Adding Links to the Course Menu

Contents

 

Overview

The Course Menu is the (usually dark blue) navigational menu on the lefthand side of the screen inside a Blackboard course. It provides quick links to various content areas and tools inside your course, and by default includes links to your Announcements, Faculty Information, Syllabus and Course Documents content areas. You can add other content areas, links to other content areas or links to tools to this menu and customize it in a number of different ways, depending on your needs.

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Customizing the Course Menu

The grey plus-sign icon gives you access to a menu of options for adding various links, content, and tools to your Course Menu.

Add items to Course Menu

Each link in the Course Menu has its own context menu, accessible by mousing over the link until a down-arrow Action Item Button appears on its right-hand side, then clicking that down-arrow. This context menu contains actions for renaming the link, showing or hiding it to your students, or deleting it. Links that are hidden from students will remain visible to instructors, with a “hidden” icon hidden item icon indicating their status.

Links in the Course Menu can be moved to different positions within the menu by dragging and dropping. Place your mouse to the left of the name of the new content area until your cursor turns into a four-way arrow to drag the link to a new location on the menu.

Drag and drop on the course menu

Remember that you can get a preview of how students will view your customized Course Menu by using the Student Preview function.

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Creating a New Content Area

One option for customizing your Course Menu is to create a content area from scratch and place it in the Course Menu for access.

  1. Mouse over the grey plus sign icon on the top left of the Course Menu and click on Content Area.
    Create content area in course menu
  2. Give it a name as prompted by the text box and, if you would like it to be immediately visible for your students, be sure to click the Available to Users checkbox.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. The new content area will appear at the bottom of the Course Menu.  You may drag and drop this content area to another location in the menu.
  5. This new Content Area will display an empty box icon Empty box icon indicating that it does not contain any content. Click on this new Content Area to open it and add any desired content, assessments, or tools.

Note: Creating a new Content Area directly in the Course Menu means that the only way this Content Area, and all of the content within it, can be accessed is via the Course Menu. If you delete the link from the Course Menu, you will delete the entire content area and your students will no longer be able to access any of the items that had been in it. Any content that you uploaded into this Content Area will remain in the course’s Content Collection, but will not be accessible to students.

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Creating a Link To A Content Area

You may create a link to a content area that you’ve already created in your course. This can provide easier access to various folders and sub-folders for your students. When you delete these links, the entire Content Area they are linking to remains in place, accessible to your students via their original filepath.

One option for customizing your Course Menu is to create a content area from scratch and place it in the Course Menu for access.

  1. Mouse over the grey plus sign icon on the top left of the Course Menu and click on Course Link.
  2. Click the Browse button. This will open a pop-up window that displays all the content areas of your course as a file tree.
  3. Locate the Content Area you would like to link to and click on it.
    Adding a course link to the course menu
  4. The name will fill itself in with the name the Content Area already has, but you can rename it if you like.
  5. If you would like it to be immediately visible for your students, be sure to click the Available to Users checkbox.
  6. Click Submit.
  7. The new content area will appear at the bottom of the Course Menu.  You may drag and drop this content area to another location in the menu.

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Creating a Link to a Course Tool

Creating a Tool Link gives your students easy access to tools such as Discussion Boards, Wikis, Journals, or Calendars.

  1. Mouse over the grey plus sign icon on the top left of the Course Menu and click on Tool Link.
  2. Give it a name as prompted by the text box.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select which tool you would link to link to.
  4. If you would like it to be immediately visible for your students, be sure to click the Available to Users checkbox.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. The tool link will appear at the bottom of the Course Menu.  You may drag and drop this content area to another location in the menu.

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