Blackboard Scholar at Last!

Blackboard Scholar at Last!

E@T Newsletter – Issue 7 – June 2007

Blackboard Scholar —At Last!

Welcome to the June Issue of the E@T Newsletter. This month we’re focusing on Blackboard Scholar.
Yes, it’s here - Scholar has finally arrived and we’ve already been making good use of it within CLQE. So much so that Teesside is already one of the most prolific users of Scholar globally.

So what’s it all about then? Scholar is a social bookmarking service customised for education. Itprovides an exciting new way for students and instructors to find educationally valuable resources on the Web. Using the knowledge and power of Blackboard’s network of educational users, Scholar will make it easier for instructors and students to find relevant resources on the Internet for courses and research. Furthermore, by storing and sharing associated information with each resource such as tags, disciplines, other users who have tagged and more, Scholar will allow users to evaluate the resources and find the most relevant and reliable. And it is directly integrated within Blackboard providing easy access right within the course environment.

To set up a Scholar account, the first thing you need to do is to log in to Blackboard and click on the Scholar icon (see below). This will take you to the login/account creation page. If you haven’t got a Scholar account then create one now by following the on-screen prompts. And that’s it, you’re ready to start ‘scholaring’ resources.

Installing the Scholar Bookmarklet

A bookmarklet is a button that can be installed in your browser in the Links Toolbar (Internet Explorer) or Bookmarks Toolbar (Firefox). Once installed, any time you are browsing the Web and discover a site you want to save to Scholar, you can click on the bookmarklet to add that site to Scholar without having to navigate away from the page. First you’ll need to make sure your toolbar is enabled:
For Internet Explorer, select View Toolbars and make sure the Links toolbar is checked.
For Firefox, select ViewToolbars and make sure the Bookmarks toolbar is checked. Next login to Scholar and click on the Install Bookmarklet link in the top right hand corner of the screen.

If you’re using Internet Explorer, do the following: Right click on Scholar It link found in the above web page and choose Add to Favorites. (If IE says the bookmarklet you are adding might not be safe, click Yes to continue). In the "Add a Favorite" dialog box select "Links" for the "Create in:" field. Click Add. If you’re using Mozilla Firefox, just click on the Scholar It link stored on the page above and drag it to your Bookmarks Toolbar.

How to Add Bookmarks

Once you have identified a link you would like to share, click on the bookmarlet button (Scholar It!) on your browser’s links/bookmarks toolbar.

In the dialogue box that appears you can then enter the following:
Bookmark Name: Enter the title of the web page you want to bookmark, or accept the suggested one.
URL: Enter the web address of the web page you want to bookmark, or accept the suggested one.
Description: Provide notes about, or a description of, the web page you want to bookmark.
Tags: Tags are single words or short phrases that are meaningful to you to classify a bookmark. Enter tags separated by spaces, and if you want to use a phrase, put it in quotation marks. For example, you might tag a web page about King Arthur with
England "King Arthur" literature.
Discipline Tag(s): Scholar includes a comprehensive list of Disciplines. Select one or more Discipline Tags that are appropriate for your bookmark from the drop-down list of Discipline Tags. You can also just start typing the name of a discipline and Scholar will prompt you with valid Discipline Tags from the list.
Course Tag(s): You can tag resources by course, as well. Scholar will provide a list of Blackboard courses in which you are currently enrolled. Select one or more Course Tags that are appropriate for your bookmarks from the drop-down list of Course Tags. You can also just start typing the name of one of your courses and Scholar will prompt you with the Course Titles of your list of Course Tags. Users can only use Course Tags from courses they are enrolled in.
Status Public/Private: By default all bookmarks are publicly viewable. Selecting private makes a bookmark viewable only by you; other users cannot see your private bookmarks. If you set the Status of a bookmark to Private, a "lock" icon will appear next to that bookmark in your My Bookmarks view. This enables you to keep a set of bookmarks that can only be seen by you, that are accessible from any PC, anywhere!

Exporting Bookmarks from IE and

You can import existing bookmarks/favourites from your web browser, or from another social bookmarking service such as, into your Scholar Bookmarks, so that you can organise all of your bookmarks together in one place for easy access.
To do so, you need to export them from IE/ first, like this:
Exporting Bookmarks from Internet Explorer
Click File > Import/Export and then Next
Select Export Favorites. Click Next.
Choose the folder to export. Select Favorites to export all of your Favorites.
Click Next. Select Export to a File or Address and click the Browse button.
Choose to export your file to the Desktop. By default, the file will be named bookmarks.htm. You can change it if you like.
Click Save, then click Next, then click Finish.
Exporting Bookmarks from
Log in to your account
Click Settings in the upper right corner
Under the Bookmarks menu, click export/backup
Select the options you want for include my tags and include my notes
Click the export to html button
Choose a location for your file (such as your desktop) and click Save.
Turn the page to see how to Import them to Scholar.

Importing Bookmarks into Scholar

Once you have exported your bookmarks to a file, you can import them into Scholar.
Importing Bookmarks into Scholar.

Log in to Scholar, and click on Settings in the top right hand corner of the page.

Click on Import Bookmarks

Click Browse and select the file you saved your bookmarks into.
On the Tags line enter any tags you wish to use for each of the bookmarks.

Specify how you want Scholar to handle any duplicate bookmarks (i.e. overwrite them, or ignore them).
Click Import.
Note: If you are importing a large number of bookmarks, the import may take a while. Once it has finished you will see the imported bookmarks in My Bookmarks.
It is also possible to import bookmarks from Firefox, Netscape, and Safari. For details visit the Scholar Wiki by clicking on Help

Using Basic and Advanced Search

Basic Search
Enter any search terms in the Search Bookmarks field and click the Search button. Basic Search will search for the keyword in the Title, Description, or Tags of bookmarks. You can also create more complex searches by entering complex queries using the Scholar Search Syntax link in the Scholar wiki.
Advanced Search
Advanced Search provides a more detailed set of parameters so you can perform more focused searches and get relevant results. Advanced Search allows you to search all of Scholar's collection by one or any combination of the following eight fields:
Keywords: searches for any term in the Title, Description or Tags of bookmarks.
Tags: searches for any term in the Tags field of bookmarks.
Discipline Tags: searches for any of the valid Disciplines. You can select from the drop-down list or from the auto-complete list as you type. Discipline Tags that Scholar doesn't recognize will be ignored.
Course Tags: searches for any of your Course Tags. You can select from the drop-down list or from the auto-complete list as you type. Course Tags that Scholar doesn't recognize or which you do not have access to will be ignored.
Institution:searches for any bookmarks added by users who have Blackboard accounts at the selected institutions. You can select from the drop-down list or from the auto-complete list as you type. Institutions that Scholar doesn't recognize will be ignored.
User Name:searches for any bookmarks added by users with the entered username. This is a Scholar username, not a Blackboard username.
User Role:searches for any bookmarks added by a user with a specific role. Role is determined based on a user's enrolments in the Blackboard Learning System.
User's Highest Degree:searches for any bookmarks added by user's who have achieved the selected degree. Degree is set in the user's profile.
The first four criteria are displayed on the form by default. Click on the "Add Criteria" button to add any of the last four criteria.
By default all terms within a field are joined by an AND operator and all fields are joined with an AND operator. To construct statements with an OR operator, click the Add an OR Statement button.
Any search can be saved by providing a name for the search in the Save Search As field and then selecting Save and Search or Save. You can read more about Saving a Search and Scholar Search Syntax by following the appropriate links on the Scholar wiki.
When tagging resources, the keywords used need to be carefully considered. All resources should be tagged with your school’s abbreviated name (SOH, SAM, SSSL, SST, SCM, TBS). Additionally it is highly recommended that tags for programmes (disciplines) and particular topics are agreed collectively with teaching colleagues in your team. This will ensure that staff and student searches return all relevant links that have been tagged by members of your team.

What is a Stream?

A stream is a function that allows the user to attach a keyword search to…...Once a search has been saved it will be accessible via a single click, without the need to re-enter the search terms. The search will also return current results, so every time a new resource is tagged, and it is relevant to the saved search you have created, the new resource will appear in the saved search results.

How to Add a Stream

To add a Stream from an existing Saved Search:
Click on the Add a Stream button on the My Scholar Home page or the Scholar Course Home page.
Select a Saved Search from the list of Saved Searches
Choose how many results (1 to 25) from the Saved Search to display in your Stream, then click Save.
The stream will now appear on your personalized My Scholar Home page. You can drag and drop the Stream into a new position on the page where it's most useful for you. A stream is a saved search which is continually updated. Each time you access your Scholar account you will see the most recent resources that meet your saved search criteria - helping you get to the most relevant and valuable information as quickly as possible.
To add a Stream from a New Search:
Click on the Add a Stream button on the My Scholar Home page or the Scholar Course Home page
Click on Start New Search
Complete the Advanced Search form with the desired criteria and a name for the search.
Click Save on the Advanced Search form.
Click the Scholar logo in the upper left to return to the My Scholar Home page. (If you started from a Scholar Course Home page, you can click the Course link in
the upper right to return to your Scholar Course Home.) Click on the Add a Stream button on the My Scholar
home page or the Scholar Course Home page.
Select the newly created Saved Search from the list of Saved Searches. Choose how many results (1 to 25) from the Saved Search to display in your Stream, thenclick Save.
Removing Streams
Simply click the close button (an "X") in the upper right corner of the Stream that you want to remove. If you remove a Stream, the Saved Search is not removed. You can easily add it back if you accidentally remove a Stream by just clicking on the Add a Stream button and selecting the Saved Search again.
Moving/Reordering Streams
Use the "handle" in the upper right corner of the stream module box to drag the module to the place on the My Scholar Home that you want it!

...don't forget to Ready, Steady, E@T!

This term we have one remaining date arranged for our popular E@T Lunch events. We’ll be providing you with some great ideas for preparing and improving your Blackboard modules for the new academic year by ‘making over’ the modules of some lucky(!) volunteers.
We’re also upgrading to an even better buffet lunch. See you there!

Fri 6th July – 12:30—2:00 Centre for Enterprise

To book a place on E@T Lunch please email:

To request a desk session, please email: