Blackboard module areas are websites and like most websites will benefit from consistency, clarity & brevity. The guidelines are based on web design & learning design good practice:
Keep content up to date
Remove redundant items, such as old teaching material, as they can cause confusion for both students and colleagues. They also make it difficult to manage content and the Grade Centre.
Ease of use
Keep accessibility in mind
Ensure learning material is designed with accessibility in mind. Learning material should be produced to optimise access to all students. For example, images need text descriptions so that they can be understood by students with visual or certain other cognitive disabilities.
Provide a logical structure
Blackboard Modules are based on standard templates. Some schools or courses have their own templates. It is recommended that you always use the agreed template to provide students with a consistent experience across their modules. This will help them easily locate items. A folder structure is recommended for learning material named by teaching week, unit or topic.
Use links consistently
Be consistent in how you link to websites to create a consistent user experience and expectation. Use the default Web Link setting in Blackboard to ‘Open in New Window’.
Label items clearly
Label items descriptively, but concisely and unambiguously. All items need names and descriptions that help students identify them, but, at the same time, need to be kept as concise as possible to help minimise the amount of text on the page.
Provide explicit instructions
When you require students to do something there must be explicit instructions. You will not be there to clarify. It should always be clear what, how and when something needs doing. Instructions should be located with the item they refer to.
Format text to aid scanning
Too much formatting with bold, colour, CAPITALS etc can have the opposite effect to what is intended, as it makes the screen too ‘busy’. Simplicity is key.