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CourseGenie and Blackboard

Which tool do academics use most often to create their Blackboard elearning content?

Chances are, it’s Microsoft Word .

The fact is, Word is easy to use and highly familiar, and as most academics have plenty of existing Word resources, it is easy to see why this is the route they’re most likely to take in preparing their Blackboard content.

However, Microsoft Word was never developed as a web authoring tool.

Enter courseGenie!

CourseGenie is a Microsoft Word add-on that DOES create elearning content from Microsoft Word documents.

Simply put, courseGenie works in Word and creates interactive, well-designed, multi-page HTML courses complete with a table of contents and navigation tools, all from a single Word document.

And what’s more…

It’s fully accessible!

CourseGenie output can conform to the full requirements of the Web Accessibility Initiative, allowing elearning materials to achieve a Level AAA rating, meaning they comply with all checkpoints at all priority levels.

CourseGenie output also complies with the 16 rules of Section 508.

So, in a nutshell, materials authored in Microsoft Word with courseGenie are:

  • SENDA Compliant
  • Section 508 Compliant

CourseGenie even includes an Accessibility Checker, allowing your academics to check their content before generating the final content package.

It’s standards compliant!

All courseGenie courses are exported initially as future proofed XML. Then you additionally have the option to transform this XML into:

  • a Blackboard unpackage file
  • Microsoft LRN IMS format
  • a SCORM 1.2 package
  • IMS QTI Lite
  • a set of plain HTML pages ready for web or CD delivery

This adherence to standards is important as it ensures that content is not being created solely in a proprietary format, and will continue to work in the VLEs and CMS’s of the future.

It’s flexible yet consistent!

A range of courseGenie functions allows you to control the layout and features of your course. Using a combination of special styles and dialog boxes you can:

  • Specify where you want a new HTML page to start
  • Create navigation
  • Create content tables
  • Control formatting


The appearance of the generated web pages is controlled by a style sheet which you can modify. This gives you consistency of presentation with the flexibility to customise the presentational style.


It’s interactive!


CourseGenie makes adding interactive features to your course easy - just as you apply normal Word styles, you simply select the text then choose the style from the style bar. You can add all of the following features to your course:

  • hyperlinks
  • popups (and accessible pop-ups)
  • includes
  • definitions
  • 15 types of selftest question
  • flash movies
  • streaming audio and video
  • IMS metadata

It’s clean!

The "Save as Web Page..." option in Word produces very dense Microsoft-specific HTML code that often needs to be cleaned up and simplified using Dreamweaver or other special utilities.

CourseGenie bypasses this completely and generates simple, clean XML and HTML code that is validated against W3C standards. It is this clean XML that is transformed into your chosen output format.

It’s optimised for Blackboard!

CourseGenie output settings include an option to prepare a special unpackage file for Blackboard. Outputting this file, uploading into Blackboard and choosing the page to unpackage on is simplicity itself.


Why not try the free 30-day trial download available at

Author: Mike Bailey

03 October 2004

VLE: Blackboard



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