Jun 032014

We will be having a Blackboard upgrade this summer 2014. Here is a sneak preview of what to expect!

More information about the upgrade will appear soon.


Global Navigation Menu and My Blackboard

When you first log in to the newly upgraded Blackboard, you will see an overlay that highlights some of the new features. On clicking on your name in the  upper right-hand corner of the screen, a drop-down menu will appear, providing access to content notifications, user profile, and the newly redesigned calender.

The Global Navigation panel consists of a set of text links within the user menu – this is the right panel headed 'Courses'. Selecting a course link will take you to that Blackboard Course. The My Blackboard menu with icons is loacted on the darker left panel. These menus give you a personalized view of your learning environment.

The user menu on the right (contains Courses, Organizations, Settings) which provides access to your courses, communities, as well as the Home and Help links at the very bottom of the panel.

My Blackboard menu (on the left) shows timely course communication, recent posts, due dates, grades (for students only) and more for all of your courses. It provides icons and links to various areas of Blackboard. The icons and the numbers in red boxes signal the presence and number of new information, such as new messages and new posts.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard. Please note that we may not be using all the icons displayed in this view.


New Content Editor

The new content editor improves the user experience for adding text and digital content. The update brings a new math formula editor (WIRIS) that is based on JavaScript.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard on the new content editor

Find out more on the Maths Editor Improvements


Inline Grading Assignment

A revision to the current assignment workflow allowing instructors to view student submitted files 'inline'. Annotation tools enable instuctors to provide feedback including comments, highlights and even drawing/annotations directly on the inline view of the document

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Inline Grading for Blackboard, Discussion, Blogs and Wikis

The Inline Grading sidebar design has now been added to Blogs, Journals, Wikis and Discussion Boards.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Groups Management – Enhancement

This update to groups simplifies the process of creating and managing groups. Manage all course groups at once from the 'All Groups' page, including deleting multiple groups at once, creating GradeCnter Smart Views and enabling or disabling Group Tools. Plus on the users page, group membership is now listed.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Discussion Boards

A modern discussion interface that displays all posts and options on a single page, allows for inline posrting and can also require students to post before participating.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Retention Center

A tools that enables instructors to give focused attention to students who may be at risk. Ths tool is based on preconfigured rules created in a Blackbord module. It replaces the Early Warning System feature with easy workflows, while reati8ning all existing early Warning System data and rule.

Note Works in FireFox and not Internet Explorer or Google Chrome

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Calendar Enhancement

Instructors and students can view personal, course and system-wide events in a single calendar view.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Test Improvements

Item Analysis on a Test
This fearture allows for  the ability to evaluate the quality of each question and that question’s ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not.  Ineffective questions can be easily identified and then quickly corrected with the Automatic Regrade feature.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

File Attachments in Tests
Files that are attached to test questions must be uploaded using the content editor. This will store the files in Course Files in the Blackboard module.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Test and Survey options

Test Availability Exceptions—have been added to the Test/Survey Options page which allows you to set the Test/Survey options once the Test/Survey has been added to a content are, improved workflow including group and user deployment, improved handling of late submissions, having a test 'begin page' to add additional information before the test is taken and more.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard

Find out more on Blackboard help on Test and Survey options

Test Availbilty Option ' Score Attempts Using' (also in Blackboard Assignments)

In test deployment options the option 'Score Attempts Using' has been added. Previosuly this option was only available from the Grade Center, this created an inefficient worksflow iif your test or assignment was set to multiple attempts beacuse you had to remember to navigate to the Grade Center if you wanted to change the default score that was displayed to students if there was more than one attempt on an test or assignment. Now when you deply a test or assignment you can specify which attempt score to display.


Event- based method for releasing Test results and Feedback to students

In test deployment options, there are additional feedback options to provide instructors with more control on when and how students can view test feedback. Also evebts can be triggered to specific feedback settings

Find out more on Blackboard help on Test results and Feedback to students


Test Question Positioning

It's now possible to create a new test question in the desired location with respect to questions that have been created already.


Test Access Log

Detailed Information on student test attempt interactions are now availble, this helps address issues as to whether students have began to take the test or ran into issues whilst taking the test.

Find out more on Blackboadr Help on Test Access Log


Test Export Options

All questions are now retained in imported and exported tests, these include questions that originate outside the exoprted test (i.e. question sets , random blocks and question links. Questioms that are in question sets and random blocks in teh originating tests are imported into the new course in question pool. Single questins that were linked in the originating test are imported as 'native' (non-linked) questions.


Mobile Browser Support for Mashups

Changes in how mashups are processed allow them to play on mobile devices via a web browser.



Accessibilty Improvements

The Quick Links tool allows a user to quickly locate any heading or section within any page in the Blackboard Learn application and jump directly to it.

videolink Watch an overview video by Blackboard


Course Reports – Single Course User Participation Report 

In the option 'Evalutions | Course Reports' (via Control Panel) in a Blackboard course you can run several types of course reports to view information about course usage and activity. You can now run the report 'Single Course Participation Report' –  If run, this reports displays the number of user submissions in your course for Blakcboard assignments, tests, discussions, blogs, and journals within a chosen time frame. Note this information is provided in a Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet (.xls). Also if no activity exists for an item type, then no assignment column appears in the spreadsheet.

Find out more on Blackboard help on Blackboard Course Reports