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Mobile Web Services
The Blackboard Mobile Web Services Building Block enables users to connect to their courses through Blackboard's mobile applications: Blackboard app and Blackboard Instructor. The latest version of the Mobile Web Services Building Block is 94.9.12. Check these links for the best available version for your installation.
Cumulative Update 7 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Cumulative Update 7 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 release is now available.
Cumulative Update 6 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Cumulative Update 6 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 release is now available.
Blackboard Open Content available in Content Market
Blackboard Open Content is now available as a content partner in the Content Market for both Original and Ultra experiences in Blackboard Learn.
With this release, instructors using Blackboard Learn can launch directly from the Content Market into Blackboard Open Content to create, share, and discover rich educational content from a global network of instructors and leading OER providers.
Additionally, instructors can launch directly from the Content Market into the partner channel for CK-12 and Curriculum Pathways to discover and add content to their courses.
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 at-risk students 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.
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.
Email configuration settings
Administrators can edit email configuration settings in the user interface, rather than editing the settings in the bb-config.properties file. This method 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.
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.
New bb-config.properties parameters
Two new parameters were added to bb-config.properties to prevent unresolvable URLs from hanging. The parameters control the default timeouts for connections initiated by java in both core code and in B2s. The default values are 30 seconds now. Now it will timeout so it doesn’t cause a lag on the system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SAML authentication provider enhancements
To help troubleshoot SAML authentication issues, administrators now have the ability to regenerate certificates and change the responseSkew value in the user interface. SAML encryption certificates can periodically expire and should be regenerated regularly to maintain security. The responseSkew value may need to be edited if your Learn server is in a different time zone than the Identity Provider's server. The time difference can cause SAML assertions to expire before users are properly authenticated.
SIS integration enhancements
Command line Snapshot tools have been removed. Flat, snapshot-formatted files can still be processed through the SIS Integration Framework. New REST web services have been added to retrieve job status and record processing errors. These allow administrators to implement real-time monitoring and issue resolution processes if desired.
To learn more about transitioning from Snapshot to the SIS Integration Framework, join us for a webinar on 24 May 2017.
Submission receipts via email
Starting with this release, students receive email confirmations for submitted coursework. The email receipt is another method for students to keep track of their submissions, in addition to the My Grades page.
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.
Responsive improvements for mobile devices
In this release, we've made a number of improvements for users on mobile devices.
- Improved course menu collapse behavior
- More responsive table handling in many interfaces including but not limited to:
- Grade Center
- Discussion forum list page
- Admin interfaces
- (Original Experience only) Responsive improvements for My Blackboard pages, including the ability to make a selection from the left panel and see content from the right panel. On mobile devices, the selected content will appear in an overlay that can be dismissed by selecting the close icon at the top.
Student view for submission receipts
Students can access their submission receipts at any time. The receipts can be found in My Grades or My Blackboard in the Submissions area. Like the instructor view, the receipts are always present even if an attempt or assignment has been deleted from the course.