Blackboard – Using the Course Menu

 

blackboard

Instructors can customize the main course navigation menu in their Blackboard course, creating a navigation menu specifically for each course with titles and functions of their choice.

Contents:

The Course Menu explained – (brief overview of the course menu)

Create a Content Area in your course menu – (creates a folder [area] into which you can add content)

Create a Module Page – (creates a button that links to a page for a new course module)

Create a Blank Page – (creates a blank page to add content to)

Create a Tool Link – (creates a link to tools that are available for students to use)

Create a Web Link – (creates a direct link to an external website)

Create a Course Link – (creates a direct link to a document or tool placed somewhere else in the course)

Create a Subheader – (creates a break in the menu that is just a header and not an actual link)

Create a Divider – (creates a horizontal line break on the menu)

Rename, Hide or Delete a course menu item – (how to rename, hide or delete a course menu item)


The Course Menu explained

The Course Menu contains the main navigation links to content in the course – these are normally referred to as Content Areas. The course menu can be found on the left-hand side of your Blackboard course page.

Below is a list of the default course menu content areas within a Blackboard course site and ideas of what can be posted in each area:

  • Announcements – New updates and reminders such as assignment due date, test availability, virtual meetings.
  • Contacts – Instructor’s contact information – email, work phone, office location, office hours, personal web page.
  • Content Areas (Course Information, Course Documents, etc) – A wide-range of content items including: learning materials, lecture notes, presentations.
  • Assignments – Area containing links to assignments, assessments, and tests. Can include electronic submission links and Turnitin submission links.
  • External Links – Links to external learning materials, such as websites.
  • Tools – Tools that are available to Students; such as Course Calendar, Groups, Grades, and Collaboration tools (Blogs, Wikis, Journals), etc.

Editing the Course Menu

Various tools for adding to and editing the Course Menu are located along the top of the Course menu window

controlpanelsp8_1

Further Resources

Download ‘Getting Started with the Course Environment’ PDF


FAQ

Q: If I change the navigation items, will it be permanent?
A: As with many of the other features of Blackboard, the instructor can modify or edit the navigation menu at any time.

Q: What are the benefits of changing the names on the navigation or course menu?
A: Many instructors feel limited by the standard names and areas types. Instructors can customize the titles to names that make more sense for them. For example, instead of “Assignments,” an instructor may want to call the section “Book Reviews” for a literature class, or “Experiments” for a chemistry class.

Q: What are the benefits of adding tools or external links to the menu?
A: In some courses, students spend much of their time online looking at specific websites. Instructors can make a direct link to the site on the navigation menu. For example, a public health class could have a direct link to the National Institute of Health website right on the front page of the course.

Return to the top


Create a Content Area in your course menu

1. Hover over the “+” in the upper left corner of the menu and click on Content Area.

createmenuitem
 
2. A window will popup asking for a name for the content area. Choose if you want to make this link Available to Users (which means Students).
Click Submit when you’re done.
 
newaddcasp8
 
3. Click on the name of your newly created link (which by default will appear at the bottom of your course menu) – from here you can use the Blackboard content creation tools to add materials to this Content Area folder.

Return to the top



Create a Module Page – (creates a button that links to a page for a new course module)

1. Hover over the “+” in the upper left corner of the menu and click on Module Page
2. A window will popup asking for a name for the Module page. Choose if you want to make this link Available to Users.
3. Click Submit once you’re done.

Return to the top


Create a Blank Page – (creates a page on which several content items can be added)

1. Hover over the “+” in the upper left corner of the menu and click on Blank Page.
2. A window will pop up and you need to enter a name for the blank page.
3. Set the availability of the page to users.
4. Click Submit
5. Using the text box editor you can add content to the page.
6. You can choose to attach files to the page and set date/time restrictions for its availability.
7. Click Submit when you are finished.

Return to the top


Create a Tool Link – (creates direct links to function areas, such as Discussion boards, Wikis, Email, Tasks, Groups, etc)

A Tools Area link can be a useful tool. By creating a Tools link, you will make it very easy for students to have access to such tools as Journals, Messages, Calendar, etc.

1. Hover over the + on the top left of the menu. Click on Create Tool Link.

createmenuitem

2. A popup box will appear. Type a Name, this can be ‘Tools’. Choose Tools Area from the Type drop down box. Click on the check box next to Available to Users to make the Tools link available to the students.

newaddtoollinksp8

3. Click on the Submit button.

You will now be able to see your newly created link in your course menu, which by default will appear at the bottom of your course menu. You can reposition the link by highlighting the course menu item, selecting the double-headed arrow which appears on the left of the menu and dragging (hold the left mouse button) to where you want the item to be positioned in the course menu

Return to the top


Create a Course Link – (creates a button that links directly to a document or tool placed somewhere else in the course)

1. Hover over the “+” in the upper left corner of the menu and click on Course Link.
2. Select ‘Browse’ to locate the item in the course. You can also enter a name for this course menu link. This will appear in your course menu.
3. Choose if you want to make this link Available to Users.
4. Click Submit once you’re done.

addcourselinksp8

Return to the top


Create a Web Link – (creates a button that links directly to an external website

1. Hover over the “+” in the upper left corner of the menu and click on Web Link.
2. A window will popup asking for a name for the external link. Type in the full name of the URL. Choose if you want to make this link Available to Users.
3. Click Submitonce you’re done.

addweblink

Return to the top


Create a Subheader – (creates a break on the menu that is just a header and not an actual link)

1. Hover over the “+” in the upper left corner of the menu and click on Create Subheader.
2. A window will popup asking for a name for the subheader.
3. Click Submit once you’re done.

add_subheader
 

Create a Divider – (creates a horizontal line break on the menu, similar to a subheader)

  1. Hover over the “+” in the upper left corner of the menu and click on Create Divider.
  2. A straight line has now been created that you can position wherever you want on the menu.

Return to the top


Rename, Hide or Delete a course menu item

Click on the down arrow, next to an already existing link to rename it, hide it, or delete it.
NOTE: deleting a course menu item will also delete any content that you may have added into this course menu item.

newcontenteditmenusp8

Return to the top