The following are some things to keep in mind when using Blackboard Learn:

  • System Administrators have the ability to disable certain tools within the application.  If you encounter tools that you are unable to access contact your System Administrator.
  • The openness of Blackboard Learn allows Instructors and Administrators to be very creative. The names for items in Blackboard Learn may differ from those in the documentation.
  • Building Blocks allows Institutions to integrate external applications, tools, content, and services into Blackboard Learn.

The Blackboard Environment

The Blackboard environment includes:

  • A page header that displays information about the current screen
  • A control frame that allows quick access to common areas
  • An action bar to manage the contents of a screen
  • A menu area containing options that can interact with the screen
  • A view toggle that allows specific users to edit the screen

Page Header

The page header displays information about the current screen. Its purpose is to orient the user.

Control Frame

The Control Frame contains navigation elements that allow the user to access the Institution home page, My Places, Help, and Logout.

Action Bar

The Action Bar provides actions such as Copy, Move, Delete and any functions relating to the screen. The Action Bar does not appear on Portal or Tab pages.

Menu Area

The Menu Area contains navigation elements that allow the user to access specific areas of a course or other parts of Blackboard Learn. The Menu Area changes depending upon where the user is in Blackboard Learn.

Edit Mode ON/OFF

The Edit Mode toggle allows a user to change the way they are viewing the content on screen. Switching the Edit Mode to ON allows users with certain Roles in the system to add, delete, and edit content and tools in the Course. Switching the Edit Mode to OFF displays the Course as students would see it. The Edit Mode toggle will only appear to those users who have permission to use it.


Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Learn–Basic Edition include two common tabs for users: 



My Institution

The My Institution tab contains tools and information specific to each user’s preferences. Tools and information are contained in modules. Users can add and delete modules from their My Institution tab. The System Administrator may restrict access to or require specific modules.


Users click a link from the Courses tab to access a Course. and the Course Catalog. 

Users also have access to the following tabs with the Blackboard Learn - Community Engagement:




The Community tab lists Organizations specific to each user, the Organization Catalog for the Institution, and Institution Discussion Boards. Users click a link from the Community tab to access an Organization.


The Services tab contains links to other institutional offerings outside of the Blackboard Learn. The links are set by the System Administrator.

In addition, Blackboard Learn - Community Engagement enables the Institution to create custom tabs and present different tabs to users based on Institution Roles.


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