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Learn SaaS release 3900.93.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.93.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 7 May 2024 | Release to Production: Thursday, 6 June 2024
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details, please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.93.0 version included below on this page. Details can be found Behind the Blackboard

Latest release: 3900.93.0-rel.60+b2d93bf to Production servers to take place on 27 June 2024.

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


June 2024 – 3900.93 Release

The June 2024 - 3900.93 release is robust with features in 9 areas:

  • Instructional design;
  • Tests and assignments;
  • Communication and collaboration;
  • Flexible grading;
  • Gradebook;
  • Learner progression and personalized experience;
  • Integrations;
  • Learn core and security; and
  • Mobile App

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

Instructors:

Instructors and Students:

Students:

Administrators:

Observers:

Everyone:


Printing for Assessments – 3900.93

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors, users who have privileges to edit an assessment
Related topic: Print Assessments

Instructors can now print assessments. Printing provides a convenient solution for a variety of use cases:

  • Accommodating students with specific needs or limited technology access
  • Providing a printed assessment for testing in designated centers
  • Backup and record keeping
  • Conducting offline assessment
  • Documentation and compliance
  • Maintaining security and integrity

The print option is available in Forms, Tests, and Assignments with questions. Printing also provides the option to save as PDF.

To print an assessment, from Content and Settings, select Print.

Note: We plan to support printing answer keys and question pools and printing from the mobile app in upcoming releases.

Image 1. Print option from a test

Print option from a test

Image 2. Select desired print options

Choose print options in the menu

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Streamlined point value editing for questions – 3900.93

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience   
Ultra Course View 
Impact: Instructors
Related topics: Edit Tests and Questions

When editing a question, instructors can now access and edit the point value field with just two clicks. Reducing the number of clicks needed to edit the point value of a question saves instructors time and effort. This small change leads to a smoother workflow and enhances the overall teaching and learning experience.

Note: Editing the point values for matching questions requires three clicks. 

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Return a true/false question to an unanswered state – 3900.93

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience   
Ultra Course View 
Impact: Students

Students can now return a true/false question to an unanswered state after choosing an answer. Students clear their choice by selecting the same option again. Students may need to clear their answer selection for a test question. For questions that use negative scoring, if a student is uncertain about their answer, their score may be better if they leave it unanswered. In this case, clearing a response makes it easy for them to come back later using the unanswered question filter. This helps students better manage their time during a test.

In the past, a student could only change their answer to a true/false question to a different value. 

Image 1. A true/false question with true selected as the answer

A true/false question with true selected as the answer

Image 2. The true/false question answer has been cleared

The true/false question answer has been cleared

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Communication & Collaboration 

Post immediately when creating announcements – 3900.93

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience 
Ultra Course View 
Impact: Instructors 
Related Topic: Announcements

Instructors can now post announcements as part of the drafting and editing processes. This makes the process of creating and posting announcements simpler. 

Instructors can still post from the announcements page. 

Image 1. When creating or editing an announcement, there is now an option to post

New Announcement page, showing the option to post immediately or save draft

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Filter out graded responses when grading by question – 3900.93

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience   
Ultra Course View 
Impact: Instructors

The Needs Grading filter now filters out graded student responses by default. Filtering this way helps instructors to focus on any remaining ungraded responses for a given question. It also provides instructors with an improved view of their outstanding grading workload. If instructors want to include graded responses, they can select Show graded responses. This selection preference is now stored per course and it persists across assessments in each course.

Image 1. Grading by question option with the grading status of Needs Grading filter selected

Grading by question option with the Grading Status of ‘Needs Grading’ filter selected

Image 2. Grading by question view with the grading status filter of Needs Grading and Show graded responses options selected

Grading by question view with the Grading Status filter of ‘Needs Grading’ and ‘Show graded responses’ options selected

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Gradebook

Grader Notes on student grades – 3900.93

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience   
Ultra Course View 
Impact: Instructors
Related topics: Grade Tests with Flexible Grading, Grade Assignments with Flexible Grading

Instructors can now add private grading notes to student grades. After a score is assigned, the new Feedback & Notes menu option is available. Grader notes form an important part of the academic record. These notes may serve as documentation for a grading decision or grade adjustment.  Grader notes are private to graders and not visible to students.

Those with grading privileges can access Feedback & Notes from two places: 

  • The Grades tab in the Gradebook by selecting a specific score.
  • The Submissions list page for an assessment, select the More menu for a student

Image 1. Instructor view of the Feedback & Notes menu option accessible from the Gradebook grid view and Submissions page for assessments

Instructor view of the Feedback & Notes menu option accessible from the Gradebook grid view and Submissions page for assessments

Image 2. Instructor view of the new grader notes option

Instructor view of the new grading notes option

Image 3. Instructor view of grader notes accessed from a student’s contextual menu on the assessment’s Submissions page

 Instructor view of grading notes accessed from a student’s contextual menu on the assessment’s Submissions page

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Improved visibility of new grades and feedback in the student gradebook – 3900.93

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience   
Ultra Course View 
Impact: Students
Related topic: Grades

To ensure that students are aware of any new grades in the course we have added an indicator to the Gradebook tab. When there are new grades, the number of new grades appears on the tab.

After selecting the tab, items with new or updated grades appear at the top of the student gradebook and display a purple indicator. The purple indicator disappears and the count on the tab reduces when the student selects the item or reviews their submission.  

We also reviewed the use of color in the gradebook based on student feedback. Now, we mark late assessments with a "(Late)" label to reduce stress sometimes associated with the use of the color red. In the past, late submissions appeared with a red assessment icon and label.


Image 1. Student view of an Ultra course with the new grade indicator on the Gradebook tab

Student view of an Ultra course with the new grade indicator on the Gradebook tab

Image 2. Student view of the gradebook displaying the grade indicator on the Gradebook tab and corresponding purple indicators for the 3 relevant items; the new “(Late)” label is also visible

Student view of the gradebook displaying the grade indicator on the Gradebook tab and corresponding purple indicators for the 3 relevant items; the new “(Late)” label is also visible

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Weighted calculation usability improvements – 3900.93


Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience   
Ultra Course View 
Impact: Instructors
Related topics: Calculate Grades

Responding to client feedback, we have made two improvements for gradebook weighting:

  • The label “0% per item” appeared for categories excluded from weighting. This caused confusion so we removed it.
  • We updated the calculation rules panel to make it easier to understand the selected settings.


Image 1. Instructor view of the previous interface for weighted calculations

Image 1. Instructor view of the existing weighted calculation interface

Image 2. Instructor view of the new weighted calculation interface where the ‘0% per item’ information is removed for excluded categories

nstructor view of the update weighted calculation interface where the ‘0% per item’ information is removed for excluded categories

Image 3. Instructor view of the updated text on the Calculation rule panel

Instructor view of the updated text on the Calculation rule panel

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Announcements API enhancements - additional filtering options – 3900.93

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

Announcements play a crucial role in course communication. They ensure that students stay informed about important deadlines and course materials. Administrators and developers now have additional REST API capabilities to streamline integrations and save time. New announcements filtering options allow administrators and integrated tools to retrieve data more efficiently. This optimizes audit and search processes, reducing query volume and data processing after retrieval.

 New filter options:

  • Creation Date: Retrieve announcements based on their specific creation date
  • Modified Date: Retrieve announcements based on their last modification date
  • Availability: Filter announcements based on their availability status

For administrators: The required privileges for Announcements API remain unchanged. 

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Learn Core & Security

Base Navigation - Course and Organization filters and personalization - 3900.93

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

The courses and organizations tabs in Base Navigation are some of the most accessed places in Blackboard Learn. We received feedback in numerous focus groups and were inspired by client ideas posted in the Idea Exchange. We heard the pages should fit more institutions’ situations and give users more options to customize. This release includes the following improvements:

We removed the carousel for navigating between terms. There is now a term selector and filter you can use on its own or with other filters.

You can set filters, make term choices, and add text searches. All of these are clearly displayed below the search box. Remove these search settings or filters to see more courses or organizations. Remove them by selecting the close icon “x” on each.

Your selections and filters are remembered automatically even if you log out or switch devices. Set up the pages the way you like, and we’ll keep it that way until you change it.

The terms selector has specific logical behaviors to help users:

  • “Current Courses” and “Current Organizations” are the default term selections. If terms aren’t used or all your courses/organizations are open or use continuous duration, you’ll default to the “All Terms” selection option instead.
  • You can now choose to view “All Terms” to see everything regardless of term.
  • The “Upcoming Courses” and “Upcoming Organizations” term options will only display if you have upcoming courses/organizations.

Image 1. Course page with search for "medical" and current courses

Filters on the course page

For administrators: This feature is available for all environments with Base Navigation enabled. There are no configurations needed. 

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Mobile App 

Landing Page Enhancements for Blackboard Learn Mobile App - 3900.93

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

To enhance usability and streamline user interaction in the mobile app, we added filters to the following landing pages:

  • Courses
  • Organizations
  • Grades 

Users now can use filters at the top of each landing page, allowing them to refine their search results.

When a user applies a filter, its tag appears at the top of the landing page. Users can remove filters by unselecting the respective tag.

Image 1: Courses landing page with filtering option

Landing page of the Mobile app displaying filtering features

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

Return to June 2024 – 3900.93.0 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.91.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.91.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 9 April 2024 | Release to Production: Thursday, 2 May 2024
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details, please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.91.0 version included below on this page. Details can be found Behind the Blackboard

Latest release: 3900.91.0-rel.38+0f923c8 to Production servers to take place on 30 May 2024.

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


Learn SaaS release 3900.89.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.89.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 12 March 2024 | Release to Production: Thursday, 4 April 2024
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details, please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.89.0 version included below on this page. Details can be found Behind the Blackboard

Latest release: 3900.89.0-rel.31+520e1f0 to Production servers on 18 April 2024.

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


April 2024 – 3900.89 Release

The April 2024 - 3900.89 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:

Students:

Instructors and Administrators:

Administrators:


Reply all in messages – 3900.89

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Original Experience 
Original Course View 
Impact: Instructors and Students
Related topics: Messages for Instructors, Messages for Students

Responding to messages is an important part of course communication. The "Reply all" option in the Original Course View is limited to messages with up to 100 recipients. With this release, we have raised limits to 1000 recipients. This is to help with wider course communication and based on client feedback. When using the "Reply all" feature, it will respond to all users on the original message. If you wish to select which users to reply to, the "Reply" option allows you to desired select users.

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

Return to April 2024 – 3900.89 Release description


Gradebook 

Calculations changed from using BigDecimal to BigFraction – 3900.89

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

Instructors need a gradebook that supports diverse grading scenarios. We are changing the software library used to perform calculations in calculated columns and the overall course grade.

Example: A course contains 3 assignments worth 22 points each. The student scores 13/22 on the first assignment, 14/22 on the second assignment, and 15/22 on the third assignment. An instructor creates a calculated column to calculate the average of these assignments.  

Using the new software library, BigFraction, the average will calculate as 14/22.

With the former software library, BigDecimal, the average would incorrectly calculate to 13.99/22. The new software library ensures calculations compute as expected.

For administrators: This change applies to both Ultra and Original courses. There are no configurations needed. 

Return to April 2024 – 3900.89 Release description


Learner Progression & Personalized Experience 

Long names visibility and sorting controls for the Student Activity report for assessments on small devices and mobile app – 3900.89

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience 
Ultra Course View 
Original course view 
Impact: Instructors 
Related Topic: Student Activity Details for Assessments

Depending on the culture, personal name lengths vary. To continue demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we adjusted long names in the Student Activity report for assessments. This change ensures that names are visible on a variety of devices. This helps instructors avoid confusion when viewing students with similar names. 

Also, instructors can now sort the student list by last name in small devices so they can organize the list easily. 

Image 1: Long names visibility and sorting control in the Student Activity report for an assessment on a small screen

Student Activity report for Assessments showing long names

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

Return to April 2024 – 3900.89 Release description


Converting Building Block content to LTI: Student submissions and feedback – 3900.89

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: Administrators
Related topic: Convert Building Blocks to LTI

We remain committed to ensuring a smooth transition experience from building blocks to LTI. We have further enhanced our conversion tool. Now administrators can include student submissions and instructor feedback.

During the conversion process, the tool prompts administrators to select whether to include the content links added in student submissions and feedback. If selected, those links in student submissions and feedback transition to LTI format within the selected course.

Image 1. Option to migrate student submission and feedback content 

Migrate courses with building block content with Migrate student submissions and feedback option highlighted

We encourage administrators to review the conversion tool settings. Please make informed choices based on your institution's requirements. 

For administrators: If a course contains content from Kaltura, Panopto, Echo360, MediaSite and/or ShareStream building blocks, you must perform the conversion process for each building block.

Return to April 2024 – 3900.89 Release description


Moodle Conversion Improvement: Gradebook Categories – 3900.89 

Blackboard Learn SaaS 
Ultra Experience and Original Experience 
Ultra Course View and Original Course View 
Impact: Instructors and Administrators 
Related Topic: Migrate from Moodle

Categories provide a way for instructors to group assessments together in the Gradebook. Instructors can use categories to adjust the weighting of items in the Gradebook. Now when importing a Moodle package (.mbz), categories are preserved. Instructors will have the option to align these categories to assessments. 

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

Return to April 2024 – 3900.89 Release description


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.49+1802b14 to Production servers to take place on 28 March 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:


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
Related topic: Convert Building Blocks to LTI

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
Related topic: Convert Building Blocks to LTI

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


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.49+3c179b0 to Production servers to take place on 29 February 2024.

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

 


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


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


January 2024 – 3900.82 Release

We're aware that updates to copy workflows for admins are causing issues and we're actively working on a resolution.

The January 2024 - 3900.82 is robust with features in 9 areas:

  • Instructional design;
  • Mastery learning / Competency based education;
  • Tests and assignments;
  • Flexible grading;
  • Gradebook;
  • Learner progression and personalized experience;
  • Integrations;
  • Mobile; and
  • Upgrade to Ultra

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

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

All users:

Instructors and Administrators:

Administrators:


Original Course View: Updated options display when sending email from Grade Center – 3900.82

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

Instructors can send emails to students in places like the Grade Center and Retention Center. Previously, the option to include student names in the sender copy was misleading. The checkbox seemed to apply to both sending a copy of the message and including recipient names. We’ve improved the presentation to clarify the expected behavior. A copy is always sent to the sender. The sender can opt-in to including recipient names in their copy of the email.

Image 1. The options to add attachments and include the names of recipients are better organized

The options to add attachments and include the names of recipients are better organized

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

Return to January 2024 – 3900.82 Release description
 


Upgrade to Ultra

Restricting Original Copy Workflows – 3900.82

We're aware that updates to copy workflows for admins are causing issues and we're actively working on a resolution.

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

We had several issues related to copying items from Original to Ultra and Ultra to Ultra course view. The issues stemmed from users copying materials using Original workflows. The Original workflows opened the door for partial copies of items. The Original copy workflows were never designed or updated to support Ultra courses.

Here are two examples:

Example 1

The instructor would select "Discussions" and not select "Grade Center Columns and Settings." The discussions would copy without their associated grade center columns. The discussion would come over in a partial state and would not function. Instructors would need to delete and copy using the supported workflow.

Example 2

The instructor selects a "Content Area" with course links to discussions. They did not select "Discussions" or "Grade Center Columns and Settings." The course links copy. The course links don't function. The "Discussions" were not selected, and the course links have nothing to reference. Instructors would need to delete and copy using the supported workflow.

Previous Behaviors:

  • Instructors could use Original workflows to Copy from Original to Ultra.
  • Administrators could use Original workflows to copy from Original to Ultra.
  • Administrators could use Original workflows to copy from Ultra to Ultra.

New Behaviors:

  • Instructors can no longer use Original workflows to copy from Original to Ultra.
  • Administrators can no longer use Original workflows to copy from Original to Ultra.
    • Copy Course Materials into a New Course
    • Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course
  • Administrators can no longer use Original workflows to copy from Ultra to Ultra.
    • Copy Course Materials into a New Course
    • Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course

Alternatives

  • Instructors can copy from an Original to Ultra using the copy items workflow.
  • Administrators can copy from an Original to Ultra using the copy items workflow.
  • Administrators can copy from Ultra to Ultra using the copy items workflow.
  • Administrators can copy from Ultra to Ultra using the “Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy).
  • Administrators can export a course package from Ultra to import into another Ultra course.
  • Administrators can use the SIS Integration Framework to copy from Ultra to Ultra.

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

Return to January 2024 – 3900.82 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.82.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.82.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 12 December 2023 | Release to Production: Thursday, 4 January 2024
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.82.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.82.0-rel.51+579fa4e to Production servers to take place on 25 January 2024.

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

 


Learn SaaS release 3900.80.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.80.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 7 November 2023 | Release to Production: Thursday, 7 December 2023
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.80.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.80.0-rel.28+80fe7a8 to Production servers to take place on 21 December 2023.

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


Integrations

Gradebook API: Accessing grading dates – 3900.80

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

In a previous release, we introduced a feature that allows users to retrieve date-related grading data. Now, we incorporate two more fields into the response of all gradebook APIs: first and last relevant dates.

"firstRelevantDate" determined as:

  • The first recorded date when an attempt is scored.
  • The most recent date in which a final score is overridden.

"lastRelevantDate" determined as:

  • The date of the most recent modification of a grade when an attempt is scored.
  • The most recent date in which a final score is overridden.

We also introduce the following query parameters:

  • firstRelevantDateCompare
  • lastRelevantDateCompare

These parameters allow users to filter and refine the results.

For administrators: The required entitlements for Gradebook API remain unchanged. First and Last relevant dates do not apply to calculated columns.

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


Enhanced user data retrieval with secondary IDs via REST API - 3900.80

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

Related topic: Learn APIs

The option to retrieve user data is crucial for administrators and support roles. User data retrieval is important for a host of reasons. For example, it allows institutions to ensure access control, user support, and data security.

In the past, retrieving user data depended on a single ID. Now, we are expanding the capabilities of the users' REST APIs to support secondary IDs. This will provide more flexibility and control when accessing user information.

Users can now use a secondary ID:

  • Contact Email: Users can now use the "contact.email" secondary ID to retrieve user data. This enhancement allows users to access their information by their institution/personal email address.
  • Student IDs: The "studentId" secondary ID is now supported in the GET /users public endpoint. You can use this feature to access user data using their student ID.
  • "Name" as New Attribute: Users can now retrieve user data based on attributes such as the user name. For this, we have the new query parameter "?name=". This will allow filtering by full names (first names, last names, middle names, or usernames).

These changes provide a significant improvement in the way users can manage user data via REST APIs.

For administrators: The required entitlements for User API remain unchanged.

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


REST API for accessing assessment passwords - 3900.80

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

Related topic: Learn APIs

In Learn, assessments can be protected with access codes. Access codes help provide integrity and security for assessments.

To improve the integration with proctoring services, we extended the access code option via REST API.

Now, users can retrieve the access password configuration settings. The configuration setting is for both Ultra and Original courses. This information includes the following key fields:

  • Enabled: Flag that indicates whether the assessment is password-protected or not.
  • Password: This field contains the 6-digit passcode. The password is available in plain text, simplifying the integration process.

Furthermore, these fields will be accessible through the following Content endpoints:

  • GET /learn/api/public/v1/courses/{courseId}/contents
  • GET /learn/api/public/v1/courses/{courseId}/contents/{contentId}

For administrators: The required entitlements for Users API remain unchanged.

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


Converting Building Block content to LTI (Echo360 Course Content) - 3900.80

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

In the past, some clients relied on building blocks to enhance course content. To help clients transition from building blocks to LTI tools, we created a Content Migration Tool. This tool focuses on helping clients migrate Kaltura content within Original courses.

We have now updated the migration tool to support the conversion of building blocks content to LTI. This change helps mitigate challenges with migrations from Original to Ultra courses.

Now, administrators can also convert Echo360 content from building blocks to LTI.

This conversion supports the Building Block content present within the iframe. This includes Mashup links within the content editor:

  • wikis, journals, discussions, groups
  • assessments, assignments, test questions, and question banks
  • announcements

As before, administrators can access the Building Block to LTI content conversion service through Administrator Tools.

Image 1. Converting Building Block Content to LTI

Converting Building Block Content to LTI

Image 2. Migration Service Settings

Migration Service Settings

Administrators can select from a drop-down menu the building block to be configured. The options are Echo360 and Kaltura.

Administrators can configure the required IDs and custom parameters for the conversion details.

Image 3. Migration settings for Echo 360 and Kaltura

Migration settings for Echo 360 and Kaltura

Building blocks mappings are displayed. Administrators can select whether they want to edit, delete, or turn off the building block for the conversion tool.

Image 4. Building block mappings

Building block mappings

Once configurations are set, administrators can manage the placements. They can select for the specific Building Block the courses to which they want to convert the content.

Image 5. Migrate courses with building block content

Migrate courses with building block content

Finally, at Migration Run Status, users can monitor the status of the conversion process for each course.

Image 6. Migration run status

Migration run status

For administrators: If the same course contains content from both Kaltura and Echo360 building blocks, the conversion process must be performed once for each building block.

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


Mobile App

Enhancements to Grades – 3900.80

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

In response to user feedback, we've made improvements to the Grades page. The Grades page now offers more comprehensive information for students and instructors. We enhanced both the appearance and functionality.

For Instructors:

  • Upcoming Grading
    • Upon expansion, instructors find items that need grading.
  • Concise View
    • We've limited the display to only three items at a time.
    • A Show More link is available, leading to the gradebook for that course.
  • Efficient Navigation
    • Instructors can access grading tasks by selecting the respective item.
  • In the past, grade pills were black. Now grade pills display corresponding grade colors.

Image 1. Instructor view of Grades

Instructor view of Grades

For Students:

  • Upcoming Due Items
    • When expanding the section, students now find items that are due within a week.
  • Recently Graded
    • Expanded sections display items that have been recently graded.
  • Concise View
    • To avoid clutter, we've limited the display to only three items at a time.
    • A Show more link is available, leading to the gradebook for that course.
  • Quick Access
    • By selecting any item, users can navigate to the specific assessment or activity.
  • In the past, grade pills were black. Now grade pills display corresponding grade colors.

Image 2. Student view of Grades

Student view of Grades

For administrators: No additional settings are required for this feature.

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


Canvas conversion improvements: Support for Multiple Grade Schemes – 3900.80

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

The Canvas Learning Management System allows instructors to create Grade Schemes. Grade schemes can use point or percentage ranges. Each point or percentage range has a name value.

Image 1. A Grade Scheme in Canvas

A Grade Scheme in Canvas

In the past, Grade Schemes in Canvas did not convert. We have updated the conversion so that Grade Schemes from Canvas are now preserved. Instructors no longer need to rebuild Grade Schemes when converting a course from Canvas.

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

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description