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Getting Started

Navigating the Blackboard Environment
User Menu (formerly My Places)
Getting Started with the Course Environment
Multi-language Support
Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities


I'm logged in. Now how do I get to my courses?

The easiest way is to click on the name in the My Current / Recent Courses module, which displays, by default, the current semester courses. To display your course sites in this module from previous semesters and courses that are not semester-based, click on the small circle icon found in the module header, check the boxes next to the semesters and the courses within those semesters you want shown and click Submit. To display courses that are not semester-based, check the box next to Show Other Courses and click Submit.

You can also click the Courses tab found in the top frame to see a list of every course you have ever been enrolled in (unless the course has been disabled). 


Now I'm in one of my courses. How to I get to another course?

Beginning Summer 2013, you can use Course-to-Course navigation to move from one course to another, without have to go back to your My Courses (sortable) modules.  Click the down-arrow located at the end of the course name, in the top left of your course page, then click on the name of the course you want to jump to.  You will land in the same page or task as the course you are jumping out of.  For example, if you are working in the Grade Center of a course and jump to another course, you will land in its Grade Center.

Course-to-course navigation


Why don't all the sites I'm enrolled in show up in the "My Courses (sortable)" module?

The default for this module is to display only the current semester's courses (or in the case of yearlong courses, the current academic year's courses). To display your course sites from previous semesters and courses that are not semester-based, click on the small circle icon found in the module header, check the boxes next to the semesters and the courses within those semesters you want shown and click Submit. To display courses that are not semester-based, check the box next to Show Other Courses and click Submit.

Your Organizations are listed separately in the My Organizations Plus module, which is not sortable.


 Why are courses I am no longer enrolled in are still listed in my Course List under the Courses tab?

This list is designed to give you easy access to all Blackboard course sites in which you have ever been enrolled at Princeton.  The Course List module cannot be modified.


Can I add or remove modules from the My Blackboard page?

You can add and remove modules to the My Blackboard page by clicking the Add Module button in the upper left corner, checking/unchecking the boxes next to the names of the modules. Modules with the check box grayed out cannot be removed. Remember to click Submit to lock in changes.

You can also remove modules from the My Blackboard page by click the little "x" in the header. If there is no "x", the module cannot be removed.


Can I rearrange the My Blackboard page?

You can reposition the modules using drag-and-drop technology, or you can use Keyboard Accessible Reordering by clicking the icon found in the top right of the frame, beside the Personalize Page button.


Global Navigation (formerly My Places)

What is the Global Navigation?

Global Navigation, which replaces My Places beginning Summer 2013, provides the user with quick and easy navigation to a variety of places within Blackboard Learn. It is always one click away in the top frame, and contains a customizable set of links to frequently accessed information as well as tools to personalize a user's own experience.

Item corresponding to the image above From the user menu, access your courses, organizations, school links, and personal settings.

Item corresponding to the image above From the menu, open tools to view course activity, your calendar and more.

Item corresponding to the image above Receive notifications of new activity.

Everything you need for your Blackboard experience is in one convenient location. Global Navigation provides you with quick and easy access to critical and timely information. With Global Navigation you can view how you are doing in each of the courses you are enrolled in, be reminded of assignments that are due, and much more.

Global Navigation displays an overview of recent activity, such as messages, items that were recently graded, and items that are due. Click each tool in the menu to access the page.

Click the global navigation link in the page header to access:

Tools Description
Image illustrating associated text.

Bb Home: The Bb Home gives you an overview of the items that are due and have recently been graded. Move your cursor over View to reveal your grade. The Bb Home displays the five most recent activities relevant to you.

If your school has messages turned on, the Bb Home shows a preview of your unread messages.

Image illustrating associated text. My Calendar: Review everything you have due and be reminded of when you need to complete it. To learn more, see Calendar.
Image illustrating associated text.

Posts: This page displays the latest posts in the courses and organizations you are enrolled in and follow. For example, you can see when a classmate submits a blog post in your course.  Quick Hit Video

If your school has the people and spaces tools turned on, the latest posts by the people and spaces you follow also displays.

Image illustrating associated text. Updates: Review a list of notifications alerting you to important events and information. For example, you can see when an assignment has been graded. To learn more, see About the Updates Page.
Image illustrating associated text. Home
Image illustrating associated text. Help: Go to Behind the Blackboard for manuals, tutorials and more.


Multi-Language Support

Is English the only language I can access Blackboard in?

Blackboard is available in Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Dutch, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Suomi, and Swedish.  The entire system is set to a specific language (in our case, Princeton English), but a language may be selected as a preference by users. To support cross-border education, as well as foreign language courses, Instructors can set the language of a course independently from the language setting of the overall system.

Language Packs change the text displayed on the screen by the system, including buttons and titles to different languages. Language Pack preferences are defined at the system, Course, and user level.

At the system level, the Administrator defines one Language Pack as the system default (Princeton English, in our case). This is the Language Pack that appears when no other Language Pack is specified at the Course level or at the User level.

At the Course level, Instructors can set a Language Pack that is different from the default to make all users in the Course view the same Language Pack. If the Language Pack is not enforced, users can set a preferred Language Pack that is different than the Course Language Pack.

Note: Customized names for Content Areas and Tools are not changed with the Language Pack. These values stay the same through all Language Packs. The default names in the system are translated and appear differently in each Language Pack.

Individual users can set a language  for a the entire Blackboard site following these steps:

  1. Under the My Blackboard tab, in the Tools module, select Personal Information.
  2. Click Change Personal Settings.
  3. Select a User Language Pack from the drop-down list.
  4. Click Submit. 

Note: If an instructor has set a language for a particular site and selected Enforce Language Pack, that site will not be impacted by an individual's locale setting.

Instructors can set a language for a course following these steps:

  1. Open the Customization contextual menu (in the Control Panel) and select Properties.
  2. Select a Language Pack from the drop-down list.
  3. Click Enforce Language Pack to always display this course in the selected locale (optional)
  4. Click Submit.

Note: If a locale is not chosen for a course the course will display in the user’s preferred language pack or, if the user has not set a preferred  language pack, in the system default  language pack.


The Course Environment

Getting Started with the Course Environment (a pdf quick guide)

videoThe Course Environment  (video)

Making Tools Available in the Course Menu (video)

Click the links below to see images explaining how courses are navigated in Bb9:

Modifying the Course Menu (Table of Contents)     

Missing the Course Menu?

Adding Content

Edit an Existing Item

Course Module Pages


New organization and placement of Control Panel: The course control panel is now available to instructors and other privileged course users on any course page, as a menu below the navigation area, rather than as a standalone page. It has also been reorganized to more clearly group tasks related to building out, designing or customizing a course, as distinct from tasks related to teaching or administering a course.

Since there is not a standalone page for the Control Panel, content editing requires turning on the  Edit mode button in the upper right of the course site.


The numbers in the table refer to the numbered items in the image below it.


Course Menu The Course Menu appears on the left side of a course page. It holds buttons or text links to Content Areas, Tools, and links. The Course Menu is usually arranged by subject or the order in which Students progress through the course.


Breadcrumb Breadcrumbs appear at the top of pages and provide links back to each previous page the user navigated through to get to the current page.


Banner The Banner is the area at the top of a frame, often used to display an identifying image for the course or organization.


Help The Help icon appears in the top frame. It points to institution resources for providing assistance to users.


Edit Mode The Edit Mode button allows you to change the view of content on screen from the instructor’s view (Edit Mode: On) to the student’s view (Edit Mode: Off).


Content Frame The Content Frame is the main area of the browser window where content items and tools are displayed.


Control Panel The Control Panel is the interface for managing the content, features, and appearance of a course or organization. It is accessible to users based on the privileges assigned to their Course Role. Students do not see the Control Panel.
Course Environment

The numbers in the table refer to the numbered items in the image below it.

What You Need to Know Steps to Accomplish


Change Edit Mode
When the Edit Mode is set to ON, users with specific roles in the system can add, remove, and edit content and tools in the Course.
Switching the Edit Mode to OFF displays the Course as students see it.
The Edit Mode toggle appears only to those users who have permission to use it.
Click the Edit Mode button to ON or OFF to
change the view.


View a Contextual
The Contextual Menu is opened through an Action Link (represented by a chevron). It is a drop-down list providing access to additional actions associated with the item. 1. Click the Action Link, to view the options available for the particular item.
2. Select your item of choice.


Accessible Reordering Keyboard Accessible Reordering enables the user to reorder the items in the Menu Area through the keyboard. 1. Turn Edit Mode ON.
2. Click the Keyboard Accessible Reordering
Tool on the Action Bar.
3. Select the item in the list.
4. Use the up and down arrows below the title box or on your keyboard to adjust the order.
5. Click Submit.


Add Course Menu
You can add a Content Area that provides direct access to a tool, internal or external link, or an element that helps organize the menu. 1. Click the Add icon (+) above the Course Menu.
2. Select the item from the list.
3. Type the Name of the content item in the Name field.
4. Click Submit.


Rename Course
Content Items
The Action Link beside a Content Area gives the user an option to rename it.

1. Click the Action Link icon beside the Content Area.
2. Select Rename link.
3. Type the new name in the box.
4. Click the Check icon to save the new name of the Content Area.

Getting start tasks in course environment


Action Link    An action link, represented by a chevron, is an indication of the presence of a contextual menu enabling the user to perform actions related to a specific item.
Availability    Availability determines whether or not content or features are accessible to users. Availability, in most cases, is time sensitive.
Content Area    Content Areas are Course or Organization areas dedicated to displaying content items. Users must have the appropriate application to open any content item file attachments. Learning Units, assessments, and links to tools may also be added to content areas.
Contextual Menu    Contextual menus are drop-down lists that provide access to additional actions associated with an item. The menu is accessed via an Action Link, represented by a chevron.       
Course Cartridges    Course Cartridges are created by textbook publishers. Course Cartridges are content packages of materi­als that are imported into course or organization Web sites. Instructors must obtain a download key from the publisher to get this content, and students may need to obtain an access key to view the content.
Course Menu Item    Course Menu Items include links to a tool, external links, internal links, or elements used to help organize the menu. Course Menu items are separate from Content Area Items.
Folder View    The Folder View of the Menu items displays the tree structure of the file system. This view also provides the ability to expand and collapse folders.
Grade Center    The Grade Center is a customizable feature for tracking and analyzing performance. It interfaces with As­sessments, Assignments, and the Discussion Board automatically.       
Modules    Modules are containers for content. Module pages can hold several modules and users can reorder them and even choose which ones they see. Module pages can appear within courses.
Help    The Help icon appears in the top frame. The Help icon can be set by the System Administrator to point to institution resources for providing assistance to users.
Learning Modules    A Learning Module is a set of Content Items with an accompanying path for progressing through the items. The path can be set so that students must view content sequentially or to permit students to view the content in any order. All types of content, such as items, Assignment, and Assessments may be included in a Learning Module.        
List View    The List View of the Menu items displays the names of the file system.       
Text Editor    The WYSIWYG Editor, can be turned on or off. When the Text Editor is enabled, you can add links, attach files and images, or format text. When the Text Editor is disabled, you can edit in plain text.      
View Results    The View Results controls are used to edit how many items appear on a page following a search.      

User Manual  Select 9.1 SP14 from the Table of Contents, then select your role (Instructor or Student)

Blackboard Help Line (609) 258-0737