New Features and Updates

Blackboard upgrade is planned for May 31, 2016

New Features and Improves include:

  • Thread-to-Thread Navigation in Discussion Boards – Users will be able to navigate to the next or previous thread in a discussion from the Thread Detail page without having to navigate back up to the Discussion Forum page.
  • Announcement Date Restriction Default – When creating an announcement, “Not Date Restricted” is now selected by default.
  • Assessments – When creating a hot spot question, an Image Alternate Text box is now available.
  • Content Editor – The default heading size for all of the embedded headings has been increased so they are properly read in both the view and edit state in the Content Editor.
  • Notifications – Several fixes have been made to Assessments, Grading and the Mobile B2 to improve notification performance.
  • Browser Support – The Microsoft Edge browser is now supported.
  • HTML 5 Support – The Content Editor now supports HTML5 Audio and Video playback in Chrome and Edge browsers.
  • Special Characters in Assignment Titles – When a user uploads a file to Learn and the file name contains special characters (such as / \ : ? * ” < > | ), the system replaces the special character with an underscore ( _ ).

On June 22nd, 2015, Blackboard was upgraded to October ’14 release of version 9.1. This version includes the following new features:

  • Inline Assignment Grading and Markup – annotate directly within the browser on uploaded files
  • Content Collection – store and share files across courses
  • Blackboard Collaborate NEW VERSION – fully interactive web conferencing environment available later this summer.
  • New Streamlined Guest User Account request  process (  Note: Summer system will continue to be in use for all Summer Session courses and will use legacy GuestID accounts.

Previous upgrade completed on January 6th, 2015 introduced the following features:

Student View

 Vendor documentation

Instructors can experience the course exactly as the student would. While in Student View instructors can submit assignments, take tests, create blogs, discussion posts, journal and wiki entries and view student tools such as My Grades.

Anonymous Grading

 Vendor documentation

Instructors can hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous grading.

Delegated Grading

 Vendor documentation

Instructors can delegate grading of assignments to specific users.

Significant Figures in Calculated Formula Questions

 Vendor documentation

In calculated formula questions, instructors can select the number of decimals or significant figures for the correct answers generated by the system.

On  June 3rd, 2014, Blackboard was upgraded to version 9.1 Service Pack 14. The following features and improvements were included:

Grade Center Improvements

 Vendor documentation

This release includes several improvements to the Grade Center.

  • Workflow improved to ensure that instructors can easily find the setting for tools that support multiple attempts.
  • Total point adjustment for tests option allows instructors to modify total points for the test without compromising test integrity.
  • There is now support for letter grade schema percentages to be greater than 100%

Inline Grading

 Vendor documentation

Instructors have a consistent grading sidebar within assignments, blogs, discussions, journals, and wikis. This grading sidebar allows instructors to grade a submission without leaving the page. See detailed instructions.

Dates Management

 Vendor documentation

Instructors can easily adjust availability dates for any content and tools. You can choose to adjust dates automatically or individually. This is especially useful when transferring content from previous semester.

Group Management

 Vendor documentation

Group Management significantly improves the experience of managing Groups with large numbers of students in a course.

  • Easily see which students are in which groups, including which students are not in any groups.
  • Easily see and modify group memberships.
  • Choose and manage membership for groups sets with an improved workflow.
  • Import and export groups and group memberships.
  • Sort columns, perform bulk actions for deleting groups, and create Grade Center smart views for one or more groups on the All Groups page.
  • Optionally, manage tool availability for all groups on the All Groups page.

Improved Testing Options

 Vendor documentation

This release includes several new and improved options that are available to instructors when deploying a test or survey in a course.

  • When you allow multiple attempts for a test, you can also select which attempt to use in the Grade Center from the Score attempts using drop-down list.
  • You can require students to take the test in a specific location. Students outside of this location will not be able to take the test. This is based on a range of IP addresses created by your institution. To learn more, see Restrict Tests by Location.
  • Select individual students or groups and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings. You can use exceptions to provide an accommodation to a disabled student, or for technology and language differences.
  • Results and feedback are available to students after they complete a test. Instructors can set up to two rules to show results and feedback. For example if students are taking the test at different times, you can choose to make a limited amount of feedback available until all students have completed the test.

Instructor’s View To Test Access Log

 Vendor documentation

Instructors and other users who are granted permission (TA’s, Admin Assistants) have access to view detailed information on student test attempt interactions by viewing the Access Log for a test from the Attempts page of the test. The access log shows a detailed list of every interaction that students engage in when taking a test. If a student claims to have started a test the log will show the time the test was started. If a network or internet disruption occurred during the test for example, the log would show an unusual gap in the time.

Course Messages Notifications

 Vendor documentation

Course Messages has been added to the Notifications framework. Course messages allows for secure communication between an instructor and a student that can be tracked through the course and accessible only to sender (instructor) and intended recipient (student). Enabling notification would allow users to get an email notifying that there’s a message for them in the course. The content of the message is never sent via email.

Student Video Upload

 Using Mashups in Content Editor

Students can record a video via webcam or upload an existing video by using Kaltura Mashup tool that’s is available through the Blackboard VTBE content editor. This functionality would allow students to add video to their discussion post, blog, wiki, or journal. They could also submit their video to be graded using the Assignment tool.

SMS and Text-to-Voice Notification Option

 Vendor Documentation

To use this feature, user must set their phone number in the Personal Information tool. SMS, and text-to-voice notifications are turned off by default. If you wish to receive notifications in these ways, you need to select them on your Edit Notification Settings page.


For immediate support:

607 255 9760 (M-F, 9a - 5p ET)

Search Academic Technologies