Cleaning up the Course Menu After a Course Copy

The Course Menu is the main navigation on the left sidebar of your course, it contains links to content areas, content items and course tools. The Course Menu can be easily customized to reflect your course. You may edit the names of links, add new content areas, and add links to files, folders and tools. You may also insert dividers and subheadings to and reorder the sequence of links within the menu.

Note: The design of the course menu (names, links, etc.) in the template is congruent with the pre-populated folders structure and support materials provided for you. If changes, additions or deletions are made to the existing course menu to reflect your course organization, be sure to make changes throughout the course to maintain consistency and therefore ease of navigation for your students.

Cleaning Up the Course Menu After Course Copy



Application ImageCleaning Up the Course Menu After Course Copy.pdf

The Default Course Menu

The default course menu in a new "blank" course shell contains few navigation links. Each time one course is copied into another, information from the source course including navigation links is appended to the existing information in the destination course. As a result, it is often necessary to do some cleanup to remove redundant items and/or reorder navigation links in the main menu.

Below is a screenshot of the default links as they appear in a new "blank" course shell.

Screenshot of default course menu

The Kent State Online Template Course Menu

The course menu of the course you want to copy from or copy into will most likely be different from the default course menu. Below is a screenshot of the Kent State Online Template course menu.

Kent State Online Template Left Hand Navigation

A Combined Course Menu After a Course Copy

Copying the Kent State Online Template into a new course shell appends the course menu from the template to the existing menu. Notice in the screen shot below that the template course menu has been added to the default course menu in a new course shell.

Note: Links to tools in the course menu are NOT duplicated. For example, since both the Kent State Online Template and the default course menu in a new course shell both contain a link to the Email and My Grades tools, only one link appears in the combined course menu.


Screenshot of combined course menu

Step 1. Cleaning Up the Course Menu

Once the course copy is complete and the course menus have been combined, you will need to review the course menu and remove unnecessary or redundant links. Start by removing the following links:

  • KSU Helpdesk - This is redundant link.
  • Tools - The Tools link provides access to all the available tools in Blackboard Learn. Best practice is to remove this link unless you are familiar with how to make only those tools you want students to access available, otherwise students may be overwhelmed and confused as to which tool(s) they are required to use in your course.

Read This BEFORE Removing Any Course Menu Links: Notice in the screenshot below there is a grayed-out box that contains a dotted line square next to the Course Content link in the course menu. That icon denotes a content area (a folder) that is empty, (it does NOT contain any content items). Best practice is to always check links to content areas on the course menu before deleting. If you delete a link to a content area that contains content items, all the items contained within the content area (folder) are deleted. In the example below, it is safe to delete the Course Content link because 1) it is empty and 2) the Design to Teach template includes a link to a Learning Materials content folder on the Home page pre-populated with an example folder structure for organizing your course content.

To remove a link from the course menu hover over the link and click on the option icon. Select the Delete option from the drop down menu.

Step Image

Step 2. Reordering Navigation Links in the Course Menu

To move a link in the course menu hover over the link until an arrow appears to the left of the link. Mouse over the arrow. Once your cursor changes to a bolded arrow symbol, drag and drop the link to reorder it in the course menu.

Refer to the screenshot in the next section to view the default layout of the course menu in the Design to Teach template.

Step Image


The course menu in your new course should now match the recommended layout of the Kent State Online course menu, with the exception of any new links that you intentionally wanted to keep from your copied course.

Kent State Online Template Left Hand Navigation

Additional Information

Additional information on further set up and customization of the Course Menu can be found on the Build Section of the Kent State Online Framework under the tutorial titled Customize the Course Menu.