Quick Start Guide to Blackboard 9

To get started with the new version of Blackboard, there are a few key changes that you need to be aware of:

There are also some video tutorials provided by Blackboard Inc.

Please Note:  Blackboard 9 is not fully compatible with older web browsers such as Internet Explorer 6. Please see the Operating System and Browser Compatibility table to see which browsers are compatible.


Edit Mode

Similar to the Edit view / Display view function in previous versions of Blackboard, the Edit Mode button allows you to carry out all instructor functions such as add content and carry out modifications to their course. With Edit Mode off, you will get a 'student view' of your course.

The Edit Mode button is at the top right of the Blackboard content screen. Select the button to switch between Edit mode ON and OFF.

example screenshot showing where the edit mode button is positioned

When Edit mode is off, the button will show as OFF: example screenshot of the edit mode button OFF
When Edit mode is on, the button will show as ON: example screenshot of the edit mode button ON

With Edit mode switched on, you will see additional functions available for you to use. Below is a visual comparison of a course with Edit mode OFF and then with Edit mode ON:

example screenshot of a course with edit mode switched OFF

example screenshot of a course with edit mode switched ON

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With Edit mode switched on, you can ...

Add new content areas or tools to the course menu area

Use the new plus sign at the top left of the course menu area to add new content areas, tools etc.

example screenshot of the drop down list of options to create new items

Modify course menu links

Every course menu link now has a drop down list to its right where you can re-name, hide from view, or delete the link.

example screenshot of the drop down list to edit course menu links

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Re-order course menu

You can now easily move or re-order your course menu items by hovering your mouse over the double ended arrow to the left of an item and then dragging until the dotted line box is in the position you want and then release the mouse.

example screenshot of a menu item being dragged into a new position on the menu

Alternatively, you can re-order your course menu by selecting the keyboard access icon which can be found in the top right hand corner of the course menu area.

example screenshot of the keyboard access function being used to re-rder a course menu

The drag and drop and keyboard access functions are available in various places through Blackboard 9, wherever you see these icons:

Drag and drop (or double-end arrow) icon example screenshot of the drag and drop icon
Keyboard access icon example screenshot of the keyboard access icon

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Edit content area

To make changes to a content area, use the drop down list to the right of the content area name.

example screenshot of the options to edit a content area

Create new content

Use the new Create, Build, Evaluate, collaborate, and More drop down menus to add all the various content types to your course.

example screenshot of the new buttons to create content


The Control Panel

In Blackboard 9, instead of linking to a separate control panel area as with previous versions, the control panel functions are now available directly beneath the course menu with the heading Course Management. Students do not see this area.

example screenshot of the control panel area

Below are some common tasks that are carried out in the Control Panel area:

Course Copy

Select the ‘Packages and Utilities’ area in the Control Panel and then select ‘Course Copy’. The rest of the Course Copy process works in the same way as in Blackboard 8.

example screenshot of the course copy link on the control panel

Make a course available

Select the ‘Customization’ area in the Control Panel and then select ‘Properties’. Set the ‘Make Course Available’ setting to ‘Yes’ and then ‘submit’.

example screenshot of the properties link on the control panel

Please be aware that many of the functions previously accessed through the control panel are now accessed via Edit mode.


Video Tutorials

The following Blackboard Inc. videos provide brief interactive demonstrations of using Blackboard 9:

To watch these videos you will need to have a flash player installed. For a free download, please visit Adobe Flash Player (opens in new window).

The Blackboard Instructor manual (PDF 2,242Kb) provides more in depth guidance.

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