Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Setting Course Style Options

Style options control the appearance, theme, course menu style and layout, content appearance, course entry point, and the banner image for a course. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Teaching Style to access course style options.

Selecting a Course Structure

Course structures contain course areas, optional content examples, and instructions to help you design your course. Select a structure to view its description and preview of what its menu looks like when added to a course. You can opt to include content examples when adding a course structure to your course.

A selected course structure's content is added to your course and does not replace existing course menu items and content. You can edit and delete course structure content in the same way as other created or imported content. Before you begin, export or archive your course to ensure you have an original version before adding a course structure, or request an empty course for experimenting with course structures.

To select a course structure:

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Teaching Style.
  2. On the Teaching Style page, in the Select Course Structure section, the left column displays all course structures in a scrollable list. Select different course structures to browse their descriptions and course menus. In the preview, you can click a course menu link to learn the purpose of that item in the course structure.

    If the Select Course Structure section is not visible, your school has disabled it.

  3. Decide on a course structure and click Use This Structure to select it. Your selected course structure is indicated by a green check mark at the top of the course structure selection tool.

    To revert, click Existing Menu in the course structures' list and click Use This Structure. No changes are made to your course if Existing Menu is selected.

  4. After selecting a course structure, the Include content examples check box is revealed. Select it to add content items and instructions as well as the course structure's menu links. If you do not include content examples, only menu links are added to your course.
  5. Click Submit to add the course structure content to your course. Click Cancel to exit without adding a course structure.

    Image illustrating associated text

Including content examples populates the course structure with content items appropriate for the course structure type. The content examples are intended to be guidelines for creating your own content. The sample content is unavailable so that students cannot view it. If you decide to use the content examples, edit them to fit your course and make the items available to users.

To learn more about the different course structures, see Using Course Structures.

Selecting the Course Entry Point

The Course Entry Point is the first area users see upon entering your course. The default course entry point is the Home Page and contains modules that alert students to activity in your course. You can change the entry point by selecting an available area from the drop-down list. Available entry points are all the areas appearing on the course menu.

Changing the entry point takes effect immediately for users who log in to the system after the change. Users who are in the system when the change takes place will see the new entry point the next time they log in again.

Applying Themes

If your school uses the Bb Learn 2012 system theme, you can select a course theme from this page. Course themes add a background image to the course display and change the color of the menu, buttons, and controls. Use the scrollable list to select the appropriate course theme from the thumbnail sample images. You can change the theme again at any time. Themes do not affect course content or a chosen course structure.

Themes are available only if your school has enabled them. If themes are not available, the course themes icon does not appear.

Alternatively, you can change course themes from anywhere in your course using the Change Course Theme function. Point to the ( File:en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/030_Course_Options/Setting_Course_Style_Options/button_theme_choose.png ) icon to view a drop-down list showing all the available course themes, and click one to select it. Scroll through the theme preview box and select a theme.

The course theme changes immediately to the new choice. To change the theme, select another.

Selecting the Menu Style

This setting determines whether the course menu appears as plain text with a colored background or as graphical buttons with text on them. When choosing menu colors, select colors for the background and text that display a high level of contrast to ensure readability and accessibility.

As you make choices in the Select Menu Style section, the Preview sample menu shows what the settings will look like once submitted.

Select Text and choose the background color and text color by accessing the contextual menu to access the color swatches. A large palette of preset colors is available, or you can provide a hexadecimal color value. Select a color and click Apply.

Select Buttons and expand the Button Library to choose from the following options:

  • Button Type: From the drop-down list, select Pattern, Solid, or Striped.
  • Button Shape: From the drop-down list, select Rounded Corners, Rectangular, or Rounded Ends.
  • Button Color: Optionally, to narrow the available choices, type a color or button name and click Search.

As you select each option, the buttons in the Button Library change to reflect the current choices. Click a button in the library to select it.

Setting the Course Menu Display Option

In the Course Menu Display section, two menu layouts are available: Folder View and List View. You can set the default menu view and allow users to access one or both views, meaning users can switch between them.

  • Folder View displays course materials as a directory tree. You can expand the view to show the hierarchy of course navigation.
  • List View displays the top level of course materials. You can choose to display links as buttons or text.

Setting the Default Content View

The Default Content View setting determines how content items appear in folders when users access the course for the first time.

  • Icon Only displays content items as titled icons with no descriptions.
  • Text Only displays content items as titles with short text descriptions only.
  • Icon and Text, the default option, displays titled icons with descriptions.

Changing the default content view affects only new content areas. To change all existing pages as well, select the check box to Apply this view to all existing content.

Selecting a Banner

You can add a banner image to appear at the top of the course entry point. The banner image is automatically centered.

Use Browse My Computer to locate an image file on your computer. You cannot use images stored in Content Collection or Course Files; however, a copy is stored there with each new upload. If you delete the image from the course entry page, the image file remains in the course storage repository.

A recommended size for banners is approximately 480 by 80 pixels. When selecting a banner image, keep in mind that users can resize their browser windows, expand and collapse the course menu, and use monitors of varying sizes and screen resolutions. After you upload a banner, view it under those varying conditions to ensure that it appears as intended.