As more professors get laptops (i.e. smaller screens) as their primary university computer, some may be noticing that Blackboard looks very different when their browser window is small (not full screen). This is actually intentional. Newer versions of Blackboard are “responsive”. That means it dynamically adjusts it’s look based on the size of the screen/device you’re using. Whether on a smartphone, tablet, or small laptop, it will attempt to adjust itself, sometimes radically, in order to give you access to what you need in a tight space.
If you want Blackboard to look more traditional, just make sure you make your browser fill your screen. If you’re moving from a small screen to full screen, your course’s left menu may still be missing. However, you may notice a thin, blue bar on the left edge of Blackboard. Clicking that will bring your menu back to stay!