This article explains the 5 things that all professors typically need to do when setting up a new Blackboard course:

  1. Ensure the edit mode is set to ON
  2. Add navigation links or buttons
  3. Add content
  4. Set the course entry point and change look of navigation links if desired
  5. Make the course available

  1. Verify that the edit mode is turned ON.  (Note: The Student Preview tool is also located in this area. It is the symbol next to Edit Mode. When selected, it shows the course the way it will be presented to students.)

    Course Page with Edit Mode as On and Eye Symbol circled.
  2. Add the necessary navigation links. The two most common types of links are Tool Links and Content Area links. The steps for creating each type of link is similar.

    1. To create a Tool Link, click on the + sign as shown below.

    Course menu with + sign circled.

    2. Choose Add Tool Link:

      • Type in a name for the tool (Often the same name as they type of tool, e.g. the announcement link would typically be labeled "Announcements.")
      • Make sure to select the proper tool Type.
      • Select the box next to Available to Users.
      • Click the Submit button.     

    Add Tool Link window with Name and Type text boxes and Availablity check box circled

    Creating a Content Area link is similar to adding a tool link.

    1. To create a Content Area, click on the + sign as shown below.

    Course menu with + sign circled.

     2. Choose Add Content Area:

      • Type in a name for the content area.
      • Select the box next to Available to Users.
      • Choose the Submit button.

    Add Content Area window with Name text box and Availablity circled.

     Notice the new tool link and content area link shown in the screenshot below.

    Course menu with New Test Tool and New Test Content circled.

  3. Add content to the course content area(s). To begin adding content to the course, follow these steps:

    1. Go to the content area where the content will be added and choose the file type. In this example, Item is chosen.

      Content area with Item circled on drop-down list under Build Content tab.

    2. Give the item a name, a description if desired, and browse your computer or the content collection in Blackboard to add the item attachment. (For more information on the content collection, go to this page.)

      Add Item page with Name and Description and Browse My Computer circled.

    3. Finally, cSubmit.

  4. Set the course entry point by completing the following steps:

    1. Under the Control Panel, select Customization, then Teaching Style.

    2. Choose the course Entry Point from the drop-down list, then choose Submit. (Note: Only links that contain content and are not hidden appear in the drop-down list.) NEVER choose Get Help as the course entery point. This is an external URL and will cause a n infinite loop.

      Blackboard Control Panel with Teaching Style and Course Entry Point circled.


    The option for changing text links to buttons is also located under the Teaching Style section.

    1. Go to Control Panel
    2. Select Customization
    3. Go to Teaching Styles
    4. Go to Select Menu Style, and select Buttons. Choose the type and color of button desired, then click submit.

    Select Menu Style section with and Test and Buttons radio buttons options circled.

  5. Make the course available by following these steps: 

    1. Go to the Control Panel and choose Customization.

      Control Panel with Customization circled.

    2. Choose Properties.

      Properties circled on Customization drop-down list.

    3. In the Set Availability section, under Make this course available to users?, select Yes and then click Submit.

 Make this course available to users? and Yes radio button circled.


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