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Blackboard Help

Configure the User Interface

Administrators can make changes to the setup and style of the Content Collection user interface. These include content areas, tools, and catalog actions. Before customizing the interface, it is best to be able to identify the Content Collection areas and tools. These areas and tools include, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • Content areas, such as My Content and Course Content
  • Tools, such as the Learning Objects Catalog
  • Actions that can be performed on an item, appearing in the action bar of the Content List

To determine the best display options for the Content Collection, consider the user interface elements from the perspective of the affected user groups and Institution standards.

Plan your customization

Institution color

Most institutions have an established identity that includes a set of colors. Blackboard Learn allows for color customization throughout, including the Content Collection Menu. It is recommended to make color selections for all tools at one time, even if you plan on rolling out the use of some tools later. This strategy makes color selection a one-time task.

Highly contrasting colors make text easier to read. If your institution's colors are not easy to read against one another, consider using black or white with the colors.


Consider policy decisions that can affect the use of certain tools on the system. Portal clients can consider making tools available to particular institution roles based on policy decisions and rollout plans for the system.


Consider any regulations that your institution has placed on file-sharing, use of certain types of files due to copyright laws, or hard drive space and availability. Discuss these regulations with interested parties prior to setting up the Content Collection.


When displaying a tool for use, consider any appropriate institution naming conventions. For example, if your institution uses the term Section instead of Course, an appropriate name for that area might be Class Content. If your institution has been growing its Learning Objects Catalog by another name, use that name for the toolbox header and shortcut label.

Customize the action bar

Administrators can customize which actions appear in the action bar on the Content List. Examples include Web Folder/Shared Location, Copy, Remove, and Workflow Activities. Web Folders/Shared Locations is a tool and an action item.

The display of this function on the action bar is selected on the Content List Display Options page. However, system availability of the tool is handled from the Web Folders/Shared Locations link in the Administrator Panel.

More on configuring WebDAV for web folders and shared locations

If Web Folders/Shared Locations are made unavailable on the system, it is good practice to remove that action item from user view on the action bar.

Customize tools and actions

Each type of activity in the Content Collection is considered an action or a tool. An action is performed on an item in the Content Collection, such as copy, move, or remove. A tool is an operation or series of actions, and is displayed in the Content Collection Menu (the left frame of the browser), such as the Learning Objects Catalog.

Tools and actions can be customized and controlled system-wide. To configure the tools available in the Content Collection, go to the Content Management menu on the Administrator Panel.

Enable or disable the Learning Objects Catalog

Enable or disable e-Reserves