by George Rosa


Starting Fall 2014 CUNY Blackboard includes a Content Management System (CMS) available for faculty and staff. This system lets faculty manage and share files, documents and other digital assets in a secure, user-friendly environment.  The Blackboard content management system is fully integrated into the CUNY portal and all Blackboard course and organization sites.

How does the Blackboard Content Management System work?

Content Management  System


You can get to the CMS by clicking on the Content Collection tab at the top of your Blackboard page. 

The Blackboard Content Management System (CMS) offers many features for faculty that will make it easier to manage content used in courses.  Without content management, you had to upload documents to each course or organization in which you wanted to use them.

With the Blackboard CMS for faculty now you can have a repository for documents and other electronic assets that they used in courses and can link to them from those courses.  Without content management, faculty need to upload files to each course or organization in which they wanted to use them, or copy them from other courses through a Course Copy.  With Blackboard CMS the need to perform the Course Copy procedure that many faculty do before the beginning of the semester to copy content into courses from previous semester courses is eliminated.

How does the CMS work with your Blackboard courses?

With content management, an instructor can store files in the content system once, and link to them from any Blackboard course or organization – or from any Web site or email.  As content management users, instructors have access to their own  My Content folders.  Depending on how they set permissions, they can grant access to files to other Blackboard users – or to others outside the Hostos and  CUNY community, even to members of the general public. Faculty also have access to folders for their courses, and the system has institutional folders which can be used for campus-wide committee, interdepartmental and administrative uses as well as use across CUNY campuses.  This all points to another advantage of the CMS – the sharing of files and documents among faculty, within and among departments and organizations, even with individuals and groups in other CUNY campuses and outside CUNY.   Previously, sharing files between courses taught by different instructors was difficult because a normal Course Copy was not possible.  Now with the CMS course files can be shared among professors.  This opens up many possibilities  such as multiple sections of a course taught by different instructors sharing the same syllabus, course calendar, reading handouts and assignments. This also makes it unnecessary to create Blackboard organizations or shell courses  to manage multisection course content.  And when the files are updated in the content system the updates appear in all the courses automatically, eliminating the need to delete and upload new versions.

Here are some other possibilities using the Blackboard CMS:

  • Store all your course and personal documents securely.
  • Avoid emailing and receiving large files.
  • Make all your documents and files searchable.
  • Easily archive all your work and documents.
  • Store files only once, and use them in many Blackboard courses and organizations.

How is the CMS structured?

Currently the Blackboard CMS at CUNY consists of a system of separate folders for personal content, courses, organizations, and campuses (institutions).  An ePortfolio tool, part of CMS, is planned for Spring 2015 semester.  This will allow students to create an ePortfolio with Blackboard and copy their work on Blackboard directly into it.  The ePortfolio can be exported and used to showcase work outside Blackboard, but cannot be imported into the Digication ePortfolio system currently used at Hostos.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 11.06.15 AM

The Content Management System is structured similar to Blackboard Learn, with the Nav Menu on the left and content areas on the right.

Another feature that will be added later is Blackboard Drive.  This is an application that will allow users to manage their Blackboard CMS files and folders fromCMS Course Content folders

When courses are created in Blackboard, a folder is also created for storing the course content. 

their desktop, without the need to log into Blackboard.  Files can be accessed and edited through familiar desktop applications like Windows Explorer, Mac OS Finder and Microsoft Office and saved and updated directly.

CMS Access

The CMS and its folders and content can be accessed through a link in the course’s Control Panel.

To learn more about Blackboard CMS stop by the EdTech office in room C556 and let us demonstrate it for you.  You can also view print and video tutorials at the CUNY Blackboard User Guide site:

CUNY Blackboard Faculty User Guide Site



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