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OCHO "New Improved Cleaner Interface"

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Peter Snyder Posted: 27 Apr 2012 7:22 PM

I am astounded that students are now forced to learn implied functions on Content pages. The removal of visible links to access assignments and other course content is going to really create another issue for many of our learners, First Generation most of them, and because of their limited resources to begin with buy these insanely small "Netbooks"

Though proficient at tiny phone screens the nuances of the Pointer and the importance on mousing over everything on the screen is lost on them.

I've been watching my Instructors navigate the new interface, and in edit mode the visual cues are legion, but even then the missing visual cue for a content "Link" leaves them trying to click on the icon and anywhere but on the text...quite fascinating actually.

I have posted a suggestion, and just wanted to know if there are many out there who might wish to share how they are managing to orient their students to the subtler functions of these, Web 2.0 design "features" of Bb Learn 9.8.

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Peter,

Are you simply referring to the fact that links are not underlined or colored differently on the new "Learn 2012" theme that's available in Blackboard 9.1 SP8, or are you referring something else?

The "Learn 2012" theme is a new addition with SP8, but it's entirely optional, and the themes that were used in previous Blackboard Learn versions are still available for the administrator to select from when configuring the system.  Also, if you like most of the visual elements of the "Learn 2012" theme but just want the links to be underlined or a different color, it's relatively simple for the administrator to edit the theme and change the formatting associated with links (see the thread at http://discussions.blackboard.com/forums/p/52249/160950.aspx#160950)

Mike

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Thanks for your reply Michael,

We are a managed hosted client. I would be happy to leave the interface as it is now, but was told by BhTBb, that features may not function properly if we don't switch to Learn 2012.  I'm thinking now that I should have asked him what might not function, but I generally don't go that way. I've attended a few webinars on customizing the interface and I am loathe to tinker with that incredibly complex spaghetti of code. I did read the discussion thread you linked to this, and am thinking I should investigate further as we are not planning on launching 8 until the Fall, as I have experienced if I can ask the right question I usually get what I need from BhTBb tickets.

 

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I work with Peter, and am almost there with the CSS alterations. The one limiting thing for us as a hosted solution is that we cannot get to the server directory to replace the CSS file with our changed on. What to do? 

Or do we have the ability to get to //blackboard/docs/themes ?

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John,

If you're customizing a theme, the normal way to do it is just to download the existing theme, make the changes you want to make to the CSS, then upload your customized version as a new theme.  Then you can select your new theme when setting up the brand.  You should not need to access the filesystem directly.

If you have Community licensed, you can create additional brands besides the default brand.  One thing I always found very useful was to set up a secondary brand to test out theme/brand changes before using them as the default for everybody.

Mike

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Michael,

We do have community license, and I am looking for the upload file button in the Themes, like it is in the "Customize Login page." 

We can download the Theme we are using, and John can update the file, but there is no way to upload present there.  I've got a new ticket into BhthBb, for help with this.

We are very grateful for you attention to this Dr. C area.

Peter.

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Peter,

To upload your file and create a new theme, you start by creating the theme (Admin Panel > Brands and Themes > Theme and Palette Catalog > Create Theme), and when you create the theme you'll have a link to upload your theme file.

Mike

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Doh!

Thats right Michael.

I even went there too, and just didn't see it.

Peter

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I'm with you so far, but when I go to upload my theme I get an error. The theme consists of several css file; is the file I am supposed to upload a .zip file of all of them? That is what I try, but get an error complaining that my file does not have a "theme.css" file in it. It does, as part of the .zip file.

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Hi John

 

compress them by selection all of them and then create the zip archive, you shouldn't have a root folder which contains the css files, once you double click your archive you should be able to see all theme CSS files

 

Regards

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Brilliant! Thank you all for your help. We now have underlines on our Assignment links.

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