Release Notes for Learn SaaS

This page contains features and updates currently on Learn SaaS Test/Stage and Production environments. Visit Archived SaaS Release Notes to see features and updates in older versions. Visit In-Product Updates to learn more about in-product updates.

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More on Learn with the SaaS Deployment | Export the list of Known Issues | Access the latest API and database documentation | Blackboard Learn SaaS release notes archive | Learn Releases White Paper

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Learn SaaS release 3900.86.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.86.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 6 February 2024 | Release to Production: Thursday, 7 March 2024
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details, please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.86.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found Behind the Blackboard

Latest release: 3900.86.0-rel.25+163f46f to Test/Stage servers to take place on 20 February 2024.

For more information on updates and bug fixes, please visit Behind the Blackboard.

 


Learn SaaS release 3900.84.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.84.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 9 January 2024 | Release to Production: Thursday, 1 February 2024
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.84.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard

Latest release: 3900.84.0-rel.46+d62c43e to Production servers to take place on 15 February 2024.

For more information on updates and bug fixes, please visit Behind the Blackboard.

 


March 2024 – 3900.86 Release

The March 2024 - 3900.86 release is robust with features in 10 areas:

  • Instructional design;
  • Competency based education;
  • Tests and assignments;
  • Communication and collaboration;
  • Flexible grading;
  • Gradebook;
  • Learner progression and personalized experience;
  • Integrations;
  • Learn core and security, and;
  • Upgrade to Ultra

These improvements impact instructors, students, and administrators. Some features do require administrative action.

Instructors:

Instructors and Students:

Administrators:


Text grade schema converts to points – 3900.86

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

In the Original course view, instructors can create text schemas that are unsupported in the Ultra course view. When converting courses, text schemas convert to a points schema. After conversion to Ultra, instructors can create and apply an alternate schema if desired.

For administrators: There are no configurations needed.

Return to March 2024 – 3900.86 Release description


Integrations

Converting Building Block content to LTI: MediaSite course content – 3900.86

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

Mediasite, a comprehensive rich media system, integrates with Original courses via building blocks. With building block support ending, administrators can now use the conversion tool with Mediasite content.

The tool currently supports the conversion of content embedded with the content editor and mashup links. The conversion tool transitions Mediasite for content links from Building Block to LTI.

Image 1. The administrator accesses the tool to convert Building Block content to LTI

The administrator accesses the tool to convert Building Block content to LTI

Image 2. The administrator selects the MediaSite Building Block and maps Building Block tools to LTI placements

The administrator selects the MediaSite Building Block and maps Building Block tools to LTI placements

Administrators must configure the MediaSite LTI integration before converting links. Custom parameters will not be required for this configuration.

Image 3. Building block mappings can be viewed and edited

Building block mappings can be viewed and edited

Next, an administrator will choose courses to be scanned for MediaSite links. Select the MediaSite Building Block. Use the course search tool to select courses for link migration.

Image 4. The administrator selects the ShareStream Building Block and chooses courses to migrate

The administrator selects the ShareStream Building Block and chooses courses to migrate

Administrators can monitor the status of a conversion process. Choose MediaSite as the Building Block. Define the start and end dates to find the desired migration task. Select Search. The results will indicate the number of courses that were successful, and the number of courses with failures.

Image 5. Checking the status of a migration task

Checking the status of a migration task

For administrators: If a course contains content from MediaSite, ShareStream, Panopto, Kaltura and/or Echo360 building blocks, the conversion process must be performed once for each Building Block.

Return to March 2024 – 3900.86 Release description


Converting Building Block content to LTI: Automatic Conversion – 3900.86

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

Many Original courses contain content links for the partners listed below. Now, we auto-convert Building Block links for these partner contents to LTI when importing an Original course or restoring an Original course archive.

  • Kaltura
  • Echo360
  • Panopto
  • ShareStream
  • MediaSite

The automatic conversion ensures that course content transitions to LTI. This will promote consistency and adaptability across the platform.

For administrators: To ensure the auto-conversion of building block links to LTI, please review the following:

  • The administrator must configure each building block in the Migration Service Settings section of the Conversion tool in the Admin Panel Settings.
  • The administrator must configure each associated LTI integration before converting the links.
  • The administrator will have the capability to enable/disable this functionality through a feature flag via a support ticket.

 

Return to March 2024 – 3900.86 Release description


Rubric Associations API Enhancements – 3900.86

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators
Related topic: Learn APIs

Rubrics serve as a well-organized and transparent framework for assessing student work. Administrators can now manage associations for rubrics via API for the following:

  • tests
  • assignments (without questions)
  • graded discussions
  • individual questions (Original course view only)

Managing rubrics and their associations via API streamlines rubric alignment across many courses.

Administrators can now use the enhanced API to perform the full spectrum of CRUD operations: create, update and delete rubric associations.

Developers will gain access to the following endpoints:

  • POST: public/v1/courses/{courseId}/rubrics/{rubricId}/associations
  • PATCH: public/v1/courses/{courseId}/rubrics/{rubricId}/associations/{rubricAssociationId}
  • DELETE: public/v1/courses/{courseId}/rubrics/{rubricId}/associations/{rubricAssociationId}

For administrators: Refer to the API documentation for detailed information about entitlements to perform CRUD operations on Rubric Associations.

Return to March 2024 – 3900.86 Release description


Upgrade to Ultra

Moodle Conversion Improvements – 3900.86

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors

These improvements will not be available immediately in the release to Test/Stage environments for the 3900.86 release. We will update this note and send an email notification to followers of this page when it becomes available.

We continue to make progress on improving the conversion of Moodle courses. With this update, we're adding support for converting the following Moodle Question Types:

  • Multiple Choice (Single Answer)
  • Multiple Choice (Multiple Answers)
  • True/False
  • Matching
  • Short Answer
  • Numerical
  • Essay
  • Calculated
  • Calculated Multichoice (Single Answer)
  • Calculated Multichoice (Multiple Answers)
  • Calculated Simple

For administrators: This feature will be available for all courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to March 2024 – 3900.86 Release description


Integrations

Google Workspace: Add a second primary domain – 3900.84

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

We've finalized the addition of this feature and will release it to client production instances or client environments during the week of January 15 to 22.

Some institutions manage two primary Google Workspaces: one for instructors and one for students. Now, The Google integration for Blackboard Learn permits the addition of a second workspace. This allows students to access Google Files added to the course from their instructor. Students can log in with their Google Workspace accounts to access the content.

Enable “Connect another Google Workspace” to configure a second workspace. Be sure to enter a Client ID, API Key, and Client secret copied from Google Cloud. Also, make sure to configure the Consent Screen

As part of the configuration process, ensure that the Authorized redirect URIs, already mentioned in the Help documentation, are accurately entered in the newly created Consent Screen in the Additional/Secondary Workspace.

Image 1. Configure a Google Integration

Administrator Tools screen to configure Google integration

Ensure that student users have an Institutional Role set to Student.

Image 2. Institution Role options for a student user

 Institutional Role screen set to Student

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra and Original courses. Access  the Administrator Control Panel to configure.

Return to February 2024 – 3900.84 Release description


Converting Building Block content to LTI: ShareStream course content - 3900.84

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

ShareSteam is an integrated partner solution for managing and streaming video. In the past, it integrated with Original courses using Building Blocks. Its newer integration uses the Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) standard. With support ending for Building Blocks, administrators may wish to assist instructors with updating links that were created in the past.

We’ve enhanced the link conversion tool to assist administrators with transitioning from the ShareStream Building Block to LTI. The link conversion tool supports these types of ShareStream video links:

  • Content embedded with the Content Editor
  • Mashup links
  • Course tool content

Image 1. The administrator accesses the tool to convert Building Block content to LTI 

Converting Building Block content to LTI highlighted

Image 2. The administrator selects the ShareStream Building Block and maps Building Block tools to LTI placements

On Migration Service Settings screen, ShareStream is selected as the Building Block is selected as

Administrators should select the ShareStream Building Block and the correct ShareStream LTI integration. Administrators must configure the ShareStream LTI integration before converting links. Custom parameters can be added if ShareStream informs you that this is required.

There are multiple ShareStream tools. These should be mapped to the correct LTI placements created by the administrator.

Image 3. Building block mappings can be viewed and edited

Building block mappings after ShareStream Building Block is selected fro migration settings

Next, an administrator will choose courses to be scanned for ShareStream links. Select the ShareStream Building Block. Use the course search tool to select courses for link migration.

Image 4. The administrator selects the ShareStream Building Block and chooses courses to migrate

Course Migration Settings screem with ShareStream selected

Administrators can monitor the status of a conversion process. Choose ShareStream as the Building Block. Define the start and end dates to find the desired migration task. Select Search. The results will indicate the number of courses that were successfully converted and the number of courses with failures.

Image 5. Checking the status of a migration task

Course Migration Settings screem with ShareStream selected

For administrators: If a course contains content from ShareStream, Panopto, Kaltura, and/or Echo360 building blocks, the conversion process must be performed once for each Building Block.

Return to February 2024 – 3900.84 Release description


Kaltura course content conversion - 3900.84

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

We improved the tool that migrates Kaltura Building Block links to LTI links. It now supports converting links created with older versions of the Kaltura integration. Content added to Learn Original courses with the older Kaltura V1 and V2 Building Blocks will now convert. Also, the content can be converted to LTI 1.1 for all Kaltura versions.

Administrators can rerun the migration tool on courses if older Building Block links are not converted with previous conversion tasks. 

For administrators: This improvement is part of the migration tool. The older Building Blocks embedded videos within tables and anchor tags. This content is now processed correctly. There is no need for additional steps or configurations.

Return to February 2024 – 3900.84 Release description


Learn Core & Security

LDAP authentication requires encryption – 3900.84

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Impact: Administrators

At Anthology, we’re continuously improving the security stance of our products. LDAP is an authentication method supported in Blackboard Learn. It's no longer possible to configure LDAP connections without encryption. The “No SSL” option can’t be selected for new LDAP configurations.

The “No SSL” setting was only appropriate for self-hosted clients operating in closed networks. With the ending of standard support for self-hosting, we’ve removed this option. Existing configurations using “No SSL” won’t be changed, but new configurations aren’t possible.

For administrators: We do not recommend using the “No SSL” option with LDAP. If you have an existing LDAP configuration using this setting, you should work with your IT team to transition to a secured integration. We also recommend you consider using the more modern federated authentication method SAML. This change is for all Learn environments. There are no configurations needed.

Return to February 2024 – 3900.84 Release description


Limit enrollment management actions based on data source key of enrollments – 3900.84

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Administrators

There are cases when instructors need to manage some course or organization enrollments.

Instructors may need to add co-instructors, assistants, or graders. However, institutional policy often mandates instructors should not alter records from a Student Information System (SIS).

Now, administrators can limit whether users can make changes to enrollment records based on how the enrollment was added. Enrollments added through the GUI belong to the SYSTEM data source. Enrollments added through integrations are assigned to other data sources based on configuration (non-SYSTEM).

The following Course/Organization Role privileges have been changed:

  • Change the availability of enrollments
  • Change a users’ roles in the course
  • Set an instructor as primary instructor
  • Remove (delete) users from the course

The 4 Course/Organization Role privileges have been split into 8 privileges—4 for enrollment records in SYSTEM and 4 for enrollment records not in SYSTEM. These are found in the privileges manager for each Course/Organization Role:

  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Remove System DSK Users from Course/Organization
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Change System DSK User's availability in Course/Organization
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Change System DSK User's Role in Course/Organization
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Set System DSK instructor as primary in Ultra Course View
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Remove Non-System DSK Users from Course/Organization
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Change Non-System DSK User's Role in Course/Organization
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Change Non-System DSK User's availability in Course/Organization
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Set Non-System DSK instructor as primary in Ultra Course View

Administrators can configure each Course Role with the appropriate privileges for their policies. The privileges and restrictions are applicable to users in both Ultra and Original Course Views.

The Original Course View has a bulk remove action for enrollments. If the course user is restricted from removing any of the selected users, the action is stopped with a warning.

Image 1. Administrator sets the privileges for a Course Role 

Administrator sets the privileges for a Course Role

If the above entitlements related to System DSK Users are permitted and entitlements related to Non-System DSK Users are restricted, it will allow user to Remove, Edit Availability, Edit Roles and set Instructor as Primary for System DSK users only.

Image 2. Ultra example when Remove Non-System DSK Users’ entitlement is restricted 

Ultra example when Remove Non-System DSK Users’ entitlement is restricted

The remove member icon does not appear when a course user with no permissions tries to delete a Non-System DSK user.

Image 3. Ultra example when Remove System DSK Users’ entitlement is permitted

Ultra example when Remove System DSK Users’ entitlement is permitted

The remove member icon appears in the GUI when a course user with permissions tries to delete a System DSK user.

Image 4. Course user in Original Course View is restricted from a bulk remove action because they aren’t allowed to delete the selected users

Course user in Original Course View is restricted from a bulk remove action because they aren’t allowed to delete the selected users

Image 5. Course user in Original Course View is restricted from a bulk remove action because they aren’t allowed to delete some of the selected users

Course user in Original Course View is restricted from a bulk remove action because they aren’t allowed to delete some of the selected users

The upgrade process should retain consistent behavior with the prior release. For example, if a Course Role had the privilege to remove users from a course/organization, they should now have the equivalent privileges:

  • Remove System DSK Users from Course/Organization
  • Remove Non-System DSK Users from Course/Organization

For administrators: We recommend that you review privileges configured for your Course Roles. You can adjust Course Role privileges to better conform to your institutional policies.

For administrators: A new Course Role privilege was added in this release, "Course Control Panel (Users and Groups) > Users > Enroll User for all roles." This privilege does not need to be configured as it will support an upcoming enhancement and does not yet serve a purpose. More information will come in upcoming release notes.

Return to February 2024 – 3900.84 Release description


Upgrade to Ultra

Import Moodle packages – 3900.84

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Administrators

Switching from Moodle to Blackboard Learn Ultra is now easier than ever. Instructors can now import Moodle packages into Ultra and Original view courses themselves. This change removes instructor reliance on an administrator.

Image 1. Import Course Content

Import Content panel open on a course displaying import options

Learn more on importing courses from Moodle for more directions. We also have a guide to help you understand the differences in terminology.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra and Original courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to February 2024 – 3900.84 Release description



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Check out the Blackboard Learn Release Notes Archive for more information on past releases.

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