Online Course Navigation Requirements

Navigation jpeg

Required Blackboard Navigation template

Blackboard Course Navigation

Option 1: Manually create the required navigation menu

  • This printable tutorial will provide you with step-by-step instructions to manually create the required navigation menu in your Blackboard masters or shells. It also describes the menu options available if you use a different engagement tool than Discussions, or if you use multiple tools.
Watch this video tutorial.

    Option 2: Import the required navigation menu

    1. Download the Navigational Template zipfile
    2. Open your Blackboard course.
    3. In the Course Management section, click Packages and Utilities.
    4. Click Import Package/ View Logs.
    5. Click Import Package.
    6. Click Browse My Computer to locate the zipfile from Step 1. It will be called "ExportFile_el_tmpt_navtemplate_official_20160804081750 -1" and will probably be in your Downloads folder.
    7. Click Select All.
    8. Click Submit.
    9. Allow the Blackboard a few moments to process the menu. You will receive an e-mail confirmation when it is completed and the orange bar at the top of the course will state when it is complete.
    10. Click Announcements to go back to the entry point of your course.

    Your menu will appear.

    Understanding the need for a common template

    The development of a common course template for online courses, is a tried and true quality standard for the design of online courses. The template was reviewed and approved by the Online Steering Committee.

    Standard course templates provide a consistent experience for students, which reduces unnecessary time spent searching for important documents and assignments. Students will have more time to engage with their instructors and peer, because they will now have a consistent experience from one class to another. They can start the course with confidence, because they will not wonder if they are missing important information in a different folder.

    Note: All fully online courses need to use this template.

    Consider this comparison

    The navigation template found along the left-hand side of the course homepage is the virtual equivalent to the physical classroom. Think of it as the virtual walls, windows, furniture, lights, etc. In that setting, we do not have the “freedom” to add windows, move doors, or repaint the walls. The navigational template is the same in an online course. Adding to the navigational template may seem like a minor task, but could be compared to faculty ordering living room furniture to a general use classroom.

    Also, ponder this analogy; on the course homepage is a section for modules – the white board and smart podium of the physical classroom. We can add to the room by bringing in flip charts, videos, instructional materials, etc., but we cannot remove the existing instructional features of the classroom. In the case of the online course, the white board is the announcements and the smart podium is the “to do” module. The “to do” module is a very powerful student success tool – from a student’s perspective. The faculty do not see much in this module, but students are able to see their assignments organized by due dates. As with a physical classroom, we can add modules to the homepage.

    Similarly in Moodle, the Course Info area immediately below the Course Banner emulates the physical space of a classroom and should contain each of the items.The blocks along the left side of the content provide the tools for teaching. The blocks in place should not be changed but can be added to.


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