Setting Up the Main Page (Instructors)

This document describes how to begin setting up a course within Blackboard: finding the class, managing the menu, and adding a banner.

When you first log in to Blackboard, you will see the "My Biola" page, which looks something like this, and will show you which classes you are associated with:

For help managing your list of courses, or for questions about why a course doesn't show up, see the My Courses page.

The Control Panel

Click on one of the links in "My Courses." You will see the main page for that course. Along the left side, you will see a link for the Control Panel. This is your base of operations for making changes and updates to the course.

Click on that link to take you to the Control Panel.

The Control Panel will look like this:

Control Panel

Use this control panel to set up this one class. If you want to go to another class, click on the “My Biola” tab at the top of the screen to go back to your main page and select another course.

The Course Menu - Changing Menu Items

Each menu item is a folder. By default, blank courses have several empty folders set up for you. We recommend deleting any empty folders you are not using to simplify the menu for your students, except for the Announcements and the Tools - keep at least those two.

To change the menu, go to Control Panel > Manage Course Menu.

manage course menu

There is nothing special about the names of the folders, "Course Documents" and "Assignments" are just suggested defaults. The names you chose depend on how you want to structure your course. You may want to choose names such as "Lectures PPTs," "Readings," "Journals," or "Homework."

There are several types of menu items you can add. The Content Area type is a generic empty folder. In it, you can make more subfolders, add content, or list assignments. The Tool Link and Course Link allow you to make direct links to parts of the course. Making an External Link lets you put a link to any web page in the menu.

To add content into these folders, see Posting Content.

The Course Menu - Changing How it Looks

The course menu sits on the left side of the page. You can change the appearance and content of this menu. The menu might look like either of these:

menu no buttons
Course Menu: Detail View, text view

menu with buttons
Course Menu: Quick View, Buttons

Use the links in the Course Options section of the Control Panel to make changes to the appearance of the menu. I recommend using the Quick View with buttons, rather than text. Here's how to make those changes.

Start with the Course Design > Course Menu Design. You can choose the style and color of the buttons that will appear in the menu. The options look like this:

course menu design

Once you make the changes, click Submit then go back to the course's main web page to see what it looks like. Notice that you can use the navigation guide along the top to easily go back:

Top Navigation

Next, go to Course Design > Manage Menu Display Options. There’s only one option here, and I recommend setting it to look like this:

Course Menu Display

Back to Blackboard Overview.