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Getting Started: Customizing Your Course Site

Getting Started | Setting Up Your Course | Managing Students | Working with Content | Customizing Your Course

Getting Started: Customizing Your Course Site

The options for customizing your Blackboard site have grown progressively more flexible with each release of this software. With Blackboard 9.1, you have a good deal of control over the look of your site - what labels to provide navigation buttons, which tools to enable and disable. You may find that through experimenting with these options you enhance the effectiveness of your site.

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How to Change the Course Title
  1. In the Control Panel, click Customization > Properties;
  2. Enter desired course title in Course Name and provide any additional information in Description text box;
  3. Click Submit.
users and groups
How to Modify Navigation Buttons
  1. Click Control Panel > Customization > Style > Select Menu Style.
  2. Click + Button Library to scroll through and select button patterns, shapes and colors.
  3. Click Submit.
To change the name of your navigation buttons, click on the double arrow to the right of the button, and select Rename Link from the contextual menu.
Tool Links connect students directly to individual tools from the Course Menu. Examples include Grades and Discussion Board.
Follow the steps below to add a Tool Link to the Course Menu:
  1. Set Edit Mode to ON
  2. Select the Add button (+) on the Course Menu.
  3. Click Create Tool Link.
  4. Select the desired tool.
  5. Enter a Name for the Tool Link.
  6. Click the Available to Users checkbox to grant access to Students and other users in the Course.
  7. Click Submit.
How to Set Course Availability
By default, your course site is available to guest users at the time of its creation and is available to registered students the next business day. Course sites remain active on Blackboard for four years. If you need to disable access to your course site, make the course "unavailable."
  1. Click Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Set Availability.
  2. Change "Make Course Available" to No.
  3. Click Submit.
Note:  Instructors, T.A.s, Course Builders, and Graders will continue to have access even when course availability is set to "No."
Please make your course site available 24-48 hours before students need access to the materials to ensure the automated enrollment process runs for the class.
How to Set Course Category
The course category determines where in Blackboard's course catalog your course site gets listed. Categories are organized by Penn's School (e.g., SAS, SEAS). You may list your course under any number of categories, so cross-listed courses will show up under more than one category. To specify a category for your course site:
  1. Click Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Categorize Course.
  2. Select School/Dept. from the list on the left.
  3. Click the arrow button and the category will appear on the right (note that you can also remove categories).
  4. Click OK.
How to Set a Course Entry Point
By default, the entry point to courses is the Announcements or Homepage. However, you can designate another area to be the first place your students arrive when the enter it. If, for example, your use of Blackboard is limited to online Library Reserve readings, you might choose Course Documents to be the entry point. By doing so, you can make your site more simple to navigate. To select a new course entry point:
  1. Click Control Panel > Customization > Style > Select Course Entry Point.
  2. Use the pull-down menu to designate the new entry point.
  3. Click Submit.
How to Set Course Banner
A banner image can be added to the Homepage for style. It will display at the top of the page above any new Announcements. The banner file must be in .gif or .jpg format and its size should be approximately 480 x 80 pixels.
  1. Click Control Panel > Customization > Style > Select Banner.
  2. Use the Browse for Local File button to locate your file.
  3. Attach the file.
  4. Click Submit.