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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
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Adding new menu items


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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

with Patrick Crispen

Video: Adding new menu items

As I mentioned in the last movie, this is your Course menu. You can customize this thing to your heart's content. You may actually from time to time want to add new items. For example, in the last movie I renamed Information as Syllabus, and then I deleted it. Let's add Information back to our Course menu. So to add a new Content menu item, make sure Edit Mode is clicked on. Remember, if Edit Node is off, you are in Student Node, and just as students can't make changes to your course, when Edit mode is off, you are locked out. But if Edit mode is on, you can proceed.
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  1. 7m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
    3. What is an LMS?
      4m 15s
    4. Understanding Blackboard 9.X versions and campus customizations
      1m 52s
  2. 28m 38s
    1. The new graphical user interface
      5m 53s
    2. Exploring course-to-course navigation
      2m 20s
    3. Using course themes
      2m 15s
    4. Looking at course structures and the Quick Setup Guide
      6m 56s
    5. Using new and improved assessments
      7m 24s
    6. Looking at temporary obstacles and workarounds
      2m 36s
    7. Finding more Blackboard information
      1m 14s
  3. 26m 27s
    1. Logging in to Blackboard
      2m 9s
    2. Accessing your course and uploading files
      5m 40s
    3. Creating announcements
      4m 15s
    4. Sending emails
      4m 57s
    5. Viewing your roster
      3m 50s
    6. Downloading the Grade Center
      3m 17s
    7. Setting course availability
      2m 19s
  4. 14m 9s
    1. Understanding the tabs and sub-tabs
      5m 51s
    2. Working with modules
      3m 25s
    3. Personalizing the My Institution page
      1m 40s
    4. Editing the My Courses module
      3m 13s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding the course layout and breadcrumbs
      5m 13s
    2. Toggling the Edit Mode
      1m 26s
    3. Hiding and unhiding the Course Menu
      1m 9s
    4. Touring the Control Panel
      4m 50s
  6. 23m 53s
    1. Renaming, reorganizing, and deleting
      4m 58s
    2. Adding new menu items
      6m 4s
    3. Managing tools
      3m 40s
    4. Customizing a course
      9m 11s
  7. 16m 17s
    1. Viewing the course roster
      4m 55s
    2. Enrolling students and others
      7m 31s
    3. Why not to unenroll
      3m 51s
  8. 53m 34s
    1. Organizing content into folders
      5m 24s
    2. Uploading files
      11m 49s
    3. Using the Text Editor
      6m 19s
    4. Inserting a multimedia file
      9m 56s
    5. Linking to an external web resource
      4m 25s
    6. Linking to an internal course file
      6m 3s
    7. Making content available to students
      2m 2s
    8. Using the Content Collection
      3m 35s
    9. Copying and moving content
      4m 1s
  9. 24m 24s
    1. Exploring how students view course grades
      4m 1s
    2. Optimizing the Grade Center
      1m 36s
    3. Changing the default letter grading schema
      4m 24s
    4. Creating score columns
      6m 37s
    5. Entering grades
      5m 19s
    6. Viewing grade histories
      2m 27s
  10. 56m 19s
    1. Creating text columns
      3m 1s
    2. Managing columns
      4m 52s
    3. Creating grading periods
      5m 34s
    4. Creating categories
      5m 42s
    5. Dropping scores in the Grade Center
      9m 3s
    6. Weighting grades in the Grade Center
      6m 4s
    7. Downloading grades and editing in Excel
      7m 51s
    8. Uploading student grades
      4m 29s
    9. Changing grades
      3m 37s
    10. Changing a final grade
      6m 6s
  11. 16m 26s
    1. Creating assignments
      6m 22s
    2. Downloading assignments
      5m 16s
    3. Grading assignments
      4m 48s
  12. 37m 51s
    1. Best practices for using online assessments
      4m 21s
    2. Creating an empty test and choosing the Question Settings
      5m 29s
    3. Creating multiple choice questions
      7m 57s
    4. Creating true/false questions
      2m 48s
    5. Creating essay or short answer questions
      4m 5s
    6. Creating fill-in-the-blanks questions
      3m 39s
    7. Creating opinion scale/Likert questions
      5m 51s
    8. Reusing questions
      3m 41s
  13. 30m 28s
    1. Setting test availability and deploying the test
      13m 13s
    2. Assisting students with common testing obstacles
      8m 16s
    3. Viewing the student results
      6m 40s
    4. Reviewing the differences between surveys and tests
      2m 19s
  14. 16m 43s
    1. Sending emails
      6m 20s
    2. Creating announcements
      7m 14s
    3. Using the Course Calendar
      3m 9s
  15. 33m 15s
    1. Creating discussion forums and threads
      13m 1s
    2. Facilitating discussions
      9m 32s
    3. Moderating forums
      3m 36s
    4. Rating posts
      2m 47s
    5. Grading discussions
      4m 19s
  16. 9m 2s
    1. Creating groups
      7m 57s
    2. Adding members to groups
      1m 5s
  17. 4m 32s
    1. Next steps
      4m 32s

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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
6h 52m Beginner Jun 30, 2011 Updated Oct 09, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Patrick Crispen teaches the ins and outs of Blackboard 9 so that educators and trainers can get up to speed in the system quickly—even if they've never used Blackboard before. The course explores customizing a course site, managing users, and adding and organizing content, including multimedia. It also shows how to perform student assessments in the Grade Center, as well as how to communicate with students and encourage participation and collaboration.

Topics include:
  • Accessing a course
  • Creating announcements
  • Viewing the roster
  • Working with modules
  • Adding new menu items
  • Enrolling students and others
  • Making content available to students
  • Entering grades
  • Downloading and editing grades in Excel
  • Creating assignments and collecting papers
  • Creating online tests
  • Adding discussion forums and groups
Subjects:
Elearning Teacher Tools Education Educational Technology Higher Education LMS
Software:
Blackboard
Author:
Patrick Crispen

Adding new menu items

As I mentioned in the last movie, this is your Course menu. You can customize this thing to your heart's content. You may actually from time to time want to add new items. For example, in the last movie I renamed Information as Syllabus, and then I deleted it. Let's add Information back to our Course menu. So to add a new Content menu item, make sure Edit Mode is clicked on. Remember, if Edit Node is off, you are in Student Node, and just as students can't make changes to your course, when Edit mode is off, you are locked out. But if Edit mode is on, you can proceed.

Make sure also that you are in the list view here in the menu-- you can do that with the first button-- and click or hover your mouse over this Plus sign in the top left-hand corner of the Course menu. You're going to see that you have several options. First one is to create a content area. This is a top-level folder that contains all of your course materials. You can have multiple content areas. In fact, I've seen people create course content areas based on content type like handouts, readings, assignments.

I have seen people create content areas by subject, behavioral theories, developmental theories, cognitive theories. Just to remember, these content areas are top-level folders, the sort of highest- level folders you've got. It's a way for you to organize your course content, give you easy navigation to that content. Less content areas is actually good idea. You can add folders within a content area to add future structure, and we'll talk more about that later. Also, note that you can create a new content area today, now, or pretty much any other menu item, and hide it from your students until you're ready to show it.

In this case, let's create a new content area. It's going to ask me for the name. We will create a name of Information. And do I want this to be visible to the students yet? Yeah, sure. I am going to click on Submit. When I click on Submit, it goes and adds it to the bottom of the Course menu. I can then click on the up and down arrows to the left of that item and drag it to wherever I want to put it. And that's how to add a new content area, a new content folder. I now have an Information content folder in which I can start building content.

That goes along with the content folder that was already there. I also have the ability, if I want to, to go and add additional things to my Course menu. I can add a blank page. Now a blank page is a single file so important that you need it to appear not in a content area but as a clickable link on the Course menu. That might be your syllabus or the honor code or something like that. A tool link is a link to a course tool, like the announcements page, the discussion board, the course calendar.

If you're going to be sending your students lots of email, let me give you a tip. I would add a link to the Email tool and hide it. It's going to be available to you but not to your students, and it's going to save you several clicks. Let me show you that. I will click on the Tool Link. Now, I am just going to call this Email, and I am going to choose Email. And I am not going to make this available to my users. It is going to be available to me. So, now any time I log in to my course, there at the bottom of my Course menu is a link to the Email tool. It's going to save me a couple of clicks.

I also have the ability here to add a course link. A course link is a shortcut to an existing item, area, or tool within your course. So if I want a link to a folder in a content area and I kind of want to make that now a top-level folder, I can link to that. An external link is a link to, well, an external web site. What you are going to do here is you type in whatever the address is, probably cut and paste it would be a better idea. But I am going to do lynda.com, type http://, and I am going to see, do I want my users to be able to click on this link today? I click on Submit and say Yes.

I really strongly recommend that your Course menu have at least one customizable external link. In fact, one of the things that I do in my course web sites is I have a link to the institution's honor code. This is an idea that I got from the University of Texas. This is a great way for me to ask my students, when they contact me and say, "I can't get into any content in the course," it's usually because they have hidden the Course menu. I can say, okay, over on the left- hand side of the page, do you see a link to lynda.com, or in this case, do you see a link to the honor code of the university? When the students say, no, I say okay, you've hidden the Course menu. Click on the Greater Than sign and that actually gets it back.

So it's a good troubleshooting tip there. I have the ability also, besides creating an external link, I can create a module page. Module page is really just a page that has a whole bunch of modules. In fact, your Course homepage is a module page. When you create a new module page though, you are creating a blank page. You'll need to add the modules one by one, and now you can see why I told you not to delete your Course homepage menu quite yet. A subheader is really just text. It's not clickable, but it's helpful information.

So, I can say, "Nice web site." And it's basically just a little subheader there under lynda.com that shows the students what it is. A much easier way I've seen a lot of other people do this instead is instead of having that little sort of subheader is they create dividers. A divider is a horizontal line that could be added to group your menu items. So I might want to add this horizontal rule, and I am going to have a horizontal rule here for Tools, Help, Email.

So, I am separating my content from my help and other tools available, so that's just a divider. Remember, each time you add a menu item, it appears at the bottom of the Course menu, drag it to where you want to put it. In the next movie, we will talk about customizing the tools that are available to your students.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors.


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Q: This course was updated on 10/09/2012. What changed?
A: This update adds 7 new movies in the "What's New in Blackboard 9.x SP8 and SP9," on topics such as course themes, new and improved assessments, and other new features found in service packs 8 and 9.
 
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