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How do I upload a Banner and customize my Blackboard Course?


Public Domain Images:

Making a banner for your class on Blackboard isn’t magic, it’s easier than you might think. Remember, your banner not only brands your class, it also helps students know that they are in the right place, and sets expectations about what happen in the class!

A simple banner includes an image and some text. In this video I will show you 
How to create new canvas
How to insert your image and resize it to an appropriate size
Tips to make your text readable
And how to save your banner in Blackboard

First, create a new canvas. The drawing canvas is the area where you will create or modify images. 

Let’s get started. Open Photoshop. 
Select the "New" menu choice from the "File" menu item. 
The "New Canvas Window” will appear-- you can use this window to create your own canvas. 

Lets try it out. 
Title your banner, for example, I’ve named my banner “Banner Creation 101”.
We recommend you set the width to 700 pixels. The height is more flexible, but we recommend 300 pixels. 
Because this image is for the web, we’ll use resolution of 72 pixels/inch. 
Make sure you are set to RGB color mode, with a white background. 
When you hit the "OK" button, you should see your new canvas pop up!

Ok, now we’ll insert your image into the blank canvas document. There are couple of ways to crop an image to make it usable for your banner but here is one of the fastest and easiest.

Select File, Place Embedded. This will let you select the image to insert. 
For example, I’ve chosen the file-----******. Click “Enter”.

You can also simply drag an image from Windows or Mac OS into an open Photoshop canvas.

Now you’ll probably need to resize the image. To scale the placed art, drag one of the corner handles of the bounding box or enter values for width and height in the options bar. When dragging, hold down the Shift key to constrain the image proportions.

If you are looking for public domain images to use in your banner, there are a variety of resources available on the web. Check below this video for a few suggestions.

Use the Horizontal Type tool to create and edit text. The new text you type is entered in a new text layer. Left align your text, Adjust the title text and make it larger. You have all the text options on the top here. 

When you add text on the image, make sure the text is readable for viewers. There are severals ways to do this. 

1. When you are not sure what works, consider going big. 
This applies to either the image or the type itself. The element of size will grab a user’s attention and with one large element it can make it easier to create a sense of scale between the text and image. 

2. You can also use contrast to increase readability. 
Make sure that text varies in color enough to be seen in combination with the photo. If you have a photo with a predominantly dark background, you might opt for white,or light colored text. If you have a light-colored image, you might go with a dark-colored type.
Contrast can also refer to the size of text in relationship to what is happening in the image. Lettering should work with, not against the image!
3. Another clever method to make text readable is to add a stroke effect to your type. Go up to Layer , Layer Style, and I am going to put a stroke in a different color around the letter there. The default is red but you can click to use the eyedropper to pick up a dark color from the image.

Ok, now I have a banner and it looks the way I want it to look. I’m pretty happy with that and I’m gonna save it for the web. Go to File , Save for Web. We recommend save your banner as a PNG instead of JPEG once you have text on your banner. Text looks best in a PNG on screens. Simply click File ,Save for Web , PNG 24. 

Once your banner is created, you can upload it to Blackboard by:
Click on “Customization” in your course Control Panel:
Select "Teaching Style"
Scroll to Step 7, “Select Banner”.
You can click the "Browse" button to find the new Banner, and then hit "Submit" to upload. After that you should be able to see your new banner on the top of your "Announcements" page!

That’s all you need to create a banner for Blackboard, now it’s time for you to start and make your own magic.

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