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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.
Blackboard has always let you customize the look and feel of your course to a point. You can go to Customization > Style, and change the course menu from text to buttons, change the button background colors; that all changes in Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 8 or later. In fact, when I scroll down, I'm going to go to Customization and I want you to notice Style is gone. Technically they smoosh that page into something called Teaching Style, we'll talk about that in the next movie. The reason why Customization Style is less prominent is that Service Pack 8 and Service Pack 9 have a much more powerful and pretty tool called Course Themes.
If your institution is using the new BB Learn 2012 theme and if your institution has enabled this feature, you'll see at the top of the page, up here in the breadcrumb trail, this sort of multicolored fan of color chips. It's to the far right of your course is breadcrumb trail just to the left of Edit mode. Hold your mouse over that or even click on it, and what you'll see are 50 pre-built professional designs you can choose from. I'm going to scroll down here, so I've got by Color, by Design, by Season, by course structure or actually System, and by Subject.
So I'm going to go click on the Chemistry design. What I want you to see is that scenes change your course's background image, your course's menu, and notice that the changes are immediate. I am going to go here and scroll down, click on Lavender, automatic. The big thing to remember is that course themes don't modify your content. Notice that as I make these changes, nothing on the content of my page is actually changing. All you are changing is your course's skin, its look and feel. Only instructors can change the course theme, not students, and currently there is no way for you to design your own theme. You have to use one of the 50 pre-installed themes.
If you ever want to reset this back to normal just click on Default, takes it back to normal. Remember, that some of your students may have vision issues, low vision, colorblindness, and so forth. So make sure that you choose a theme with high contrast. There are actually two other ways to change your course's style, we'll talk about both of those in our next movie.
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