Posting Articles on Blackboard (Instructors)

This document for faculty describes several ways to make articles available to your class on Blackboard. You can upload articles directly on Blackboard, but you need to get permission from the copyright holder. Or you can use the Library's Electronic Reserves system, or refer to the article in the library databases.

Uploading Articles

For documents that are not copyrighted, or that you have permission to post: you can upload these to your Blackboard course into a "Content Area" such as "Course Documents," as described in Posting Content . (Go to Control Panel, then Course Documents, and click the +Item icon).

You can upload any kind of document. However, some students may not be able to read your documents if you use an obscure file type. Most students will be able to read documents in Microsoft Word format. Using PDF format is even better. On a Mac, most programs let you save a document as PDF. For Windows, you can download a freeware program called CutePDF ( which acts like a printer. When your print to it, it saves a PDF document.

Copyrights. When you post copyrighted documents on Blackboard, you need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. Seth Nydegger at the Biola Bookstore specializes in obtaining permission from publishers. Since Blackboard allows us to limit access to just students in the class, and to make documents available for a limited time, publishers are more likely to give permission. When you contact Seth, he will need to know exactly what you want to upload, how many students will have access, and for what period of time. Contact Seth Nydegger on BUBBS or at x4883, which is (562) 903-4883.

Part of the upload page looks like this:

Options Date Restrictions

You can choose to make a document unavailable (maybe while you're waiting to get permission, but still want to get started on setting up the course), or to make available only for a period of time.

Linking to External Sites

If a document is posted online on the public internet, you may want to just link to that document directly, rather than downloading it, obtaining permission, then uploading it to Blackboard. To do this, go to the class Control Panel, then Course Documents (Or any "Content Area"), and click the + External Link icon:

External Link

From there, you can enter a title, the address, and whatever description you want. You can set these external links to have time restrictions, just like the uploaded documents.

External Link

This "External Link" option works well for documents that are publically-accessible online. For articles not publically available, another option is the Biola library journal databases and online reserves.

Library Databases

The Biola library subscribes to dozens of online databases that contain the full text of thousands of journals. These journals are generally not available on the public internet, but can be access within the Biola network. See the Library Databases section of the library web site:

Library Databases

Unfortunately, you cannot create direct links to articles you find within these databases. Instead, you could create an "External Link" to and describe how to find the particular article. For example, you could tell your students to: Use Academic Search Premier, search for "Snow Fall" in the Title, "Dermota" in the Author, and "Atlantic Monthly" in the Journal Name, click search, then click "PDF full text" once you find the article.

This involves less work setting up compared to using the digial reserve readings (see below), and gives your students practice using these valuable databases.

Using Library Digital Reserve Readings

If you cannot find the article you want to publish in the library databases or you have printed copies you want to make available electronically, using the Digital Reserve Readings may be the best option for you. The same system that makes physical copies of books and articles available for students to check out in the library also has the capability to make electronic documents available. The library staff can assist you in finding electronic copies of documents, scanning physical copies, and obtaining permission to post. They will then set up a Call Number in the system and make it available online. This process may take some time, so be sure to plan ahead. To see an example, start at and click "Course Reserves" then search by Course Name for "BUSN". The results look like something like this:

Course Reserves Results

The library staff can set up a password to make the document only available to students in your class. To get started, call the Biola Library Circulation Desk at x4835.

In your Blackboard site, you can create an "External Link" to and use the description section to tell students how to find the document in the reserves system, and to give them the password. Only students enrolled in your class will see the password.

In order to use this system, students will need set up their "Library PIN," which is a password that lets them get access to their library account. For more info, see, then click "Library Account" under "My Library."