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Blackboard Help

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 click Teaching Style to access course style options.

Select a Course Structure

Course structures contain course areas, optional content examples, and instructions to help you design your course. Click 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 so you have an original version before adding a course structure. Alternatively, request an empty course for experimenting with course structures.

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

To select a course structure:

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and click 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. Click 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.
  3. Choose a course structure and click Use This Structure to select it. Your chosen 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.

  4. After selecting a course structure, the Include content examples check box is revealed. Click 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.

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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.

Select 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 choosing an available area from the drop-down list. Available entry points are all the areas appearing on the course menu.

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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.

Watch a Tutorial

Double-click the video to enlarge the viewing area.

Apply Themes

If your institution uses the Bb Learn 2012 system theme, you can choose 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 choose 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.

If your institution has made themes unavailable, 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_14/Instructor/050_Course_Customization/030_Course_Style_Options/button_theme_choose.png ) icon to view all the available course themes, and click one to select it. Scroll through the theme preview box and click a theme.

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

Select 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.

Click 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. You can also provide a hexadecimal color value. Click a color, and then click Apply.

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

  • Button Type: From the drop-down list, click Pattern, Solid, or Striped.
  • Button Shape: From the drop-down list, click 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.

Set 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.

Select a Banner

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

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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 in the main folder.

A recommended size for banners is approximately 480 by 80 pixels. When choosing 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 be sure that it appears as intended.