Blackboard Lunch & Learn Sessions this Fall

Want to learn how to use Blackboard or brush up on your skills?
Have an hour free at lunchtime on a Friday?

On select Fridays this Fall, join us in LRC 250 for a hosted pizza lunch and Blackboard demonstration.

Please RSVP through this link to help us plan the lunches.

Lunch and Learn Flier Image

Download the Lunch & Learn PDF Flier

Create & Add a Banner to Your Course

Want to give your class entry page some pizzazz?  Add a banner!
Thanks to the magic of the internet, no special software is necessary…


PART 1: Create Your Banner

The following is a short tutorial for a free, easy to use banner-creation website I found.

Click to visit the Banner Fans website.

On the Layout tab, start by selecting a banner size.  I like their “Etsy shop banner” preset:

Preset - Etsy shop banner

Next, select your background type.  You can choose a solid color, or upload an image, but the gradient provides a nice touch.  Select your colors (by clicking on each color box to open a color palette) and your gradient mode:

color and gradient options

Click the Update my banner button underneath the options, to preview the changes on the banner above:

Update Banner button

Click the Texts & Fonts tab, enter text for your banner, and click to select the font, size, and color:

text and font options

When you selecting a font, you can browse different styles of fonts by using the links at the top:

different font types

After you click Update my banner to preview your changes, you may need to move your text around.  Roll your mouse over the text on the sample banner, and click-and-drag the text to the location of your choice:

moving the text on the banner by clicking and dragging

You can select the Border tab, to add a border of your choice, and select its color:

adding a border and selecting the border color

Click Update my banner again, to preview all changes:

finished banner

When it looks how you want it to, click the Download Banner button:

download banner button

And save the banner to your computer:

save banner to your computer

PART 2: Upload to Blackboard

Enter your Blackboard class.  From the Control Panel, click Customization –> Teaching Style:

Control panel with customization expanded and teaching style selected

Select your Course Entry Point – the default homepage when your students enter the class, where your banner will be displayed:

select a course entry point

Locate “Select Banner.”  To upload your banner, click Browse My Computer:

click the Browse My Computer button

Locate and select the banner file you downloaded from the website, and confirm:

select file and confirm

Click Submit:

submit button

Your banner will now be displayed in your course, on your default entry page:

banner displayed in course

Note:  Any pixelation you see in these images is from my screen-captures, NOT from the banner made by Banner Fans.

Overwhelmed by Your Blackboard Course List? Hide Old Courses You No Longer Need!

When you log into Blackboard, you’ll see all the courses for which you are enrolled as an instructor.  If you’ve been teaching for multiple semesters, this list can get unwieldy and overwhelming!

My Institution - Course List

Good news!  You can hide old courses from the list.  Here’s how…


Roll your mouse cursor over the My Courses title bar, and click the gear icon that appears:

Manage My Courses Button

Next, select Group by Term:

Checkmark next to Group by Term

Using the term dates as a guideline, click to un-checkmark those terms you no longer need to see:

This will hide whole semesters at a time from your course list!

Note: these courses are only hidden (NOT deleted), and you can return to re-checkmark/view them again at any time.



If there are courses on your list not assigned to a term, you may hide them individually by scrolling down and clicking to un-check the course under the Course Name column:




You also have the option to reorder courses (or terms), by rolling your mouse cursor over any course (or term), clicking and holding the arrow at left, and dragging the course (or term) up or down:

Course list with arrow for rearranging



Click Submit to solidify all your changes for this channel (see below for “Courses” Tab):

Submit button



Unfortunately, the “My Courses” channel on the My Institution tab and the “Course List” channel on the Courses tab are not synced.

To avoid confusion, click Courses from the top menu, and repeat this process with the Course List:

Courses link in top menu

Now you’re all set to enjoy a cleaner, simpler course list!  🙂

OCC Training – Available to All Coast Campuses

Eric Wilson, IT Facilitator and Trainer at OCC, has announced his workshops for Winter and Spring 2015, and he is inviting faculty from all Coast campuses to attend.

View the full Schedule of OCC Training Opportunities.

RSVP is required. Please fill out the RSVP form once for each training you wish to attend.

Most of the trainings are virtual workshops, so you can take the workshop from your office, home, or anywhere with a computer, phone, and internet connection.  However, there are two special on campus workshops scheduled:

– Hosting a Virtual Office, Meeting or Class for Dummies
– Why iClick the Class?

Blackboard Workshop: Communication

chat bubblesDATE:
Thursday, November 20, 2014

2:30 to 4:30 pm

GWC: Humanities 212

We would like to invite you and your colleagues to a hands-on workshop, where we will discuss the various methods of communication in Blackboard Learn:

  • Course Messages
  • Email through Blackboard
  • Announcements
  • Discussion Forums
  • Collaborations (Chat)

No RSVP required.  We recommend that you arrive a couple minutes early, to boot up / log into your computer station.

Blackboard Workshop: Grade Center

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2:30 to 4:30 pm

GWC: Humanities 212

We would like to invite you and your colleagues to a hands-on workshop, where we will cover the following Grade Center topics:

  • Creating Columns
  • Entering Scores
  • Utilizing Calculated Columns for Automatic Summing
  • Utilizing Categories for Weighting Scores
  • Assigning Letter Grades Based on Any Percentage Range

I will be presenting the topics of the workshop first, and then I will open it up to questions and independent work.  You are welcome to bring some of your actual grades and key them in, while following along at your computer.   And, time permitting, I will be able to address specific questions and provide assistance with your individual courses.

Blackboard Workshop: Upload & Organize

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2:30 to 4:30 pm

GWC: Humanities 212

Your course documents on a flash drive

Join us this Thursday and learn how to:

  • Log into Blackboard & find your class
  • Post course documents (Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Create links to content on the web
  • Organize your documents in folders
  • Move/copy items to other areas in the course
  • And more!

This workshop will be hands-on in a computer lab.
Please bring your course documents on a flash drive, so you can upload as you learn!  🙂