Blackboard Starter Kit for OISE Faculty
3. Blackboard Terminology
Enter your course and familiarize yourself with Blackboard terminology
This information is also available in printable format via PDF download:
If you are unfamiliar with the Blackboard system, basically it allows an instructor to make a private website for your course that only you and your students can access. As the instructor, you have the ability to create and customize the different areas of the course, as well as give areas for your students to discuss and interact with each other. Here is a brief explanation of some basic terminology you will find in the Blackboard system:
- The course menu is found on the top left of your course in Blackboard. This is the menu of categories that your students choose from when navigating your course. As the instructor, you have the ability to add/change/remove any course menu items to suit your needs and customize your course.
- Here are a few examples of what a course menu may look like:
- The Control Panel area is the main administrative area for you to manage your course. Students do not have access to this area. This is where you can access any Blackboard functions available to your course.
- For example shown below, this is where you will 'turn on' your course and make it available for students to see.
- You may see the word Content in various places throughout Blackboard. Generally when you see the word Content, it is referring to your content - ie. files that you have uploaded, or places for your to upload your files into the Blackboard system. Content are generally items that you post for your students to access.
- Things listed in Blackboard under a Tools heading are generally things that Blackboard can do for you, as opposed to Content which are just files. All tools are available to Instructors via the Control Panel, but students cannot access most tools until the instructor has created one for them.
- An example of a course tool available to you is the 'Discussion Board' area where your students can contribute to an online class discussion. You can give your students their own 'Blog' page to write about their learning in the course. The 'UT Manage Groups' tool will let you create group work space for your students to collaborate with each other.
Adding new things vs. Editing existing items
- Once you have an idea of what you want to do with Blackboard, you generally want to either add something new or edit something that already exists. There are some visual queues that you can look for in Blackboard to help you figure out what you want to do. In general, if you want to add something, look for a blue button near where you want to add. If you want to edit/delete something that already exists, look for a little double down arrow button near the item that you want to modify.