Release Notes for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017

On this page

    Review the list of features or view the maintenance items.

    Supported Technologies for Self-Hosted Systems Q2 2017

    Communication and Adoption Toolkit for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017

    Instructions to create and export a list of Known Issues in Behind the Blackboard

    To obtain this version of Blackboard Learn 9.1, you must use an installer instead of the BbPatch Utility. BbPatch is deprecated, does not work with this version, and the BbPatch Building Block that installs the tool can be uninstalled.

    Additional drag-and-drop locations

    File drag and drop are now supported in the following areas:

    • Content Collection – file upload page replacing Java-dependent interface
    • Content Editor – embed attachment
    • Blank Page content type
    • Blog – Create Entry
    • Journal – Create Entry
    • Portfolio – add Artifact

    If the browser allows, users can drag a folder of files and the files will upload individually.

    Submission receipts enhancements

    Students can receive a notification email for each assignment attempt with information about the submission including attached files. Students can also access receipts at any time on the My Grades page in the submissions filter area. Administrators can optionally disable the email notifications.

    Faster startup

    The startup sequence and restart times of application subsystems have been improved.

    LTI improvements

    LTI course links created by partners’ and institutionally-created solutions through Building Block APIs can now leverage LTI Outcomes 1.0 for grade/score return.

    Blackboard Predict support

    Support for Blackboard Predict, an optional student analytics tool, is included in this release. Predict uses longitudinal analysis of Learn and Student Information System data with predictive analytic algorithms to help educators, advisors, coaches and tutors to identify students at risk and intervene. If licensed and configured, Blackboard Learn administrators can enable the tools in the admin panel tools management area; the options will appear in all environments.

    Email configuration settings

    Starting in the Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 release, administrators edit email configuration settings in the user interface, rather than editing the settings in the bb-config.properties file. This method also allows you to edit email configuration settings without having to restart your Blackboard Learn environment. The configuration settings are now located under System Configuration > Email Configuration. The Local Support Contact, which was previously under System Admin > Help, is now located under Email Configuration as well.

    Red Hat Linux 5 no longer supported

    Red Hat Linux 5 is no longer supported. Affected Linux environments should upgrade to Red Hat Linux 6 when adopting this release.

    Smaller, faster installer

    This update removes redundant libraries and procedures to reduce installer size and improve speed. Installation times will vary by environment dependent upon size and hardware.

    Content Collection improvements

    In this release, the Content Collection has been improved to remove spam vulnerabilities and enhance search indexing performance. These improvements were also included in prior-version maintenance releases.

    Blackboard Store Building Block

    The Blackboard Store Building Block has been removed from this release.

    Building block installation validation

    When installing a building block, the system checks the manifest for properly escaped characters in XML. Improperly formatted XML caused issues with some building blocks in some environments.

    Blackboard Ally: A solution for better accessibility

    Ally is an additional, optional service for improving the accessibility of content and can now be integrated into Blackboard Learn. In this release, Ally improves accessibility within Blackboard Learn in the following ways.

    • Ally presents instructors and content authors with an accessibility score and coaches users in ways to improve the accessibility of materials.
    • Ally creates and presents students with automatically-generated alternative versions of uploaded files and creating accessible HTML, digital braille, and audio format files.
    • Ally allows administrators to see accessibility scores of materials across courses and track changes over time to plan, measure, and improve accessibility.

    SIS integration enhancements

    Command line Snapshot tools have been removed. Flat, snapshot-formatted files can still be processed through the SIS Integration Framework. 

    Outcomes Assessment: Sampling by demographic

    When collecting and sampling student submissions for a secondary program evaluation process, administrators can sample student work by student demographic information in addition to sampling by courses and terms. Sampling can be done by the education level field or institution roles. You can use boolean operators such as AND/OR when sampling institution roles. For example, you could sample graduating senior in a specific program for evaluation purposes.

    Learn 2016 Theme improvements

    In courses using the Learn 2016 theme, the discussion board is responsive for hand-held devices if the contents of the posts themselves are responsive. Discussion participants can read, respond, and use other discussion features such as post rating from mobile devices.

    Pages with tables, the course menu, and My Blackboard pages are better optimized for hand-held devices. Menus can be accessed on touch devices.