Blackboard - introduction to the user interface

This page gives a brief introduction to Blackboard's user interface, showing the different menu options and the most basic sections of the default course room.

Norsk versjon - Blackboard - Introduksjon til brukergrensesnittet

Topic page about Blackboard | Pages labelled Blackboard  

Watch a video #

Introduction to the user interface

Top menu and tabs #

When you log on to Blackboard, you will arrive at the Home page ("Hjem").

At the top of the page, you will se the Top Menu:

Top menu: Hjem(Home), Varsler(Notifications), Mitt Innhold(My content), O365

Home #

At the menue option Hjem you will find the following topics:

Overview of the Home page

  • My Announcements (1) from your courses. This information is sent to all members of a given course.
  • An overview of My Courses (2) and My Organizations (3).
  • The tool Qwickly (4). This contains shortcuts to distribute information to multiple courses at once. Read more about qwickly here.
  • Ressurser for ansatte (5) (Resources for employees) has a link to a course room in Blackboard where you can share tips on how to use Blackboard (In Norwegian).

Notifications #

The menu option Varsler gives you an overview of alerts, activities that needs attention and news from every course you are affiliated with:

Varsler (notification) tab

My content #

  1. Mitt innhold (1) (My content) is the internal storage in Blackboard. See Upload files to My content. In the Content Collection menu on the left, you will see that items can be stored in different institutional levels, from personal My Content (2) to Institution Content (3):

    Clicking on "Mitt innhold" to access my content, 2 next to my content and 3 next to institution content
  2. It is also possible to Search Content:

    Search in My Content

Help #

The menu option Hjelp will lead you to a page with information about where to find help related to Blackboard:

Cursor on "Hjelp" in the top menu

Course design #

This is the Start Page in the Sandbox for Wiki course. Here you will see:

Course front page with numbers 1-5 next to the different headlines

  • My Announcements (1).
  • Tasks that Need Attention (2).
  • What's New (3): An overview of user activity.
  • Quick-links (4).
  • Alerts (5).

Students get another version of this Start Page with different modules adapted to their user role.

Course menu #

Read more about the course menu in the wiki about The course management menu. The course menu consists of two parts: Course content (1) and Course Management (2):

1 next to the curse menu, 2 next to course management

Students will only see the upper part of the menu on the left side of the screen. We call this the Course Menu. It is possible to adjust the contents of the Course menu. We strongly advise Faculties and/or departments to set some common standards, to help students navigate easily in Blackboard.

On the lower part of the menu is the Course Management menu. This part of the menu is not visible to students. In this menu, you will find useful tools to help you manage your Course

Course content areas #

Under Course content, you can organize the course material. All new courses have «Course content» as an element in the standard Course menu. Different learning material and resources can be structured in this area. Read more about content areas in the wiki for Tools and functionality.

Click on a folder under Course content in the Course Menu:

Clicking on Learning materials, and highlighting a hidden folder in the content area

Students will only see the elements that have been made available for them. Here you can see that the last folder is not available for the students to see.

Enable/Disable page help #

If you are on a page with help text (1), you will see a button marked with a ? (2) in the top right corner next to Edit Mode:

Button to enable or disable help text

You can enable or disable help text by clicking this button.

Student Preview mode #

You can read about student preview mode in the wiki: Student preview and edit mode.

  1. If you want to see what the course will look like for students, you can click Enter Student Preview:

    Student preview
  2. In Student Preview mode, you will be able to browse through the course as a student. You can see here how Course Content will look for students. Notice that the folder Hidden folder no longer is visible.

    Shows learning materials in student preview mode, the hidden folder is not visible

Organizing My Courses #

On the Home page you will find My Courses which is a list of all the courses you have in Blackboard. You can organize this box the way you want to.

  1. When you click on the gear in the upper right corner of the My courses box you get to the page where you can make changes.

    The gear is on the top left of the my courses box
  2. On this page you will find the opportunity to group your courses by semester by checking the Group by term (1) box. Further down you will find the list of all your courses in Blackboard (2).

    On the personalization page you can group by semester and see a list of all your courses
  3. If you choose to check the box to group by term, you will see a list where you can make changes to what semesters should be shown and how. There are to columns to the right of the page. The left one of these is called Show term and this is where you choose if the semester should be available in My Courses (1). The right column is called Expand term and this is where you choose if the semester should be open showing all the courses in the semester when you open the Home page or if just the name of the semester should be shown (2).

    Check in the column to show or hide and expand or minimize the semester in my courses

    You can drag and drop the semesters in the order you prefer. Here, we have chosen to have them in chronological order. Click and hold the semester you want to move, drag it where you want and release to move it.
  4. Here, we are choosing to show but not expand høst 2016, vår 2017, høst 2017 and vår 2018. We are hiding courses not belonging to a semester (Andre) and we are showing and expanding høst 2018.

    The updated my courses looks like this, only semester høst 2018 is open showing its courses the others are present but closed and can be opened by cliking
  5. On the personalization page you can also choose to show or hide each course whether or not you have chosen to group courses by term. By checking the box for each course, you are choosing if if should be available in the My Courses box or not (3). When you have finished making changes, press Submit (4) to save.

    Choose what semesters should be shown by checking the boxes

See also #

Contact #

Orakel Support Services can help if you have questions or if you encounter difficulties.

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