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Blackboard Help

Express

End of Support for Express ends in July 2017. End of Life for Express ends July 2018.

Just as with the other themes available, for Express you need to configure the theme settings, select the theme to be used across devices, and set any theme-specific configurations. The Express theme also includes the Express block for your site. With the Express block, you can customize your Express theme, create design templates, determine your menus, and icons.


Features and benefits

Using the Express theme provide you enhanced branding capabilities to allow both basic and advanced users with tools to completely customize the appearance of their site, course categories, and courses. Express places the branding power in the client’s hands and provides the following benefits:

  • Access to dynamic information about users and courses
  • Ability to change appearance with and without advanced coding skills
  • Creation of templates that can be selected or have their colors altered by an instructor at the course level
  • Real-time updates to the branding and appearance
  • Site-wide templates for consistent site-wide look and feel, with personal touches at the department or course level
  • Easy-to-modify dynamic/drop-down navigational menus

Enable the Express theme for your institution

Steps: Administration > Site administration > Appearance > Themes > Theme selector > Change theme > Express

To select the Express theme, log in as a user with site administration privileges.

  1. From Site administration select Appearance.
  2. Select Themes and Theme Selector.
  3. Select Change theme in the Default Device box.
  4. Scroll to the Express theme.
  5. Select Use theme.
  6. Set the Express theme for any other devices.

    Change the theme for Mobile and Tablet devices.

  7. Select Continue.
  8. Select Clear theme caches to ensure the site has been refreshed

Configure the Express theme settings

Steps: Administration > Site administration > Appearance > Themes > Express

You can begin to create the design and the layout of your website once you enable the Express theme.

  1. From Site Administration select Appearance.
  2. Select Themes and Express.
  3. Change any of the Express theme configurations:
    • Determine whether or not you will be using custom user profile fields in the Express design files from the Allow User Custom Profile Fields box.

      The default is No, but when set to Yes, the Express system will match up the uppercase version of your custom profile field information.

    • Determine whether or not you will be including the list of a student's class in the design using the Allow My Courses box.

      If set to Yes, the variables %MYCOURSES% and %MYCOURSESYUI% will be available to the design. The default value is No.

    • Determine whether or not you will be including the list of course activities in the design using the Allow Course Activities Custom Menu box.

      If set to Yes, the variable %COURSEACTIVITIESYUI% will be available to the design. The default value is No.

    • Determine whether or not to use Custom Javascript and where in the design.

      Options include Header, Footer, or No Javascript.

    • Determine how the menus will be set across the Express design in the Menu Inheritance box. Options include the following:

      Site only (default) - Only the site displays menus.

      All Site - All levels show the site menus.

      Unique - Each level has its own menus.

      Inherit - Courses inherit all parent categories and site menus, as do sub-categories.

    • Determine whether the menu system (Flexpage's page menu) or Express (default) should be used if both are present in a course from the Page Tabs Variable Display box.

      This option only applies if a client has purchased Flexpage.

    • Determine whether or not to Use Express CSS.

      Blackboard recommends leaving the default of Yes. If set to No, then the default CSS that Express applies and the plugin CSS will not be applied to the site.

  4. Select Save changes when finished.

Express designs

With the Express theme, you are provided with branding capabilities for both basic and advanced users with tools to completely customize the appearance of the institution's site, course categories, and courses. With the Express theme, the Express block is added to your institution site, and you have more control of design of your website over any other Moodle/Joule theme.

More on Express designs


Express design common variables

Express design variables are used to dynamically add information to the Express design files, such as header.html, footer.html and core.css. When the Express theme loads an Express design file, the variables are replaced with the data from Moodle that they represent.

More on Express design common variables