is possible to get all of the files of the course from the server hosting Blackboard and just run them on the local computer's web browser?  Sort of the same way that you can create a website and view it on your own computer as files without needing to be connected to the internet.

Thanks,

Ian

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Ian, Aside from things you've uploaded there aren't really "files" to copy off the server and open with a web browser. The vast majority of what you see on the screen is generated on the fly from information stored in the database by tomcat (the Java engine that Blackboard uses) after you click the mouse to generate the request that's sent to the server. Mike

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Is it possible to have the tomcat database downloadable and then accessible on offline machines, so when the user clicks the mouse using their web browser, it sends a request to the local database instead of trying to find it online?

Top 10 Contributor
Male
8,042 Posts

Ian,

Tomcat is not the database--it's the application that generates the pages and interacts with the user.  The database is where the data is stored for everything in the system (all users and classes), on either an Oracle or MS SQL server.   What you're basically asking for is the Blackboard application on a disk, and that really isn't possible.

Mike

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5 Posts

Hi Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to answer all of my questions.  I wanted to make sure there wasn't a magical application I could use to transfer everything over before I start figuring it out on my own.  Thanks!

Ian

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