Both Desire2Learn and Canvas provide ways to create links to internal course content from their text editors. This allows users to use web standard hyperlinks with the body of text to reference content within the course. Without this feature Blackboard courses are like websites that can only link to other websites. If you add links manually, the identifiers for the course id and content id are not updated when the course is copied for a new term. I request that Blackboard add this feature. This request has been made before, but I'm posting it again because I believe it should be escalated on the development road map.
The only option within Blackboard to link to internal course content is the course links tool, but this creates situations like the one shown in the fictional module below that are far from ideal. This fictional course does what many do. It chunks content to reduce cognitive load for students so that they can focus on one thing at a time but also aims to reference previous steps in the process for quick access. In the directions for the module, the text references previous modules, but you can't link to these modules. Instead you must create Course Links that have the same weight as the items that are what students are actually supposed to be focusing on at this stage of their learning. This is a bad solution for all of the following reasons:
- The directions at the top are cluttered with verbal navigation directions (i.e. "(link below)").
- The only distinguishing feature between the relevant links of focus in this module and the ones just being referenced is the "reference only" text added by the user. Otherwise students might think they are supposed to complete those steps again.
- There is no good place to put the reference links. You can put them at the top right under the text that references them, but then the actually important links are pushed to the bottom of the page. The other option puts the course links at the bottom of the page where they are much farther from the text that references them. You could also make a folder of links for reference, but this places those links even further from the text that references them and increases clicks to view them when the whole point was to provide easy and quick access to those resources.
This would all be much simpler and more standard, if we could create internal course links within the body of text.
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