Sharing What I Find

Instructional Design and Technology in Education

Adding Widgets (or Badges) to Blackboard Course

A widget (or badge) is a small application that runs on your desktop, on your mobile unit or that gets embedded in a website. It often will display information that is pulled from a source or from many sources that gets regularly updated. Weather widgets are very popular to see what current conditions are like where you live or for where you like to vacation. Stock Market tickers, count-downs, news, games – someone has created a visual widget for just about everything out there. According to, the most popular downloaded widget on their site is Super Mario Game.

PBS has created some “Teachers Activity Packs which look like they feature ideas for activities as well as provide links to resources.

Here’s a short video about Adding Widgets to Blackboard.

I would caution you about getting too carried away with adding widgets to your site. They might take up a lot of screen real estate, they might slow down the speed in which the site is loaded, and they might not really be that useful for your students. You might consider including a pertinent widget for a weekly topic and then taking it down. If they student found it interesting they could always go out and get it for themselves and place it on their myUA page, their google home page or other social networking site.

Author: Heidi Olson

Heidi enjoys working with content experts in developing eCampus courses to provide alternatives for students. Her other interests include faculty training in best practices for eCampus and researching eCampus tools to help fulfill learning outcomes. Having worked in the distance education arena for over 20 years, she has a wide range of experiences in supporting students and faculty as technology and pedagogy evolve.

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