Getting Started with Academic Department sites in Blackboard

The departments sites in Blackboard have certain advantages over simple webpages.

  • Faculty, majors, minors and majors and minors on academic leave are automatically associated with the department sites.  This allows you to use the features of Blackboard to target content, messages and surveys to just those students. Features that can be used include:
    • Seeing a photo roster of all students
    • Seeing a more expansive roster of your majors and minors (Control Panel>>Tools>>Photo Roster- Confidential
    • Getting announcements out to the enrolled users via announcement/email feature.
    • Restricting access to documents to only the users enrolled in the site or to a subset of the users via the adaptive release feature.
    • Starting a discussion among the enrolled users
    • Surveying the enrolled users.
    • Downloading email addresses for majors, minors and major/minors on academic leave.
    • Viewing who as added or dropped the major over a specific period of time.

More details on what can be done in your Blackboard department site.

  • The announcement feature can be used to post messages that will appear in the My Announcement module on the main Academic Hub tab. To post an announcement first select the “Edit Mode” button to “On’. Next, go under the Control Panel heading>>Organization Tools>>Announcements>>Add Announcement. When adding an announcement there is an option to also send as an email to ALL members in the organization.
  • What else can be posted?
    • Information (documents or information) can be posted and made available to everyone or specific subgroups.
    • Schedules of lectures or guest speakers
    • Forms that need to be filled out
    • Grad School Information
    • Faculty/Staff Information
    • Internships and Jobs section
  • Faculty can view photos of the majors (under the Control Panel heading>>Organization Tools>>Student Roster)
  • Create other areas of interest and have multiple users take the responsibility for keeping the pages up to date.
  • Create forums for discussing specific topics. The forums can be restricted to faculty, continuing faculty, majors or any combination.
  • Gather information from your members through a ‘test,’ survey or blog e.g. which t-shirt design is best, who should we invite to speak etc.

How do I add menu items?

Click here to view a document on managing content in a Blackboard site.

  1. Make sure  the Edit Mode is “On.” It is located in the top right hand corner of the course. Then click the plus button (+) above the course menu to add a new menu item.
  2. Add a Menu item
    • Content Area = this is a location where you can upload documents, images, and other types of content
    • Blank Page=to add content
    • Tool Link = allows you to add a direct link to course tools such as discussion boards, wikis, send email, etc
    • Course/Organization Link = allows you to create a direct link to an item in the course
    • External Link = allows you to create a link to any location on the Internet
    • Create Module Page=allows you to add a customizable page with available modules
    • Create Subheader=provides more information to the above menu item
    • Create Divider=adds a line to organize the menu list
  3. Give the item a name (this will appear in the Main Organization Menu)
  4. Check the box for “Available for Student/participant” , otherwise it will not appear in the main menu.
  5. Click Submit in the lower right corner to create menu item.

How do I add materials to my organization?

You can add a variety of documents to your course. Most popular document types include:

  • Word (.doc, .docx)
  • PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
  • Images (.jpg)
  • Adobe PDFs (.pdf)

Click here to download an instructional document on adding content to your course or organization.  The video below highlights additional new features like dragging and dropping documents and folders into organizations and uploading multiple documents at once.

You can also create subfolders, external links, and links to other tools within content areas.

NOTE: DO NOT USE SPECIAL CHARACTERS IN THE NAMES OF THE FOLDERS or FILES.  Please limit the names of these documents to alpha-numeric characters.

What other tools are available to use in my site?

Discussion Boards
Sign-up lists
Create Appointments
Google Scholar
Group Tools
Chat Room
Virtual Classroom
Student Photos
Quota Usage
Send Email
To learn more about these tools, go to the Blackboard help site or contact OCTET at octet@oberlin.edu or x58345.
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