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Heading Structure in Blackboard

About the structure of Blackboard pages

A logical heading structure is in place to properly structure the page and allow users to navigate using headings. Headings are used consistently throughout the application. This gives users the ability to understand the structure of any page in the application quickly, and move to the appropriate section of the page or content item easily.

As is required, a single H1 is provided to identify the page the user is looking at. In Blackboard, the page title, for example “Course Documents,” is always the H1.

H2 headings are used to delineate major sections of a page. These headings are hidden and allow screen reader users to skip directly to each major page section. For example, a course page has two H2 headings: one for the course menu and one for the main content that is located immediately above the action bar on the content page.

H3 headings are typically used as the title of content items or key content elements on a page. For example, the title of an assignment on a “Course Documents” page is an H3 so the user easily finds it.

To reduce the visual clutter on a page, a number of elements are hidden until they receive either mouse or keyboard focus. After focus is given, these elements become active and follow typical keyboard interaction models.


Landmarks are designated based on ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite). ARIA defines a way to make web content and web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. Landmarks in Blackboard include:

  • application
  • banner
  • complementary
  • content info
  • course menu
  • content area
  • form
  • main
  • navigation
  • search

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UM System eLearning
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UMKC Technology Support Center
☎ 816.235.2000
Technology Support Center