Standard Blackboard Course Shell

Standard Blackboard Shell Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Video Tutorials
Standard Blackboard Shell Explanations and FAQ (PDF)

Course Menu and Structure


Blackboard Navigation Buttons Button Information
Announcements Blackboard shell buttons will be in alphabetical order
Assignments Faculty will add content folders under Assignments
Contact Information Contact Information for some services will be pre-populated. Faculty will add their own contact information.
Custom Button 1 (Optional) Faculty can add up to two custom buttons of their choosing and then move them in the list to maintain alphabetical order.
Custom Button 2 (Optional)
My Grades  
Syllabus and Schedule  
Tools Inside the Tools area, faculty will hide links for tools they are not utilizing.


Additional Explanations and Examples of What to Include – Course Menu


  • Announcements are a quick way for instructors to communicate with students regarding the course. You can send an announcement as an immediate email if you select the “Email Announcement.”

Contact Information:

  • Instructors need to add their contact information. Although you have contact information in your syllabus, be sure to include it here, too. In addition, this section includes prepopulated campus contacts.

Custom Button1 and 2 (Optional):

  • These can be used to help students access commonly-used content or tools, such as the discussion board or lab sheets. NOTE: The menu items need to be in alphabetical order – so if you change a button to Wiki, that would be the last button on the course menu.

Syllabus and Schedule:

  • A copy of your syllabus and tentative schedule need to be inside this button on the course menu.


  • Chang, S.L., & Ley, K. (2006). A learning strategy to compensate for cognitive overload in online learning: Learner use of printed online materials. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 5(1), 104-117.
  • Shank, P. (2007). The Online Learning Idea Book – 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology – Based and Blended Learning. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Stavredes, T. (2011). Effective Online Teaching Foundations and Strategies for Student Success. , San Francisco, CA Josey-Bass