Blackboard (Faculty) - Publisher and Third-Party Content

This document provides an overview of publisher content, such as WebAssign and McGraw Hill, inside of Blackboard.

Jump to tech support for Cengage, McGraw Hill, and other publishers

Many academic textbook publishers offer web-based learning materials to accompany their textbooks. These materials can be delivered through Blackboard in a variety of ways, including via:

  • A course cartridge that is uploaded into a Blackboard course shell with a cartridge key, incorporating content, graded activities, and exams directly within the course.
  • Web links that send students to the publisher’s website for instructional simulations, supplemental learning resources, or entire lessons.
Although ITS can assist faculty with the implementation of publisher content in Blackboard, many third-party software vendors ask that institutions do not attempt to provide technical support for their products. As a result, ITS is unable to provide technical support for problems that occur with publisher content. Scroll down to the technical support section at the bottom of this page to find resources for products such as WebAssign, Pearson's MyMathLab, Cengage NOW, and others.

Building Blocks in Blackboard

Individual publishers may provide a way to synchronize student data on their servers with your course on SIUE’s Blackboard server (ex: tying publisher assignments back to Blackboard's Grade Center). These synchronizations require that building blocks be installed and configured on SIUE’s Blackboard servers, which requires time and testing to ensure stability. If you are considering using a digital textbook with extended publisher services, please contact ITS Blackboard administrators by email at Please do so in advance of adopting the textbook to give time for testing.

Publisher-Hosted Content

In some cases, an entire course is stored on the publisher’s learning management system, instead of on SIUE’s Blackboard learning management system. This means the course-based data is stored off campus on a third-party server. Use of these services must be consistent with SIUE’s policies on student support, data retention, and data security. Please contact ITS security personnel at 618-650-5500 or by email with any questions about protecting student data.

Publisher Test Banks

Some publishers offer banks of test questions to accompany their textbooks. Faculty members should be aware of the following when using publisher-provided test questions:

  • It is important to obtain test questions from the publisher that are compatible with Blackboard 9.1.
  • Avoid copying test questions directly from a publisher's website and pasting them into Blackboard's test canvas. Copying and pasting HTML from other sites into Blackboard tests could result in students not being able to access the content in certain browsers. 
  • Avoid embedding media files from publisher websites directly into test questions in the Blackboard test canvas. Some browsers fail to display embedded external media within test questions.
  • Make sure to verify the accuracy of exam content.

SIUE licenses and supports a test creation tool called Respondus. Faculty members are encouraged to search the Respondus Test Bank Network for their textbook and, if located, to request a key to access the test bank from the publisher rep.  Using the Respondus desktop client, faculty can then create their actual tests in Respondus and publish them directly into Blackboard.  
Note: Respondus is only available for use with a Windows operating system.

  Technical Support

Please refer to the following support resources if you are experiencing technical issues with these products:

Cengage (MindTap, CengageNOW, etc.)


McGraw-Hill (Connect)

Pearson (MyMathLab, MyNursingLab, Mastering Chemistry, etc.)

WileyPlus (Homework Help)

Elsevier (Evolve)

Macmillan (Launchpad)

W.W. Norton (InQuizitive)

If you encounter a technical issue and are unsure if it is content or Blackboard related, feel free to contact ITS at or at 618-650-5500. ITS staff can verify Blackboard functionality and ensure that known system issues are not the cause of the problem. 

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Owner:Emily K.Group:Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Created:2016-05-09 13:13 CDTUpdated:2017-07-18 10:01 CDT
Sites:Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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