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Blackboard Help

Managing the Course Catalog

The course catalog groups courses into categories. When a course is assigned to a category, it automatically appears in the course catalog.

You can use categories and subcategories to create a catalog hierarchy that matches the departmental structure of your school.

For example, the History category might have numerous subcategories, including Ancient History and World History. The World History category might contain African History, American History, Asian History, and European History. The American History category might contain North America and South America categories.


>World History
>>American History
>>>North America
>>>South America

You can have multiple categories with the same name. However, the category ID must be unique. For example, every top level category can have a subcategory with a category name of Advanced Courses and a category ID of adv_01, adv_02, adv_03 and so on.

How to View Subcategories

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Courses section, click Course Catalog.
  2. Click the name of the parent category. The next level of the hierarchy appears.
  3. Continue clicking category names to drill down through the levels.
    • To return to a higher category, click its name in the hierarchy path. For example, if the hierarchy path displays Top Level > Language Arts > Comparative Literature > Myths and Legends, click Language Arts to return to the second level.
    • To return to the top level, click the Top Level link in the hierarchy path.

How to Create or Edit a Category

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Courses section, click Course Catalog.
  2. Click Create Category. The following table describes the available fields. [r] indicates a required field.
    Category Available Fields
    Field Description
    Create/Edit Category
    Category Display Name[r] Provide a name for the category. The category name does not have to be unique. For example, you can have three categories called Advanced Courses. You can change category names at any time.
    Category ID [r] Provide a category ID. The category ID must be unique within Blackboard Learn. For example, if you have three categories called Advanced Courses, create three different category IDs, such as adv_01, adv_02, and adv_03.

    Category IDs can contain numbers, letters, hyphens (-), underscores (_), and periods (.). All other characters, including spaces, are prohibited.

    You cannot change category IDs after they have been set.

    Description Provide a detailed description of the category.
    Display Category on Top in Catalog View Select this check box to display the category on the first page of the course catalog.
    Availability Select Yes to make the category available to courses throughout Blackboard Learn. Select No to make the category unavailable.

    To If you selected Everyone, skip to the next step. If you selected Specific Roles, in the Items to Select list, select the roles to make this module available to. Click the right-pointing arrow to move the items into the Selected Items list. To reverse the selection in either box, click Invert Selection.

    Image illustrating associated text

    1. Make this category available to all users (Everyone) or restrict access by user's institution role (Selected Roles).
    2. If you are restricting access by role, click a role to select it. Then click the arrow to move it to the other list.
  3. Click Submit.

How to Enable or Disable the Course Catalog Link on the Start Page

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Security section, click Gateway Options.
  2. In the Gateway Functionality section, select one of the following options:
    • Disable: Removes the link to the course catalog from the user start page.
    • Enable: Includes a link to the course catalog on the user start page.
    • External Catalog URL: Includes a link to an external catalog rather than the Blackboard Learn course catalog. Provide the full URL, including http.