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.

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Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

The scheduled Production release of 3900.2.0 (full release number 3900.2.0-rel.27+70f5845) during off-hours on Thursday, December 3, 2020 includes two additional updates.

  • When an LTI gradable item with a deep link response was copied, the copy wasn't gradable. We fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, some students didn't see the feedback their instructor added to their journal. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.2.0 (full release number 3900.2.0-rel.25+e0228f9) to client test/stage servers on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, when an instructor edited response feedback to a test question, the content editor loaded after a 2-second delay. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When an institution had the same entityID configured in their IDP and SP metadata, SAML authentication failed and users couldn’t log in. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.2.0 (full release number 3900.2.0-rel.20+e43df0f) to client test/stage servers on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • The download button for the Insight Report (Beta) for administrators wouldn't respond or create a CSV. We've fixed the issue.

  • When restoring a merged course from an archive, Learn only restored the parent course and not its child course(s). We've fixed the issue.

  • A few institutions that use the Consulting Central B2 for Blackboard Assist saw slow performance and some downtime in Learn. We've fixed the issue.

  • Existing and newly created web links in Library modules were throwing an error when clicked. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.60+0c79e9e) to client Production servers during off-hours on Monday, November 23, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • A few institutions that use the Consulting Central B2 for Blackboard Assist saw slow performance and some downtime in Learn. We’ve fixed the issue.


Bb Annotate enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery | Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

Starting on Tuesday, November 24th, PDF files will be flattened for the BbAnnotate preview when uploaded for an assignment. On PDFs, text comment annotations made prior to submission will appear as yellow boxes in the document and will not be movable or collapsible. Drawings, pictures, shapes, and other annotations that are not comments will appear normally and also won't be movable after flattening.

When the file is flattened, students can also see their drawable annotations made with iPad or Microsoft Surface pens on PDF preview before the professor grades it. Currently students cannot see annotations until after professor grades it, which can cause confusion about whether the file appears correctly.

This enhancement is an additional security layer in BbAnnotate to prevent forgeable re-submissions of professor annotations. It also resolves an issue where iPad annotations (APStreams) weren’t appearing on annotated PDFs.

This change only affects PDFs submitted in the future. Previously uploaded files (including files with iPad annotations) will render as they have been.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.57+59c5f28) to client Production servers during off-hours on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an instructor copied a journal from one Ultra course to another, all journals from the first course were copied to the second. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, some Collaborate sessions didn’t appear in the Join Session overflow menu. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, response feedback for the Grade Questions feature of the Grade Center was missing the new content editor, and text entered into the box there wouldn’t save. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Unannotated Box documents wouldn’t load in Bb Annotate. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • The download button for the Insight Report (Beta) for administrators wouldn’t respond or create a CSV. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When restoring a merged course from an archive, Learn only restored the parent course and not its child course(s). We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When a Redis connection failed, Learn didn't attempt to reconnect, so users had to manually retry their task. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Partial delay for update to Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’ve paused and are partially delaying the previously announced update to Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.0.0 Production servers, previously scheduled for Thursday, November 12, 2020.

All Blackboard Learn SaaS Production servers will be updated on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.


Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.2.0 (full release number 3900.2.0-rel.11+071cf8e) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an instructor copied a journal from one Ultra course to another, all journals from the first course were copied to the second. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, some Collaborate sessions didn’t appear in the Join Session overflow menu. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, response feedback for the Grade Questions feature of the Grade Center was missing the new content editor, and text entered into the box there wouldn’t save. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Unannotated Box documents wouldn’t load in Blackboard Annotate. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Ally wouldn’t work in Learn when alternative domains were enabled. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When a Redis connection failed, Learn didn't attempt to reconnect, so users had to manually retry their task. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Final automatic archive files created after a course was deleted didn’t include enrolled user data. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • After an upgrade, some institutions had to manually uninstall and reinstall their Authentication Provider SAML building block because of a Postgres installation problem. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.46+e0d1a9b) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an instructor copied a journal from one Ultra course to another, all journals from the first course were copied to the second. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Unannotated Box documents wouldn’t load in Bb Annotate. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • SAML logins intermittently failed on one app server at a time for a small number of institutions. We’ve fixed the issue.


Annotate comment enhancement

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

Now, instructors can create multiple comments in Bb Annotate without needing to select the comment tool for every comment they add. 

The comment tool will get de-selected if an instructor scrolls through the document, but once they fit the document to the screen, the comment tool will stay selected.


Custom HTML/CSS code blocks in Ultra course documents

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, instructors can create, edit, and delete custom HTML/CSS code blocks in Ultra course documents. Instructors can select Add HTML when creating a document to add their own HTML and CSS and fully customize the appearance of their Ultra course documents.

We've added this capability without compromising the Ultra design aesthetics (i.e., content will be fully responsive and accessible). We’ve also added a new entitlement to support greater security and flexibility for institutions to allow granular permissions to specific roles.

Students will see what the instructors created or edited, but they will not be able to create, edit, or delete any of the HTML/CSS blocks. 

In an effort to support more enhanced security and to maintain the responsiveness of the Ultra Experience, we're leveraging an existing solution in Learn to support this capability. If you already have an alternate domain configured, your instructors will see the Add HTML option in Ultra Course View documents. If you don't have an alternate domain configured, we have you covered! We're in the process of automating an alternate domain for all clients, and should have that work completed later in the year. You can submit a support ticket to request access to this feature now.


Fixed issues

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • When D2L course content was imported into an Ultra course, document heading formatting was lost. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In an Ultra course, when a user not enrolled creates a discussion, the system throws an error when a student tries to access it: “Oops! Something broke. Please reload the page.” Now, the discussion board opens without error.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn’t navigate to the next course content item from a discussion board post if conditional availability was set. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • The Course List / My Courses module was missing from the main Courses tab on the Institution Pages during the upgrade process. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When an instructor exported a single question pool with a special character from the Original Course View, the pool wouldn’t import as a question bank to an Ultra course. We’ve fixed the issue.

You can view all maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3900.2.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


LTI tool availability by institutional hierarchy

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Administrators can now manage the availability of third-party LTI tools according to their institutional hierarchy, similar to how they can with Building Block tools. Administrators can control availability of tools by department or course in Admin Panel > Institutional Hierarchy. Original Course View courses continue to allow instructors to override the availability state of tools if allowed. Tool availability in Ultra Course View courses is always managed by the administrator. The options when managing LTI tool availability settings have been updated to reflect these differences.


Student list view improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View

This release includes additional improvements for student list view in the Ultra gradebook that we added based on feedback we’ve had from instructors. New functionalities include:

  • Administrators can configure whether students’ usernames are visible to instructors if they need to differentiate students. This capability is available for institutions that choose to hide usernames for privacy considerations and when instructors still need to be able to see them, particularly in courses with very large enrollment numbers. Administrators need to enable this permission for a role in Admin Panel > System Roles.
  • Instructors will receive additional search capabilities, column sorting options, and enhanced page controls for both large and small devices.


Ultra feedback timing controls

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, Learn Ultra now allows instructors to further promote test fairness and discourage academic dishonesty. Instructors can enable more granular controls on when and what type of feedback is given to students when taking an assessment. Instructors can set up timed release to automated question feedback, correct answers, and question scores. They can also select when to show feedback: after submission, after due date, at a specific date, or after the assessment is graded. Students will see if and when feedback will be available for a specific assessment after they submit an attempt.


Ultra journals enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, we’ve added the highly-anticipated participation and submission views to Ultra journals. Importantly, participation view can now support over 1,000 students at once. Instructors can clearly see when students post new journals and comments, and can view a single submission. Instructors can also use Ultra’s grading tools, including feedback and rubrics, to create and post grades. To allow instructors more varied access, both participation and submission views link to the gradebook. By default, students will be allowed to delete and edit their journal entries and comments, but instructors can also now choose to disable this permission.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.42+47a7c9a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When D2L course content was imported into an Ultra course, document heading formatting was lost. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Some Ultra tests that use Respondus LockDown Browser added extra time permitted to the test time limit automatically, instead of presenting as two different time totals. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • If an Ultra test had a set time limit and then was set to require Respondus LockDown Browser, the time limit was removed. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When Ultra discussion boards were copied from a different course and Include only the forums, with no starter posts was selected, members of the destination course could only see the discussion name and couldn’t edit or reply to the discussion. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When an Original course was converted to Ultra Course View, unlinked journals were retained and slowed course content copying. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, if the Content Collection Availability was set to “No,” administrators couldn’t browse the Content Collection to restore a course from automatic archives. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Institutions that use the Redis Cache Building Block couldn’t connect to the Redis service during high traffic periods. We’ve fixed the issue.


Blackboard Chatbot for Learn

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re excited to announce the first availability of Blackboard Chatbot in Learn. Blackboard Chatbot is a free tool offered in Blackboard Learn that will be automatically available to SaaS clients in North America who have enabled the Ultra Base Navigation. It launches beginning on November 5, with the 3900.0.0 Learn SaaS production release. Some institutions may not see Chatbot in Learn until November 6.

Seamlessly integrated into Ultra Base Navigation and Ultra courses, Blackboard Chatbot provides always-on support. It returns answers to students' commonly asked Learn questions and issues directly from Blackboard Help. For this initial release, Blackboard Chatbot is available only in English.

To access Blackboard Chatbot, select the help icon in the bottom right. Then select Chat Support to open the Chatbot panel. Students can ask Blackboard Chatbot their questions or select from a pre-populated list. Chatbot uses machine learning to better serve your learners over time.

Blackboard Chatbot will be on by default, but administrators can manage its availability.

For more details about Blackboard Chatbot for Learn, visit the Community site


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.28+4af3c58) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Based on user feedback, we’ve removed the blue background from course-related icons in the large icon update for Ultra Course View and base navigation.

  • In the Original Course View, some students could access private journal entries written by other students. Also, additional students couldn't post after the first student responded to the journal prompt. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When Learn SaaS environments were updated, Original course and organization menus reverted to the default and customizations had to be reapplied. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.18+41e3877) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View with the Spanish language pack, a grade calculation in the Ultra gradebook was incorrectly labeled as NaN. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Some Learn environments that use the Partner Cloud Building Block had problems with content sync. We've fixed the issue.


Assist

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As students re-engage in their disrupted educational experience, they'll need student services more than ever. At some institutions, these services will be virtual for the first time. Blackboard Assist is a student success hub for campus and online resources, available on your desktop or from anywhere with the Blackboard mobile app. Assist elevates campus and online resources, building awareness so students always find what they need.

Assist supports your educational continuity plans with institutional, Blackboard-sourced, and partner-provided solutions. Institutions can create and feature profiles of their existing services to appear in Assist. Assist also provides access to partner services: curated, high-quality providers offering scalable, virtual solutions to meet student needs. Administrators can manage available partner services that best benefit their students.

Assist will be available in Learn SaaS for higher education institutions in the Original Experience, the Ultra Experience, and the Blackboard app. At this time, it won't be available for K12, corporate, and government clients.

We encourage you to start planning the services you would promote in Assist, connecting with the offices that manage your student services including academic and financial assistance, health and wellness, housing and food security, and student life.

In future releases, Assist will adapt to users and offer personalized recommendations in places of learning such as in courses, the gradebook, and the activity stream.

More on Assist for students

More on Assist for instructors

More on Assist for administrators

Visit the Community site for more details and guides you can use to share information on Assist


Content editor updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience

This release introduces big updates to the content editor in the Original Course View and the Original experience. We’ve made numerous simplifications and improvements, including:

  • A single menu to add content that automatically recognizes file types

  • Optimized experience for all devices and screen sizes

  • Better accessibility for both the editor and the content you create. Menus and icons have higher contrast, pop-ups are gone, and an accessibility checker lets you know about accessibility issues as you write

  • The ability to paste content from Word, Excel, and websites with basic formatting and easily remove extra HTML

  • The ability to paste a link in the editor and automatically embed videos and previews

  • The ability to display formatted computer code snippets

Institutions using custom language packs created for older versions of Learn have found they may need to update their language packs for the editor to work properly.

More on the Original content editor for students 

Visit the Community site for more details and guides you can use to share the changes at your institution


API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • Institutions and partners can now provide students direct, deep links to specific Learn course content from their own portal or tool.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.


Blog performance

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Course View

In very large classes, performance is one of our top concerns. We’ve received feedback that including all students in the blog and journal view filter created slow loading times. To improve this performance, we’ve changed the view filter to display only those course members who have completed participation in the blog or journal activity. Non-participants are not displayed. For graded blogs or journals, instructors can display non-participants in the Grade Center.


Details & Actions items load together

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, items in the Details & Actions section of the Ultra Course View will now load in a single wave. This change will prevent students and instructors from selecting the wrong item as the page loads.


Embed Office 365 documents

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, students and instructors can embed Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files as well as Microsoft Stream videos from SharePoint into the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View. This option is only available with enterprise versions of Office 365.


Gradebook student list view improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View

This release introduces several improvements and new functionality for student list view in the Ultra gradebook.

  • Instructors can send messages and add accommodations for a student within both the student list view and the grade details view
  • Instructors can set up activity stream alerts about student inactivity and grade thresholds for themselves and their students. If their course contains enough activity and grading data, they can also see a detailed visualization of class performance.

Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3900.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Large icon updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

In this release, you’ll see new large icons in the Ultra experience. We made these changes to our icons to improve accessibility and differentiation for all users.

  • Like the small icon update earlier this year, the new icons have a thicker stroke to improve accessibility.
  • The new icons are more distinctive to avoid confusion between similar icons and to better support quick scanning. 

Show seconds in quiz timer

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, students will know how much time they have left down to the last second when they take a quiz in the Ultra Course View. The quiz timer will change from minutes to seconds when less than 1 minute remains.


Show/hide overall grade column

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, instructors can choose whether to show or hide overall grades to their students in the Ultra Course View.



Looking for older release notes?

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