During the break between summer and fall semesters Blackboard will be upgraded to version 9.1 service pack 13. Upgrading to SP13 gives us a number of exciting new features as well as a few bug fixes. New features include:
1) Global navigation menu: You no longer need to navigate to the XU home page or courses tab to access your courses and organizations. The global navigation menu is the entry point to My Blackboard and also provides one-click access to your courses, organizations, settings and help.
- View short video: Global Navigation Menu [3:40]
2) Enhanced content editor: The new content editor improves your ability to enter text, paste from Microsoft Word and add content to all areas of your courses and organizations. Gone is the prior formatting problems of cutting and pasting text from Word. The content editor retains the formatting of the pasted text.
- View short video: Enhanced Content Editor [3:59]
3) Video Everywhere: Video Everywhere is a new feature of the content editor that allows you and your students to:
- Record a YouTube video on the fly using a webcam and have it seamlessly embedded (through the content editor) into your course materials, interactions, and feedback.
- Reuse previously recorded YouTube videos by choosing from your own "library" of videos.
A Google account and YouTube channel is required to use Video Everywhere.
- View short video: Video Everywhere [1:34]
4) Discussion board enhancements: The Discussion Board maintains all of its existing functions but with improved aesthetic and functional design. Discussion board enhancements include:
- All posts on one page - all of the posts in a thread are now visible at the same time on one page.
- "Post First" setting – instructors set a requirement for students to post to a forum before they can see other students' posts. This encourages thoughtful first posts and discourages "me too" posts.
- Inline replies – when you reply to a post, the new content editor appears on the same page, in the context of the discussion, so you can include rich media and formatting in your postings.
- Role highlighting (especially useful in organizations) - posts made by forum managers and moderators now contain the course role and forum role of the person posting, making it easy to identify the role of the person who is posting.
- View short video: Discussion Board Enhancements [1:20]
5) Inline assignment grading: Inline assignment grading enhances the grading experience for instructors. Instead of requiring instructors to download student-submitted files to view or edit those submissions, instructors can now see those files "inline," i.e. in the web browser. Annotation tools also enable instructors to provide feedback -- comments, highlights, and even drawing -- directly on the inline view of the document.
- View short video: Inline Assignment Grading [1:53]
6) Test/survey design and deployment enhancements: New enhancements give you more control over the design and give you flexibility over the delivery of assessments. The new enhancements are:
- Adding questions to a test/survey – When creating/editing a test/survey you can add new questions exactly where you want them on the canvas by clicking the plus sign before or after another question and then choose a question type.
- Test/survey availability exceptions - New settings have been added to Test and Survey Options pages to allow you to select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings. For example if you have a student with a disability that needs additional time to take a test, you can set an exception to give that student extra time to complete the test. You can change these settings at any time, even after the test/survey has been attempted by some students.
- Test/survey results and feedback - After students complete a test/survey, results and feedback are available to them. By setting up rules, you can set the release of progressive feedback to keep test results secure and prevent cheating.
- Due date and late submissions – This new enhancement allows instructors to decide whether to allow students to take a test/survey after the due date has passed.
- View short video: Test/Survey Enhancements [2:07]
7) Test item analysis and automatic regrading: You can evaluate the quality of objective test questions, including each 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.
- View short video: Test Item Analysis and Auto Regrade [5:00]
8) Calendar: The new updated calendar allows you to spend less time organizing your calendar and more time doing what's on it. You can consolidate course items into an easy-to-use personalized view. You can easily add events, drag and drop to change due dates, input course reminders, and export to third-party calendars like Outlook or Google. Events and due dates you add to your course calendar will be seen by all students enrolled in the course.
- View short video: Calendar [1:24]
9) Retention Center: The Retention Center enables instructors to identify and give focused attention to students who are at risk of not performing well. From the Retention Center, you can communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement. The Retention Center replaces the Early Warning System feature, providing easier workflow while retaining the Early Warning System's data and rules.
- View short video: Retention Center [4:30]
Want more information?
Get more information about the new features of Blackboard Learn 9.1.
Sign up for a Blackboard workshop or stop by one of the drop-in sessions for one-on-one help.
Explore Blackboard’s On Demand Learning Center.
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418