Use of Scholar inside a Blackboard Class

Faculty Use of Scholar - Overview (see also a video overview)

Review the first couple paragraphs of this document and then see "Getting Started" (below) for step-by-step instructions on installing the Scholar It bookmark, tagging resources and building a "Stream".

What is a "Scholar Stream" inside a Blackboard class?

A stream is a collection of links which are dynamically collected by a designated tag or tags (See related topic, Social Bookmarking). Once you have tagged one or more web pages, you create a Stream which searches for a specific tag. Any items with this tag will appear in the list of links inside the Stream.

Creating a Stream Begins with Bookmarking Resources:

If you are researching the web for information and resources about Pre-Columbian art, you could tag the desired pages (in your personal Scholar) with one or more terms which you feel are appropriate (example: pre-columbian pre-columbian-art, aztec-art, etc.). This will give you the ability to easily locate tagged items in the future by searching a specific tag. In planning for class use, you might add a unique for your particular course, such as arth-404 (for Art History 404). Then, anything which includes the tag arth-404 (tagged by you, your students or anyone else) will be able to be located by searching that tag. By creating a "Stream" which searches your unique tag (example: arth-404) you will set up a dynamic feed of any resources which have been tagged with the unique tag.

See the image of an example Stream called Pre-Columbian Art below :

How Students Add Links to a Scholar Stream inside a Blackboard Class:


Links May Also Be Added With "Scholar It"

Although students have access to both their personal Scholar account and a Class Scholar when logged into a Blackboard class, they may also access their personal account at Access to Scholar will be available for life and will use their original username. Adding tags or creating their own Streams uses a bookmark called Scholar It. To install the bookmark and work outside of Blackboard, use the following instructions.
Note: When logging into "Scholar" outside of Blackboard, it says Login to Confluence.

Getting Started

Step 1: Install the "Scholar It" bookmark in your browser by following the instructions at INSTRUCTIONS ARE A BIT UNCLEAR - BE SURE TO DRAG THE DESIRED TEXT LINK "Scholar It!" AND NOT THE BROWSER ICON.

See a screen capture of the instruction page for the installation of the "Scholar It" tool :
Note for Mac users - trying to install the Scholar It tool was frustrating on my MacBook Pro. The instructions tell you to right click and drag the tool to the tool bar. They are not referring to the browser icons, but the text at the top of the page for one of two selections. Once you click to the text, simply drag it to the tool bar (no right click or Mac equivalent).

Step 2: Use Google Search or any other search engine to locate appropriate resources. For each desired link, go to that specific web page and click the Scholar It button in your browser tool bar. At this point, if want to tag materials which will be collected in a class stream, the item must be tagged with the tag which you and your students will all use to collect resources for the class. If you were collecting materials for Art History 404 as in the example above, you would use arth-404 as a tag and you would instruct your student to tag their findings the same way.

Example of Bookmarking Process: (note tag for arth-404 as in the example class above is included in the list of tags) *Don't worry about a course tag at this point, you are just tagging links for future reference. Also, see VIDEO TUTORIAL FOR USING A SCHOLAR STREAM TO ALLOW STUDENTS TO ADD RESOURCES TO A LIST IN A BLACKBOARD CLASS.

Step 3: Inside your specific Blackboard class (Example: Art History 404) you would create a Stream. In the process of creating the stream, search for arth-404. This will present a list of any web pages which have been tagged arth-404. More importantly, this "Stream" is now a tool which will dynamically search for any new items which are tagged arth-404. Each time you or your students log into the class and access Scholar, the Stream will be updated to include any new links which include the designated course tag for that Stream.

For a Broad Range of Help and Use Topics, see the Scholar Home Page

Other Notes and Observations:

About Social Bookmarking
Scholar is Blackboard's solution to social bookmarking and sharing resources within a Blackboard class. This approach has the advantage of class specific use. There are other social bookmarking tools which are very popular outside of Blackboard. One of the most commonly used tools is Delicious (see also, about Delicious). I encourage you to explore the concept of social bookmarking and learn more about how you can take advantage of this practice to gain access to information, people with common interests, automate research, etc.