Blackboard hints & tricks

For Better Productivity

Menu Navigation

 If you’re a longtime Windows user, you might be wishing for a visual folder structure view of your course. You may be more familiar with a “tree’ structure where you see folders with a “+’ sign indicating something in the folder.

When you click on the folder icon that is right above the course name, a new window will open that allows you to navigate quickly to a nested tree structure where titles are links. This option is also available for students.Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.57.05 AM


As you may have noticed, whenever you add anything in Blackboard, menu items, discussion forum prompts, assignments, etc., the item  s always appear at the end. Most often you need to reorder these items. There are two ways to reorder items.

Slow and Tedious Way:   While in Edit mode, when you hover over  an item with your cursor you’ll see an icon with an up and down arrow. If you click on this icon you can drag and drop the item to the desired place.Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.57.14 AM

Fast and Efficient Way: While in Edit mode, look for the side-by-side up and down arrow icon.Click on this icon and you’ll get a view of all of the items on that page. You can select an item and move it up or down, then select another item and Submit. This option is available for menu items, items content page items, and discussion forum.Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.57.21 AM

As your semester advances, consider reordering your discussion forum or content items so the most current is at the top. It will save you and your students from having to scroll down the page at the end of the semester.

Control Panel

When you look at the Control Panel in Blackboard, you know that each of the items listed can be expanded by clicking on the name or on the arrow head on the left side of the name. You may have noticed that there are also some gray right-pointing arrows by specific topics. If you click on any of these arrows you will be taken directly to one of the default options. For example:

If you click on the gray right-pointing arrow by Grade Center, you will go directly to the Full Grade Center. There isn’t any need to click on Grade Center, then Full Grade Center ­ – save yourself one click!Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.57.28 AM


Blackboard does not display announcements on the date that you activate them. If you set up an announcement with a future display date,   it won’t change where the announcement is placed – the announcement will show up based on the date that you created the announcement. So, if you reuse your announcements from one semester to the next, what you might think of as a new announcement might appear at the bottom of the list!


OIT has highlight information for the current version of blackboard — check out

View the Blackboard Training calendar at

See also the Blackboard Learning Support site:

And always, contact UAF eCampus at if you have specific questions about Blackboard or online learning.

Download this Teaching Tip (PDF)

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