Tools - How can I Embed a Google Calendar within Blackboard

How can I Embed a Google Calendar within Blackboard? iCalendar feed

The calendars built into Blackboard are quite limited compared to many calendars these days. Google has become the new standard for full viewing integration with their own version of calendar organization, and if you want to maintain a calendar using Google Calendar you can do so, yet still make it visible to your students in Blackboard.  The process takes several steps.

It is important to note that only calendars made viewable to the public will work. To make a calendar public, select the appropriate settings under your Share This Calendar menu.  When you create items in a Google public calendar, the default is that guests (including both your students and random visitors) may not add or modify events.

From your Google Calendar account (http://calendar.google.com

  1. Create a calendar for your course and give it an appropriate name, perhaps "Blackboard 101 (winter 2015) at UO".  Since the name will be visible to the general public it should be unambiguous.
  2. In the calendar list on the left side of the google calendar page, click the down-arrow button next to the appropriate calendar, then select Share this calendar.  On the Details page select "Make this calendar public" and click Save.  Making the calendar public means that it will appear in google searches, and that the calendar and individual events will by default be visible from inside of blackboard.
  3. Find the calendar again in the left-hand menu, selecting the directional arrow to open its menu. Select Calendar Settings.
  4. Under the Calendar Details tab, in the section labeled Embed This Calendar, select the Customize color, size, and other options link.
  5. This will open a new area allowing you to see a sample display of the embedded calendar. From here, you can edit dimensions, display styles, and add other calendars to the embedded iFrame. This way you can share multiple calendars from one code. Please note it is unwise to set the display width greater than 800px as it may cause oversized viewing errors for some browsers.  A width of 600 works well for most users.
  6. When done with your options, select the Update HTML button near the top of the screen, then select and copy the code in the box below it (ctrl-A then ctrl+C for PC and cmd-A then cmd+C for Mac).
  7. Log out of google calendar.

Now navigate to your blackboard site, logging in if necessary.

  1. Find and visit the Content Area from the green menu where you wish to embed this calendar, for example "Course Information". Select Build Content – Create Item from the green menus.
  2. Give your item a name; such as Course Calendar.
  3. In the large textbox area, (visual text box editor) you first press the downward pointing arrow all the way on the right side of the text box if you already don't have 4 rows of icons, then several more options will appear. On the bottom row there is a little anchor symbol, and to the left of that is the html button you'll need to embed the calendar, if you hover your cursor over it it should say "HTML code view".
  4. Delete any text which may appear in the text box, and place your blinking cursor in the now-empty text field. Paste the previously copied code into this area (ctrl+V for PC and cmd+V for Mac)
  5. Select Submit on the right side of the page.A coursesite with google calendar displayed

This will take you back to the Content Area, now populated with the new calendar item. You may need to click "refresh" to see the calendar.  If you see any “Access Denied” display or similar authorization request from Google, it means your calendar is not set to be viewable by the public. You must make the appropriate changes and copy-paste new code into your Item area.

If your browser is currently logged in to Google Calendar you can make additions to the calendar directly from the blackboard page, but for major changes you'll probably want to return to the Google Calendar website.

This page includes a video demonstrating the process described above:

Getting the Blackboard Learn iCalendar URL

  1. Login to Blackboard and Navigate to the My Blackboard menu and click the calendar icon.
  2. Below the list of calendars click the button "Get External Calendar link".
  3. Copy the URL with the .ics extension to use in the instructions below.

Google Calendar™ 

  1. Click the down-arrow next to Other calendars
  2. Select Add by URL from the menu
  3. Enter the Blackboard Learn iCalendar URL in the field provided
  4. Click the Add Calendar button. The calendar will appear in the Other Calendars section of the calendar list to the left.

Microsoft® Outlook®

  1. In Account Settings choose the Internet Calendars tab.
  2. Click on New and Paste the iCalendar URL you copied from Blackboard Learn into the location and click Add.

iPhone®

Option 1

  1.  Select “Settings
  2.  Select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3.  Select”Add Account…” under “Accounts
  4.  Select “Other” at the bottom
  5.  Select “Add Subscribed Calendar
  6.  Type the iCalendar URL . Select “Next”. 

Option 2

  1. Mail the iCalendar URL ending in .ics to the email account set up on your iPhone.
  2. Open the email on your phone and click the URL.
  3. iPhone recognizes the .ics extension as a calendar and prompts you to subscribe. Choose yes.

Yahoo!®

  1. Go to calendar.yahoo.com
  2. Click + icon next to Subscribed.
  3. Choose Subscribe to other calendars.
  4. Enter the iCalendar URL from Blackboard Learn in ical address and enter a display name.

Additional notes - Yahoo cannot subscribe to the URL if the server IP address is specified instead of the server name.

Mac iCal®

  1. Open iCal
  2. From the Calendar menu, choose Subscribe...
  3. Next, enter the iCalendar URL from Blackboard Learn into the field Calendar URL
  4. Click Subscribe.

Android™ 

Android does not provide an option to directly There is no direct way to subscribe to an .ics feed in Android yet. The workaround is to subscribe to the feed through Google Calendar. 

  1. Subscribe to the Blackboard Learn calendar in Google. using the steps described in the section for 'Google' above.
  2. Go to the Android phone
  3. Applications -> Calendar
  4. Menu -> More -> Settings
  5. Calendars
  6. View the Blackboard Learn calendar you subscribed to in Google.

Windows Live™

  1. Go to calendar.live.com. 
  2. Click on subscribe
  3. Choose Subscribe to a public calendar
  4. Paste the iCalendar URL in Calendar URL. Enter a Calendar Name.

Click 'Subscribe to Calendar' button.

tags: calendar, Google, schedule, share, organize, customize, embed, feed

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