Blackboard™ Course Sites

Ready to add content to your Blackboard course site? On this page, you will find all the information you need to get started. Learn how to navigate Blackboard's user interface, manage users, add and edit course content, copy materials from one course to another, and more.

Go to the Interactive Tools or Assessments & Grades tabs for additional information on using some of Blackboard's more advanced features.

User Interface

Calendar

Find all important course dates in one place through Blackboard's calendar. Begin by opening the Global Navigation Menu > click the Calendar icon.

  1. Calendar Display: Adjust the calendar to display by day, week or month.
  2. Adjust Dates Displayed: Click the arrows to show previous or future dates.
  3. Events: All events within the selected date range are displayed. Click on an event to view details. Note: Any item that is assigned a due date will automatically appear in the calendar. Instructors may drag and drop items to adjust due dates for assignments and tests.
  4. List of Calendars: Each course has its own calendar, and there is also a personal calendar that allows users to create their own personal events. These calendars are color-coded. Click the arrow in the bottom right corner of a calendar name to adjust the color. Check/uncheck the box next to a calendar to show/hide it.
  5. Export Calendar: You can export the Blackboard calendar to other calendar applications such as Outlook or Google Calendar. Click Get External Calendar Link > copy the iCal URL that appears and paste it into your external calendar application to integrate the two. Dates from your Blackboard calendar will now display in your external calendar.

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Content Editor
  1. Select a Content Area from your course menu and Create or Edit an item.
  2. Use the controls in the Content Editor to format text as you would in a word processing program.
  3. Hyperlinks, webcam video (see Add Content > Video Everywhere), images and other multimedia can also be added using the Content Editor.

Watch the demo

Course Availability

The availability setting of your course determines whether or not students will be able to access your course site. A course listed as (unavailable) will not appear in students' Course menu. The instructor, however, will still have full access to the course site.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Customization > Properties.
  2. In section 2, set Course Availability.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. Repeat these steps to make the course Available/ Unavailable to students.
Course Banner
  1. In the Control Panel, click on Customization > Teaching Style.
  2. Scroll down to section 5. Select Banner.
  3. Click Browse My Computer to locate the image you would like to appear in the Course Banner. Note: Banners should be approximately 450x100 pixels and no larger that 65kb in size.
  4. Click Submit.

Watch the demo

Course Entry Page
  1. In the Control Panel, click on Customization > Teaching Style.
  2. Scroll down to section 2. Select Course Entry Point.
  3. Open the dropdown menu and select the page you would like students to see when they first enter your course site.
  4. Click Submit.

Watch the demo

Course Environment

If you are new to Blackboard, view this tour of the course environment to familiarize yourself with the system's layout and features.

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Course Structure

You can browse course structures, predefined course materials such as menu links, instructions, and content examples that can jump-start your course organization.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Customization > Teaching Style.
  2. Browse the options in section 1. Select Course Structure. Click on a course structure in the left column to open a description and preview of that structure.
  3. Click Use This Structure > Submit to apply it to your course.
  4. The selected course structure's content is added to your course and does not replace existing menu items and content. You can delete unnecessary items.
Edit Mode
  1. Locate the Edit Mode button in the top right corner.
  2. Toggle Edit Mode On to view instructor controls and editing options.
  3. Toggle Edit Mode Off to preview the student view of your course site.
Edit Notification Settings

Always know what is happening in your courses by setting Blackboard's notification system to alert you when when events occur. You can receive alerts for events such as when new content is posted, when new discussion board postings are submitted, when a test is available and much more. Alerts can be sent to your course homepage or your email address.

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Global Navigation Menu
  1. Click on your name in the top right corner to expand the global navigation menu.
  2. This menu provides quick access to your notifications, other courses, retention center, and calendar.
Watch the demo
Home Page

Each course site includes a Home Page by default. This module page is similar to the Notifications Dashboard, but it displays only notifications relevant to the current course and is customizable by the instructor. Click on Home Page in the course menu to view it. To customize this page:

  1. Drag and drop modules to change the order in which they are displayed.
  2. Click in the top right corner of a module to remove the module from the page.
  3. Click Add Course Module to add additional modules to the page.
  4. To remove the Home Page entirely, click the action button to the right of Home Page in the course menu and select Delete. There is no way to directly restore a Home Page once deleted; you can, however, add a link to a Module Page in your course menu and then manually add modules such as My Announcements, What’s New, etc.

Watch the demo

Menu Icons

You may see the following icons next to items in your Course Menu:

  1. Icon indicating a menu item is hidden Indicates a Menu Item is hidden from students.
  2. Icon indicating a Content Area contains no content Indicates a Content Area contains no content. An empty Content Area will not appear for students.
Menu Style
  1. In the Control Panel, click on Customization > Teaching Style.
  2. Under section 3. Select Menu Style, choose Text or Buttons.
  3. For Text, select your preferred background and text colors; for Buttons, use the Button Library to choose a style.
  4. Click Submit.
Notifications

Blackboard pushes notifications of course updates to users. The notifications dashboard is a customizable module page that displays notifications for all of a user’s courses. Note that notifications are only effective if you assign due dates to your assignments, quizzes, and tests.

  1. Access notification from the My ACC tab > click Notifications Dashboard or by expanding the Global Navigation Menu when you see a badge alerting you to new notifications.
  2. Modules include: Needs Attention (items that require your attention, such as upcoming due dates); Alerts (items that are past due); What’s New (announcements, new assignments or discussion posts, etc.); To Do (list of all items due and past due).
Reorder Items
  1. Locate the double-headed arrows Image of button to reorder items to the left of items in the course menu and in Content Areas.
  2. Click on an arrow drag items up/down.
  3. Release mouse key to drop the item in the new location.
Show/Hide Course Menu
  1. Locate the Show/Hide Menu button Image of show/hide menu button between the course menu and the content area.
  2. Click this button to hide the course menu.
  3. Click again to show the course menu (the button will be all the way to the left on the edge of your screen).

Manage Users

Add Test Student
  1. In the Control Panel, go to Course Tools > Add Test Student.
  2. A test student is created with "_s" appended to the end of your username.
  3. Enter a password for your test student.
  4. Make sure the box is checked to enroll the test student in the current course.<
  5. Click Submit. The test student is created and enrolled in the current course.
  6. Now, when you go to Course Tools > Add Test Student, you have the option to unenroll/ enroll the test student or to change the password.
  7. This test student is now also available to enroll in any other course you teach.
Enroll User

Manually enrolling users is not common, as student enrollments are loaded automatically. This process is most frequently used to add another instructor to a course.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Users and Groups > Users.
  2. Select "Find Users to Enroll."
  3. On the next screen, you can only search for someone by username, which is the eID. If you have the person's eID, enter it on this screen and then skip to step 7. To search for a user to enroll using any other search parameter, go to step 4.
  4. Click Browse, which opens a new search window. Select a search parameter (e.g. last name, email) from the dropdown menu and type in search criteria.
  5. Click Go.
  6. From the search results, check the box next to the correct user and click Submit. You will be returned to the Add Enrollments screen.
  7. Select a role for the user.
  8. Click Submit.
Download/Print Roster
  1. Go to Control Panel > Grade Center > Full Grade Center.
  2. Click Work Offline and select Download.
  3. In section 1, select "User Information Only."
  4. Click Submit, then click Download.
  5. The course roster will download and open in Excel, where you can modify the columns as needed and print the roster.
List Enrolled Users
  1. Go to Control Panel > Users and Groups > Users.
  2. Click the Show All button (bottom right corner) for a complete list of users.
Student Enrollment

Student enrollments are loaded in Blackboard one week prior to the first day of class. Records are then synched with Datatel twice a day to reflect the most current registration information.

Add Content

Adaptive Release

Adaptive Release allows you to restrict a content item so it is not visible to students until specified criteria are met.

  1. Go to the content item you would like to restrict.
  2. Click the action button Action button that opens contextual editing menu and select Adaptive Release.
  3. For Date of Release, set Display After and or Display Until with the calendar or enter a date.
  4. For Membership, set membership criteria for release of the content item.
  5. For Grading, set grade criteria by selecting grade center column. Set the condition for the grade.
  6. You can choose any or all of the above conditions.
  7. Click Submit.

Watch the demo

Adaptive Release: Advanced

Use Adaptive Release: Advanced to set multiple rules. Each criteria set in the adaptive release must be met for the rule to work.

  1. Go to the content item you want to restrict.
  2. Click the action button and select Adaptive Release Advanced.
  3. Click Create Rule.
  4. Enter a Name and click Submit to access the Manage Criteria page.
  5. Click Create Criteria to establish criteria for date and/or grade and/or membership status. Each option will open in its own page.
  6. Select criteria and click Submit to return to the Manage Criteria page.
  7. Choose another option to set additional criteria for the rule.
  8. Click OK when finished to return to the Adaptive Release: Advanced page where you can create another rule or click OK to return to the content page.
Announcement (single course)

To post only to the course in which you are working:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Announcements > click Create Announcement.
  2. Enter a Subject and the announcement Message > set Date Restrictions or select Not Date Restricted > check Email Announcement if desired > Submit.

Watch the demo

Announcement (multiple courses)

To post an announcement to multiple courses you are teaching all at once:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Announcement Cast.
  2. Enter a Subject and Message. Set Date Restrictions if necessary, or select Permanent. Check Email Announcement if desired.
  3. Check the box next to each course you would like to receive the announcement, including the course in which you are currently working.
  4. Click Submit to post the announcement to all selected courses.
Contacts
  1. Go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Contacts.
  2. Click Create Content.
  3. Enter your information and picture (optional).
  4. Click Submit.
  5. You will need to create a Tool Link to Contacts either in your Course Menu or in a Content Area for students to view the Contact (see entry for "Add Tool Link").

Watch the demo

Content Items
  1. Go the Content Area where you would like to add the Item.
  2. Click Build Content > Item.
  3. Enter a Name for the Item and enter content into the text box.
  4. You can add hyperlinks, images, files and media using the Text Editor.
  5. You can also attach files to the Item by clicking Browse and selecting the file from your computer or storage device.
  6. Click Submit.
Course Copy
  1. Go to the Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Course Copy.
  2. In section 1, select "Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course."
  3. In section 2, click Browse to open a list of courses you are teaching. Select the course into which you want to copy the content.
  4. In the Select Course Materials section, pick the items you want to copy to the chosen course. Note: If you are copying Tests, Surveys and Pools or any graded Assignments (including Blogs, Wikis, Journals, Discussion Boards) you must also copy Grade Center Columns and Settings. Otherwise, your tests/ surveys/ assignments will not work.
  5. Do not copy enrollments in section 4.
  6. Click Submit. Blackboard sends you an email when the course copy process is complete.

Note: If you have Respondus Lockdown Browser enabled for any tests, be sure to check your settings in the new course following a course copy by going to Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus Lockdown Browser.

Course Menu Items

Add links on the Course Menu to items in the course. Items include: Content Areas that provide direct access to course content (e.g. text, files, tests, assignments); Tools (e.g. Email, My Grades); Course Links; External Links; and Subheaders and Dividers to help organize the menu.

  1. Click the Add icon Add item icon above the Course Menu.
  2. Select the item type from the list.
  3. Type a Name for the content item (this name will appear in your menu).
  4. Check the box to make the link available to users.
  5. Click Submit.

Watch the demo

Date Management

Automatically adjust all content and tool dates (including due dates, content availability, and announcements) at once.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Date Management.
  2. Select Use Course Start Date or Adjust by Number of Days to adjust the dates accordingly, or select List All Dates for Review to manually adjust each date >click Start.
  3. When date management is complete, you will see Date Management Review, where you can verify the new dates for all course items. From here, you can Run Date Management Again with different settings, Adjust Dates on selected items by a set number of days, or manually Edit individual dates if necessary.

Watch the demo

Edit/Delete Content Items
  1. Click the action button Action button that opens contextual editing menu next to the Name of the Content Item to open the contextual editing menu, which presents all of your options for managing the item.
  2. Select Edit to edit the Name, text, attached files and/or settings for that item.
  3. Select Delete to remove the Content Item.
Edit/Delete Menu Items
  1. Click the action button Action button that opens contextual editing menu next to the Menu Item you want to edit.
  2. Select Rename Link to edit the Name.
  3. Select Hide or Show Link to hide or show the Menu Item to students.
  4. Select Delete to delete a Menu Item.
Enable Course Tools

If you want to use a Course Tool (such as Respondus LockDown Browser or SoftChalk) but do not see it in your list of Course Tools, follow these steps to enable the tool:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability.
  2. Locate the Tool you want to enable and check the boxes for that row.
  3. Click Submit.

Watch the demo

Export/Archive Course
  1. Go to Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive.
  2. Click the Export button.
  3. In section 3, pick the items you want to export/archive.
  4. Click Submit. Blackboard will send you an email when the archive process is complete.
  5. Once complete, go to Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive. The zip file containing exported course content is listed.
  6. Click on the file and save it to your computer or storage device.

Watch the demo

Files and Multimedia

To add a file (PDF, Word Doc, etc.), audio, image, or video, you must have the file available on your computer or storage device.

  1. Go to the page where you want to add a multimedia file. Click Build Content > Select File, Audio, Image or Video.
  2. Enter a Name for your the media you are adding.
  3. Click Browse and attach the appropriate file.
  4. Set Options as desired.
  5. Submit.

Note: To be compliant with ADA, include a transcript or captioning for audio or video files.

Note: Video files may exceed file size restrictions in Blackboard. You can upload your video to the ACC streaming server click here for more information. Watch the demo on how to embed video in Blackboard.

Folders

When you create a content folder, you are creating an area or page into which you can put the same type of content that is found under the "Build Content" tab.

  1. Go the the page where you want to add a folder. Click Build Content > Content Folder.
  2. Enter a Name for the Folder and any text you would like to display below the folder name.
  3. Specify any options.
  4. Click Submit.
Import Course

If you have exported/archived a previous course, you can import the contents into a new course shell.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Import Package.
  2. Click Import Package.
  3. Click Browse and locate the exported course package on your computer or storage device.
  4. Select the course materials you want to import.
  5. Click Submit. Blackboard sends an email when the import is complete.
  6. Once complete, imported materials appear in the course.

Watch the demo

Learning Modules

A learning module is an organized collection of course material, including content and activities, presented with a table of contents.

  1. Go to the Content Area where would like to add a Learning Module.
  2. Click Build Content > Learning Module.
  3. Enter a Name for the Learning Module and an optional description.
  4. Set Options as desired.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. Click on the Name of the Learning Module to add content. Within a learning module, add/edit content and activities as you would in any other content area. As you add content, the Learning Module automatically builds a table of contents.

Watch the demo

Links

Follow these steps to add a link to an external web page in a content area:

  1. Go the Content Area where you would like to add the Link. Click Build Content > URL.
  2. Enter a Name for the URL.
  3. Enter the complete URL, such as http://www._____.com
  4. You may also enter a description of the link and/or attach a related file.
  5. Set Options as desired.
  6. Click Submit.

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Mashups

Mashups allow you to add multimedia content from the web directly into your Blackboard course site. Choose content from Flickr, Slideshare or YouTube.

  1. Go the Content Area where you would like to add the Mashup. Click Build Content > under the Mashup column, select Flick Photo, SlideShare Presentation or YouTube Video.
  2. Enter search criteria and click Go.
  3. Review search results and click Select for the photo/ presentation/ video you would like to use.
  4. The Name field is populated, but you may edit the Name if desired.
  5. Enter a Description of the media to help students connect it to course material.
  6. Set Options as desired.
  7. Click Submit.

Watch the demo

Module Page

Module Pages encompass a wide range of Blackboard applications such as calendars, tasks, dictionaries and alerts. These modules can help students stay organized.

  1. Go the the Content Area where you want to add a Module.
  2. Click Content > Module Page.
  3. Enter a Name for the Module Page and add a Description if desired.
  4. Set options as appropriate.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. Click on the Name of the Module Page to begin adding Modules.
  7. Click Add Module. A list of available Modules appears. Click the name to preview and read more about each module. Click Add to add it to your Module Page.
  8. When you have selected the Modules to appear on the page, click OK at the bottom.
  9. You can rearrange how the modules appear on the page by clicking in the header of a module and dragging it to a new location.
Paste from Word

When you paste content from Microsoft Word into a text box in Blackboard, you often see differences in formatting. Using Paste from Word will help preserve your original formatting.

  1. In the text box editor, click the Add Mashup icon.
  2. Select Paste from Word.
  3. Paste the content you copied from Word into the text box that pops up.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Your text will be pasted in the text box with original formatting preserved.
SoftChalk Lesson

Click here PDF for step-by-step instructions on posting SoftChalk lessons to Blackboard.

Statistics Tracking: Enable

Statistics tracking compiles a record of how often an item is accessed and by whom.

  1. Go to the item you want to track.
  2. Click on the action button Action button that opens contextual editing menu and select Statistics Tracking.
  3. Select On and click Submit.
  4. You will see "Enabled Statistic Tracking" written below the item you enabled.

Watch the demo

Statistics Tracking: View Report
If you have enabled statistics tracking for an item, follow these steps to view the report:
  1. Go to the item for which you would like to view the Statistics Tracking report.
  2. Click the action button Action button that opens contextual editing menu and select View Statistics Report.
  3. Next to Content Usage Statistics, click the action button Action button that opens contextual editing menu and select Run.
  4. Select the format in which you would like to receive the report (PDF, HTML, Excel or Word).
  5. Select date parameters for the report.
  6. The report pulls data for all students by default. Use the Select Users menu only if you want to narrow the report to specific student(s). To select multiple students, hold down the Ctrl (PC) or Command (Mac) key as you click on multiple names.
  7. Click Submit. The report opens in your chosen format in a new window.
Tool Link

In the Course Menu:

  1. Click the Add icon Add item icon above the Course Menu.
  2. Select Create Tool Link.
  3. Type a Name for the Tool Link (this name will appear in your menu) and select the Tool Type from the list.
  4. Check the box to make the link available to users.
  5. Click Submit.

You can also create a Tool Link in a Content Area:

  1. Go to the Content Area where you want to add the Tool Link.
  2. Click Build Content > Tools Area.
  3. Select the Tool Type and click Next.
  4. Enter a Name and Description and set the options for the link.
  5. Click Submit.

Watch the demo

Web Link

You can create links to external web pages directly in your Course Menu:

  1. Click the Add icon Add item icon above the Course Menu.
  2. Select Web Link.
  3. Type a Name for the Web Link (this name will appear in your menu).
  4. Enter the complete URL, such as http://www._____.com
  5. Check the box to make the link available to users.
  6. Click Submit.

For Blackboard Support Issues, contact an Instructional Design Specialist, students go to Help Center or call (512) 223.4636. For faculty support go to Technical Support Services or call (512) 223.TECH (223.8324).