Oct 292012
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  • What is a Course Cartridge?
    A Course Cartridge is an easy way for an instructor to supplement their course using text or program-specific course content developed by academic publishers. A Course Cartridge allows you to import publisher content directly into a Blackboard course.
  • How do I check to see if a Course Cartridge exists for my textbook?
    Contact your publisher sales representative to see if a Course Cartridge exists for the title.
  • How do I request a Course Cartridge?
    Contact your publisher sales representative.
  • What types of materials are included in a Course Cartridge?
    Course Cartridges contain a variety of resources and may include instructor resources (such as PowerPoint® presentations, review materials and test pools) and student resources (such as self-study materials, videos, learning objectives and exercises). Publishers may use different kinds of content in different Cartridges.
  • Are Course Cartridges textbook-specific?
    Most Course Cartridges are created for specific textbooks and are typically updated when new editions of the textbooks are released. Some publishers also produce program-specific titles that can be used with several different textbooks.
  • Are Course Cartridges free for instructors?
    In general, a Course Cartridge is free for instructors, provided they have adopted the corresponding textbook.
  • Is there a cost for students?
    The cost for students depends on the type of Course Cartridge, check with your publisher sales representative. Some common types of Course Cartridges are: Open Access (is open usage, and is free for students) or Protected Access. Only Protected Access Course Cartridges involve costs. A student must purchase a Student Access Key to view and utilize Protected Access materials. The cost for a Student Access Key varies by publisher and title. (Often, Student Access Keys are bundled with new textbooks.)
  • What is an Instructor Download Key and how do I obtain one?
    An Instructor Download Key is a unique PIN an instructor or course designer must enter in order to add a Course Cartridge to a course in Blackboard. Instructor Download Keys are generated by the publisher. To obtain a key for a specific title or program contact your publisher sales representative.

Tips for Importing

  • Each publisher Course Cartridge is different and each cartridge imports into Blackboard differently. We recommend, if you can, to download any new Course Cartridge into a development course area (zzz_course) in order to view and test the cartridge before adding it to your actual course.
  • If you need a new Z area, are unsure about how to import, or what the limitations may be for your course cartridge please contact the Distance and Online Learning Help Desk to arrange an appointment to work with someone. DLhelp@hvcc.edu or 518-629-7070.


  • Whom should I contact to learn more about a specific Course Cartridge or to request an Instructor Download Key?
    Contact your publisher sales representative.
  • Whom should I contact if I’m having trouble importing a Course Cartridge?
    Contact the Distance and Online Learning Help Desk, by email at DLhelp@hvcc.edu or by phone at 518-629-7070.
  • What should I do if a student is having trouble using a Student Access Key?
    Confirm that the student is using a valid Student Access Key purchased from the bookstore or directly from the publisher. If the key fails to authenticate, contact your publisher representative. Only the publisher can verify or generate key sets.
  • Whom should I contact to order Student Access Keys?
    Contact your publisher sales representative.