All posts in Tools and Features

Adding Links to the Course Menu

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.


The Calendar is a quick way to provide students with dates for course related events. Course Calendar events appear to all members of the course. The calendar displays a consolidated view of all institution, course, organization, and personal calendar events for a user.

Student Preview

As an instructor, you want to be confident that your course is well designed and functions as intended—before your students see it. Use student preview to review the course content and validate the course behaviors, such as those that control the availability of course content or require a particular interaction from the student to be triggered.


The Achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both badges and certificates. Students can see which rewards they’ve earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies. Students are able to publish badges to the Mozilla Open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside of Blackboard Learn.

The Blackboard Attendance Tool

The Blackboard Attendance Tool is a new feature whereby you can track attendance at class meetings and automatically turn that data into a score in the Grade Center. This tool relies on manual instructor input, rather than having the students mark themselves as present or absent, so should only be used if the instructor is prepared to take that on.