Setting up your Blackboard course

Setting Up Your Blackboard Course
1. When you first open your Blackboard (BB) course shell, it will look something like below, where you are directed
to the generic “tools” menu. This is just a blank course shell, and requires just a bit of time to customize it for
your course.
2. Before you attempt to organize your BB course shell, it is useful to have planned out your course (e.g., written
your course syllabus, planned the schedule, made decisions on assessments, etc.). It is also useful to give some
thought to what sorts of information you should communicate to students in your course. More detail tends to
be necessary if the class is exclusively asynchronous online than when it is a hybrid, synchronous, or traditional
face-to-face class. However, the following are some “tabs” you might create for the students to help them find
your course materials:
 Syllabus
 Schedule
 Course Announcements
 Online Modules
 Final Exam
 Link to Class Archives
 Online Classroom
 Assigned Readings
 Handouts
 My Grades
 Tools
 Blackboard Orientation
 Technical Support
 If you are teaching a completely online class, it is recommended you have a “Start Here” tab that links to
an introductory video and orientation to the course.
3. To restructure your menu, click the “+” sign in the upper left-hand corner and select “add content area”. Name
it and make it available to users.
4. You can add sub-headers and dividers in much the same way.
5. Create menu tabs that are appropriate for your course (see suggestions in #2). Use sub-headers and dividers as
Sample Menu w/ “folders”
Sample Divider
6. Select the “tools” you want your students to have access to. There are quite a few to choose from, but you’ll just
want to have visible those that are relevant for your course. For example, in a course I don’t use discussion
boards, I might just have the following available.
7. To determine which tools are visible to your students, click on “course tools” in the menu and click “hide/show
8. To personalize your course, go click on the “Customization” tab on the Course Management menu. Select
“Teaching Style”.
9. On the Teaching Style page, you can select a variety of settings, including
 Which page you want your students to see when they first log into Blackboard. I usually select
“Announcements”, but that is personal preference. You may even change this around throughout the
 The course theme (e.g., color scheme and background)
The menu style (e.g., whether you want your menu with buttons or just text)
10. Try to structure your course in a clear and orderly fashion. Avoid posting unrelated things on the same page. If
you have multiple videos associated with the same topic, create a folder for that topic and then post the videos
within that folder. To create a content folder, determine which page within the course menu the folder should
go. Select that menu item and then click “Build Content”, “Content Folder”. Name the folder appropriately. Then
you can select that folder and place appropriate documents within it.