How do I use the UIC Blackboard template?

As UIC adopts hybrid learning and teaching in online environments, colleges have requested consistency and college branding in Blackboard courses to help students navigate courses easily, access college resources quickly, and help students feel part of a community. The new UIC Blackboard template for Spring 2021 comes with a Welcome Page. This page can be generic for UIC or specific to a particular department or college.


After logging into your Blackboard course, you will see a Course Welcome Page.

Course welcome pages are customized with links and a banner. You’ll also see a standardized course navigation menu, providing a standardized menu structure that can drive consistency and help students stay organized. Instructors will be able to edit the course navigation menu; however, the banner, images, and links on the welcome page are controlled at the college/department level.

Course Welcome page


What are the advantages of using the Welcome page?


You’ll notice the welcome page includes helpful links in the header image for students, as well as a set of information modules that can help students stay on track. It contains details about new content and due dates for the course. Information is presented in boxes called modules, such as My Announcements, My Tasks, To Do, and What's New. 


What if I want my course to open on Announcements?


While the Welcome page does include Announcements, the page that students see when they enter the course can be changed. For instance, you may want students to see the Welcome page for the first week of the semester, which is the default, and then have it open on Announcements or another content page at a later date. If you decide to hide the Welcome page, the entry point will change automatically to the next available content item - which in the Spring 2021 template is Announcements. Consult this article if you want to keep the Welcome page visible, but want to change the course entry point in your course.

Hide/Show the Welcome page:


  1. Click on the downward arrow next to the name. 

  2. Open the pop up menu and pull down to Hide Link.
  3. You’ll notice a small box with a line through it appears, which signifies that the area is hidden from students.
  4. You can unhide at any time by choosing Show Link. 


Welcome page pop up menu


Next steps for customizing the template


Note: If you are copying a course from a previous semester, be sure to delete any additional content areas. You can safely remove any tools you won’t be using in your class and add tools you will use.

Upload your Syllabus to the Syllabus and Policies content area. 


  1. Replace the syllabus template currently in place with your own, or download that template and edit it. 

  2. Save it and upload again.


Edit the Getting Started content section.  


  1. Open the item's menu and select Edit. You’ll find it in the downward arrow/contextualization menu next to the name.

  2. Add your own content to the Course Welcome content item.
  3. Type an introduction and/or add a video introduction.
  4. Add your Course Learning Objectives.
  5. Customize the Your Faculty information.
  6. Put in your contact information.
  7. Add a Bio.
  8. Replace the placeholder image with your photo.


Edit the Sample Week to create your Weekly Content.


  1. Create an introduction to the upcoming weeks content.

  2. Fill in the Weekly Activities.
  3. Add your synchronous session information
  4. Add links or videos in the learning content area.
  5. Add a link to a quiz,  discussion board or assignment.
  6. Create a wrap-up post for the week.
For more questions about customizing the template email or schedule an appointment with an LTS instructional designer.


Article ID: 1310
Fri 1/15/21 6:38 PM
Mon 6/14/21 2:20 PM

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Blackboard is UIC's learning management system for course-related activities and grade reporting.