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Blackboard is a Learning Management System. Blackboard is accessed through the UAS Online portal. Blackboard course sites are created automatically for all UAS courses.

This image shows the landing page of Blackboard in Instructor View

In the figure above:

In the upper right, turn Edit Mode on or off (1). To see approximately what students will see in your class, click the Student Preview icon (2)

On the left of the screen is the Course Menu (3).  The Course Menu displays links to Tools (such as Announcements, Discussion Board. My Grades etc) and Content Areas (default Content Areas shown are Getting Started and Course Content). 

When you or a student clicks on a link in the Course Menu, content is displayed in the Main Content Frame (4).

This image shows the links in the instructor control panel.

In the figure above, below the Course Menu is the Control Panel.  That is where you'll find Instructor Tools such as the Grade Center, Test Manager, Course Copy, etc.  Click on a category to expand it and then a link to access a specific component, which will display in the Main Content Frame.

Note - the Course Menu can be expanded and collapsed or hidden by clicking on the arrows at the top or right.  If your course menu disappears you probably clicked on one of theses!

The Blackboard Course Menu

This image shows the links that correlate to the descriptions on this page.

The Blackboard Course menu can be customized. Link to Content Areas and Tools can be added, removed, relocated or deleted. 

Instructions: Managing the Course Menu (pdf)

Default Course Menu

The initial default course menu contains these links.

(1) Announcements: This is normally the entry point for the class. Post Announcements to students here.  For each Announcement you'll have the option to email students as well.

(2) UAS Course Syllabus: All UAS classes are required, at a minimum, to post a syllabus using the UAS Syllabus tool.

(3) Getting Started, and Course Content.  These are the two default Content Areas.  Note the hollow square next to each.  This indicated it is initially empty. Empty Content Areas will not show to students, so none of these links will show until you post something in them.  Depending on the needs or your class you may or may not use all these Content Areas.  You also have the option to create new Content Areas if the structure of your class would benefit.

Guest Access to Content Areas: "Guests" are visitors to your class who are not on your class roster.  The default course site allows Guest access to Announcements, Syllabus and Getting Started but not to Course Content.  If you create a new Content Area then it will also be set to "Deny Guests", but this can be changed using the drop-down menu to the right of the Course Menu link. The button for the drop-down menu only appears when the mouse is over a particular menu item. Guests are restricted from visiting areas Discussion and Classlist where student information is visible.

(4) Discussions (Discussion Board) - Create and manage discussion forums for your course. Note that this link is invisible by default (indicated by the white box with a line through it). The gray circle next to each link has options for customizing links, including "show link" which is used to make hidden content visible for students.

(5) Collaborate Ultra - This is Blackboard's synchronous virtual meeting platform.  

(6) My Grades - This is the students gradebook. It is initially hidden by default.  Again use the drop-down menu to show it. They see only their own grades here. Instructors access the gradebook through the Control Panel below the Course Menu.

(7) Classlist - links to the UAS Online class list

(8) Contact Info - Here you can add your profile and contact information as well as any other contact information that might be helpful to students.

(9) ePortfolio - link to the class related UAS Online ePortfolio

(10) UAS Resources - Here are links to tell you about academic resources at UAS including availability of tutoring and policies and resources regarding academic honesty, disability services, etc.

(11) Egan Library - This link to Egan library opens in a new window.  Egan library serves not only local students in Juneau but distance students as well.

(12) Help - Here are some quick tips for students on basic features of blackboard and contact information for the UAS helpdesk.

The default course menu is created when the course sites are initially rolled out.  Its design is subject to revision over time and may change based on feedback from faculty and students.


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