The Control Panel
Most tools can be created using one of two approaches:
- Create a content area and build the tool using the Add Interactive Tool menu
- Build the tool using the Tools link in the control panel, then link to it in a content area or on the course menu
The control panel is the blue menu structure immediately below the course menu on the left side of your screen. While you can always see this panel, even while viewing with edit mode off, the student never sees the control panel.
You have access to the following through the control panel:
Each of these links will be explained in more detail in later portions of this help guide. Here, we're primarily concerned with content collection.
The content collection area
Create Course menu Links
You can add links of various types to the course menu:
Create a Content Area Link
The Create Blank Page box looks exactly the same as that for Add Content Area
Create a Tool Link
Add a Course Link
Add an External Link
Module Pages, Subheaders and dividers
The Control Panel
The Course Menu
The course menu can be used to structure your course. You can use the course menu as the fundamental navigation component of a course, you can set up your course to primarily use the content frame and use the menu for peripheral, or you can create any combination of menu and content area designs that suit your course subject, structure, and teaching approach.
You can manage the course menu using the menu’s Create item function (A):
By right-clicking on the sign, you can access the drop-down menu of items (B) that you may add to your course menu. You can add the following menu items:
A frame that allows you to build various types of content, add assessments, or add tools to your course
Displays content similar to a web link, and also allows you to attach content files
A link to one of the available tools in the course (e.g. a wiki, blog, or discussion board)
A link to another part of the course
A link to external content on the web
A link to selected modules, this is structured in the same way as the default course home page
A navigation aid for a subset of course components
A line that separates menu items
You can also change the way you view the course menu and edit using the the following items:
|cc||add a menu link|
|Display the course menu as a list|
|Display the course menu as folders|
|Display the menu as a free-floating window that can be repositioned|
|refresh your view of the course menu to ensure it displays all changes|
|Open a window that allows you to reorder items|
The Blackboard Interface
When you log in to Bb Learn you will see the My Institution tab (Fig. 1 below). This page contains a set of Modules that display information of various types. The My Courses (A) module lists all the courses to which you have access.
The My Institution tab also contains the following modules:
B. Tools – view announcements, calendar dates, task reminders from instructors, and grades for courses in which you are enrolled. Also, send email to all members of courses in which you are enrolled.
C. My Announcements – displays announcements for courses in which you are enrolled. It may also contain announcements from your institution’s system administrator.
There are a number of optional modules that you can add to your institution homepage. The screenshot below illustrates:
D. My Calendar lists all instructors’ calendar entries for all courses in which a student is enrolled. Private entries are added using the Calendar link in the Tools Panel.
E. My Tasks list tasks for all courses in which a student is enrolled. Personal tasks are added using the Tasks link in the Tools Panel.
Personalize (F) allows customization of the page’s color theme. Color theme visible to user only.
Modules can be added to or deleted from the My Institution home page.
A module that does not have an “X” in the top right-hand corner cannot be deleted from the home page, all others can. For example, the tools module shown in figure 1 above cannot be removed from the My Institution home page, but My Tasks can.
Modules can be moved around on the My Institution home page. To move a module, mouse over it until the symbol appears (fig. 5), then click, hold, and drag the module its desired location (fig. 6).
The Blackboard foundations session introduces you to the structure and organization of blackboard Learn and provides detailed instructions on how to navigate the system, add content, set up tools for use in your course, and also provides information on best practices for organizing content and optimizing your files and system to circumvent common technology problems.
Session Learning Objectives
Upon session completion, you will be able to:
- Navigate the Bb Learn interface
- Identify and utilize the main features of the Course Home Page
- Add files to your course through the content collection area
- Add course menu links for specific purposes
- Add content to your course
- Modify your course menu
- Set the student entry page to your course
- Post an announcement
- Send messages and email from Bb Learn
- Use best practices to mitigate common problems encountered when using Bb Learn
Move on to The Blackboard Interface
Barnes & Noble Nook Study
Nook Study is a free e-reader application for both PC and Mac that allows you to read purchased digital texts on your desktop computer or laptop, make annotations, highlights, create notes, and tag key paragraphs and passages.
You can also create course folders to help you organize e-textbooks, notes, and related electronic documents for different courses.
Features and Benefits
Download the app and 1) as a student, try their free titles and test out the study and organization tools; 2) as an instructor test out the Blackboard integration.
You should note that Nookstudy is an application for your desktop or laptop, it is NOT designed for use on the nook reading tablet.
Required Operating Systems
|XP, Vista, or Windows7||ccccc||OS 10.6 or higher|
Check the FAQs for additional important information related to this tool.
Post an Announcement in Your Course
Announcements will appear in the Announcements module on your institution home page and on the course home page (if the default home page is retained). You can also designate announcements as the home page if you so desire. You can also opt to email announcements to each individual in the course. This option uses the uab.edu email address imported in the course roster.
Send an Email to your Course Roster
The email tool sends an email to designated class participants from your uab.edu account to the participants’ uab.edu accounts. The message does not reside in blackboard, it is sent from Outlook or other email client, and responses to that email will come into your email client inbox.
If you use this feature, you may want to create a folder for you course in your email client and set up a rule to drop email from course members into that folder. This will help you organize emails from several different courses. You can select from the following lists or select individual users
Upload Your Syllabus
On the course home page, on the top left corner of the page, you will see a list of links similar to the image below. This is the course menu. To add a link to your syllabus in the course menu:
Click on the syllabus link to access the content area you have created and you will see this set of menus across the top of the content frame:
On this page:
At this point, just ignore the Standard Options listed under "2." and hit submit. You’ll then see this screen, with Blackboard helpfully telling you that you have succeeded in your quest:
And it speaks the turhth, you have now successfully uploaded your syllabus. For the skeptics among us, we can confirm using that students can access what we've uploaded using the Edit Mode OFF view:
The syllabus is loaded. A couple other useful features allow you to communicate with students: email, and Announcements.
Let's look at email first.
The Course Home Page
Now we're at your course home page. If you've never edited any item in a course shell before, you'll see this view, containing 3 major components:
- The course menu
- The content frame
- The control panel
Click here if you want to learn more about the course home page. But, if you just have some very specific needs, we'll address some essentials here:
IF all you want to do is….
Click on on any of the above to get started.