Blackboard Upgrade 9.1 SP 13

UIC is upgrading to the latest version of Blackboard Learn on December 21st to provide a more user-friendly and modern experience.  Please note that during the transition, the system will be down from December 21st to December 24th while we work on bringing you these exciting upgrades.

ACCC will hold a number of webinars that explore the new Blackboard Learn features that will be available after the upgrade to 9.1 SP 13.  Additional information is available on the Blackboard Workshops page.

The Most Notable Updates Include:

  • Global Navigation: streamlined top-level links are the entry point when using the system and the new social learning tools.

  • New Content Editor – the new content editor improves the user experience for adding text and digital content.

  • 2-Way SMS Tool – two-way SMS tool gives instructors and students the ability to text with each other individually, in groups, and with their whole class.

  • Calendar - instructors and students can view personal, course, and system-wide events in a single calendar view.  External calendars can subscribe to events created on the Blackboard Learn calendar through an iCalendar feed.

  • Discussions - a modern discussion interface that displays all posts and options on a single page, allows inline posting, clearly identifies the role of the poster, and can require students to post before participating.

  • New Assessment Features: inline assignment grading, test access logs, test availability and due date exceptions, answer pattern matching for fill-in-the-blank questions, a customizable test-begin page, and much more (see descriptions below with links to these features).

Additional New Features Include:

  • Collaborate Rooms – allow instructors to have instant collaboration (web-conferencing) rooms with just one student, or the entire class.  Sessions do not have to be pre-created anymore, thus minimizing the instructors' effort to use the Collaborate tool.​

  • Assessment Item Analysis – provides statistics on overall test performance and on individual test questions.  This data helps instructors recognize questions that might not adequately discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Ineffective or misleading question are identified easily, corrected in the Test Canvas, and are re-graded automatically.​

  • Assessment Question Enhancements – Fill-in-the-Blank and Fill-in-Multiple Blanks questions now offer ‘contains’ and ‘pattern match’ as grading options. Instructors no longer have to rely only on ‘exact match’ for grading. 

  • Enterprise Surveys and Course Evaluations – both are integrated in Blackboard Learn making it easy to send surveys to courses, departments, institutions or the public.  This tool is available to Survey Administrator and Survey Manager accounts to create, send, and analyze surveys on an institutional level. Survey reports can display aggregate results, analyzing data across courses and business units. Survey reports can also display longitudinal results, analyzing data across time periods such as terms or years.

  • My Blackboard – aggregates information from across the Blackboard Learn system. My Blackboard has a navigation panel that quickly connects to different tools in the system using Global Navigation at the top of screen.

  • File Picker – new and improved, File Picker is available everywhere users attach files, providing a convenient experience. 

  • Set Default Course Files Properties – administrators can now control the default setting for copying course files or linking to course files during a course copy, export, or archive. This setting is available for courses created after upgrading to Service Pack 10.

  • Copy Course File Attachments – cuts down the number of file attachments that are duplicated during a course copy by allowing users to copy the entire folder or only those files that are actually linked to course content.

  • New User Warnings – two new warnings help users avoid accidently creating broken links to course files. 

  • Input Validation Filter – the new first line of defense that confirms that data coming into Blackboard Learn is safe.

  • Alternate File Domain Settings for Serving Content – this security control forces files uploaded by users to open from another web domain to protect against potentially malicious files.

  • Mobile Support for Mashups – changes in how mashups are processed allow them to now play on mobile devices. 

  • Video Everywhere – a feature of the Content Editor Building Block providing faculty and students with the ability to record and reuse videos in Blackboard Learn. The videos are created and managed through an integration with YouTube. 

  • Retention Center – a tool that enables instructors to give focused attention to students who need it. It replaces the Early Warning System feature with easy workflows, while retaining all existing Early Warning System data and rules.

  • Inline Assignment Grading – a revision to the workflow allowing instructors to view student-submitted files “inline” without requiring any plugins, applets, or client-side applications. Additionally, annotation tools enable instructors to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings/annotations directly on the inline view of the document. 

  • Tests and Surveys Options – this release provides additional enhancements and improved workflows including group and user deployment exceptions, granular feedback control for tests, improved handling of late submissions, and more.

  • Quick Links – a tool that allows a user to quickly locate and navigate to any heading or section within a page in the Blackboard Learn application. This type of navigation efficiency is for sighted keyboard users and is not available in any Learning Management System. 

  • Test Availability Exceptions – a set of new settings on the Test Options page, available only after the test is added to a content area. Instructors can select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings.

  • Content Editor Math Formulas – this updates moves from the non-accessible applet-based editor to a JavaScript-based editor to improve accessibility.

  • Test Access Log – a new feature that allows teachers and proctors to verify student in/activity during a test.

  • Align Rubric Row Criteria to Goals – instructors can now align individual criteria listed in the row of a rubric to course goals, providing a more granular level of aligning a specific criterion to course goals using a rubric.

  • View Related Goals – goal managers can create relationships between individual goals within goal sets to demonstrate how goals from different sets relate to one another. By creating related goals, an institution can show how learning outcomes for courses relate to program goals or accreditation standards.

  • Exporting Test Questions – all questions are now retained in exported and imported tests, including questions that originate outside the exported test, such as Question Sets, Random Blocks, and Question Links. When the user exports a test and imports it back into a different course, all questions are now present irrespective of their origin. 

Last updated: 

December 18, 2013

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