What's New in Learn

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    Featured video: SafeAssign integration

    Administrators: Don't forget to read the Release Notes and check out the Communication and Adoption Toolkit for your release to help you drive awareness and adoption of these new features and updates at your institution. (These resources are available in English only.)

    The following tables will help you to get familiar with the features and building blocks available with the most recent updates to Blackboard Learn 9.1.

    You can also check out BlackboardTV, the Blackboard YouTube channel, to view dozens of Blackboard Learn video tutorials. (These resources are available in English only.)

    Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 changes

    Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    Record attendance Institutions and instructors want to track attendance for various purposes, including at-risk detection, federal financial aid and accreditation compliance, and to support instructor pedagogical preference where being present is a component of a course grade. With this release, instructors can track attendance in both experiences. In Learn courses, a gradebook column is added when the instructor begins taking attendance. The Attendance column provides the overall attendance score in the gradebook, where it can be included in the student’s overall grade.

     

    Administrator
    Instructor
    Student

     

    COMING SOON: Cloud services integration Instructors can copy files from their favorite cloud storage solutions when authoring Content Items or creating Assignments. Students can submit assignments from their favorite cloud storage solutions. Cloud storage that is supported includes OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Google Drive including G suite accounts, Dropbox, and Box.  Instructor
    Student
    COMING SOON: Create recording for feedback An instructor or grader can create personalized feedback recordings for individual assessment attempts or manual gradebook items. Each recording can be up to 5 minutes long and can be both video and audio. The option appears in the third row of the Content Editor as a microphone icon. Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Integrated tools can retrieve course roster information to support assessment activities or provide better information about the class within the tool. This ability is formerly known as LTI Membership Service. The Assessment option under Course Tool placement has been removed. There is now a setting for Student Tool and Content Type. Placements previously set to use the Assessment placement type will continue to display in the same way. If the placement is edited, the course tool type will be changed. Administrator
    Additional attempts in anonymous grading Instructors can now grant an additional attempt for scenarios when the student needs one and the prior attempt can't be cleared because it is in an anonymous state. Instructor

    Learn 9.1 Q4 2017 changes

    Learn 9.1 Q4 2017 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    Discussion Board Replies to me Keeping up with large Discussion Board forums is easier by giving participants a count and filter to just look at new replies from others to posts made the participant. Instructor
    Student
    Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Tool providers who use the LTI 2.0 specification can be registered using the proxy service standard. LTI links now open in a lightbox within the course, rather than directing users to a new window or tab. The Content Item Message specification is now supported, allowing improved integration for tool providers also supporting this standard. When used, instructors and course designers can create links to specific resources without knowing and specifying resource IDs. Administrator
    Instructor
    Crocodoc to New Box View Instructors grading assignments can view documents in-line and annotate the document to provide feedback for students. In prior versions, this used a licensed technology called Crocodoc that will be discontinued on January 15, 2018. This release allows institutions to switch to a replacement service from Box entitled New Box View that offers similar capabilities. Prior documents with annotations will be automatically migrated without requiring action from administrators. Administrators only need to enable the New Box View service.  Administrator
    Instructor
    Three-Legged OAuth Starting with this release, Blackboard Learn provides support for three-legged OAuth (3LO) 2.0 authorization. Developers can create applications using REST APIs that act on a user's behalf in a more secure way. When authorized using 3LO, applications can act on behalf of a user and therefore are restricted to the parts of Learn for which that user has permissions to access. This process allows the application to submit assignments or tasks the user has completed to Blackboard Learn. Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    Grade center cleanup Instructors can now more easily clean up their grade books by deleting multiple columns at once. Selected manual and calculated columns are removed completely. Selected columns associated with gradable items are cleared of attempt and grade data but remain in the Grade Center. Instructor
    Course availability and update Instructors and other privileged course members can see the availability state of the course and change the state from the main course view. All privileged users in a course see an open or closed padlock representing the availability state of the course to students. This is in the course edit management areas with tools such as Student Preview and the Edit Mode toggle. Instructor

    Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 changes

    Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    Blackboard Instructor Blackboard Instructor is a mobile app that enables instructors to view course content, connect with students in discussions, and interact classes in Blackboard Collaborate. The app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices. Instructor
    Blackboard Ally Support 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 by presenting instructors with an accessibility score, and coaches users in ways to improve files. Ally allows administrators too see accessibility scores across courses, and allows students to download accessible file formats.  Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    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. Administrator
    Additional Drag and Drop Files Drag and drop are now supported in the following areas: Content Collection, Content Editor, blank page content type, blogs, journals, and adding an artifact to Portfolios. Instructor
    Student
    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. Instructor
    Student
    Outcomes Assessment 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. Administrator
    SIS Integration Command line Snapshot tools have been removed. Flat, snapshot-formatted files can still be processed through the SIS Integration Framework.  Administrator

    Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 changes

    Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    REST APIs The 9.1 Q4 2016 release fully supports REST APIs. Administrators and developers can create integrations using REST APIs and secured with OAuth. Please note that we strongly encourage anyone making use of these APIs to thoroughly test their functionality. Visit the Blackboard Community for more information
    Dropbox Education Integration Users can attach files and submit assignments from their personal Dropbox accounts using this new cloud service integration. Administrator
    Drag and Drop Files When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments. Instructor
    Student
    Submission Receipts Administrators and instructors can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. This feature provides evidence for academic disputes, giving students assurance about their work. Instructor
    Student
    Reminders Instructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included. Instructor
    Activity reports The Course Activity Overview report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrollment courses. Instructors can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups. Administrator
    Instructor

    Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 changes

    Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    REST APIs The 9.1 Q2 2016 release supports limited REST APIs in a Technical Preview. Administrators and developers can create integrations using REST APIs and secured with OAuth. Please note that we strongly encourage anyone making use of these APIs to thoroughly test their functionality. Visit the Blackboard Community for more information
    Java 8 The 9.1 Q2 2016 release now uses the latest version of Java from Oracle. We strongly encourage anyone who has a Building Block to test it against Java 8 before installing the Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 release onto a production environment. Administrator
    SAML Authentication The authentication framework has been updated to support the latest SAML 2.0 protocol, which focuses on security, improved user experience, and easier IT administration. Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    VALUE Rubrics For Blackboard Learn users who are interested in using VALUE rubrics developed by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), we are making them available for download and import. Each rubric has been built and formatted appropriately so it can be imported to your courses and used anywhere you can align and evaluate with rubrics today. Instructor
    Localization We've made updates to the Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean language packs to correct translation issues and grading workflows. Clients who use the Korean language pack can globally replace username with user ID. Administrator

    Learn 9.1 Q4 2015 changes

    Learn 9.1 Q4 2015 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    Goal Performance Dashboard A competency-based education Building Block to map goals to courses within Learn. The Goal Performance Dashboard evaluates evidence of competencies individually, allowing for true measurement of mastery. Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    Grades Journey Grades Journey integrates your institution's Student Information System with Learn. Grades Journey allows you to exchange grade information between two separate systems. Administrator
    PowerSchool SIS Integration As part of the innovative classroom, SIS Central two-way integration is now available for PowerSchool customers who license Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 release or higher. SIS Central Product Information

    Learn 9.1 October 2014 changes

    Learn 9.1 October 2014 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    Analytics for Learn A number of bug fixes and enhancements have been made. Administrator
    Calendar Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.

    Users can also now choose the Hijri Islamic lunar calendar.

    A course list filter is now available in the calendar.

    Administrator
    Instructor
    Content Editor The Content Editor spell check option is now ON by default. Instructor
    Language Packs Translation change requests have been implemented to improve the quality and usability of the language packs for Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Spanish, and Turkish. Czech and Polish language packs have been added. Administrator
    Outcomes Assessment Users can now access report options to create a printable view to save the visualized report as a PDF or XLS. Additional data fields are also available to provide further insight needed for in-depth data analysis for quantitative and qualitative assessment. Administrator
    (in English only)
    Video Everywhere Blackboard Learn has integrated with OAuth 2.0. With this update users are able to seamlessly use several video features within Learn without authentication issues. Administrator
    Instructor

    October 2014 changes

    October 2014 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    Bb Grader App The Grader App provides instructors with a mobile solution for reviewing, providing feedback, and grading student submissions to Blackboard Learn Assignments. Bb Grader App

    September 2014 changes

    September 2014 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    ConnectTxt ConnectTxt is now available for Blackboard Learn. bbconnecttxt.com
    (in English only)
    SaaS Deployment Option of Learn Learn is now available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment option. With the SaaS deployment option, Learn is hosted, delivered, and managed using a modern cloud computing infrastructure. Administrator

    Learn 9.1 April 2014 changes

    Learn 9.1 April 2014 Changes
    Feature Description To Learn More
    Activity Accumulator Tasks Activity Accumulator tasks have been moved from the database to bb-tasks. Administrator
    API: Input Sanitization Hardening This release contains updated input sanitization APIs around primary key identifiers to make a more secure platform. Administrator
    Assessments: Significant Figures In calculated formula questions, instructors can select the number of decimals or significant figures for the correct answers generated by the system. Instructor
    Blackboard Collaborate Building Block The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher is now available to Windows users, giving them parity with Mac users. This utility provides a convenient and reliable way to launch Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing sessions and recordings. Instructor
    Student
    Building Blocks Framework Improvements Blackboard has added two improvements to the Building Block Framework which improve application startup time by circumventing unnecessary class loading via bean introspection activity and unnecessary checks for loading of shared libraries.  
    Courses: Course Creation Wizard Improvements Course Creation Wizard module requires user to have a system role and with a specific entitlement. Administrator
    Financial Aid Reporting Generate reports of student academic contribution within a single or multiple courses in Blackboard Learn 9.1. Administrator
    Instructor
    Grading: Anonymous Grading Instructors can hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous grading. Instructor
    Student
    Grading: Delegated Grading Instructors can delegate grading to specific users. Instructor
    Installer Improvements This release includes changes in the installer that modified the services and configurations of Blackboard Learn. Administrator
    Integration: Feed Passwords Integration feeds no longer are required to provide Learn passwords (RDBMS) at creation time for users, and can safely be omitted from all types of integration feeds. Administrator
    Integration: Learning Information Services (LIS) Support for IMS LIS has been updated to conform to the 2.0 final specification, supporting more recent releases from SIS partners and vendors. Blackboard also now supports the retrieval of grade information via the LIS specification. Administrator
    My Grades The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. Students can now view feedback by selecting View Feedback. Student
    Portfolio Improvements Portfolios are now accessed from the global navigation and have a new authoring canvas. Instructors can create portfolio assignments. Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    Profiles The Enhanced Cloud Profile provides users with their first professional profiles. The added features help users demonstrate competencies they have developed through their educational journeys in a visual and uniquely compelling way. Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    Redis Cache Redis Cache is bundled in Learn 9.1 April 2014. Administrator
    SafeAssign Integration SafeAssign is integrated into regular Learn assignments. Administrator
    Instructor
    Student
    SafeAssign Originality Report Changes

    The SafeAssign originality report has been changed in the following ways:

    • The report has been updated with a new look and feel. The report now displays multiple attachments.
    • The email option has been removed. While viewing the report, you can "print to pdf" either natively or using a plug-in based on the operating system and browser combination that you are using to create an accessible PDF. Then, you can share the PDF in multiple ways, including secure email.
    • Each source now has a color unique to the source. Text matching the source is highlighted in the unique source color. There are a maximum of 30 different colors. This matches the maximum of 30 different sources.
    • By default, all citation source highlighting is on. Instructors can select Show/Hide All Highlighting to turn source highlighting off and on for all sources at once.
    • The report layout has been improved for narrow screens. The report information and citations now appear at the top of the submission when instructors reduce the width of the viewing area.
    • Instructors use Select Sources and Resubmit to determine which sources they want to include in the next report. By default, all sources are included. Instructors can clear the check box for each source to exclude from the results. This behavior is the reverse of previous releases.
    • The page instructors are redirected to after resubmitting a paper has been updated to be more in line with the styling of the new report.
    • During the redesign of the SafeAssign originality report, it became clear that the mixed script count was potentially showing misleading and confusing information. The mixed script count identifies the potential of multiple scripts used in an assignment to hide acts of plagiarism. It was discovered that the count was based on the number of words or sentences in the text and was only triggered by Cyrillic. The count should be based on all of the ways multiple scripts can be used to avoid plagiarism detection. Also, the areas where each script was used were not identified in the document and had to be manually located. For these reasons, while the originality report continues to alert you to any use of mixed-script characters within individual words anywhere in a submission, the word count will not be available until it can be accurate for all script combinations and all instances can be highlighted in the report.
    Instructor
    Student Preview Instructors can view their course exactly as a student does by using a student account the system generates for them. Administrator
    Instructor
    User Interface: Frames Removed Frames have been completely removed from the Learn application and replaced with HTML5 compliant DIVs and iFrames. This change improves page printing, accessibility, and page navigation. Administrator

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