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Virtually every component in Blackboard can be hidden from students or have a time window set on its availability.  This means that it's rarely necessary to remove content or assessments from the Blackboard course site unless you know you will not use them again. 

TIP: Write notes for yourself on your course site!  Use hidden "Items" to make notes on your Blackboard course site during the semester.  If there's something you need to change but you can't do it immediately - add a content item with notes directly to the site but have it hidden from students.  The next semester when you are modifying the course - you'll see your note and be reminded of what you need to change!

This image shows the way to make links visible in Blackboard.

Hiding/Showing entries on the Course Menu

Each Course Menu entry has a drop-down menu to the right of its name.  A menu item is hidden if it has a square with slash next to it (1).  Click on the drop-down menu (2) and choose "Show Link" or "Hide Link" (3) to Show or Hide that content link.  If a link is hidden from students, you will still see it but it will be missing from your students' course menu.  The square with a slash through it indicates which menu items are hidden.

This menu also lets you control whether guests (people not on your class roster) will have access to this menu entry. If the menu says "Deny Guests" then it is currently set to allow Guests.  If it says "Permit Guests" then it is currently set to allow guests to view the content.  Some tools (Discussion Board for example) cannot be set to allow Guests.  By default the Announcements, UAS Syllabus and Getting Started content area are set to permit Guests.

Hiding/Showing Folders and Course Content

Within a Content Area or Folder you can show, hide, or date restrict any individual component or even whole folders. This availability is set when the folder or component is first created and then you can choose "Edit" at any time to change the availability.  If a folder is hidden, then everything in it is hidden. After an item's creation, there are 2 ways to make it unavailable.

  1. Click on the drop-down menu next to the name of the Folder, Item, Link etc. and choose Make Unavailable. That item is immediately hidden from students.
  2. Click on the drop-down menu next to the name of the Folder, Item, Link etc. and choose Edit. Then scroll down to the availability options and choose to make the item unavailable or to set dates that determine the item's availability.

Edit Menu for Folder

  • Make the component completely unavailable by choosing "No" for "Permit Users to View this Content"
  • Leave availability at "Yes" but check the box(es) and select times and dates to make it available only during a certain time window.

This image shows how to set available dates for an item

Remember: "No" means the content or assessment will NEVER be available.  If you want to date-restrict it you must choose "Yes", check the boxes next to the dates, then choose the appropriate date and time.  Midnight means the beginning of the day (12:01 am).  Use 11:59 pm for the end of the day.

Setting Availability for Tests, Assignments, Discussion Forums

You can similarly set availability for Tests, Blackboard "Assignments" and Discussion Forums, either when you first set them up or later by editing them or making them unavailable.

Note that for assessments which are automatically tied to the gradebook, you may also want to hide the column in the Grade Center from students .  Go to the Grade Center and use the drop-down menu next to the column header to choose "Show/Hide to Users".  You should now see a circle with a slash through it in the column header for that item in the gradebook.  Do not choose "Hide Column" because that hides it from yourself - not from students.


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