Step 3:   Blackboard Navigation and the Concourse Syllabus


This Orientation page will walk you through the navigation of Blackboard, including learning how to view your course, locate pertinent information about your course and expand and collapse the navigation side panel for more browser real estate.

Key Points on this Page

 Logging In

Finding Your Courses

Select Courses from the side navigation. That provides a comprehensive view of the courses that you are enrolled in. 

Note that not all courses may show up automatically, especially under "Current Courses" , so we recommend using that dropdown to change to the current semester (ie. Fall 2021)  or use the Search box feature to locate, and then favorite, your courses. More on this below.)

Also note: courses for fall do not appear in Blackboard until sometime in July and/or August, depending on the class. You may not see any of your courses in Blackboard until late July or early August. This is not a reflection of your registration status, which you can view via the SURFS system. Any questions about registration for classes should be made to

Favoriting Your Courses

On the Courses tab, after logging into Blackboard, change  the Current Courses dropdown to go to select the current semester (ie Fall 2024)

That will limit the results to only your classes for that semester.

If you don't see your course listed, this may be because the courses are not yet in Blackboard or your instructor has not yet made the course available to you. 

Most Fall courses won't show up until sometime in August and Spring courses in January. Once all courses are in Blackboard and made available to you, you can always use the Search box at the top and search by course number (670, 744, etc.). Alternatively, you can just use the Search box to locate any of your courses at any time.

When you locate the classes you are in, click the Star icon on the right to "favorite" them, and they will then show up at the top of your list when you click on Courses each day.

If you can't find your course at all using any of these methods (and it is in August/January), there is a chance there was an issue with your enrollment, and it should be verified with SSW Records and Registration (

 Once you have located the course, click on the name of the course link you would like to view. 

Note: Please note that your instructors make the course available to you in Blackboard. Until they do, you will not see your course listed as available in Blackboard. 

Some instructors open courses early and some do not. If you do not see your course available and are eager to enter, please email your instructor. 

Notes About Blackboard Courses


To locate the pertinent information of your course, you will need to utilize the navigation on the left hand side of your course.

Some instructors change the default navigation, removing links to some tools, moving or renaming others, or adding in their own navigation. 

Some of the primary areas you will need:

Limited Blackboard View

The image below may not match what your course looks like. Each instructor can change the look and colors of the navigation, as well as the tools, and links available there.  But it will always be on the left side/column in your Blackboard course. 

If you don't see navigation buttons on the left, it is likely because the "hide/show" toggle arrow was clicked at some point, and the menu is hidden!

The image below displays a gray tab on the left navigation with a white arrow within it. This arrow toggles (hides/shows) the navigation. Sometimes for whatever reason, this might get inadvertently clicked or triggered so that you only have Announcements showing in your course and no navigation. When the occurs, locate the gray tab and click it to re-display the navigation buttons.

This can also happen if your Blackboard browser window is sized too small - so you may need to first expand the size of your Bb window/tab to the size of your whole screen. If you don't see the gray/white icon highlighted in blue in the image below no matter what, screen size is most likely the issue:

Archiving Courses

The IDEA Team, working with UMB CITS, archives Bb classes older than 3 years and removes them from Blackboard. The archives are able to be restored if at some point a faculty member requests this.  There is no guarantee of access to course materials after a course is completed. If you intend to download/save any course materials, you should do so during the current semester. Access to Blackboard after graduation is managed by UMB CITS via the UMID, and will be removed according to their policies.

Concourse Syllabus

The Concourse Syllabus provides important information about your course, including objectives, assignments, and policies. Understanding the syllabus is crucial for success in your academic journey, as it serves as a roadmap for your course and outlines the expectations set by your instructor. Follow these simple steps to find your syllabus and stay organized throughout the semester.

Once you have located your course, you'll find a course menu on the left-hand side of the screen. This menu contains various options and tools related to your course, including links to assignments, discussions, and course documents, all of which you will learn more about during the Navigation step in this Orientation. 

One of the Core Components, and often the second or third item on the left navigation is the Concourse Syllabus. Clicking this will launch the syllabus in a new tab. 

The Concourse Syllabus document contains essential information about your course, including course objectives, required readings, assignment due dates, and grading policies. You can also download the syllabus for offline viewing or printing if needed.

Take the time to carefully review the contents of the Concourse Syllabus. The syllabus provides valuable insights into what you can expect from the course, as well as the responsibilities and expectations set by your instructor. Pay close attention to course objectives, assignment descriptions, grading criteria, and any other important information provided.

If you have any questions or concerns about the syllabus or course expectations, don't hesitate to reach out to your instructor for clarification. Your instructor is there to support you throughout the semester and can provide guidance on any aspects of the course that may be unclear.

Understanding the syllabus is essential for success in your academic endeavors. It serves as a contract between you and your instructor, outlining the framework of the course and setting clear expectations for both parties.

Page Summary

When navigating Blackboard, you can find courses using the search function or by selecting the appropriate semester from the dropdown menu. To streamline access, you can favorite courses for quicker retrieval. Keep in mind that not all courses may appear until 2-3 days before the class starts. While Blackboard courses share a consistent interface, instructors have the flexibility to modify certain elements. If your course layout differs from the images provided, it might be due to a navigation button you need to click. Additionally, courses are archived after completion, so it's essential to save any important work externally to avoid loss of content once the course concludes.

Exercise 3: