BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National is a shared off-air TV/radio recording and media archive service.
Students and staff at the University of Lincoln can use BoB to record forthcoming television and radio programmes as well as retrieving programmes from the previous week. There’s a help guide for BoB, as well as these instructions on scheduling your own recordings.
Warning: provision of access to off-air recordings (via BoB or otherwise) is governed by the terms of the ERA Plus Licence. This licence allows the University to stream certain TV/radio programmes to students, via Blackboard, for the purposes of learning, teaching, and academic research: but only to computers within the UK. This means that links from Blackboard to programmes on BoB will not be accessible to students who live, or are travelling, overseas.
Here’s how to create links for your students from within a Blackboard Site to individual TV/radio programmes in BoB:
- Log in to BoB. This in itself is a somewhat involved process. Here are some instructions.
- Locate the programme you want to link to, by searching the BoB archive (or by selecting a programme you have already saved to ‘My Bob‘). Click on the title of the programme in the search results to view the page for that programme.
- Copy the URL (web address) of the programme page, by selecting the address bar and holding down Ctrl+C. The URL will be in the format: http://bobnational.net/programme.php?archive=xxxxx&view=flash_player (…where “xxxxx” is BoB’s internal archive ID number for the programme.)
- Log in to Blackboard. Go to the point in your Blackboard Site where you want to link to the programme. Use the Blackboard ‘Build Content’ menu to add a URL.
- In the Blackboard ‘Create URL’ page, fill the the following information: give the link a Name (this is the text that will appear to students). Paste in the URL (web address) of the programme that you copied from BoB in step 3. Also, under the terms of the ERA Plus Licence you must paste the following HTML code into the Description:
(Use the <> button on the Blackboard text editor to switch to the ‘HTML Source mode’ before you paste the code in.) You might—especially if your course has a significant number of distance learners or overseas students—want to add a line about the programme only being available to view in the UK. You can add any additional descriptive text you want, underneath the non-commercial educational purposes disclaimer.
- Still within the Blackboard ‘Create URL’ page, scroll down to the option marked ‘Open in New Window’ and select ‘Yes‘. If you don’t do this, your students may not be able to log in to BoB. Finally, hit ‘Submit’.
Your students will now be able to see a link to the programme in Blackboard. When they click on the link, BoB National will open in a new window. If they’re not already logged in, they will be asked to log in by typing the name of their university, and clicking a ‘Go to login’ button. They will then be able to view/listen to the programme.