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December 2002 Issue

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Using Java scripts to enhance your website or Blackboard program.

By Gary K. Probst


It is possible to make your website or announcements in Blackboard more interesting by adding Java script. There are many website that provide free scripts that can be copied and pasted into your program.


If you want the weather in your area displayed, go to the following website. Here you will be given directions on how to add the weather for your college into your website.


Here is an example:

Click for Prince George’s Community College Forecast

Java scripts

Interesting calendars, mathematics formulas, calculators, days left until the end of the semester, etc. can be found by cutting and pasting java scripts in your browser. Do a web search using “java script” and you will find many websites. The following website has hundreds of interesting free scripts. You can add calendars, mathematics formulas, clocks, etc. to your website.



The following two websites have excellent daily motivational quotes. I started using them this semester and the student send email messages saying they liked them. I put these motivational quotes in the announcement section of Blackboard so the students see them every time he or she enters the program.

1. Top Achievement  


2. The Daily Motivator


Here is an example:

This website has an index of all of the Daily Motivator’s motivational messages. For educational purpose you are free to use them. Make sure you read the licensing agreement before using these messages. Some of these messages could be posted in a learning center.


Ralph Marston has written excellent motivational messages that could be posted in a learning center. An example is the message of Wednesday, November 20, 2002 titled Making Progress.

Making Progress

There is an enormous difference between going slow and stopping completely. Even if you're making just a little bit of progress, that's far better than being at a standstill or falling behind.

Even when you cannot do everything, you can still do something. When you cannot move as fast as you would like, that's no reason to stop, no reason to give up. Go ahead and continue moving at whatever pace you can. Making just a little progress will, over time, put you much farther ahead than making no progress at all.

When you're faced with more than you can possibly do, feeling overwhelmed and letting it grind you to a halt is not going to help. Pick one thing and start to work on it, then the next, and little by little you'll be getting it all done.

Running swiftly is great when you can do it, yet even when you can't there's no reason for despair. Because walking slowly will just as surely and steadily move you forward, and will keep the positive momentum alive.

Chip away at the mountain, steadily and with determination. Not only will you get through it, you'll end up stronger and wiser for the experience.

Ralph Marston



There are many websites that have animations that are free to use. Just enter “animations” in your browser. An excellent source is the Animation Factory. They permit you to use thousands free. For a small yearly fee you can have access to over 150,000 animations. I have purchased a licensing agreement that permits me to use over 150,000 animations freely in my syllabus and in Blackboard. Also, this website has templates to use in PowerPoint presentations.



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