After months of meetings with collaborators, working toward content design, and a wealth of coding, I managed to pull together a package “zip” file web course that functions within the blackboard interface, and is designed to work as an independent guide through the textbook World Music: Traditions and Transformations, by Michael Bakan. It was a difficult project, mainly to code a package file that worked within blackboard as a single site that inherited the permissions of a specific blackboard course without simply being a static file that would be downloaded when clicked on. The result was a simple but pleasing interface that I think facilitated engagement with the reading.
The project was pilot-tested and implemented, and we managed to run it for two semesters before I needed to work to update the course to align with the second edition of the textbook. Thankfully the content did not need to change too much, and all the flash items created by co-pilot Trevor Harvey were still able to be implemented. Over the course of the next semester or two the blackboard version changed, and with it a restriction on uploading full package files. As a result, we needed to improvise and I broke the course up into multiple sections that were embedded directly into the blackboard site.
Overall, the course went through rapid changes but the work we put into making it a usable interface for engaging media was noticeable. Given the opportunity I would definitely build on this experience and design a similar (though more customizable) course in the future. But this time I would insist on getting paid!