Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Customizing a course

From: Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

Video: Customizing a course

Besides letting you set tool availability, under Course Management > Customization, you can also control how students can enroll in your course, choose if guests or observers can access your course, modify your course properties, including the availability and language, and even modify your course's style, including the course entry point in the entry point's banner. Let's look at each of these one by one. I want you to notice that here on the menu, I have got a button with two downward-facing chevrons. In Blackboard that always means more or edit. If I click on it, yup it's more.

Customizing a course

Besides letting you set tool availability, under Course Management > Customization, you can also control how students can enroll in your course, choose if guests or observers can access your course, modify your course properties, including the availability and language, and even modify your course's style, including the course entry point in the entry point's banner. Let's look at each of these one by one. I want you to notice that here on the menu, I have got a button with two downward-facing chevrons. In Blackboard that always means more or edit. If I click on it, yup it's more.

But notice to the right, I have got these two Greater Than signs. And if I click on that, what it does is it takes all of these links that show here beneath Customization, it kind of opens them up on the right and makes it a little easier to see. That's kind of nice. So I am going to click on Enrollment Options. Now, don't be surprised if this doesn't appear on your version of Blackboard, and don't be surprised if you can't change anything on your version of Blackboard. That's actually pretty customary. It turns out that your Blackboard very likely is going to be centrally administered and supported, and it's going to be using some sort of automated course and user provisioning system that's tied to your student information system.

What that means is when a course is created at your institution, a course is automatically created in Blackboard. You don't have to do anything. When a user enrolls in the course in the student information system, that user is automatically enrolled in the course in Blackboard. There's nothing for you to do. That's actually the first setting here, Instructor/System Administrator. That's just basically saying, you know, the system administrator is going to take care of it. The instructor may be able to handle adding one or two students here and there, but let's keep this automated. Some institutions do allow you to have the students contact you and say, can I enroll in the course? Very few do, though, so don't be surprised if this is not available.

Self-enrollment is an option that allows students to enroll in the course. They would actually go into a course catalogue and find it. And then you can choose a start date and end date and even creating an access code that the students would need to enter to enroll in the course. Don't be surprised if all of these features don't work on your system. That's just because your system is more tightly integrated in a student information System than you had imagined. Check with your help desk to see what your institution's enrollment practices are. Now, let's talk about Guest and Observer Access and tell you why Guest and Observer Access isn't what you think it is.

A guest is someone who is not directly participating in the course. Unfortunately, on Blackboard there's no such thing as a guest student or guest instructor. For a guest student to be able to get into Blackboard and be able to do what a student can do, they have to be a student. For a guest instructor to get into Blackboard and do what an instructor can do, they need to be an instructor. So my recommendation is, before you change any of these, check with your help desk to see what your institution's practices are for having guests in your course. There might be some process that allow somebody to become a real guest student.

Guest is just someone who comes in the course and can only see a few things and not really interact with those things. Observers have even fewer options. Observers are someone who follows a specific user in a Blackboard course without actually interacting with Blackboard. Observers observe a student, not a course. Again, check with your helpdesk. They might be able to tell you how you can get guests in your course. Guest and Observer Access is just not the place to do it. The next thing I want to talk about is Properties.

Now, I've got to be honest. Many of these things in Properties are also going to be disabled. You might see it. But most institutions are not going to allow you to change your course name. They're not going to allow you to reclassify your course. However, they will let you make your course available or not available. Right now, this course is available to students, but if I click on No and then scroll down and click on Submit, I want you to see what happens. I am going to go back to My Institution homepage, and you are going to see that my course is unavailable. Unavailable doesn't mean that I can't get into it.

It doesn't mean that the course doesn't exist; it exists. It's just not available to students. Now, a lot of instructors choose to hide Blackboard courses from the students until the instructor is ready to make the course available. This gives you the time to prep the course in private, and some institutions also hide courses from their students after the end of an academic term, or year. So, to make a course available, once it is unavailable, scroll down. I am going to click on the Customization, go over to the right, click on Properties, and then I can make the course available here.

Setting the Duration usually is done automatically by your system. Same with categorizing courses. The last thing on this actually is kind of cool, is a Language Pack. Now, depending on what your system administrator has done, there may be different languages that are built into Blackboard, and you can actually change Blackboard so that it displays its interface within your course in that language instead of the default system language, which is usually English. So you could, if the language pack exists on the system, change your course so that all the menus and all the instructions are in Japanese, or in Korean, or in French, absolutely easy to do.

The big thing to remember is that if you go in and add content, your content is not going to be translated. This only is going to translate the interface, not the content that you have created. I am not going to worry about course files. I am just going to click on Submit. So, that's Properties. So, we have done Enrollment Options. We've done Guest and Observer Access. We've done Properties. Let's talk really quickly about Style. The big thing on the Style is the Style lets you play around with the Course menu. You can change it from being displayed as text, which is sort of a preview right here, or I can have a display as buttons.

There is a button library here. I can choose different buttons and I want to put onto the page. I can, if I want to keep this as Text, change the Background Color and the Text Color. We are not just changing it for me here, I am changing it for all students in the course. When the students get into the Course menu, the Course menu by default is going to show it's a list view--that's the view that we see here--but I could make it so that it's going to be a folder view as a default view, and I can allow or not allow both views. I usually leave this one alone. The Default Content View, when I get into a content area, do I want to have a little icon on the left side of each item, or do I just want to have text only? That's completely up to you.

You can set this now if you want. The Course Entry Point is the first page that students see when they enter your course. So let me give you an example. We've got the Course Entry Point here set as the Home Page. If I go back now to the homepage of the course, the course entry point, you are going to notice that it's this homepage with all these modules. I can, if I want to, change that to some other page. So, the first page that students see when they get into my course is not going to be the homepage. In fact, let me do something. We are going to go create a new Tool link.

I am going to call it Announcements. I am going to make it available to users. Click on Submit. I have now created a new Announcements page. It actually is the Announcements tool. You can drag this now up. It could be anywhere on the Course menu. Let's go back now to Customization because I want to show you how you can change the course entry point. I am going to click on Style, I am going to scroll down, and it's going to say, okay, what is the entry point for your course? And I can actually now make it Announcements. So my recommendation is, if you want to change your course entry point, before you go and delete the homepage, create a new entry point, be it Announcements, be it some sort of tool, don't point to the grayed center, don't point to some external web site because you don't know if that web site is going to be up and running.

It's got to be something within Blackboard that exists already. Announcements is a pretty good alternative. Most instructors choose either Home Page or Announcements. Last thing you can do here is you can actually go and add a banner. In fact, I've got a banner in the exercise files. I am going to browse My Computer and up on the Desktop, in the exercise files, I have got a banner image, and that banner image is going to show up at the top of the course entry point. I am going to click on Submit. It's going to upload those files. And let me show you, if now go to my course homepage, it's no longer the course homepage.

My course homepage is this page with a banner that I just added to my web site. Let me show it to you again. We get into the course through My Courses and instead of landing on the Home tab, which is still there on the Home Page, it opens up to Announcements. If I ever want to change that back, in fact, I'm going to right now, go to Customization, click on Style, scroll down and choose Home Page, and then click on Submit. So, besides letting you set tool availability, under Course Management > Customization, you can control how students can enroll in your course, you can choose if students or observers can access your course, you can modify your course properties, including the availability and language, and you can modify your course style, including the course entry point and the entry point's banner.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

84 video lessons · 11813 viewers

Patrick Crispen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.