It's a single file that compresses several files into one. Mac OS and Windows have built-in support for zip. On Windows, you can turn a folder into a zip file by choosing "send to-> compressed (zip) folder" on the contextual (right click) menu. On a Mac, right-click or control-click on a folder in Finder and choose "compress".
I'm overwhelmed by the list of unavailable courses that "My Courses" shows me as having taught in previous terms.
Many faculty have complained about an annoying misfeature in blackboard -- the very long lists of courses you've taught from previous terms. Students see only their current courses, but faculty by default see coursesites for every course they've taught in the past 3 years, even if they didn't use Blackboard for the course!
There are many advanced tools such as discussion forums, wikis, blogs and send email functions that you may wish to use in your course. Students can find these tools by searching through the list of Blackboard tools. However, you may wish to add a link directly to the tool that shows up on the navigation sidebar for your course in order to help students avoid having to navigate through the lengthy list of tools available under the "Tools" link.
How can I post links in Blackboard to readings I find in library full text databases?
Usually when you look at a full-text article in a subscription database or on a publisher's website, the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) associated with the article is dynamic, meaning that if you save it and try to use it to access that article later, it will no longer work. Fortunately, many subscription databases and websites now have permanent web addresses known as persistent, stable or durable links that allow easy incorporation into a web page, Blackboard site, or email.
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.
How and/or where do you access the discussion board on blackboard?
If your instructor is using the Blackboard Discussion Board, then there should be a link somewhere in your course, but the precise location is up to the instructor. Some courses have a "Tools" or "Communications" link on the main course menu, going to a page containing a set of course tools including Discussion Board.