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More on Learn with the SaaS Deployment | How to enable the Ultra experience

Browse the list of features or view the maintenance items.

You can also see our instructions to create and export a list of Known Issues in Behind the Blackboard.

Learn SaaS release 3900.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.15.0 (full release number 3900.15.0-rel.33+c15f06f) to client Production servers on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Please remember that the efforts to resolve the SCORM upgrade issues are still ongoing. Clients still running on 3900.13.0 will not be updated this time.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, users with Course Builder roles couldn't create journals or any type of content on Ultra courses. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, course announcements became single paragraphs of unformatted text, after making a copy of a course. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, the function CONTENT_IS_AVAILABLE(), was a potential driver of performance problems for some clients. We made significant improvements, for the benefit of both courses and organizations's users.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, a critical DB performance issue was present whenever a grade refresh occurred. Also, due to a SameSite restriction of the Chrome browser impacting the major workflow of Cengage B2, users weren't able to import contents. We’ve fixed both issues.
  • In the Original Experience, the Downtime Maintenance Schedule date picker worked as expected only when the en_US language pack was set as the user's language. When using other language packs (e.g. en_UK), and error appeared when selecting a desired date. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.15.0: Delay for release to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.15.0 release to client Production servers, previously scheduled for Thursday, June 3, 2021.

  • Issues have been identified with the SaaS Downtime Maintenance Schedule (impacting INTL admins when the system locale is not en_US), and, for a few clients, a SCORM issue.
  • The release has been rolled out for most clients.
  • The release is being held for some clients on the US East Coast.

We’ll provide more updates as soon as we’ve identified a new target date.


Learn SaaS release 3900.15.0 update: Customer Self Service Maintenance Scheduler for Postgres Upgrade

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience

We try our best to have the highest uptime available for Learn SaaS, but there are often some actions that require we take a customer’s site down to perform maintenance. The database upgrade to Postgres 12.5 is one such upgrade that will require some downtime.

We're releasing a new process to reduce the amount of coordination and communication efforts between clients and Blackboard Support. With this release, we give administrators the control in their production environments to schedule their maintenance window in the administrator panel, and select themselves a date and a time that allows for minimal disruption to their users.

You can learn more detailed information on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3900.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.15.0 (full release number 3900.15.0-rel.17+fc81d0d) to client Production servers on Thursday, June 3, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, users couldn’t download files attached to Organization discussion boards. Instead, they were redirected to Learn’s front page. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.15.0: Update to client Test environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.15.0 (full release number 3900.15.0-rel.14+031309f) to client Test servers on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, an admin couldn't set a custom language pack as the default until the system had assigned it an Ultra locale first. This process could take hours, or even days, instead of some minutes. We've fixed the issue and now admins can enable system default.
  • In the Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View, when an automatic zero was set for assignments delivered late, an assignment that was never submitted was just marked as late, without the zero grade. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.15.0: Update to client Test environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.15.0 (full release number 3900.15.0-rel.11+9c51902) to client Test servers on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View, when an instructor was grading an assignment, the page refreshed each time when moving between different sections using tab navigation. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.13.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.13.0 (full release number 3900.13.0-rel.36+ee2113e) to client Production servers on Thursday, May 20, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, the Last updated time/date stamp in the full grade center view has been removed to improve performance. The upper-right corner of the full Grade Center in an Original Course displayed a time/date stamp indicating the last change by any user. This display caused significant performance issues in courses with large enrollments or when many users graded concurrently, thus it has been removed. If reviewing when changes were made in the Grade Center, you still see this information, including the last update, under Reports > View Grade History.
  • In the Original Course View when base navigation is enabled, when embedding a new Kaltura content item within text, then moving on to the base navigation activity stream and refreshing it, the link would show HTML content and an inactive link instead of providing a proper, readable link to the Kaltura video. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.15.0: Update to client Test environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.15.0 (full release number 3900.15.0-rel.9+82a89d6) to client Test servers on Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experiences, an accessibility issue was present in threads within forums as the Thread Reply, Quote, Edit or Delete buttons were inoperative using the keyboard via the tab, space or enter keys. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, the Last updated time/date stamp in the full grade center view has been removed to improve performance. The upper-right corner of the full Grade Center in an Original Course displayed a time/date stamp indicating the last change by any user. This display caused significant performance issues in courses with large enrollments or when many users graded concurrently, thus it has been removed. If reviewing when changes were made in the Grade Center, you still see this information, including the last update, under Reports > View Grade History.
  • In the Original Course View when base navigation is enabled, when embedding a new Kaltura content item within text, then moving on to the base navigation activity stream and refreshing it, the link would show HTML content and an inactive link instead of providing a proper, readable link to the Kaltura video. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.13.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.13.0 (full release number 3900.13.0-rel.31+9040981) to client Production servers on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some courses with many milestone achievements with a display in the past, were causing performance issues when loading their contentStatus. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.13.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.13.0 (full release number 3900.13.0-rel.24+cf04977) to client Production servers on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, we've enabled colorless grading pills. Rubric grade pills are now monochromatic for both kinds of rubric in the following content types: Single attempt, multiple attempt, group, offline submission, multiple graders and anonymous grading assessments; individual and group discussions, and journals.
  • In Ultra Experience, when creating a new group assessment with a grading rubric enabled, the Grading Sidebar was not updating. When going from the first group attempt to the next one with the rubric open, it showed the rubric and feedback of the previous attempt. We've fixed the issue.

Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.15.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, when Ultra Stream Notifications were sent to a specific, targeted role, the system announcement was sent correctly to the specific users with that institution role, but the Admin Announcement UI indicated the notification was sent to everyone. causing confusion for admins. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Experience, in tests, the student's browser needed to be refreshed manually in order to show them tests hidden by conditional availability, even after these conditions were met. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra and Original Experiences, there were software updates related to server performance causing customer email alerts: Administrators were receiving Failed to Phone Home emails for software updates on SaaS environments. They will no longer see those emails. Also, as part of this change, the Update Status column has been removed from the Installed Tools page for Building Blocks. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Experience, after a Learn user had disabled their profile image from view, other users were still able to see it as it remained publicly available. 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 3900.13.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Support for Right to Left

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

Blackboard is pleased to introduce full Right to Left language support in Learn Ultra and to bring this capability to our Arabic and Hebrew speaking markets.

We've included in this release:

  • Full Right to Left flipped user interface across Ultra including base navigation, Ultra Course View and System Admin. 
  • Enhancements for the Ultra Rich Text Editor  that allow our users who write in Right to Left languages to adjust the text direction display.
  • System level Arabic and Hebrew language support and Ultra Course View  language enforcement.

Feedback by criterion

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Course View, Blackboard App

Rubrics are an essential tool when thinking about grading workflows. With this addition, rubrics inside Ultra courses are more useful to instructors. Segmented feedback provides more flexibility and detail to messages sent from instructors to students when grading an assignment. Students can have a better understanding of the why behind their grade, as per their instructor or grader prerogative.

Feedback by criterion is available wherever rubrics appear, like discussions, anonymous assignments, single and multiple attempts assignments, among others.

When using the parallel grading workflow, the option will be available to all graders, but the only feedback by criterion students will see, is the one given by the reconciler. The workflow remains around rubrics, and thus, feedback inside rubrics for the delegated workflow will remain the same.

This new feature is a step forward in our commitment to keep improving the rubrics roadmap.


A/V Recordings option in announcements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

With this new option, instructors can now insert audio and video recordings in their course announcements.


Peer Assessment: Peer Notifications

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience

This feature aims to expand previous releases of the Peer Assessment functionality. Students and instructors can learn about relevant changes in submissions via the Activity Stream. Instructors get notifications when new reviews arrive, and students get them when their reviews are graded.


Peer Assessment: Batch edit

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience

This feature aims to expand previous releases of the Peer Assessment functionality. Instructors can edit peer review items in batches. They can adjust the due date of separate items at the same time by delaying or advancing the date in a given batch.


Reset Signed URL configuration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Original Experience

This feature improves content delivery, accessibility and performance for China users, serving all files via our CDN Servers. The server will auto-configure and set up the user’s session to use or not to use signed URLs during login. Administrators can manually adjust exceptions by contacting Blackboard Support.


Course Auto-Archive performance and efficiency improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

This improvement fixes known issues causing archive-related instability and implements a safety-net to stop archiving courses that repeatedly fail. It also improves efficiency of auto-archives by adding more sources that the system can store as a reference instead of copying them as file data. Last but not least, it ensures that auto-archives are enabled for all sites as part of each release.


Learn SaaS release 3900.13.0: Update to client Test environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.13.0 (full release number 3900.13.0-rel.19+fa9ae0b) to client Test servers on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, for LTI links with the proctoring changes added, the Deep Linking response wasn't handling properly array aud fields. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, Organizations, content items or files created with attachments could not be edited, and the user received an error message when attempting to modify them. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, briefly after the Ultra Experience was enabled on their Production environment, admin users were receiving to many emails from [email protected], even from courses they were not enrolled in. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, users were unable to post results for certain groups, getting instead an error message. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 22 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.36+d29e3aa) to client Production servers on Monday, May 3, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, Organizations, content items or files created with attachments could not be edited, and the user received an error message when attempting to modify them. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 22 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.33+0562ff2) to client Production servers on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, briefly after the Ultra Experience was enabled on their Production environment, admin users were receiving to many emails from [email protected], even from courses they were not enrolled in. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.13.0: Update to client Test environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.13.0 (full release number 3900.13.0-rel.11+371689d) to client Test servers on Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, users enrolled with Facilitator role were getting an error message when changing assignment availability in Ultra courses as opposed to be able to change the visibility of the items. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 22 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.29+3b9a0fc) to client Production servers on Thursday, April 22, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, for mobile users (Instructor App), instructors can normally access Assessments RWD Ultra Screen in preview mode, but in the latest version this screen was rendered in editable mode. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, users enrolled with Facilitator role were getting an error message when changing assignment availability in Ultra courses as opposed to be able to change the visibility of the items. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, in large courses with more than 1000 students using discussions, the JVM was running out of memory or presenting performance delays. We've fixed the issue.

Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.13.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an assignment was created with Anonymous Grading, some daily notifications and digest email received after submissions were made, contained the names of the students who have submitted them. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, in tests, some calculated numeric questions were wrongly marked as correct when the student introduced a combination of numeric values and letters in an answer that should be numerical only. We've fixed the issue and added a further explanation on the Help pages regarding supported types of input for scientific notation, units and constants.

  • In the Original Course View, when recipients were selected for an enterprise survey response period, there was no way to identify or exclude child sections of merged courses, which caused some students to receive two copies of each survey. 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 3900.10.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Proctoring Services Framework

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we are pleased to announce the delivery of a proctoring framework to allow proctoring providers to integrate their solutions with Learn Ultra. To support high stakes secured proctored examinations has become an important component of online learning provision. With the rapid shift to blended and fully online learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions have pivoted towards proctoring solutions to improve their capabilities to support online digital secured examinations. Thus, Blackboard has put together the necessary efforts and provide a mechanism to allow Proctoring solutions to be supported in the native Learn Ultra assessment flow.

With this release, Blackboard has developed a framework to allow proctoring providers to integrate their solutions into the native test settings of the Ultra Course View. By working closely with a number of key proctoring providers and the IMS Global Organization, Blackboard's Proctoring Framework has been built with a core focus on standards and interoperability in mind.

By leveraging and certifying against the very latest IMS LTI Proctoring standard and combining this open standards based approach with Blackboard’s own Premium APIs, we have been able to provide an extensible framework allowing partners and clients to build and deploy their integrations in Ultra. Alongside all Proctoring partners we are already working closely with, we expect to see many additional solutions and services within the assessment security realm aligning to this specification in the coming months.

Blackboard is the first and currently only LMS provider to be certified against this latest Proctoring specification.

The Proctoring Services Framework includes the following features to support instructor creation and student completion:

  • Configuration of proctoring provider: instructors can choose to configure a proctoring solution for a native Ultra test. Selecting the desired integration from the corresponding drop-down list will allow the proctoring integration to display their native settings inline.
  • New proctor secured detail and iconography: both instructors and students will see clear contextual detail and iconography in the assessment peak panel and also on the course outline indicating a test has been proctor secured.
  • Student launch: students who need to complete a proctor secured test in Ultra, will follow the same procedure for access as with a non-proctor secured test, but will include additional security settings as per the proctoring solution prior to assessment access.
  • Native Ultra assessment security: instructors can combine the flexibility of a proctor-secured test alongside the existing native Ultra access code functionality, supporting a more enhanced security flow for students taking an online test.
  • Native Ultra assessment setting support: instructors can continue to utilize the existing settings functionality with a proctor-secured assessment, including but not limited to class conversations, multiple attempts, grading categories, grading schema, automated feedback settings and additional tools depending on the selected question types used.

Proctor-secured assessments do not support group assignments


Dropping grades inside categories for overall grade calculation

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View, we are pleased to announce the delivery of dropping grades inside categories for overall grade calculations, as we understand flexibility is key in a LMS when we talk about managing final grades calculations for students, and there are different ways in which instructors and institutions would like to set what is considered in the overall grade calculations.

From this release on, instructors and other privileged roles will be able to decide if they want to add additional rules to how their overall grade is calculated when using calculation by categories. They'll be able to drop as many grades as they want (lowest/highest), as long as there are more items inside the category than dropped items, or to choose just the lowest or highest grade to be considered for that category. This feature serves a great variety of use cases, for instance, to help students at the end of the term or to remove outliers (highest/lowest) grades in order to get a better sense of students’ performance.

When rules are in place, students can gain access to their overall grade calculation details and see if some additional rules have been set by their instructors, which gives them clarity on how their grades are calculated and why their calculations might defer from the ones displayed in their gradebook.


Ultra messages: Unread message indication

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We are pleased to announce the inclusion of Unread message indication for messages on the Base Navigation. This was a highly requested feature from our community, and we are excited to bring this capability to our clients. This solution will provide a clearly identifiable number count highlighting any new messages received for both Original and Ultra courses. When a user selects the Messages tool on the base navigation, the red number count will change to a red pill icon as to reduce distraction, but navigating away from this page will again show the unread message count. This capability will provide a greater level of transparency and engagement when new messages are sent and received for all users, and continues our commitment to enhancements for the Messages tool in Ultra.


Upgrade notifications for administrators

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

In the Ultra and Original Experiences, System administrators for Learn deployed in SaaS can opt-in to receive email notifications when an upgrade process starts and completes. This is particularly helpful for SaaS clients who want to be able to communicate with their support teams and user communities, with greater specificity when feature changes are available or bug fixes have been implemented. Users with the full System Administrator role can opt-in at Admin Panel > Notifications > System Alert Settings. Each administrator must opt-in individually to receive emails.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Delay for release to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 22 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.10.0 release to client Production servers, previously scheduled for Thursday, April 15, 2021, to Thursday, April 22, 2021. No other urgent fixes or security items are scheduled with this release, so we've decided to stay aligned with the regular weekday for Production releases (Thursday).

The release schedule has been updated to reflect this change.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 15 April 2021
Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.23+d32af8a) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, for some instances, when an authorized user attempted to enroll another user in a given course, even from within the course, they received an error message related to the necessary privileges required to perform the enrollment. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0 and 3900.13.0: Delay for release to client Production and Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 15 April 2021
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Test stage 20 April 2021 | Release to Production 6 May 2021

Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.10.0 release to client Production servers, previously scheduled for Thursday, April 8, 2021, to Thursday, April 15, 2021. No other urgent fixes or security items are scheduled with this release, so we've decided to stay aligned with the regular weekday for Production releases (Thursday).

We will also replace the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.12.0 release previously scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, for the 3900.13.0 release to client Test/Stage servers to take place on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. This delay also aligns with our usual pattern, to release a new Test/Stage version the Tuesday after a Production release, allowing us to include additional work in the upcoming May release. 

The release schedule has been updated to reflect this change.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 8 April 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.18+b85c058) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, we added a new guidance message to inform instructors about the new conditional release users & groups feature. The message was seen on documents by students as well, but it was only intended for users entitled to modify content availability. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when a student provided peer feedback that included an image, this attachment failed to download or wasn't even visible when the feedback was reviewed. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0 and 3900.12.0: Delay for release to client Production and Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.12.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021

Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.10.0 release to client Production servers, previously scheduled for Thursday, April 1, 2021, to Thursday, April 8, 2021. No other urgent fixes or security items are scheduled with this release, so we've decided to stay aligned with the regular weekday for Production releases (Thursday).

We will also delay the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.12.0 release to client Test/Stage servers, previously scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, 2021, to Tuesday, April 13, 2021. This delay also aligns with our usual pattern, to release a new Test/Stage version the Tuesday after a Production release. 

The release schedule has been updated to reflect this change.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Delay for Continuous Delivery update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.18+b85c058) update to client Test/Staging servers, previously scheduled for Tuesday, March 30, 2021. We’ll update this note as soon as we’ve identified a new target date.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.17+81ba8fd) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra and Original Course Views, all course content pages displayed an error if the Blackboard Store B2 was installed and set to be available or unavailable. We've fixed the issue and removed the Blackboard Store B2 (which reached its end of life in 2016) with this upgrade.

Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.37+0b5fb53) to client Production servers on Thursday, March 18, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, when questions were imported from an Original unit, some of them got randomly and unnecessarily duplicated in the Ultra Question Banks. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, the Change Hostname option within the Admin authentication SAML settings returned the user to the Admin Panel page instead of changing the host name. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.11+c24ca4f) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, when questions were imported from an Original unit, some of them got randomly and unnecessarily duplicated in the Ultra Question Banks. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, the Change Hostname option within the Admin authentication SAML settings returned the user to the Admin Panel page instead of changing the host name. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, when a Calculated Formula question was used in a test, if the answers used the exponential form (E-2, E-4, etc), with significant figures expressing the result, some right answers were marked as wrong, depending of the position of the decimal point. Also, the correct answer format field wasn't verified, students were able to answer a question with an incorrect format and the system would mark it as correct. We've fixed both issues.

API updates - 3900.10.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Add lastLogin filter to User Collection Get endpoint: We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • Users of APIs now have the ability to filter user requests based on the lastLogin parameter.

For more information about our Rest Public APIs, please refer to: https://developer.blackboard.com/portal/displayApi


Highlight on bug fixes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Original Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Original Course View, automatically disable notifications for users with > n enrollments (with a default value for n = 500) has been enabled. Now admins are able to automatically disable the generation of new notifications for users when the user has more than a certain configurable number of enrollments. Note that Institutions that create large enrollment volumes for support staff should use Institutional Hierarchy instead.

  • In the Original Course View, in the responsive Mobile View for the 2016 theme, Instructors, teaching assistants, course builders, graders and facilitators couldn't see the Instructor Gear icon which, in turn, contains the Student Preview and Edit Mode buttons. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, a student could receive a past due notification for an on-time submission sporadically. We've put in place proactive measures to monitor this behavior in order to fix it in a future release.

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 3900.10.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Assignment with Peer Review for Qualitative Peer Assessment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we started to implement the developments we've projected to improve the Peer Review Assessments experience. This is a synthetized description of what we've prepared for this release.

Peer assessment is a practice becoming more common because it encourages development of students’ critical thinking abilities, gives them practice in critique of others in a professional manner, and allows for measurement of students’ analysis and communication skills. With this release, qualitative peer review can be enabled for an Assignment in the Ultra Course View. It’s simple for instructors and students to use, and has the following features:

  • Set different due dates for the initial assignment submission and the completion of peer review: Instructors can set how many reviews are expected from each student. Peers are assigned randomly and automatically.
  • Late submitters and reviewers remain part of the task and can continue to participate: Instructors can clearly see who was late. This is a huge improvement over the implementation in Original Course View and superior to implementations found it other learning management systems where students who are late on anything can no longer participate.
  • Tracking: Instructors can track students’ progress toward completion.
  • Rubrics: Students can see the rubric that will optionally be used for the grade. Instructors can grade using a rubric.
  • Complete, single view: When grading, the instructor can see all this information in a single view: the student’s submission, feedback provided by the students’ peers, and the feedback the current student gave to their peers.
  • Anonymous mode for students: The identities of peers are hidden from students but viewable by instructors.
  • Censoring: Instructors can hide reviews deemed inappropriate or harmful.

As this is a first release of the Peer Review option for Assignments, there are some relevant use cases that aren’t part of this development, but are planned as future improvements. Some of them include:

  • Quantitative peer reviews: While a peer can view a rubric for guidance on providing feedback, the rubric can’t be used by students to provide a score.
  • Non-anonymous mode for students: Names of peers are always hidden from students. If an instructor wants students to know who they evaluate, it is necessary to request students to add their names to their submissions. Hidden names from instructors are not supported in this release.
  • Groups: There is no direct group support yet. However, because the review period excludes non-submitters automatically, it’s possible to set up multiple assignments with Peer Review enabled and set Conditional Availability by group membership. This way, assigned peers will always be members within a student’s group. Group submissions aren’t supported in this release.
  • Multiple prompts with essay questions: In this release, only a single text prompt is supported for an Assignment with Peer Review. If there are multiple topics to which s student is to respond and receive feedback, those should all be outlined in a single prompt or broken up into several assignments.
  • Separate grades for students’ submissions and their reviews: In this release, there is a single grade and rubric for an assignment. If the instructor wishes to communicate different scores for those two parts of the process, those can be outlined in the feedback.

Conditional availability by users or groups

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we are pleased to announce the inclusion of a highly requested feature: conditional release by users and groups.

From this version on, Instructors and other roles with elevated rights, will be able to grant differentiated access to content based on their ultimate goals. As a new option to the conditional availability rules, already present in Ultra courses (date/time and performance-based rules), faculty can now allow certain students to have access to specific content while selecting one or both existing rules mentioned above.

This new feature will be an incredible addition to those who want to create remedial paths to certain students, give different content to undergraduate and postgraduate students in a course, among other use cases.


Disable notifications for users with high enrollments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

In both Original and Ultra Course Views, we've improved the timeliness and performance of notifications for all users (including emails, push notifications, Stream, and MyBlackboard) by no longer generating these notifications for users with more than 500 enrollments.

A user with this large volume of course enrollments will still have access to all course resources but won’t receive notifications regardless of their settings.

Typically, users enrolled in so many courses are support staff or instructional designers. We recommend administrators to configure these users to be node administrators instead, with privileges to enroll and unenroll themselves from any course in the appropriate Institutional Hierarchy nodes, and with access to all the courses they may need without enroll them. Enrollment availability or enablement states are not considered for a user to count as to have over 500 enrollment records.


Embed LTI Content in Original Content Editor

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Original Experience, Original Course View

In the Original Experience and Original Course View, the ability to support access to third-party content within the Content Editor by the use of LTI is an important milestone for institutions, partners, and tool creators who look to transition from Building Block mashups to the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard from IMS Global. Appropriate LTI course tools will appear for instructors, course builders, teaching assistants, and students in the Add Content menu as additional tools alongside Building Block mashup tools. Two methods are supported: either the tool can add a link in the editor, or if the tool designates that the resource should be embedded, it will be inserted into an iframe in the Content Editor and rendered automatically.


Rich Text Editor improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience

In the Ultra Experience, the Rich Text Editor improvements contemplated for this release are related to paragraph format change and allow the creation of more rich and customizable pages. They include:

  • Clear formatting
  • Text alignment

  • Line height

  • Undo

 


Scripts for Learn SaaS to bulk download course archives

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

In order to comply with data retention policies and reduce utilized space, administrators often want to move course archives to another location for longer-term storage. In SaaS, course archives are created automatically, and daily back-ups of course archives are stored in the cloud. We’ve included these scripts written in Python in the Course Settings and Auto Archive Settings pages to allow admins to copy archives locally or to an AWS S3 bucket prior to deleting them from Learn.


Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Experience and Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.32+30fa709) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor is grading with a rubric a student's submission with a very long description in its content, the instructor needed to scroll down in order to see the submission and scroll up to see the rubric. We made this flow more comfortable, so the instructor can now see the submission and the rubric at the same time.
  • In the Original Course View and the Original Experience, within the Content Editor, a user won't be able to use copy and paste functionalities to transfer images from other sources. The user can include images with the Add Content workflow, as it used to be before version 3900.0. We've made this change to address performance problems that arose with certain large or numerous images. We’ll review whether it's possible to reintroduce this capability in the future.
  • In the Original Course View, when an XSS filter is applied to sanitize the content for different fields present in the plugin modules section, the fields are sanitized for both trusted and untrusted users as well. This behavior only occurred when a course tool was created via importing a package with the Import Package & Utilities  functionality. We fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Released to Production 4 Feb 2021
Original Experience, Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.6.0 (full release number 3900.6.0-rel.32+4fc1198) to client Production servers on Thursday, February 25, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View and the Original Experience, within the Content Editor, a user won't be able to use copy and paste functionalities to transfer images from other sources. The user can include images with the Add Content  workflow, as it used to be before version 3900.0. We've made this change to address performance problems that arose with certain large or numerous images. We’ll review whether it's possible to reintroduce this capability in the future.

Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.28+7eb0c69) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, in Assignments, Assessments and Journals, when a student inserted a math formula image it was replaced with a broken image and ALT text and the instructor couldn't see it properly in order to grade the submission. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when copied from an Original course, incompatible discussion board availability settings were retained, blocking access to current students. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when feedback was about to be recorded for an Assignment using Chrome, a misleading error message appeared instead of the expected recording controls and prevented the user to continue. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students were unable to view iframe content in the Notes area for Contacts, Tasks and Glossary posted by their instructor including YouTube and Kaltura uploaded content. We fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

The scheduled Production release of 3900.6.0 (full release number 3900.6.0-rel.27+4fc382c) during off-hours on Thursday, February 18, 2021 includes this additional update.

  • In the Original Course View, students were unable to view iframe content in the Notes area for Contacts, Tasks and Glossary posted by their instructor including YouTube and Kaltura uploaded content. We fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.22+d9cd600) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor entered grades in each category of rubric for an assignment with rubrics, the page reloaded and the focus was taken away from the comments and/or grade fields. We fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.19+5f99a51) to client Test/Stage servers on Friday, February 12, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • Some Test/Stage environments encountered a deadlock during startup and couldn’t be upgraded. We’ve reverted the changes made while we gather the required diagnostic information to implement a permanent solution.
  • In the Ultra and Original Course Views, in Mobile, course messages had duplicated content in their push notifications and appeared encoded and unreadable to users. We’ve reverted the changes made while we verify a permanent solution.
  • In the Ultra Course View, in Mobile, course messages' push notifications were sent to sender users. We’ve fixed the issue (updated).
  • In the Original Course View, the Goal Performance Dashboard was failing on SaaS Servers for certain reports. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View

The scheduled Production release of 3900.6.0 (full release number 3900.6.0-rel.24+5fa90d1) during off-hours on Thursday, February 11, 2021 includes one additional update.

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor entered grades in each category of rubric for an assignment with rubrics, the page reloaded and the focus was taken away from the comments and/or grade fields. We fixed the issue.


API updates - 3900.8.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Ability to manage user-to-node associations: We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • Users of APIs now have the ability to create, update, or delete institutional hierarchy node associations between users and Institutional Hierarchy associations nodes.

For more information about our Rest Public APIs, please refer to: https://developer.blackboard.com/portal/displayApi


Highlight on bug fixes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when a user created a TurnItIn assignment using the LTI 1.3 integration and clicked to access the LTI content on the Activity Stream, the peak panel was displayed empty. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, after a refractor process from SOAP to REST when grades were called from the Grade Centre, the REST public API was considerably slower. We managed to improve the response time and fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, where a calculated formula rounding was required, the number 5 was rounded down rather than rounded up for some values. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, after a performance improvement for the Blog View response times was made in the 3900.0 release, the workflow for grading non-participants was affected. When an instructor wanted to find non-participant users to grade them with zero, students were not visible in the blog or journal. We've reversed the related improvement changes until we find a permanent solution.

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 3900.8.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Localize EMAIL and SMS notification messages to user's preferred language

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Experience and Original Experience

In both Ultra and Original Experiences, system notification emails were always sent in the SYSTEM DEFAULT language. Now, system notifications sent by email and SMS will be sent in the USER’s chosen language instead. This aligns Learn with our goal to provide individual choice wherever possible. Users continue to have control over their notification types and modalities in their notification settings.


System and Institutional Role Ids

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Starting with the 3900.6.0 SaaS release, System and Institutional Role Ids will no longer be changeable after creation. This impacts Role management Java and REST APIs and the Learn Administrator user experience for Role creation. Please take extra care when creating your System and Institutional Role Ids.

Client-facing impact:

  • For Learn administrators, custom roles created via System Admin > Institution Roles will no longer allow the Role ID attribute to be edited after creation.
  • For partner developers, the method blackboard.data.role.PortalRole#setRoleID may no longer be used to change the Role ID of existing roles.

Learn SaaS release 3900.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Original Course View

The scheduled Production release of 3900.6.0 (full release number 3900.6.0-rel.16+e5c4a95) during off-hours on Thursday, February 4, 2021 includes one additional update.

  • In the Original Course View, when an instructor added content to a discussion (forum) thread that contained an iframe, the student couldn't see the content within the iframe. We fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.6.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.6.0 (full release number 3900.6.0-rel.15+bd9f50f) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, the originality report option was displayed while grading the assessment, when safe-assign was not enabled. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.6.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.6.0 (full release number 3900.6.0-rel.12+0cc66df) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor edited a group set's settings and deleted the end date for self enrollment, an error caused the system to close the self enrollment option for students. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, embedded LTI links returned from deep linking didn't send the custom parameters back. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.4.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.4.0 (full release number 3900.4.0-rel.23+718491f) to client Production environments on Thursday, January 21, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors were unable to access the rubrics for anonymous assessments. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.6.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.6.0 (full release number 3900.6.0-rel.12+0cc66df) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors were unable to access the rubrics for anonymous assessments. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when LTI 1.3 profiles were automatically enabled, a default course tool was created for use in LTI Advantage services that could appear without the administrator's approval. We've made a quick fix to avoid this appearance in the course tools area. In a future release, a profile change will drive this fix.
  • In the Original Course View, enterprise surveys with open questions followed by a page break displayed an error when a user tried to move to the next page, and the survey couldn’t be completed. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.4.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.4.0 (full release number 3900.4.0-rel.23+718491f) to client Production on Thursday, January 14, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, a recent fix to the Grade Center scrolling behavior caused problems loading custom color palettes. We’ve reverted the Grade Center scrolling behavior until both issues are resolved.
  • For sites on Ultra base navigation, when a user opened the Student Activity page in an Original Course View course, the course disappeared and the user returned to the Ultra base navigation page. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when LTI 1.3 profiles were automatically enabled, a default course tool was created for use in LTI Advantage services that could appear without the administrator's approval. We've made a quick fix to avoid this appearance in the course tools area. In a future release, a profile change will drive this fix.

API updates - Blackboard Premium APIs

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Experience

Premium APIs: In this release, Blackboard’s Premium APIs transition from technical preview to general availability. Blackboard Premium APIs are REST-based application interfaces that add capabilities and value for institutions, partners, and other third-party tool creators beyond simple data exchange and available open standards. The first set of available Premium APIs is a collection called the Ultra Extension Framework (UEF) APIs.

The UEF APIs allow an integrated tool to communicate securely with Learn. With the UEF, integrated tools are aware of where users are in Learn and what they’re interacting with. The UEF is typically used with standards such as LTI Advantage to integrate a tool’s user interface and REST APIs to exchange data. The UEF allows a tool to engage with users when and where they need to rather than hoping that users visit fixed tool locations. Institutions and third parties who use the UEF will have the opportunity to create more personalized experiences in Blackboard Learn than can be achieved in other learning platforms.

The UEF enhances Learn’s Ultra Base Navigation and Ultra Course View with a robust set of capabilities:

  • Real-time telemetry provides detailed user navigation behavior information so integrated apps can respond in very personalized ways.
  • Help provider registration allows the default behavior of the Learn Ultra help tool (the question mark bubble icon) to be overridden with another support solution.
  • User interface element rendering gives integrated applications the ability to populate UI elements and content, including banners, modals, interface panels, and notifications to users only when and where they’re needed, creating unique and tailored experiences for each user.

For more information on the UEF, please refer to https://docs.blackboard.com/learn/uef/getting-started

 

Using Premium APIs: During technical preview, we handled access to Premium APIs manually for early access participants. Now that they are generally available, access is formally managed in the Developer Portal. Appropriate Developer Groups can give designated applications access to Blackboard’s Premium APIs. Premium APIs are not directly visible to, or usable by, end users.

Blackboard’s Premium APIs, including the Ultra Extension Framework, are available to all clients and Blackboard Partnership Program members at the Bronze level and higher. Developers who want to use Premium APIs must have configured their Developer Portal Groups accordingly. Please, contact Support with your request or send an email to [email protected] if you have additional questions. Visit the Blackboard Partners page for more information about partnership levels.
 

Examples of the use UEF: 

  • Qwickly is leveraging the UEF (a Premium API) to provide instructors the option to display the attendance Check-in entry tool from directly within the Ultra course experience. This enhanced integration results in fewer clicks and eliminates the reliance on an external tool launch. 
  • EesySoft uses Premium APIs to deliver a highly personalized user experience based on where the user is and what they’re currently doing within the Learn Ultra application. 

Course archive quarantine

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’ve improved the performance of the course archives process when an archive fails due to specific, particular circumstances. 

After three unsuccessful archive attempts, the course will be quarantined for evaluation. Administrators will receive an email notification that a course has been quarantined. Once the email notification is received, the administrator can check the quarantined courses list and reach out to Blackboard Support for further assistance, similar to the process for an export course issue. 

  • A notification will be sent to the administrator every time a new course enters quarantine.
  • The functionality is enabled by default. To disable it, the system administrator should contact Blackboard Support.

Highlight on bug fixes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • Adaptive Release and Test Exceptions: The text under Test Availability Exceptions and Review Status sections related to organizations and courses is now showing as expected.

  • The Group Assignment Submission page was confusing to students: Whenever the first student from a group clicked on the assignment, he/she arrived to a submission page with an option to submit the assignment. If this student navigated away from this page without selecting Cancel, then all group members that log in afterward would see a page with previous submission information (i.e. a "review submission history" page) that suggested there was an ungraded attempt already submitted. The student then had the option to continue.
    Now, the system still shows the Upload Assignment page since no attempt was ever actually submitted.

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 3900.6.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


New navigation tab in the Assessment View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.6.0 | Release to Production 4 February 2021
Ultra Course View

Instructors and students will find a new navigation tab at the right side of the screen when they navigate the Assessment View. This new navigation tab helps users to access all the options and features available for the current assessment from one single place. This tab will be visible to both students and instructors once a student sends the first submission.

The options available from the new side tab are:

  • Originality Report: Users will be able to select their service provider, including SafeAssign.
  • Rubrics: Instructors will be able to grade the assessment with rubrics. Both students and instructors can check the grades that have been assigned by the instructor for each criterion. Instructors will also be able to more easily override and undo override actions.
  • Feedback: Instructors and peers will be able to provide general feedback about the assessment.

Learn SaaS release 3900.4.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

The scheduled Production release of 3900.4.0 (full release number 3900.4.0-rel.20+93e130c) during off-hours on Thursday, January 7, 2021 includes one additional update.

  • Client credentials bearer tokens didn't grant access to Learn when using Applications with Premium API Access enabled. We fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.4.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.4.0 (full release number 3900.4.0-rel.17+f210f75) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, the course groups tool wasn't visible if an institution had a large number of tools installed. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, the rich text editor didn't display an HTML preview after a media link was pasted. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.4.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.4.0 (full release number 3900.4.0-rel.14+d8ea606) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, December 22, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, the minimal rich text editor displayed some incorrect icons and tooltips and some unnecessary buttons. We've fixed the issues.
  • In the Original Course View, the content editor removed link tags and URLs with Javascript in image and anchor tags whether or not the user had the Add/Modify Trusted Content permission. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, when an alternate domain is enabled, allowing guest access to course files could deny signed-in users the ability to access the files. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • We've added a page to the Admin Panel to allow the ability to enable an alternate domain for serving content files, and specify the host name for the alternate domain. You’ll find the Alternate Domain for Serving Content page in the Security section of the Admin Panel.

Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Update to client Production environments

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

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.2.0 (full release number 3900.2.0-rel.34+4ad580a) to client Production environments on Thursday, December 17, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, the Question Analysis report for tests presented incorrect results at some institutions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some students didn’t have permission to access a group assignment. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, the Link to Wiki page option was missing from the new Content Editor experience. You can now find it under the Add content dialog. Learn more about linking to other wiki pages.

Learn SaaS release 3900.4.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.4.0 (full release number 3900.4.0-rel.10+9fc85c4) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • If HTML content written by instructors or administrators referenced hosted content served from an alternate domain, the iframe didn’t load properly. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, the Question Analysis report for tests presented incorrect results at some institutions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some students didn’t have permission to access a group assignment. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, the Link to Wiki page option was missing from the new Content Editor experience. You can now find it under the Add content dialog. Learn more about linking to other wiki pages.

Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Update to client Production environments

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

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.2.0 (full release number 3900.2.0-rel.31+0a50fe3) to client Production environments on Thursday, December 10 and Friday, December 11, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • If HTML content written by instructors or administrators referenced hosted content served from an alternate domain, the iframe didn’t load properly. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, test questions linked from a question pool had a difficulty score of 0% regardless of how students answered. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Partial delay for update to Production environments

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

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re partially delaying the regular maintenance update to Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.2.0 Production environments, previously scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2020.

  • Production environments aligned to Europe and US Eastern time zones will be updated as usual on Thursday, December 10, 2020.
  • Production environments aligned to Asia-Pacific, US Central, US Mountain, and US Pacific time zones will be updated on Friday, December 11, 2020.

API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • Added an endpoint that separates child courses from their set parents so that API users can now undo parent/child course relationships via APIs.

Building block self-service

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

With this release, SaaS administrators can now install and uninstall building blocks on their SaaS instance without depending on Blackboard Support. This change gives our clients the flexibility of managing their own installations instead of waiting for the Support team. Administrators can install and uninstall building blocks in Admin Panel > Building Blocks > Installed Tools. Installation and removal of a building block will trigger an automated rolling restart. No additional action is needed from the administrator.

Blackboard understands this is an exciting update for our clients. It is worth pointing out that we continue to expand our REST APIs as well as deepening our LTI support. It's important to note that a combination of REST API/LTI is preferred to ensure integration support in the Ultra experience. REST APIs/LTI are the modern standard that SaaS companies use when interfacing with their systems. More and more of our partners are developing towards REST APIs/LTI, and we continue to look forward to the time where our REST API/LTI framework is robust enough to handle all use cases that building blocks currently support.


End of SOAP Web Services capabilities

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Blackboard SOAP Web Services were officially deprecated on January 4, 2019 (see the original announcement). 

As of December 31, 2020, Blackboard Learn SOAP Web Services are no longer supported, as they have reached the end of life per our deprecation policy.

In February 2021, we will update the Proxy Tools and Web Services System Administrator pages with the removal of links for Registering new Proxy Tools, Creating new Web Services, and accessing SOAP Web Services documentation and development tools.

The removal of these links does not disable the use of currently installed Proxy Tools or Web Services.

While SOAP may continue to work for your institution, any issues or concerns regarding SOAP will not be addressed by Blackboard other than the recommendation of moving to REST APIs.

Full removal of SOAP Web Services capabilities is planned for the May 2021 and future releases. Note that this plan is subject to change, and that SOAP Web Service capabilities may not be removed until a later release.


Fixed issues

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, the Post Now button for Announcements didn't disable after its first selection while the work processed in courses with large numbers of students. This meant instructors could select the button, post the announcement, and email students multiple times. Now, the Post Now button will disable on first selection.

  • In the Original Course View, when a Grade Center column had a long title and required multi-line wrapping, the window size changed depending on whether the column with the long title was visible. This made it difficult to scroll, because the horizontal scroll bar changed position with the size of the window. Now, the window size remains consistent.

    If particularly long item names make the header larger than you’d like, shortened alternative names can be added just for displaying in the Grade Center. In the Grade Center, select a column and in the menu, choose Edit Column Information and set a shorter title for Grade Center Name.

  • In the Original Course View, when a user added an image in the content editor, the text after the image was forced to the next line. 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 3900.4.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Rich text editor improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Course View

In this release, users will have access to more formatting tools in the Ultra Course View's rich text editor. Users can format content in a variety of different ways, including font colors, font sizes, and font style. We've also redesigned the tool's base to provide a better experience with a secondary bar that will display additional options, especially on smaller screens. Students, instructors, and administrators will see these changes everywhere they encounter the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View.


Support panel session data

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.4.0 | Release to Production 7 January 2021
Ultra Experience

Logging tickets has long been a struggle for administrators. There isn’t an easy way for administrators to capture what the user was doing at the time the issue occurred. This often leads to a lot of back and forth between our clients and support as we attempt to gather the necessary information needed to investigate a bug further. We understand how frustrating that process can be. With this release, users will now be able to capture their most recent session data (last 30 actions the user has taken) and send it to their administrators to attach in support cases. This feature will be available in the Support Panel as well as anywhere the “Oops! Your name is not on the list.” message can occur. Administrators can retrieve the log files via Admin Panel > Tools and Utilities > Logs > Session Debug Logs.


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.


Annotate comment enhancement

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery | Blackboard Learn 9.1
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.


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 3900.2.0: 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.


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 > Show username even when hidden from other users.
  • 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 higher education 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 3800.19.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.54+54663c8) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 22, 2020.

Updates in this version include:


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.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.51+4456ac1) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We've integrated Xythos Service Packs 20 and 21, which introduce internal improvements to the content system.

  • The verbosity level of new log nodes reverted to the default initial value instead of matching the level set in Log Settings. 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.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.42+e227a86) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Emailed course announcements in both the Original and Ultra Course Views now include both the course name and the title of the announcement in the email subject.

  • The calculated grade snapshot information didn't update correctly in courses that use the Telemetry B2. We've fixed the issue.

  • Learn environments ran out of memory when archiving courses with large volumes of activity accumulator records. We've fixed the issue.

  • 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.

  • In the Ultra Course View, users who had system permission to create materials but were not enrolled in a course couldn’t add permanent files to a course. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.35+878ad8e) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn't join Collaborate sessions with their course links. We've fixed the issue.

  • Emailed course announcements in both the Original and Ultra Course Views now include both the course name and the title of the announcement in the email subject.

  • The calculated grade snapshot information didn't update correctly in courses that use the Telemetry B2. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Ultra Course View

The scheduled Production release of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.33+a603588) during off-hours on Thursday, October 1, 2020 includes an additional update.

  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn't join Collaborate sessions with their course links. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.32+99f4ccd) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We’ve added unique login counts for the previous 30, 90, and 180 days to the Learn Insight Report.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some replies weren’t visible in discussions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users’ discussion response and reply counts didn’t appear correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users’ profiles and activity in discussions appeared as though the users were unavailable. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, discussion forum links that were broken during a course copy couldn’t be removed from the new course. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When an instructor reverted a course back to the Original Course View from Ultra Course Preview, a lost association with the course data source key caused problems with SIS integration. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users at institutions that use SSO with the SAML Building Block had trouble logging in to their Learn environments. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.27+f09831f) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, emailed announcements didn't include the announcement title in the subject line. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students received an incorrect password error when a test used a password with certain character patterns. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.24+879e1a1) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, emailed announcements didn't include the announcement title in the subject line. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students received an incorrect password error when a test used a password with certain character patterns. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View with Ally enabled, administrators couldn’t remove replaced files included in a course copy from the new course’s content collection. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn't view a course document after visiting an LTI link in a learning module that uses sequential availability. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn’t view a test submission when SafeAssign was enabled and Respondus LockDown browser was required. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t add LTI deep linked content to their courses if SameSite cookie support was enabled in their browser. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t access the users enrolled in their course through third-party applications that use the course membership REST API. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • At some institutions that use SIS integrations for notifications, a small number of user accounts were locked when notification traffic was heavy. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.23+292bc5b) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn't view a course document after visiting an LTI link in a learning module that uses sequential availability. We've fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t access the users enrolled in their course through third-party applications that use the course membership REST API. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn’t view a test submission when SafeAssign was enabled and Respondus LockDown browser was required. We’ve fixed the issue.

Changes to deleted file retention period

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

With this release, Blackboard will change the content collection system’s deleted file retention period from 45 days to 32 days on clients' Learn SaaS sites. This change will reduce the amount of storage used by client sites and bring our retention period in line with the Learn SaaS Service Level Agreements data retention period. The change will not impact course auto archives or active course data.


Expanded access to Ally in Ultra documents

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Ultra Course View

Now, in the Ultra Course View, instructors and students can download Ally alternative formats for course documents in the expanded view. With Ally enabled at their institutions, instructors and students see the Ally icon in the top menu, next to the conversations icon. They can choose the alternative format that best suits their needs.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 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 3800.19.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.21+0b17a13) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, some instructors intermittently encountered an undefined error in the Grade Center. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.17+ca99c4d) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • For some administrators, the Insight Report (Beta) displayed 0 for Auto-Archived Courses and Organizations and Days of logs available instead of the correct count. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, when an instructor quoted a post with embedded files, students couldn't access the files from the instructor's reply.  We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some environments encountered short periods of downtime after RDS maintenance. We've fixed the issue. 

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.32+577dd66) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, August 27, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when partner content was used in a course, some content provider options didn't display in the Content Market. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, Vimeo videos wouldn't embed in course content. We've fixed the issue.
  • For some administrators, the Insight Report (Beta) displayed 0 for Auto-Archived Courses and Organizations and Days of logs available instead of the correct count. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.14+16bd146) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, a variable name displayed instead of the Assessment security heading when users launched the LockDown Browser. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors couldn't close the Add Content menu for an empty folder with the X (close) icon on the Course Content page. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when partner content was used in a course, some content provider options didn't display in the Content Market. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, Vimeo videos wouldn't embed in course content. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.30+8445ff0) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, August 20, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some users couldn’t log in to their Learn environment when a SAML SSO provider was created as inactive and then was set to active. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, SAML logout pages displayed in the default language instead of a user's preferred language. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.11+9b66d12) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, forgotten password emails for custom, secondary brand domains incorrectly sent users to the main brand domain. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, content added with LTI tools wouldn't open with learning module navigation. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users couldn’t log in to their Learn environment when a SAML SSO provider was created as inactive and then was set to active. We’ve fixed the issue. 

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.28+ba39496) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, August 13, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, forgotten password emails for custom, secondary brand domains incorrectly sent users to the main brand domain. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, content added with LTI tools wouldn't open with learning module navigation. We’ve fixed the issue.

Protect assessments with access codes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

Features that support academic integrity and assessment security remain at the top of our priority list because of consistent feedback from Ultra early adopters and institutions evaluating a move to Ultra courses. Over the last several months, these concerns have been dramatically amplified due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, we're happy to share that instructors can now add a system-generated access code for their assessments in the Ultra Course View. For the initial release, access codes can only be generated randomly and can't be customized. Instructors can also regenerate the access code when needed. Test facilitators can see the access code, but can't change it.

Students need to enter the access code each time they start or continue an assessment. Instructors or test facilitators need to provide the access code, and students won't have a way to discover the access code on their own. Students don't need the access code to access their grades and feedback.

More on the instructor workflow


API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to create, update, or delete institutional hierarchy node associations between courses and Institutional Hierarchy nodes.
  • We enhanced the public assignment APIs to support SafeAssign options, which aligns with the functionality offered in the user interface.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.


Automated test question feedback

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

Instructors rely on automated feedback in Original to provide focused feedback on individual test questions without needing to type feedback for each question on each submission. With this release, automated test question feedback is now available in Ultra courses. Instructors can enter feedback for correct and incorrect answers on auto-graded question types (such as True/False). Students will automatically receive the feedback when they submit the assessment.

For this initial release, feedback will be available at the question level only. While conversion of automated feedback from Original courses is supported, any images, files, or weblinks in the Original course’s feedback will not convert. Future work will add feedback for individual answer choices and manual feedback for test questions.


Enhancements to course archive and restore

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

This update makes the archive process more comprehensive. Now, archives gather data for users who may have dropped the course during the term, which provides a fuller picture of user activity in restored courses for records and reviews.

When an archive is restored, course and enrollment records are returned to the enablement state at the time of the archive creation. User records that match with existing accounts will be linked during the restore process, but the existing user’s enablement state will not change. As before, if records are disabled and locked, an administrator will need to enable records in Learn to review them.


H5P added to list of embedded media

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, H5P has been added to the list of supported embedded media in the text editor.

View the instructor workflow


Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to release notes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We prematurely announced that version 3800.17.0 would contain Assist, a student success hub for campus and online resources. We are still testing this feature, and it’s targeted for release in the near future. We apologize for the confusion.


Send course announcement by email

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

To be sure Ultra course announcements reach as many students as possible, we've added the ability to send course announcements by email. Emails about Ultra announcements are always sent and aren't controlled by the global notification settings. Instructors also receive a copy as the email is sent to all course members. In the email, embedded content appears as links. Students can select the links to view the content.

You can't send an email for an announcement that you schedule for a future date.

We also reformatted the subject line for announcement emails in the Original Course View. Now, they’re consistent with the Ultra Course View.

More on the instructor workflow


Student list view in the gradebook

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, we've added a new view option in the gradebook for Ultra courses. The new view, called student list view, improves gradebook performance in courses with very large enrollment numbers. In the student list view tab, instructors can see rows for each student in addition to a tab with rows for gradebook items.

We listened to concerns that instructors have about the current gradebook and we incorporated these concerns into student list view. Items such as last access date, student, and user ID are included so instructors can easily get to the student record they want.

The initial release allows instructors to view all the gradebook items for a single student and grade and give feedback on just those submissions. The next improvement for this feature will include additional filtering and sorting options, messaging, and accommodation options within the student list view.

This view doesn't affect any current workflows that instructors use today. Student list view is an addition to the existing gradebook list view—the default view for Ultra courses.

More on the instructor view


Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.24+b25671a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We’ve improved system performance and stability for institutions with very large courses (many students and many content items).

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.22+7825384) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't access created tests. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.29+ffe3614) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some SIS feed files were blocked and couldn't update information in Learn. We've fixed the issue.
  • Courses with missing resources couldn’t be deleted because the archive process couldn’t complete. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.21+8a56e93) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some SIS feed files were blocked and couldn't update information in Learn. We've fixed the issue.
  • Courses with missing resources couldn’t be deleted because the archive process couldn’t complete. We’ve fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to Singapore Polymall environments shifted

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The release of Bb Annotate to Singapore Polymall environments has been shifted by one week. It will be available in Test/Stage environments beginning on July 20, 2020, and in Production environments beginning July 27, 2020.

The detailed release plan on Behind the Blackboard and the Community site has been updated to reflect this change.

To learn about Bb Annotate, visit the Bb Annotate Communication & Adoption Toolkit.

More on how to review instructor feedback in Bb Annotate for Students

More on Bb Annotate for Instructors


Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.26+bfd99e6) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some users still saw incorrect column headers and missing data in exported Outcomes Assessment reports. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, only two lines of a course announcement displayed at a time. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.15+49a56b1) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some users still saw incorrect column headers and missing data in exported Outcomes Assessment reports. We've fixed the issue.

Additional sources for embedded media in the text editor

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View

This release expands our list of embedded media sources in the text editor. The Insert/Edit Video from Web option is now called Insert/Edit Media from Web. Users can add media from these sites:

  • VidGrid
  • Panopto™
  • FlipGrid
  • SlideShare
  • Prezi
  • VoiceThread
  • KhanAcademy
  • Kaltura
  • Soundcloud
  • Spotify®
  • Genial.ly
  • NearPod
  • Quizlet
  • EdPuzzle
  • YouTube™
  • Vimeo®

API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to create, update, or delete institutional hierarchy nodes. We also added the ability to create child nodes for a specific NodeId, and delete and update institutional hierarchy nodes by NodeId.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.


Journal support for course copy and conversion

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, we've added support for Ultra journals in course copy and conversion. Now, Ultra journals are included in the list of content items to copy from one Ultra course to another. Users can also use the Administrator Panel or Copy Content to copy journals between courses. Journals can also be converted from an Original course to an Ultra course as part of the Ultra Course Preview and will be included in the course's export/archive ZIP file. Journal prompts and settings are included when an Original course is converted to the Ultra Course View. Comments and student entries aren’t included.

The conversion workflow for journals will have additional improvements in the future.

At this time, the Ultra journals grading view supports up to 50 users. Future development will expand this number.

We recommend that you use Ultra journals as you build new courses, but our guidance is to limit teaching and grading usage until additional work is completed.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 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 3800.15.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


SOAP Web Services API removal

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Please note that in the August 2020 Learn release, as part of the removal of SOAP Web Services APIs from Learn, we are removing the following Java APIs which have been deprecated since 2015:

  • CourseCategoryMembershipLoader
  • CourseCategoryMembershipPersister
  • OrganizationCategoryLoader
  • OrganizationCategoryMembershipLoader
  • OrganizationCategoryMembershipPersister
  • OrganizationCategoryPersister

Text editor added to course announcements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View

Instructors rely on course announcements to deliver important, timely information to students. To make announcements easier to read and more visually appealing, many instructors enhance them by adding images, links, and text formatting. Now, instructors can use an enhanced text editor to add and display more types of content, links, embedded media, and file attachments in announcements in Ultra courses.

View the instructor workflow

In the next milestone, available in a future release, instructors will be able to send an email copy of a course announcement to recipients with an email address on record.


Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Delay for Continuous Delivery release to Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3800.15.0 Continuous Delivery release to Test/Stage servers, previously scheduled for July 7, 2020, until Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The release schedule has been updated to reflect this change.


Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.23+f2b803a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some SIS integrations didn't process feed files. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, administrators couldn’t see the result categories in an enterprise survey results report. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, certain assessment settings (like rubrics, delegated grading, and peer review) were disabled when an instructor added presentation-only content. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.35+a142044) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some students couldn’t access enterprise surveys. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.17+e9dcbb4) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, users couldn't access the date picker to edit a date. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, some grades entered as letters were incorrectly changed to the next highest letter grade. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, the exported Outcomes Assessment report had some incorrect column headers and was missing data. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, some students couldn’t access enterprise surveys. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • We enhanced logging for the SAML B2.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.34+e7b8bbb) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, when a Learn instance used custom brands or themes based on the 2012 theme, users couldn't see links under the Course Control Panel. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, some grades entered as letters were incorrectly changed to the next highest letter grade. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, the exported Outcomes Assessment report had some incorrect column headers and was missing data. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.11+32b12c7) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, the Grade Center didn't load for users who use the Spanish language pack with a Chilean grading schema. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, when a Learn instance used custom brands or themes based on the 2012 theme, users couldn't see links under the Course Control Panel. We've fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to international Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Bb Annotate will be released to international Production environments starting on Monday, June 15, 2020.

The release is staggered by Regional Data Centers. To find your specific date, consult the detailed release plan on Behind the Blackboard or the Community site.

To learn about Bb Annotate, visit the Bb Annotate Communication & Adoption Toolkit.

More on how to review instructor feedback in Bb Annotate for Students

More on Bb Annotate for Instructors


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.26+6de5309) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, June 11, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, the Grade Center didn't load for users who use the Spanish language pack with a Chilean grading schema. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, recurring Collaborate Ultra sessions didn't appear under Join Session in the Details & Actions section after the first session. We've fixed the issue.

Administrator support panel

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Ultra Experience

We’ve made it easier for full system administrators to find self-help resources while in Learn with the Ultra experience. With this release, system administrators can access Blackboard Help, as well as Behind the Blackboard links for the knowledge base, support ticket submission, and support phone numbers. Select the help icon in the lower-right corner to open the new support panel.

More on the support panel


API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to provide public APIs to Read Institutional Hierarchy Nodes.
  • We added the ability to provide APIs to access and manage user avatars.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.


Course discussions improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, students currently can create their own discussion topics. This sometimes causes confusion in the student workflow when responding to discussions. With this release, instructors can decide if they want students to generate their own discussions or not. By default, students won't be able to create discussions. When students are allowed to create discussions, a label appears under discussion titles to show they were student-created.

Note that the plus sign and the menu now appear in the upper-right corner of the Discussions page along with the new settings icon.

More on the instructor view of discussions

We also made several styling changes and usability improvements to the course discussions workflow, which include:

  • The Grader role can't modify a discussion by default, but an administrator can grant that permission if it's needed.
  • Students can delete the discussions they created if no one else has responded.

Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 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 3800.13.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


System permissions for brands

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Ultra Experience

Some institutions want the ability to grant certain users limited Admin Panel access to allow them to view Ultra's brands and themes configuration. With this release, we've added two new system permissions to allow more granular access to certain areas of the Admin Panel. They are automatically granted to any role that has the Administrator Panel (Integrations) > Building Blocks > Installed Tools permission.

  • View Ultra Settings makes the Ultra admin module visible on the main Admin Panel screen, but doesn't confer any other permissions. Additional permissions will be needed to access specific configuration pages. For example, the Brands configuration page requires Administrator Panel > Brands > View Brands and Themes.
  • Change Ultra Settings controls access to the existing Ultra settings page, where you can configure Default Landing Page and link to Course and Organization Catalog settings. Any role with this permission will automatically have View Ultra Settings permission.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.23+7619f1a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • Files attached to discussion threads replaced existing discussion files when copied into existing courses. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, when an instructor created a test from a question set, they couldn't add more than one question. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators saw large numbers of assignment submission exceptions in their logs. We’ve added log information to help determine the sources of those exceptions.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.13+dc44ed6) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students with special characters in their name couldn't launch a test in Respondus LockDown Browser. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't enter maximum points for a graded discussion thread. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators still saw "New Box View" as their building block title after Bb Annotate was turned on. We've fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to U.S. Production environments and international Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Bb Annotate will be released to U.S. Production environments starting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

Bb Annotate will also be released to international Test/Stage environments starting on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The release is staggered by Regional Data Centers. To find your specific date, consult the detailed release plan on Behind the Blackboard or the Community site.

To learn about Bb Annotate, visit the Bb Annotate Communication & Adoption Toolkit.

More on how to review instructor feedback in Bb Annotate for Students

More on Bb Annotate for Instructors


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.29+616af15) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, May 21, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students with special characters in their name couldn't launch a test in Respondus LockDown Browser. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.25+4afe1a1) to some client Production servers during off-hours beginning Tuesday, May 19, 2020. This update will be applied to clients in the following regions or time zones:

  • US Central
  • US Mountain
  • US Pacific
  • Asia and Oceania

Clients in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the US Eastern time zone have already received this updated version.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't view a survey's Attempts Statistics from the Grade Center. We've fixed the issue.

Discussions added to Copy Content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, Copy Content now supports discussions. Instructors can create a discussion in one Ultra Course View course and copy it to other Ultra courses they teach.


Journals in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

Journals are now available in the Ultra Course View. Instructors can create a journal assignment on the Course Content page, add them to learning modules, and use conditional release if they want. Journal assignments appear in the activity stream, and students and instructors can discuss the entry in comments. Instructors can make a journal assignment count for a grade and add a rubric so students know what they'll be graded on. The initial release includes a basic grading workflow, where instructors enter grades manually in the gradebook. Full grading functionality and support for course copy and conversion are expected later this year. Continued enhancements are also coming for the Participants panel.

The Ultra journals grading view currently supports up to 50 students. Future improvements will expand this number.

We recommend using Ultra journals as you build new courses, but our guidance is to limit teaching and grading usage until additional improvements are completed.

Visit the instructor topic


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 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 3800.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Score per Question in Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

In the Original Course View, instructors use Score per Question feedback settings to control if students see the score they earned for each assessment question. With this release, in the Ultra Course View, instructors can deactivate the default and choose not to show Score per Question feedback in assessments.


Students can embed media from integrated tools in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, students can add links and embed media from integrated tools using the Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) standard. When using the content editor in tools such as Discussion Boards and Assignments, students will now also be able to access a list of integrated LTI Tools, choose resources, and include them in their authored content. This will allow students to add media and resources from tools such as Kaltura, among many others. Administrators must configure which tool placements are appropriate for student use and access. Both LTI Advantage and the older LTI 1.1 are supported for this workflow in the Ultra Course View. The placement configuration screen for administrators has also been improved for clarity in this release.


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.24+a58123a) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We changed the title of a basic usage report for Learn administrators. It's now called Insight Report (Beta)Learn more about where to find the report and how to read it.
  • In the Original Course View, some tests got stuck in "In Progress" status, so instructors couldn't end attempts or grade them. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some Learn instances didn't receive grade events information from Caliper. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Custom SafeHTML filters reverted to the default policy with certain SaaS upgrades. We've fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to U.S. Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Bb Annotate will be released to U.S. Test and Stage environments starting on Monday, May 4, 2020. More information on the Bb Annotate release plan can be found on Behind the Blackboard and the Community site.

To learn about Bb Annotate, visit the Bb Annotate Communication & Adoption Toolkit.

More on how to review instructor feedback in Bb Annotate for Students

More on Bb Annotate for Instructors


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.17+0de27ea) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Administrators couldn't send SMS or text-to-voice notifications to users through Connect for Learn. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some Learn instances had performance issues related to mobile Notifications. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.13+116516d) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • A basic usage report for Learn administrators on system usage and storage. Learn more about where to find the report and how to read it.
  • Improved dynamic flow control for better system resiliency and efficient database queries.
  • In the Original Course View, the Overall Summary of User Activity report only listed the Guest user in the Access/Date graphic. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, course content that used adaptive release with groups created an unwanted membership criterion that blocked student access to the content. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.18+ade3869) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, when grades were transferred with the Grade Journey B2, some grade columns were hidden from instructors in the Grade Center. We've fixed the issue.

API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We've made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to search and sort on the timestamp when a course membership was modified. Developers can increase efficiencies in report generation, audit completion, and membership information display.
  • We redesigned the Groups API and separated Groups and GroupSets. Now, developers will have easier access to Groups in a GroupSet and behavior that better resembles how the Learn interface presents Groups.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.

 


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to release notes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Ultra Course View

We prematurely announced that version 3800.9.0 contained the ability for students to embed media from integrated tools in the Ultra Course View. We are still testing this feature, and it’s targeted for release in the near future. We apologize for the confusion.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 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 3800.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Performance improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Ultra Experience

In this release, we improved the load times for the Calendar and when students and instructors expand folders on the course outline.


Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.16+f1c0e8e) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, some students' participation in gradable discussions didn't report correctly to the gradebook. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some fixes behind the scenes to keep your environments tidy.

Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.16+f1c0e8e) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Updates in this version include some fixes behind the scenes to keep your environments tidy.


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.13+fa0f5ed) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, some students couldn’t see the group they were assigned to after they were randomly enrolled. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, if a course had a large number of enrolled students, instructors couldn't access the Grades and Participation view. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students couldn’t view completed assignment rubrics if their assignment was graded using delegated grading. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some instructors couldn’t create math equation assessment questions using the math editor. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Students who accessed Blackboard with Google Chrome couldn’t view a full PDF in their course. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some private APIs required permissions that didn’t work correctly with Java 11. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of the 3800.4.0 Ultra user interface (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.40+d78544e) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, if a course had a large number of enrolled students, instructors couldn't access the Grades and Participation view. We’ve fixed the issue.

Adjust first day of the week in the calendar

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Different global regions have different calendar conventions, including which day displays as the first day of the week. With this release, Blackboard calendars will display the most common convention for the first day of the week based on a user's selected language. Users will be able to see the change in the month and day views of both their overall and individual course calendars. The date picker display will also change in the Ultra Course View and for administrator notifications in the Ultra Experience.  

Users can change their language in the user profile. Administrators can customize the first day of the week for their language pack if they choose.


Auto-archive on course deletion

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

With this release, a complete archive package will now be created automatically when a course is deleted. The archive package is stored in the course's autoArchive folder like other automatic archives, but the filename is different:Course_ID_Course_PKID_Course_Title_currentTime_in_milliseconds_bb_permanent.zip. Once a course is archived and deleted, course resources will be automatically purged and won't be in the recycle bin so that disk space isn’t used by a deleted course.

Learn more on course deletion

Learn more on automatic archives


Course-level group self-enrollment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Ultra Course View

Previously, self-enrollment groups were limited to assignments and discussions in the Ultra Course View. With this release, instructors can create self-enrollment course groups that can apply to any graded content within a course. When they create a new course group set, instructors will see Self-enrollment in the Group students menu.

Instructors can add a description for the group set, specify the start and end times of an enrollment period, and set the maximum members per group. After the group set is created, a course announcement is automatically created to inform students of the enrollment period. When the enrollment period ends, students who haven't joined a group will be assigned to one automatically.

Student view


Global logout with SAML authentication providers

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Library upgrades in our SAML authentication provider B2 could affect the first logout attempt of any Learn user session created through a SAML authentication provider with Global Logout support. If a user's session was established before the library upgrade, they won't be able to log out of their SSO session through Learn the first time they try. On first logout, users will be presented with a page that informs them that their SSO session is still active.

Users can log out through the identity provider, or they can log in again, which will present them with the option to log out of their SSO session.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 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 3800.6.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


New LTI Preview User role

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

Third-party integrated tools in a course using the LTI Advantage standard from IMS Global can now distinguish between student and student preview users. This allows integrated tools to choose if they want to handle instructors navigating the course as student preview users differently than standard student users. Per the LTI specification, the user is indicated as the type, “test user.” As an example, the Turnitin LTI Advantage integration uses this to filter student preview users from the student list in Turnitin.


Rich text editor improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Ultra Course View

We made some improvements to the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View:

  • We moved the file attachment function to the top level so it's easier to access.
  • We added a strikethrough font style option.
  • We updated our function groupings so they're easier to read on smaller screens.
  • We allowed the browser to control the background of highlighted text to improve accessibility.

 


Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, the scheduled Production release of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.40+d78544e) during off-hours on Thursday, March 5, 2020 will include an additional update.

  • Some instructors couldn't import content using the Cengage Mindlinks B2. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.32+1b0447c) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an Original Course used two percentage range rubrics, the second rubric didn’t always have the correct total number of points. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • If a user changed their password through their SIS using encryption methods other than SSHA, they could be kicked out of their session after logging back in. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.26+312e74d) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some integrations using LTI 1.3 deep link couldn't launch a needed resource link. We've fixed the issue.
  • Column headers in the Ultra grade center were duplicated after an administrator customized the colors in their institutional brand. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users couldn't see their avatar thumbnails in the users and groups section of the Original Course View. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.25+95332d7) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, February 20, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some administrators encountered LDAP authentication problems because the TLS connection failed. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.20+6b6dbf5) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors were informed that their institution had made messages read-only for students in English instead of their selected language. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators saw a both successful and a failed login for each sign-in attempt in their authentication logs. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators encountered LDAP authentication problems because the TLS connection failed. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some users saw the upload icon buffering even though they could upload and download files. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some students couldn’t download files they added to essay questions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issue with grading in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some student submissions reordered randomly while an instructor was grading. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Original Course View:
    • Some users couldn’t upload files with % in the filename. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some users couldn’t download files attached to submissions that use Box view. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.24+29cd420) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, February 13, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, the last login date wasn’t updating accurately for users with cloud profiles. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn’t see images they added to the text editor until their content was posted or submitted. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some users saw the upload icon buffering even though they could upload and download files. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some users couldn’t download files they had previously uploaded if the filename contained a special character. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some students couldn’t download files they added to essay questions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with grading in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some student submissions reordered randomly while an instructor was grading. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some instructors encountered a blank screen after entering a grade for a student assignment that had multiple attempts. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some instructors didn’t see entered grades in the gradebook until they refreshed the page. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Original Course View:
    • Some users couldn’t upload files with % in the filename. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some users couldn’t download files attached to submissions that use Box view. We’ve fixed the issue.

Calculated Formula question type for Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

Calculated Formula question types are now available in assessments using the Ultra Course View. Calculated Formula questions require students to make a calculation and respond with a numeric answer. This feature has been highly requested, especially by institutions whose STEM disciplines rely on Learn. Now, instructors can convert Calculated Formula questions from their Original courses or add new ones within the Ultra Course View.

When creating a new assessment, select the plus sign to open the menu and then select Add Calculated Formula question. Begin by adding the question text and answer formula. In Ultra Course View only, instructors can choose whether to display the formula to students with the text. Instructors can then adjust the answer settings and verify the question.


Course ID displays with Course Name

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

In this release, a Course ID now appears with the Course Name in key areas when Ultra base navigation is enabled. Now, users can find their Course IDs on the Courses page of base navigation, in the Calendar, and when copying course content.


Create Item panel options open by default

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

Now, when instructors create new content on the Course Content page, all options in the Create Item panel will open by default. In previous versions, only the Course Content Items options opened by default. Instructors often missed the arrow to expand these menus, leading them to believe that fewer content items were available than there actually were. Loading these menus by default also makes the content creation workflow faster.


Edit course image option moved to overflow menu

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Experience

In this release, we moved the Edit course image option in the tile view on the Courses page. Now, it can be found in the overflow menu at the top-right corner of the course tile.


Improvements to Discussion conversion in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

We're improving the conversion of Discussions from Original to Ultra courses. Previously, the Discussion conversion workflow has caused confusion and manual work to complete. With this release, a graded discussion in an Original course that allows members to create threads will convert to a Graded Ultra discussion and all of its seed child threads and replies will be removed. A graded discussion in an Original course that doesn't allow members to create threads will keep the current behavior. Group boards, forums, and threads won't be converted.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3800.4.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Make Messages Read-only for Students

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

With this release, administrators can choose whether students are able to create and reply to messages in both Original and Ultra courses. Now Learn Course Messages can better adjust to institutions' different communication preferences and policies. To find this setting, go to Admin Panel > Tools and Utilities > Course Messages.

When you select this option, students also can't forward messages.

More on course messages options


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

  • We changed the way students are sorted in Ultra gradebook views for calculated columns and overall grade. Students now sort by last name throughout the gradebook.
  • We increased the length of the course name in tile view on the Courses page. Unless the course name is exceptionally long, users should see the full course name.
  • We increased the line spacing of discussion posts to make them easier to read.
  • We made some additional visual improvements to the Courses pages in Ultra base navigation, the Calendar, and the Copy Content workflow. Among the changes, we updated some text to a heavier weight as a result of the small icon update.
  • We updated some small icons in the text editor.

Right-to-left language support for Original Courses and Organizations

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View

In this release, we've added right-to-left language support in Courses and Organizations using the Original Course View with Ultra base navigation. This feature has been highly requested by users in the Middle East. Future enhancements will bring right-to-left language support to Ultra.


Students won't get notifications for submissions collected offline

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, students won't see overdue notifications for Ultra Assessments that use the Collect Submissions Offline setting. Because Learn relies on instructors to create the submissions for offline assessments, students were sometimes notified an assessment was overdue even if they turned it in on time. Now, these notifications won't appear.


Text editor word count

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, we added a word count to the text editor when instructors create Documents and students respond to Assessment essay questions in the Ultra Course View. This feature will help students meet minimum word count requirements their instructors may have communicated. Future enhancements will add the word count feature in other areas of Learn Ultra, including instructor grading workflows.


Text update for adding YouTube videos

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, we clarified a menu option in the text editor. Previously, users could select Insert Web Content in the text editor to embed a YouTube video. User feedback indicated that many users didn't understand that they could embed YouTube videos. To make options clearer, we changed the menu option to Insert YouTube Video.


Text update for Matching questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, we added text to the Matching question creation workflow. Now, Learn directs instructors to delete the default additional answer field before saving if it's not needed. User feedback indicated it wasn't intuitive to delete this additional option when creating matching questions.

We also removed the student-facing text that suggested answers may be used more than once. Client feedback requested that the direction be left to instructors.


Text update for Ultra base navigation workflow

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Experience

To increase confidence and clarity, we've added some text when administrators turn on the Ultra Experience. Now, when administrators activate Ultra base navigation, the message will include When you enable the Ultra experience, your existing courses aren’t affected. Your institution can choose to use the Original or Ultra Course View for new and existing courses.


Updates to the Ultra Extension Framework

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

Updates to the Ultra Extension Framework in this release add capabilities for banners, modals, and notifications. Partners can dynamically create banners within the Ultra-UI to display data to the user while the user is within a course. We also added the ability to notify users in a course through blocking modals, dynamic guidance messages, and notifications.


Cumulative Update 1 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.1)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 1 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.20+2226729) to some client Production servers during off-hours beginning Thursday, February 6, 2020. This update will be applied to clients in the following regions or time zones:

  • Americas Central
  • Americas Mountain
  • Americas Pacific
  • Asia and Oceania
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, users couldn’t access pre-existing course glossaries. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn't view inline or download files attached to essay questions if the file names had certain special characters. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn’t view inline or download files with New Box View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some assignments submitted through SafeAssign got stuck in In Progress status and the submission didn’t complete. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Users accessing Learn with the Google Chrome 80 beta release had trouble with SAML login authentication. We’ve fixed the issue.


Phased release schedule for 3800.2.0 Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

The 3800.2.0 Production release will be divided by region or time zone to ensure release quality. All upgrades will occur during off-hours in each region or time zone.

  • Asia, Oceania, Europe, Middle East, and Africa: By region.
  • Americas: By four major time zones, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.
    • If your institution lies outside one of these time zones, you'll be included with the nearest time zone. For example, clients in the Atlantic time zone will be upgraded with the Eastern time zone.
  • Americas Eastern time zone: In three groups.
    • These groups are alphabetical by the official name of your institution on file with Blackboard. If you want to confirm the name we have, please log in to Behind the Blackboard and select My Account > My Institution. Your institution name is displayed in the upper-left corner with your client ID number.
Date Group Local Start Time*
Monday, February 3, 2020
Americas Central
Americas Mountain
Americas Pacific
Early Morning
After 2 AM CST
After 2 AM MST
After 2 AM PST

Asia and Oceania
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Evening
After 17:00 SGT / 20:00 AEDT
After 17:00 CET
Thursday, February 6, 2020 Americas Eastern Group #1 (institution names A–G)
Americas Eastern Group #2 (institution names H–R)
Americas Eastern Group #3 (institution names S–Z)
Evening
After 5:00 PM EST
*For alerts or changes to timing on the day of the release, log in to Behind the Blackboard.

Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Known issue

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

We're currently investigating a known issue in Learn SaaS v3700.16.0:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when you associate multiple group discussions with the same course group set, responses made in one of the group discussions appear in all of the associated group discussions. While we resolve this issue, you can create new group sets for each group discussion.

We'll update this note with more details as they become available.

More information on group discussions


Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.14+94469ce) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students could change their self-enrollment group after they had been assigned a grade for a Discussion. We've fixed the issue.


Group self-enrollment enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Course View

We’ve enhanced self-enrollment for students and instructors in the Ultra Course View. Now, students can change self-enrollment groups themselves within the instructor-specified enrollment period. Before, once a student joined a group, they couldn’t change groups themselves.

We also replaced the Number of groups drop-down menu with a counter for instructors. The counter updates with the number of groups instructors create using the + option. Before, if an instructor picked a number of groups from the drop-down menu and then added or deleted a group, the Number of groups count didn't change. This enhancement streamlines the workflow and reduces confusion.

Learn more about group assignments


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3800.2.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.56+7b9695c) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors couldn’t upload more than one file at a time to the course outline. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors couldn’t upload a folder containing multiple files to the course outline. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, when instructors changed a Content Collection file link using the Assignment text editor, the file was deleted. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, when instructors dragged files added from their Institution’s Content Collection in and out of folders, the files moved to a read only folder in the course’s Content Collection. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Original Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.52+5c69d6d) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some administrators couldn’t export the student goal performance report from the Administrator panel. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, some instructors encountered error messages when they created calculated questions that use predefined calculus functions. We’ve fixed the issue.


Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q4 2019 (3800.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers is now available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3600.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

  • Links to Blackboard’s Privacy statement and Terms of Use now appear at the bottom of the global navigation bar in the Ultra Experience.
  • Previously, disabled students were included in the Participants list for a discussion in the Ultra Course View. This was confusing for instructors since these students don't display in assessment submission lists or in the gradebook. This update removes disabled students from the Participants list in discussions, so this view is now consistent with assessments and the gradebook.
  • With this release, Blackboard Learn will remember instructors’ preferences for the Show attempts that don't contribute to user's grade filter on the Needs Grading page in the Original Course View. By default, the checkbox is unselected and student attempts that don’t affect grades won’t show on the Needs Grading list. When an instructor changes the setting, Learn will remember the preference across that user’s sessions and courses.

Ally updates in Ultra courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, we’ve expanded Ally support for accessible content in Ultra courses. Now, students and instructors can access Ally’s alternative formats and accessibility indication for content directly in the Ultra course outline.

Ally’s accessibility indication is also now available in Ultra Assessments for content embedded in the rich text editor.


API assessment attempts filter

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

With this update, API users can view and filter a list of assessment attempts based on when the attempt was created, modified, or submitted.


Java 11 JDK and Building Blocks

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As we have previously announced, Blackboard Learn’s 3800.0.0 release uses a new version of Java, Java 11 JDK. Java are the libraries on which the Learn application runs and also the libraries that power Building Blocks, the add-on tools and features you may use in your environment. We’re implementing Java 11 to improve security and performance. Staying on recently updated libraries is crucial to staying ahead of those who may try to compromise your learning environment.

This important update can impact custom and third-party add-on tools using the Building Blocks (B2) integration framework, and we strongly encourage all clients and partners who use Building Blocks to test them with Java 11. We’ve extended the time 3800.0.0 will stay on Test/Staging servers to allow more time to test Building Blocks (see the Learn SaaS CD Release Schedule).

To help identify potential incompatibilities with third-party add-ons, we’ve developed a Building Block scanning tool. While the tool doesn’t replace functional testing, it can help developers understand what changes need to be made if issues are found with a Building Block. Because the tool can be resource-intensive, it should only be run on your staging or test environment.

For additional resources on Java 11 testing and details about the Building Block scanning tool, visit the Developer portal.

Learn more about Java 11


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3800.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Pearson's MyLab and Mastering (MLM) Partner Cloud integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

After much anticipation, Pearson’s popular MyLab and Mastering (MLM) courseware can now be used in Blackboard Learn Ultra courses thanks to the new Pearson MyLab and Mastering Partner Cloud integration. Set-up and configuration of the integration is easily managed through the Learn Administrator Panel, and once made available, instructors can efficiently access and add Pearson MLM content into their Ultra courses through the familiar Content Market.

Major features of the Pearson MLM Building Block are available with the new Partner Cloud integration, including single sign-on, deep content linking, and manual grade synchronization. Not using Ultra courses quite yet? This integration works with Blackboard Learn Original courses too. This is especially helpful for schools who may be piloting or fully using the Ultra experience with dual course mode enabled. By implementing the Pearson MLM Partner Cloud integration, administrators can rest assured that instructors can add Pearson MLM content regardless of which course view they choose.

In addition, admins can choose to utilize our migration tool which migrates existing courses and content using the MLM Building Block to Partner Cloud. While migrating to Partner Cloud gives users more flexibility in terms of which course view they can use, the Pearson MLM Building Block will still be supported for institutions who decide to keep their current configuration.

Visit Behind the Blackboard for more information on the Pearson MLM Partner Cloud integration and migration tool, including system requirements and admin guide.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Partial delay for Continuous Delivery release to Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3700.16.0 Continuous Delivery release to client Production servers for US East customers, previously scheduled for December 5, 2019. All Continuous Delivery client Production servers will receive an updated version of the 3700.16.0 release during off-hours on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.

More information on the delay available on Behind the Blackboard

Updates in this version include:

  • Students and instructors using the Ultra Course View couldn’t download file submissions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some instructors couldn’t access Message attachments in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor graded one assignment and moved on to the next, the first assignment displayed again instead of the next one. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t copy more than 50 questions into a new test in the Ultra Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • The Rustici fix for Chrome was included in 2017.1.67.  This version was applied to 3700.16, 3700.0.5, 3500.0.9, 3400.0.14 versions of the Learn product.  Customers that upgrade to these versions won't be impacted by the future Chrome release.

Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, the scheduled Production release of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.33+fdffbe0) during off-hours on Thursday, December 5, 2019 will include an additional update.

  • Users of some LTI tools couldn’t create LTI content or use services because the tools weren’t properly validated. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.27+2787f87) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • The Content Editor didn't load correctly for some users. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the mobile apps, users couldn’t access offline content in courses converted from Original to Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.25+b897566) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some users got an error message when they downloaded student submissions in certain file formats. We've fixed the issue.

  • Some LTI 1.3 workflows didn't launch from Partner Cloud Settings. We've fixed the issue.


Course-level group sets

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

To further support effective teaching and learning, we’ve enhanced the functionality of the Groups workspace for the Ultra Course View. With this release, instructors can create course-level group sets and align them to discussions, tests, and assignments. Within an Ultra course, select Course Groups from the Details & Actions menu. Create a new group set and save. In the settings panel of a discussion, test, or assignment, select Assign to groups. Then select your group set from the Group students menu.


Grade pill color

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, the color of the grade pill visually communicates grades/marks to students and instructors. While effective in many instances, we’ve received feedback from some Ultra early adopters that grade color can have an adverse effect on student well-being. We first introduced the ability to turn off grade pill color in the Blackboard App, and with this release we’re bringing this functionality and flexibility to Learn.

Administrators can visit Course Settings > Grade Pill Colors in the Administrator Panel to disable grade pill colors.

Learn more about disabling grade pill colors


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.16.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Text update for Multiple Answer questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

In previous versions, the prompt for Multiple Choice questions differed from that of Multiple Answer questions. This difference offered an unintentional clue to students when a question had more than one correct answer. Based on feedback from the community, including St. Mary's College, we've made the prompt consistent across Multiple Choice and Multiple Answer question types.


Cumulative Update 5 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.5)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 5 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3700.14.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.14.0 (full release number 3700.14.0-rel.9+dce67da) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some internal CSS files were processing incorrectly. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.19+09cd901) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 31, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.14.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.14.0 (full release number 3700.14.0-rel.8+884e842) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.17+dca4b12) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When instructors reused a question pool in the Ultra Course View, answers to Multiple Choice questions didn't randomize correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.14.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.14.0 (full release number 3700.14.0-rel.3+e156b1f) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When instructors reused a question pool in the Ultra Course View, answers to Multiple Choice questions didn't randomize correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • The X icon didn't display correctly in some Ultra Course View panels. We’ve fixed the issue.


Account lockout

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

In this release, by default Learn will lock user accounts after 5 failed login attempts. Administrators can disable the feature or edit its limits by selecting Account Lock Settings in the Administrator panel. Administrators can decide the maximum failed attempts allowed within a specified period. They can also choose how long accounts remain locked and whether accounts unlock automatically if users reset their passwords.

More on configuring Account Lock Settings

Student help with account lockout

Instructor help with account lockout


Ally updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

In this release, we've improved the Ally experience in Ultra courses. Now students can download alternative formats of files and images attached to documents. Just select the download option next to a file and choose the format you want.

Accessibility scores for instructors are also available with attachments in document and tests. The scores appear next to the files they are scoring. This makes it easier for instructors to see how their content scores and fix any issues. 

Accessibility scores and alternative format icons are only available with attached files. They aren't available with files and images added in the content editor.


Assessment Settings panel button update

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

In a continued effort to make Learn Ultra as consistent as possible, we updated the previous Done button to match the rest of the system. We've found that instructors prefer the Save and Cancel options, so we updated the Assessment Settings to align with that preference.


Batch Edit moved into overflow menu

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

When we first introduced Batch Edit, we wanted to make sure that users saw this new capability. We gave it a level of prominence that, over time, was too strong given the standard usage of the tool. We moved it into the overflow menu to better align with how it's used.

More on Batch Edit in Ultra


Description field for Ultra documents

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors want to be able to give an overview to students so they have a clear understanding of what's expected of them. While instructors generally had the ability to give this overview in the Ultra Course View, we didn't offer this ability when instructors created an Ultra document. With this enhancement, instructors can provide high-level details about what the Ultra documents contain. This reduces unnecessary clicks for students and improves their overall experiences. Instructors can open the Document Settings panel in an existing document to add a description. Students can see descriptions on the Course Content page.


Empty learning modules removed

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

As an education company, it's sometimes important to display a sense of preference in the system's pedagogical approach. While learning modules are a powerful tool, we understand that displaying one all the time can cause some unintended stress to instructors. Listening to our community is important, so we've removed the learning module when you first log in to an empty template as well as the empty module that appeared on the page.


Error messages when deleting assessments with externally-referenced questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

To help instructors understand why they can't delete some items, we've added three detailed messages. Instructors can't delete question banks, folders, or assessments that contain questions used in question pools in other assessments.


Guest Account can't be enrolled in courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Previously, when an unauthenticated user accessed Blackboard Learn and the "Enable Guest" property was enabled they were associated with the "Guest" account. Instructors were able to enroll this "Guest" account in courses and organizations, circumventing application entitlement handling.

This account is a unique Blackboard System Level account that was never intended to be enrolled. Allowing this account to be enrolled meant possible data exposure to unauthenticated users as multiple un-authenticated users could be associated with the account.

Therefore, in this release we removed the ability for the "Guest" account to be enrolled in courses stopping potential data exposure concerns between unauthenticated users. Existing "Guest" account enrollments will remain and be visible to instructors and administrators so they can clean up these existing enrollments through the user interface.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.14.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


New icons

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

Iconography is incredibly important in Learn Ultra. The icon set we currently use was created when we first brought Ultra to the market. We've done a lot of research with our clients regarding what they liked and didn't like about the iconography in the system. Because of that feedback, we've made some adjustments to the icon set. Most notably, the new icons are darker and appear more prominently now.


System administration notification settings

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Experience

Learn Ultra has always been designed with the end user in mind, and that includes flexibility and personalization of Notifications. Feedback from the wider Blackboard Community outlined that although this is positive, offering levels of control for an institution to support and manage notifications is an important. Blackboard listened to this client feedback, and we're pleased to outline our support for System Administration Notification Settings in Ultra.

Ultra administrators can change notifications at the system level, configure digest functionality, and set up default notification settings. In the Administrator Panel, select Notification Settings. For every available notification type and source, administrators can select whether notifications are on or off by default. Administrators can also decide whether users can change the default setting in their individual preferences.

More on Notification Types


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.13+1c185dd) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, correct and credited answers to matching questions displayed as Incorrect to some students. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying UI updates to 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.11+6b1d246) on client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • The question pools panel sometimes closed unexpectedly on launch in the Ultra Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.10+be2cf60) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Blackboard Learn’s September 4 update introduced an issue with the LTI Advantage version of the Cengage integration for some institutions. The Blackboard gradebook didn’t always synchronize with graded student activities that used Cengage links created prior to the release. The Blackboard Learn September 17 update resolved the issue, and LTI Advantage with the Cengage integration functions as intended.


Additional updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • Partners appearing in the Content Market can now leverage LTI Advantage for their association, even if a previous LTI 1.3 domain was registered through core Blackboard Learn.

Attendance and course copy, archive/restore, and export/import

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

As a first step in improving how attendance data is handled during course copies and exports, we’ve made these improvements:

  • Attendance data isn’t included in a course export or when you copy a course into a new or existing course. The attendance option is removed from the copy and export options.
  • Attendance data is included in an archive/restore and in an exact course copy.
  • Export/import creates an attendance column in the Ultra gradebook and the Original Grade Center that you can’t delete, but no attendance data is added.

More about attendance and course copy


Bulk download submissions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

When assignments require students to submit files in Learn, it's time-consuming for instructors to download each individual submission to grade it, especially in large courses. With this release, instructors can now download multiple student assignment submissions at once as a ZIP file from the Ultra gradebook.

Instructors can download files from the Ultra gradebook or from the submissions list page with the Download all option. Instructors can then choose whether to download all or select specific submissions. Instructors receive an email and a course message when the ZIP file is ready to download to their computers.

Courses with 5,000 or more students may see page load times of up to 30 seconds. We’ll address the limitation in the near future.

More on bulk download in Learn Ultra


Decimal point values for assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

To balance the total points possible in their courses, instructors need the flexibility to assign fractional possible points to test questions and assessments. With this update, instructors can now enter decimal values in the Points field for individual questions and in the Maximum points field for assessments that don't contain individually graded questions.

When creating a question in an assessment, instructors can enter values with up to two numbers after the decimal in the Points field. For assessments with no individual questions, the Maximum points field will accept values with up to two numbers after the decimal.


Delete copied course attendance data

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

When instructors prepare a course for an upcoming term, they commonly copy all content, including the gradebook, from the last term’s course. For courses that used the attendance tool, the copied attendance gradebook column was difficult to remove. With this release, instructors can delete attendance gradebook columns added during a course copy from the destination course’s gradebook.

Instructors can delete copied attendance columns from the gradebook menu. The attendance column that is correctly associated with the course can be deleted if all students’ attendance records are removed first.

In the Ultra Course View's gradebook list or grid view, open the menu for the extra attendance column from a course copy and select Delete.

In the Original Course View's Grade Center, open the menu for the extra attendance column and select Delete Column.

 

More on attendance 


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Regrade questions in question pools

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

This release allows instructors to regrade individual questions within a question pool in Ultra. Questions within pools can be regraded from a student’s submission using the same options available for questions not within a pool. Instructors can also regrade from the assessment panel after selecting View questions in a question pool. When regrading, a message informs the instructor if a question is used in other course assessments. Question updates made while regrading affect all instances of that question in the course.


Select all and clear all questions for question pools

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

When adding questions to a question pool, instructors need to be able to select large groups of questions quickly and efficiently. As instructors create question pools for their Ultra assessments, the options to Select all and Clear all question choices now appear on the Add Question Pool page.


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.9.0 (full release number 3700.9.0-rel.24+374338b) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Blackboard Learn’s September 4 update introduced an issue with the LTI Advantage version of the Cengage integration for some institutions. The Blackboard gradebook didn’t always synchronize with graded student activities that used Cengage links created prior to the release. The Blackboard Learn September 12 update resolved the issue, and LTI Advantage with the Cengage integration functions as intended.


UPDATE: Upcoming changes to Open JDK and impact to Building Blocks in Learn SaaS deployments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

To address recent changes in Oracle’s Java support model, Blackboard Learn is transitioning to adopt a more recent version of Java, Java 11 JDK. Our new target for adopting Java 11 is 3800.0.0. Please confirm release dates with the SaaS release schedule.

We strongly encourage all clients and partners who use Building Blocks to test them with Java 11. Partners and clients can access early builds of Learn with Java 11 by requesting to join the Learn SaaS Technical Preview program

As part of this change, we are transitioning from the Oracle-supported version of Java 11 to the AWS-supported version of Java 11 called Corretto. This does not impact SaaS or Managed Hosting clients. Operational changes for self-hosted clients are minimal.

For further details on Java 11 Technical Preview testing with Building Blocks and Corretto changes for self-hosted clients, see the following articles:

View the Behind the Blackboard announcement

Join the conversation on Blackboard Community

We previously announced this change to Java 11 to be part of Blackboard Learn release 3600.0, scheduled for April 2019. Later, we'd communicated a new target of June 2019 followed by September 2019. Based on the results of testing with Technical Preview participants and our partners, we concluded that Java 11 adoption should be delayed further.

Previous announcements:

To address recent changes in Oracle’s Java support model, Blackboard Learn is transitioning to adopt the latest version of OpenJDK as it’s released. We previously announced this change with the introduction of OpenJDK 11 as part of Blackboard Learn release 3600.0, and later announced a new target of June 2019. Based on the results of initial testing with Technical Preview participants and our partners, we concluded that Java 11 adoption should be removed from those target releases due to compatibility issues with extensions. The delay allowed for continued testing to uphold the user experience and minimize disruptions.

For developers, partners, and institutions, testing Building Blocks for compatibility is highly recommended because libraries may have changed. For developers, recompiling Building Blocks using the updated Java libraries is also a best practice and should be performed for Java 11.

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We’re changing the way we adopt Java updates in Blackboard Learn. These changes start with Blackboard Learn SaaS release 3600.0 with the adoption of Open JDK 11.

While we expect that building blocks will continue to work as is, Blackboard is aware that some fundamental library changes could affect compatibility. To help ensure that you’re able to thoroughly test for these upcoming changes, we’re introducing a Learn SaaS Technical Preview program.

Partners in the Blackboard Developers’ Network (BbDN) should enter a support case requesting to participate in the program.


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.9.0 (full release number 3700.9.0-rel.23+e0c105e) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some mobile users saw an error message in the Activity Stream. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Some users couldn't customize their default brand in the Ultra Experience. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Users couldn't create new accounts on Open Education. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Some users had trouble logging out in the Original Experience. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.9.0 (full release number 3700.9.0-rel.16+4fb2947) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Users encountered an error message when saving changes to their default brand in the Ultra Experience. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Open Education pages returned errors site-wide. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Assessments took longer than usual to load in the Ultra Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • For users preparing to migrate to a SaaS deployment, the Move Legacy Content tool caused problems with Turnitin feedback. We’ve fixed the issue.


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

  • In an Original course, if instructors delete a content folder in a content area that contains graded items with no attempts, the corresponding columns are also deleted from the Grade Center.
  • We've made these refinements to question pools in Ultra Course View:
    • A more accessible button structure
    • Clearer error and confirmation modal messages

Collaborate Ultra in private mode

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Course View

Create Collaborate sessions in your course before making it live. Now instructors can pre-schedule Collaborate sessions in their Ultra courses any time. Even when the course isn't available to students.


Filter students by grading status

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Course View

Grading student work is one of the most important, yet time consuming tasks in the management of a course. Often, an instructor knows which course and assignment needs to be graded, but it can be difficult to identify which students have made submissions. In order to help instructors locate submissions and begin grading more quickly, we have added a Needs Grading filter to the submissions list for individual assessments.

On an item's Submissions page in the Ultra gradebook, instructors can use the new Filter menu to display only those submissions that need grading. At this time, instructors can filter by All statuses and Needs grading.

The Filter menu doesn't appear for group and discussion items.


Group self-enrollment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors can create self-enrollment groups for students to join to complete group assignments and discussions. Instructors choose the number of groups, can set the maximum members per group, and may allow students to view other members of the groups before they choose a group.

Instructors may set an enrollment period that students see on the Course Content page and with the group items. Instructors see Self-enroll on the Course Content page and with group assignments and discussions.

More on the instructor workflow

More on the student workflow


Integrations with LTI Advantage

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For both Original and Ultra courses, tools integrated with LTI Advantage that report submission and grading status show this information in the Original Grade Center or the Ultra gradebook. Upcoming due date or overdue notifications for students are dismissed if the tool indicates the student submitted the assignment.

In Ultra Course View, tools integrated with LTI Advantage behave more like standard Learn assignments. Reported grades aren’t displayed to students until they are posted by the instructor.


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Delay for Continuous Delivery release to Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3700.9.0 Continuous Delivery release to client Test/Stage servers, previously scheduled for August 13, 2019. The new release date is August 15, 2019, two days later than previously announced. The release schedule has been updated to reflect this change.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.31+c948a62) to client Production servers during off-hours on Friday, August 30, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Users couldn't create new accounts on Open Education. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Open Education pages returned errors site-wide. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

UPDATE: We have resolved the AWS resource issue affecting EU clients. All Learn SaaS Production instances should now have received the updated 3700.7.0 version.

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.27+ce363ca) to client Production servers during off-hours on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Users experienced extremely slow response times during the upgrade. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • The banner thumbnail image caused a large number of temporary files to fill the root file structure. We’ve fixed the issue.


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • When students open an assessment in the Ultra Course View, the Submit button is disabled until they add content or answer at least one question.
  • When a student or instructor uses Box View in an assignment, it opens by default and displays using more screen space.
  • We've added a display warning to help administrators identify when they are enabling a feature that may send data outside the specified compliance boundary. This allows administrators to make more informed decisions about the features they enable.
  • We've changed the height of the Institution Page banner image to 160 pixels. Because screen size width varies on wider screens, the banner image crops the top and bottom of the image as the content area gets wider.

Create question pools

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Course View

To help build assessments quickly and encourage academic integrity, instructors can now create question pools in the Ultra Course View. With question pools, students receive different sets of questions to answer. Instructors can add questions from all existing tests, assignments, and question banks in their courses.

In the Ultra Course View, question pools replace the Original Course View's random blocks and question sets. Instructors can create as many question pools as they want and add, edit, and remove questions in the pools. Edits appear anywhere questions are used. 

More on creating question pools


Create Ultra Organizations

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, we've brought Ultra Organizations to life. Administrators can now create Ultra Organizations, which have the same functionality and workflow as Ultra courses. Administrators can choose to create Original Organizations, Ultra Organizations, or let users choose. Administrators can import and export existing courses and organizations.

Create Ultra Organizations using the same workflow as Ultra Courses. You can create groups, make the organization private or visible to students, and create content within the organization.

More on creating Ultra Organizations


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.20+09250fe) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • What's New blog notifications didn't display correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Details on files uploaded to essay questions didn't display correctly. We've fixed the issue.

  • The Redis cache building block didn't display status and statistics correctly in the Administrator panel. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.9+7230020) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some users received an error message when opening the Grade Center. We’ve fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

  • Instructors weren't able to edit anonymous Discussion Topics in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.

  • Some custom Building Blocks weren’t reachable using the HttpAuthModule class. We’ve fixed the issue.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.7.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Show answers option in Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Course View

In Ultra assessments, instructors can decide if students see the answers to questions that were answered incorrectly. For example, instructors may want students to see which questions they missed on a multiple attempt assessment, but don’t want to show the correct answers. Instructors may also hide answers until all students complete their submissions.

In the assessment settings panel, a new option appears: Show correct answers. The option isn’t selected by default, so correct answers are hidden from students. Instructors need to return to the assessment settings and select Show correct answers so students can review them with the assessment content.

More on the Show correct answers option


Updates to branding

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, we've included the ability to filter brands by roles or host names from the brands listing page and view which brands were just created. We included a notification if a custom login is specified but won't be visible to users based on brand associations. Administrators can choose to allow the navigation logo area to be filled with a theme color, like the base navigation area.

In the Brands listing page, an Administrator can now view the Host and Role Associations assigned to any specific brand and search those brands by clicking the Find a Brand function to filter the list based on the Brand Name or Host Association.

More on institution branding

Screenshot of a Brands notification

Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.5.0 (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.17+4d20a83) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some custom Building Blocks weren’t reachable using the HttpAuthModule class. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we're applying an updated version of the 3700.5.0 Ultra user interface (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.14+eacb9cf) to client Production servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

Updates in this version relate only to the Ultra Course View and include:

  • Instructors weren't able to edit anonymous Discussion Topics in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.5.0 (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.14+eacb9cf) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • The Discussion Board post count displayed inaccurately. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.5.0 (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.12+64e9d47) to client Test and Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • We’ve removed the Learn Legacy Authentication Provider type, which represented the authentication framework deployed on versions prior to 9.1 SP8.

  • Instructors received error messages when they created a folder or downloaded a file with special characters in the filename with SafeAssign. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When a student submitted a file with spaces in the filename, the instructor couldn’t preview or download it in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

  • A few improvements for Mobile users:

    • Students using the Blackboard App received errors when starting an assignment attempt in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.

    • Students using the Blackboard App on an Android device couldn’t see what they were typing in an assignment because the keyboard was hiding the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.3.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.3.0 (full release number 3700.3.0-rel.9+2a83306) to client Production servers during off-hours on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When a student submitted a file with spaces in the filename, the instructor couldn’t preview or download it in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

  • A few improvements for Mobile users:

    • Students using the Blackboard App received errors when starting an assignment attempt in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.

    • Students using the Blackboard App on an Android device couldn’t see what they were typing in an assignment because the keyboard was hiding the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience

  • To ensure privacy, only instructor names—not instructor usernames—appear to students throughout the Ultra experience.
  • Building on the URL and role branding feature released earlier, administrators can see a brand’s host and role associations from the Brands page.

Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.5.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Office 365/G Suite Integration: Individual authentication

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience

The ability to support institutionally managed access to cloud storage alongside personal storage is an important major request we hear from our clients. This release provides the ability for institutions and schools who leverage Microsoft or Google to select their preferred solution and allow users to access their institutional cloud storage account from within their profile or directly upload content in the Ultra Course View.

Allow your instructors and students to access Office365 or Google accounts from Blackboard Learn. Users can access cloud storage from their Ultra courses, profile, and the Tools page. Multiple entry points make it easier to get to the files they want when they want it. Administrators must configure the institution account to turn on instructor and student access. On the Administrator panel, go to Institution Cloud Storage to set up the integration.


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.31 | Release to Production 18 June 2019
Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.31) contains improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Learn SaaS release 3500.0.5: Update to FDO client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Note: Does not apply to Blackboard Learn SaaS FDO on Learn SaaS Q2 2019 (3700.0.0)
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3500.0.5 (full release number 3500.0.5-rel.49+4a09578) to Flexible Deployment Option client Production servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00PM EST on May 20, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.3.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.3.0 (full release number 3700.3.0-rel.7+29b16e7) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00AM EST on May 31, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When a student submitted multiple attempts on a test in quick succession, the system's responsiveness would slow or stop. We've fixed the issue.
  • On the Courses page in the Ultra experience, longer course names were appearing with unexpected symbols. We've fixed the issue.
  • A few improvements for custom themes in the Ultra experience:
    • We've improved how custom themes are created and updated on the backend in the Ultra experience to improve performance.
    • Deleted custom brands weren't being removed from the database properly, leading to unexpected behavior. We've fixed the issue.
    • When an administrator uploaded a custom navigation logo, the custom login logo was cleared. We've fixed the issue.
    • Some users reported losing the ability to upload a logo to the Institution Page. We've fixed the issue.
    • The Institution Page associated with a custom brand wasn't available for administrators if modules weren't visible. We've fixed the issue.

Add external calendars in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience

Instructors and students often use calendars to organize and keep track of events. Access to a course calendar is crucial to meeting deadlines and overall success. Having access to all events—both personal and academic—in one place helps keep everyone on track. In this release, users can synchronize external calendars with Blackboard Learn, building on the previously released capabilities.

On the Calendar page in the base navigation, open Calendar Settings and select Add Calendar. Drag and drop or click to upload your calendar file in ICS format. When you connect your external calendar to Blackboard Learn, all course events appear one year in the past and into the future.

More on how to add calendar files in Learn


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • Previously, the Courses page in the Ultra experience listed a user's oldest courses first. The order has been flipped and now the newest courses are listed first. If a user designates any courses as favorites, those courses still appear first in the list.
  • To improve performance for system tasks, we’ve introduced new retention settings. You can configure how long your system retains information on asynchronous system tasks, including “complete,” “error,” and “incomplete” tasks. Find these options in Administrator Panel > Logs > System Tasks Status > Retention Settings.
  • We’ve updated file behavior for Portfolios to improve performance. When a user downloads a portfolio, the assets will reference assets stored on Blackboard's content delivery network (CDN). File names will use https://learn.blackboardcdn.com/. Related updates are described on Behind the Blackboard.

Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.3.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Office 365/G Suite integration for Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Course View

Learning institutions all over the world are adopting Office 365 and G Suite. With the many benefits they offer, these cloud suites are a compelling solution for education. In this release, we’re pleased to introduce the Office 365 and G Suite integration with Blackboard Learn. Instructors and students can now add files from their institution cloud storage account directly into their courses. Before this release, they could only add files from their personal cloud accounts.

Administrators need to allow and set up the integration with the institution's suite account. The service provider and domain name are needed to complete institution account configuration. After configuration, authenticated institution cloud accounts are associated with Blackboard Learn accounts. This means that users don't need to authenticate more than once. The institution accounts display in their course no matter what device or browser they use.

Users must use a login ID that matches the domain configured for institution accounts to display.

Under Integrations in the Administrator Panel, select Institution Cloud Storage to set up the integration.

More on Institution Cloud Storage


Parallel grading in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Course View

For higher stakes assessments, a double marking process is sometimes used in which each student’s submission is evaluated by two graders and a final grader reviews those evaluations to make the final decision on a student’s grade. This approach intends to reduce bias and is often paired with student anonymity. When setting up an assignment in the Ultra Course View, instructors can enable parallel grading and select non-student course members to act as graders and reconcilers. Instructors can also hide student names to prevent unintended bias.

More on parallel grading in Learn Ultra


Update to the Organizations and Courses pages in the Ultra experience

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, we've updated the Courses and Organizations pages in the Ultra base navigation.

We've brought the Ultra design language to the Organizations base page. Courses and organizations also now include the ability to add images. You can also view the Courses and Organizations pages as either a list or a grid, where banner images are on display. The Organizations page contains the same functions and workflows as the Courses page.

More on Ultra organizations

More on how instructors access the Courses page


URL and role branding for the Ultra experience

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience

Institutions want to be able to express their own brand and identity within the learning management system, and this often extends to specific branding for their faculties or affiliations. With the introduction of URL and role branding in the Ultra experience, institutions can now create their own domain and role specific Ultra brands, providing a sense of personalization for instructors and students.

Create a new brand from the Brands link on the Administrator Panel. You can customize the login logo, navigation and login icon, color selection, and Institution Page for a brand. Associate the brand to a new host/domain name and/or institution role in the Ultra experience.

More on custom brands in Ultra


Cumulative Update 1 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.1)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 1 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to FDO client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.23+4c6d4de) to Flexible Deployment Option client Test/Stage servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00AM EST on May 15, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to Ultra Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of the 3700.0.0 Ultra user interface (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.23+4c6d4de) to client Production servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 1:00 PM EST on May 13, 2019.

Updates in this version relate only to the Ultra Course View and include:

  • Instructors weren't able to use rubrics on graded group discussions in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.
  • Students saw an error message when opening a rubric applied to a graded group assignment submission in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.

After your environment is updated, users will need to refresh their browser or log out and log in again to see the updates.


Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to client Test/Stage and Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.23+4c6d4de) to client Test/Stage and Production servers.

Your Production instance may be updated starting on May 9, 2019. Your Test/Stage instance may be updated starting on May 10, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • An issue introduced with the 3700.0 release caused Learn Ultra to frequently query the entire content management resource link. This caused extreme garbage collection and out-of-memory issues across application servers leading to system instability and eventual outage. We've fixed the issue, restoring environment stabilization and operations. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.14+b5a694ef) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 1:00AM EST on April 30, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • A bug was introduced related to discussions in the Ultra Course View. Discussion settings weren't retained when an Ultra course was duplicated. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.10+745b49a) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00AM EST on April 15, 2019.

Updates in this version include:


Gradebook improvements: Filter based on merged courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

Grading tasks and workflows vary widely from instructor to instructor. To support these specific workflows in Ultra, we’re building features to help ease the administrative burden of working in the grade book. In this release, instructors can filter their gradebook view based on child courses that have been merged. Instructors who manage merged courses can filter the gradebook view to show only students in a specific child course.

Learn how to filter your view in the gradebook


Individual feedback for group assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors often use group-based assessments as part of their curriculums. There are times when instructors want to provide specific feedback for individuals in a group, in addition to group feedback overall. In this release, we introduce the ability to provide feedback for an entire group as well as individual members.

For group assessments, instructors can add individual feedback for each student within a group. Previously, each student in a group received the same feedback and only differentiated grades were supported. Now group members can see feedback for the group and their individual feedback if provided.

More on how to give individual feedback on group assessments


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3700.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Preview course as a student

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

This feature was previously announced as part of 3600.0.0. We found an issue with this feature that would impact the user experience. After carefully reviewing the issue and to ensure release quality, we concluded that we should remove Student Preview from that release for quality concerns.

This feature is now confirmed as part of 3700.0.0.

Instructors want to be confident that their courses are well-designed and function as intended—before their students see them. Instructors can use student preview to review the course content. They can also validate the course behaviors, such as those that control course content availability or require a particular interaction from the students to be triggered. With student preview, instructors can experience their courses exactly as their students do. 

Start student preview from the Details & Actions menu within your Ultra course. The preview creates user in your course that you can use to view everything as a student would.

Get started with student preview in the Ultra Course View


Question Banks in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

With this release, instructors can now directly import question banks, including question pools that have been exported from Original courses and packages of questions that have been purchased from a publisher. These questions are then available for use and reuse across the assessments in that course. Imported question banks display in the same area of the question reuse search and filter panel as pools that were converted from Original courses. As with any conversion from Original to Ultra, question types that are not yet supported are dropped during the processing of the imported file.

Instructors can import question banks to use in their assessments. Access to question banks now appears on the Course Content page in the Details & Actions panel.

Learn more about question banks


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Experience

  • On the Details & Action panel of the Ultra Course View, the Collaborate link has been updated to say Blackboard Collaborate. It previously said Course Room. We've also updated the link text in this menu.
  • Previously, assessment descriptions weren’t properly converted to plain text when a course was converted to the Ultra Course View. Assessment descriptions are now converted to plain text like other content descriptions in Ultra.

Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q2 2019 (3700.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers is now available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3500.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule


Learn SaaS release 3600.0.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3600.0.0 (full release number 3600.0.0-rel.11+318243c) to client Production servers. Your instance may be updated starting in the early evening hours on April 13, 2019 based on your region and timezone.

Updates in this version include:


Cumulative Update 5 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.5)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 5 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3600.0.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3600.0.0 (full release number 3600.0.0-rel.9+22b493d) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 6:00AM EST on April 1, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Instructors and students were unable to view portfolio submissions after a recent upgrade. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.
  • In the Original Course View, the breadcrumb navigation bar at the top of the browser window appeared twice. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.
  • In the Ultra Course View, we've removed the new Student Preview feature to address quality concerns. It will be included in an upcoming release.

Course role for facilitators

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Facilitation privileges have been long requested functionality in Blackboard Learn's Original Experience. We’re excited to bring this ability to both the Original and Ultra Experiences.

3600.0.0 marks the culmination of previous content lockdown releases with the introduction of the Facilitator role. This course role contains a set of default privileges regarding course calendar, discussions, gradebook, announcements, materials, and groups. Course members can be granted this role to help maintain the pace of the course throughout the term or as needed.

This release includes two new privileges to grant a user the ability to create or delete a discussion in the Ultra Course View.

Additionally, the privileges list shows when certain entitlements are inherited by other privileges. For example, the Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Material Availability privilege is automatically granted to a user who also has the Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Materials privilege. We’ve made this association clearer in the user interface.

If your environment already contains a custom course role with FACILITATOR as the Role ID, you may notice errors after the 3600.0.0 update. We're working on addressing this issue before the release reaches Production servers. To troubleshoot, copy your custom role, rename it to eliminate FACILITATOR, apply it to the appropriate users, and remove the old custom role.

More on the facilitator role


Improvements for auto-archived courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

This release includes improvements to automatically archived courses to provide clients with greater flexibility and customization. You can access these settings through the Course Settings area of the Administrator Panel. Administrators can choose the length of time to keep a course archive on their system and whether course archives should include content that lives outside of the course’s directory.

More on automatic course archives


Improvements to how the Activity Stream shows external content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Ultra Experience

The Activity Stream is the go-to place for instructors and students to understand what’s happening in a course. We’ve improved reporting behavior so third-party content due dates appear in the Activity Stream in a more dynamic way.  

Previously, instructors and students could see an upcoming due date for this type of content. When the due date passed or the content status changed, the notification in the Activity Stream wouldn’t update. With this release, the Activity Stream more accurately reports on third-party content to keep everyone more up to date. Specifically, LTI and manual grade column notifications will update in the Activity Stream when: 

  • The item transitions from due to overdue 
  • The item’s due date is updated 
  • The item is deleted 
  • The item is graded 
  • The item’s visibility is changed 

More on how students navigate the Activity Stream


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3600.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Self-service log download and removal of Kibana Building Block

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve added support for server log storage and access from within the Blackboard Learn user interface. Select Manage Content in the Administrator Panel to access logs.

Server logs are created once every hour and stored in the internal > logs folder. Logs are grouped by year, month, day, and hour. Logs are generated in the same format as those you’re used to viewing in Kibana as a JSON file.

The hour folder uses the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) hour. Logs are transferred to the local file system once per hour, but on a four-hour delay. For example, if the current hour is 4 then during this hour logs from hour 0 will be transferred.

As part of the 3600.0.0 release, we will remove the Kibana Building Block and stop sending logs to Kibana. All logs will need to be accessed via the new workflow in the user interface.

More on how to download and reformat system logs in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Share calendar with external services

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Ultra Experience

Instructors and students often use calendars to organize and keep track of events. Access to a course calendar is crucial to meeting deadlines and overall success. Having access to all events—both personal and academic—in one place helps keep everyone on track. In this release, users can synchronize their Blackboard Learn Ultra calendars to external calendars.

Generate a URL to share course calendar details with an external service. Share the URL only with trusted sources. When you connect your Blackboard Learn calendar to an external calendar, all course events appear one year in the past and into the future.

More on how to share a Blackboard Learn calendar


Support for IMS Global’s Questions and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Course View

Instructors and instructional designers use various technologies to develop assessments and need to be able to move assessment items such as questions from one system to another easily. To ensure compatibility and easy re-use, IMS Global developed the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) standard so questions can be shared between learning management and assessment systems. In this release, instructors and course builders can add QTI packages to Blackboard Learn in the Original Course View.

Learn more about QTI at the IMS Global site

Additional details:

  • Blackboard Learn handles QTI 2.1 packages as pools for import and export. If a QTI import package contains multiple assessment objects, multiple pools are created.
  • Blackboard Learn supports the following question types for import/export in QTI 2.1 format: true/false, multiple choice, multiple answer, fill-in-the-blank, and essay.
  • For embedded media, Blackboard Learn will import HTML5 and HTML Object tags. It will export HTML5.
  • In scenarios where there is a mismatch in question configuration options, Blackboard Learn will prioritize fidelity of the question and answer text over settings. For example, some exam systems allow differing partial credit allocations to be set per possible answer response whereas Blackboard Learn maintains a list of correct answers. In this case, all answer options will be imported as correct so they can be reviewed for continued applicability in Blackboard Learn.
  • Question metadata such as tags, categories, and alignments are not exported or imported at this time.
  • Questions using the optional QTI response processing are skipped and not imported.
  • Because different assessment tools have different features and varying media/HTML/equation handling capabilities, you should always review and test questions after transfer between solutions.

More on how to use QTI packages in a course


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • If your institution uses the Turn It In Building Block, students will no longer receive a Past Due notification when they have submitted an assignment on time.
  • We’re building more and more content capabilities into the Ultra Course View. In this release, you’ll notice a redesigned menu to accommodate additional options in course content, gradebook, discussions, and documents.
  • Users who subscribe to email notifications will notice we’ve updated the message format. We’ve reduced Blackboard branding and optimized the format for better appearance on more devices and email clients.
  • We’ve updated the Global HTML filter to accept .txt files for student submissions
  • Push notifications in the Ultra experience support Ultra course discussions. Students can receive notifications when someone responds to their discussion, someone replies to their posts, an instructor creates a new discussion, or when participation deadlines are approaching. Instructors can receive notifications for replies to discussion threads or posts they authored.

Learn SaaS release 3500.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3500.11.0 (full release number 3500.11.0-rel.10+071f567) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 6:00AM EST on March 4, 2019.

Updates in this version include:


Learn SaaS release 3500.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3500.11.0 (full release version 3500.11.0-rel.9+0b3fe2f) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 6:00AM EST on February 22, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students with accommodations and assessment exceptions can be granted additional time in timed assessments.
  • Users can access SCORM content in a copied course. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

 


Blackboard Learn achieves LTI Advantage certification

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is an initiative managed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium to seamlessly integrate learning applications used by instructors into their courses. It includes a standard protocol for establishing a trusted relationship between the tool provider and the Learning Management System (LMS), so that students and teachers can have a seamless, integrated experience of using the tool within the context of their course.

Blackboard Learn is now LTI Advantage certified. Blackboard is among the first edtech companies to meet the rigorous IMS certification requirements for all components of LTI Advantage. LTI Advantage builds on the latest set of IMS standards and provides educational institutions and edtech suppliers with a set of extensions that allow deeper integration and enhanced interoperability between IMS certified tools and LMSs. LTI Advantage also leverages a robust security framework that offers more advanced protection of sensitive student data and adds features to support the delivery of innovative learning tools and applications necessary for digital transformation within an institution.

More on LTI in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Content lockdown: Expanded user privileges for course announcements control

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

3500.11.0 contains enhancements for granular entitlements in Original and Ultra course roles in support of the formalized facilitator role. Facilitation privileges have been long requested functionality in Blackboard Learn's Original Experience. We’re excited to bring this ability to both the Original and Ultra Experiences.

The set of privileges contained in this release relate to course announcements. Individuals with these privileges can create course announcements in both course views. Additional entitlements allow users to view draft announcements in addition to posted announcements.

More on announcement privileges


Cross-origin resourcing tool for administrators

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Administrators may need to allow an external script or third-party application to make direct calls to their Blackboard Learn instance’s REST API. Previously, these requests would be blocked at the browser level. In this release, we introduce a Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) tool to allow your institution to leverage cloud-based or third-party extensions more fully. Administrators can also use the CORS tool to strictly define the allowed domains within an access control list and headers allowed as part of those requests. This secure, scalable tool lets you explore more integration possibilities using REST APIs.

From the Administrator Panel, select Cross-Origin Resource Sharing in the Integrations menu. Select Create Integration to get started.

More on the CORS tool for SaaS administrators


Enhanced discussion analysis metrics

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

To better inform grading and provide additional insight in to the level of engagement in graded discussions, we've added three new metrics to the Discussion Analysis area of the Ultra Course View. Now, in addition to sentence complexity, critical thinking, and counts of responses and replies, graders can view statistics for the number of substantive posts, lexical classification (counts of content and functional words), and the percentage of word variation in a student’s posts for a given discussion. These market-leading analytics provide instructors a holistic overview of the level at which students are writing and may better inform differentiation in grading discussions.

Find discussion analytics on the Grades & Participation page for a discussion. Select a student’s name to view their responses and replies. Discussion Analysis appears next to the student’s discussion activity to give you an overview of their engagement.

What do the metrics mean?


Grant students exceptions in specific assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

This feature is included in the 3500.11.0 release, but wasn't enabled in time for the push to client Test servers. It will be available when the release reaches client Production servers.

There are times when unforeseen circumstances lead an instructor to grant a student extended access or additional attempts for a specific assessment. With the introduction of assessment exceptions, instructors are no longer forced to create copies of an assessment for individual students, create and remove accommodations, or use other cumbersome workarounds.

Instructors can grant individual students additional time to access an assessment, even if it is hidden to other students. Additional attempts may also be configured, again for an individual student on an individual assessment. In the future, we hope to introduce due date exceptions so that students who are granted extended access will not be marked late for submissions made after the original due date.

On the Submissions page, you can add an exception for an individual student. You can adjust the number of attempts or the assessment’s availability.

More on per-assessment exceptions


Granular Activity Stream settings

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, Activity Stream notification settings are more granular for students and instructors, giving them the option to choose which information they wish to receive.

Settings have been reformatted so users can select to receive all notifications at a high level, like notifications for new discussions. Users can also choose to see updates about specific events or activity in their Activity Streams. For example, an instructor can choose to be notified when a blog entry is edited.

Existing settings are carried over and saved in the new format. Visual cues display if all, some, or none of the notification types are selected.

More on notification settings for instructors


Kaltura integration in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

This feature was previously announced as part of 3500.5.0

Instructors can now use Kaltura in the Ultra Course View. Specifically, instructors can use Kaltura in these ways when configured in Blackboard Learn:

  • Add a link to the Kaltura My Media (personal video storage repository) and the Kaltura Media Gallery (course shared media repository). An instructor can add these links to their Course Content page from within Books & Tools and Content Market
  • Embed video content directly from Kaltura into the editor using the Insert/Edit LTI Item option. This allows instructors to embed videos in documents, assessments, discussions, conversations, and messages.

Administrators can leverage LTI tools and placements to create these access points for instructors.

More on managing Kaltura


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3500.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • Instructors at institutions based in the EU/UK will be able to use the recording feature in assessment feedback. This feature will be enabled in the eu-central-1 region when this release reaches Production servers. More on recording creation for administrators.
  • A word count appears when drafting responses and replies in discussions in the Ultra Course View.
  • The Messages page in the Ultra Course View wasn’t responsive for users on mobile devices. We’ve made it responsive.
  • Instructors can now rename an LTI link from the gradebook in the Ultra Course View.
  • Users enrolled in a demo environment may have noticed their SMS notifications were overwritten when upgrading to the 3500.9.0 release. We fixed this issue before the release reached Production servers.
  • In a previous release, some institutions may have noticed the CAS authentication provider threw errors. We fixed the issue.
  • When an administrator sought to delete all users not enrolled in a course, the system didn’t correctly list the number of users it would remove in the operation. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When copying an Ultra course using SIS, the new course duration was overwritten by the source course. We’ve fixed the issue by excluding a duration on the course copy.
  • Users may have received an error message when attempting to connect to OneDrive for Business through Blackboard Learn. The vendor has fixed the issue.
  • Group submissions in the Ultra Course View weren’t appearing consistently in the gradebook. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors may have received an error message when saving course reports to the Content Collection. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • A synchronization issue caused unexpected behavior in custom language packs. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Course messages with attachments sometimes resulted in an error message asking the user to contact their system administrator. We fixed the issue.
  • SafeAssign Originality Reports weren’t loading correctly for users with Korean language packs enabled. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • SafeAssign Originality Reports weren’t loading for users after a system update to the 3500.7.0 release. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Unenrolled users can view announcements in unavailable courses.

Regrade questions in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

Without the ability to edit and regrade test questions after they have been delivered to students, instructors were forced to open each student’s submission and update scores one-by-one. With this release, test questions can be edited in one place. These edits, along with any score adjustments, are automatically performed for all submissions that contain the updated question.

In some cases, a question may be beyond repair and it is more appropriate to give all students full credit for the question, regardless of their answers. To support this scenario, full credit can be given to all students for a specific question. Instructors can trigger question regrading from the assessment canvas or from any student’s submission – the result is the same. When an instructor edits a question, the update appears in all submissions for that assessment and students’ grades adjust automatically based on the new correct answer or selection of the Give full credit for question option.

To edit or regrade a question, go to the assessment. Point to the question's menu and select Edit/Regrade to modify the question.

More on regrading questions


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Collaborate Attendance Integration with Blackboard Learn

Continuous Delivery Collaborate February 2019 | Release to Production 6-7 February 2019
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
New features, Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Building Block

This will be available with the Collaborate February release scheduled 6-7 February 2019.

Let Collaborate take attendance for you. In this Collaborate release, Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually.

Based on criteria you can set, Collaborate tracks if a student is present, late, or absent from a session. Collaborate then sends that information directly to the Attendance page in your Blackboard Learn course.

Attendance from the Collaborate session is counted in each student's average attendance in the course, which can also be used in calculating student grades.

More on Collaborate attendance reporting in Blackboard Learn 9.1

More on Collaborate attendance reporting in Blackboard Learn SaaS 


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Content lockdown: Expanded user privileges for course calendar control

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

3500.9.0 marks the third release containing enhancements for granular entitlements in Original and Ultra course roles. Our next and final release of this feature will include the formalized facilitator role. Facilitation privileges have been long requested functionality in Blackboard Learn's Original Experience. We’re excited to bring this ability to both the Original and Ultra Experiences.

The set of privileges contained in this release relate to course calendar events. Individuals with these privileges can add, edit, and delete course calendar events in both course views. In the Ultra Course View, individuals with these privileges can also add, edit, and delete office hours and course schedules.

More on course facilitator privileges


Gradebook improvements: Search gradebook columns and categories

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Course View

There are times when an instructor needs to check on the status for a single gradebook column or create a simple, filtered view of a specific gradebook category across all students. Building on the student search we built for the gradebook grid view in an earlier release, instructors can search using column and category criteria. These additional search options reduce the scrolling and visual scanning required to quickly verify or filter.

Begin typing the title of a column or category in to the gradebook grid view search field. Search results include any columns, categories, or even students who match the search term or phrase. We've included a label within the search results to help distinguish among these three types of results.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3500.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates 

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • To improve performance times and user experience, course messages no longer appear in the activity stream.
  • Instructors are now prompted to name content they create in the Ultra Course View.
  • We’ve made several AX improvements in Ultra:
    • Improved the color contrast ratio for reorder and move icons on the Course Content page.
    • Added a stroke around the panel close button to comply with color contrast ratios. 
    • Improved the hover and keyboard states for active elements to be more visually significant. 
  • We’ve updated gradebook entitlements to address security concerns. Visit Behind the Blackboard for more information and guidance. The solution listed in the article will be included in 3500.9 when it reaches Production servers.
  • In the Original Course View, we’ve updated the color key in the Course Coverage report to match the legend more accurately.
  • When an instructor attached a file as feedback on a graded discussion, students encountered errors trying to download it. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When an unread discussion post appeared as a link in the What’s New module, users encountered errors when opening it. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Calculated questions using exponents in answers in the Original Course View were marked incorrect when students input an acceptable answer. We’ve fixed the issue. 
  • Instructors encountered an error when trying to use anonymous grading for attempts still in progress. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • We’ve improved the logic for grading multiple choice questions when a student selects both correct and incorrect answers in the Ultra Course View. 
  • We’ve removed the ability for students to edit graded group discussion forum titles and descriptions.
  • We’ve fixed a CSS error that caused text tagged with <em> HTML to appear on separate lines. 
  • We’ve improved the course import feature to preserve the content package’s folder structure.

Proctoring service using Respondus Lockdown Browser

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Course View

Respondus LockDown Browser is the top choice of educators for securing online exams in classrooms or proctored environments. The LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard Learn, which means that students are unable to copy, print, access other applications, or visit other websites during an online exam. It works seamlessly with Blackboard Learn and is built in to the assessment settings. When instructors configure an assessment to require the LockDown Browser, students will only be able to begin their attempts if they access the assessment with the LockDown Browser.

Secure assessments are delivered using tools provided by Respondus. If this integration is available at your institution, you can access the Respondus Dashboard in the Settings area of both assignments and tests in the Ultra Course View. On the dashboard, choose to deliver the assessment using Respondus LockDown Browser alone, or include the Webcam.

More on Respondus integration with Blackboard Learn SaaS


Push notifications to Blackboard App

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Experience

Many students use push notifications on their devices to check and engage with content. Push notifications for Learn Ultra will allow students to gain direct insight via this notification modal. Notifications may help students stay on top of new content added to their courses, new grades and feedback that have been created for assessed items, and due date reminders for upcoming assessments that need to be completed and submitted. 

Push notifications further the integration between the Blackboard Learn Ultra experience and the Blackboard mobile app for students. In this release, users on the Ultra experience can select which push notifications they’d like to receive. In the app, they’ll see notifications for due date reminders and new grades and feedback. Push notifications for new content will be available in the app in the coming months.


SCORM advanced settings and reporting

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Course View

Over the past year, Blackboard has been focusing development attention on incorporating SCORM functionality into the Ultra Course View. This release includes the advanced settings functionality as well as reporting analytics for instructors.

Advanced settings options appear for instructors when they add a SCORM package to their course. After students submit SCORM attempts, instructors can view detailed reporting on time spent, average score, and attempts completed.

This marks the final milestone for SCORM’s foundation. Our next focus will be on xAPI and partnering with a Learner Record Store to use the deeper reporting functionality of the xAPI format. 

More on SCORM analytics


Select theme colors

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Experience

Institution branding is an easy way for institutions to differentiate their learning management system and adds an element of personalization at an institution level. Many institutions have requested to move away from the default purple in Ultra to express institution colors as part of their user experience. This functionality covers three highly used areas but will be expanded to further the institution’s color schema to more locations over time.

To customize the theme color, go to the Institution Page. Select the gear icon to open the settings panel. Enter a hex code to find your precise color or use the color picker. A preview appears to show you how the new color would look to all users. Don’t like what you see? You can revert your choice back to the default.

More on how to select a theme color


Blackboard SOAP Web Services deprecation

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

With the release of Blackboard Learn Q2 2019, Blackboard is deprecating our SOAP APIs. We recommend that if you use Blackboard's SOAP APIs as an external application or as part of a Building Block, you should immediately refactor your integration using our Blackboard REST APIs.

Blackboard SOAP APIs will become unavailable with the release of Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2020.

Visit Behind the Blackboard for more information on SOAP web services deprecation and guidance on migrating to REST APIs.


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Caliper 1.1 update for Blackboard Learn Telemetry Service

Blackboard Learn 9.1
Blackboard Learn SaaS | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard is pleased to announce updated support for the Caliper Analytics® standard in Blackboard Learn. Caliper is a specification from the IMS Global Learning Consortium® that defines a standard for the exchange of user activity information. Blackboard Learn supports this standard, giving institutions the option to emit near-real-time and batch user event data to an event store system for further analytics and reporting.

The centralized service that processes the Learn telemetry stream into Caliper events data currently uses the Caliper 1.0 specification. On January 3, 2019 this service will change to use the Caliper 1.1 specification.

For more information about how this update affects your Blackboard Learn environment, visit Behind the Blackboard

More on Caliper event configuration is available on the Developer Community


Gradebook improvements: Search submission list and pagination

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Ultra Course View

There are times when an instructor needs to find a specific submission or submission status for a specific student. To address this need, we’ve expanded gradebook search capabilities. Previously, we added the ability to search for students in the grade book grid view. This release brings that capability to the submission list view.

An instructor can go to the submission list and quickly locate a particular student to check the status of submissions or access the submission itself. Additionally, we’ve added pagination to the submission list. The default view is for 25 students, but instructors may also set the page to display 50 or 100 users. This setting is sticky, so a selection of 50 or 100 is retained when instructors leave the submission list and return later.

More on searching the submission list


Learning modules supported in conversion from Original to Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Ultra Course View

In an earlier release, we brought the learning modules capability to the Ultra Course View. Starting with this release, learning modules are preserved in course copy, export, import, and restore operations.

When converting a learning module from the Original Course View to the Ultra Course View, the force sequence requirement is unchecked by default. Additionally, the file and folder structure may be flattened because the Course Content page only supports nested content two folders deep.

Student activity in a learning module is removed when converting to Ultra. However, instructors and administrators can choose to keep student progress in learning modules when exporting and copying an Ultra course.

More on the Ultra Course Preview

More on adding a SCORM package in Ultra
 


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3500.7.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.
 


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • This release resolves an issue where the Blackboard app and Blackboard Instructor app weren’t compatible with Session Fingerprint settings. Session fingerprint settings to Create New Session When Fingerprint Changes are now compatible with the mobile apps’ mBaaS architecture.
  • When you access individual students' attendance record in the Ultra Course View, the date column has been renamed Meeting and now appears first. 
  • An updated version of the Vital Source Building Block (v3.101.2018040483) is bundled with this release.
  • To accommodate Microsoft Azure SAML requirements, we’ve added the option to keep the SAML session age unlimited.
  • When viewing assessments that were graded using a rubric more than a year ago, users may have noticed a discrepancy between rubric totals and the grade displayed in the Grade Center. Raw data was not affected. We fixed the issue.
  • Grade Journey wasn’t consistently displaying optional data when the extraction was initiated from merged courses. We fixed the issue.
  • Users may have encountered an error when attempting to download a file package in the Content Collection. We fixed the issue.
  • When a student submission was deleted, attached files were orphaned and retained in storage, sometimes unnecessarily. We fixed the issue. 
  • When an Ultra assessment was set to assign automatic zeros, the system wouldn’t log a zero score in the gradebook when a student had saved a draft but not submitted work. We fixed the issue.
  • Importing a Canvas course to the Ultra Course View resulted in missing content. We fixed the issue.

New Originality Report available for SafeAssign integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We've updated the design of the SafeAssign Originality Report in Blackboard Learn SaaS environments. The new Originality Report uses Blackboard's Ultra design philosophy and includes some new information about a submission's overall risk for being copied from another source. This new report interface is also more responsive for mobile devices and more accessible to screen readers than the old design; we will be seeking VPAT compliance for this new design soon!

This release also allows the SafeAssign team to be more iterative and provide updates to the new report design on a more regular basis and without requiring an update to the LMS platform. We'll still be communicating changes on the SafeAssign help pages, so make sure to follow those pages as well for new information!

Users can switch back to the old Originality Report design for a little while longer to help ease the transition. Blackboard Learn 9.1 users should expect to receive the new Originality Report design with the Q2 2019 release next year.

More on how to read the new Originality Report


Question analysis and report download

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors who make use of Item Analysis in Original courses recognize the benefit this report provides, specifically for reviewing the quality of assessment questions and improving assessments from one term to the next. However, many instructors are either unaware that this report is available or are not familiar with the term “item analysis” and don’t open the report. 

In the Ultra Course View, we’ve updated the title to Question Analysis as a way to raise awareness of this powerful report and encourage its use. We’ve also made the help content more accessible and added helpful explanatory text to help instructors understand the statistics within the report. 

Question analysis provides statistics on overall performance, assessment quality, and individual questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. Question analysis is for assessments with questions. You can also download the report with raw question data to analyze it or keep it for future uses.
 
Instructors can use question analysis in these ways:

  • Improve questions for future assessment administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts
  • Discuss assessment results with your class
  • Provide a basis for remedial work
  • Improve classroom instruction

Explore question analysis in the Ultra Course View


Batch edit due dates in course content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Ultra Course View

Building on the previous feature to batch edit visibility of course content, we’ve added the ability to adjust due dates in bulk.

Instructors often teach the same courses and curriculum each semester or year. When these courses use the same material, it can be challenging to update due dates for each item to reflect the new course calendar. In the Original Course View, this was achieved with Date Management. In this release, we bring that ability to Ultra.

With Batch Edit, you can update selected course content using a new course start date. Enter the new course start date and the existing start date. The tool calculates the difference between the two dates and uses the number of days to shift dates in all selected course content at once. You don’t have to spend time opening course content and determining new dates. Alternatively, you can shift all due dates backward or forward based on a chosen number of days.

Content without due dates isn't affected by batch editing dates.

Learn more about batch editing dates in the Ultra Course View


Content lockdown: Expanded user privileges for gradebook control

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

As part of an earlier release, we added entitlements for course roles so administrators can grant additional permissions for users that allow them to view course content but not modify it. In this release, we expand on those entitlements with respect to gradebook access and control.

Grading within a course is multi-faceted. Assigning a grade is only one piece of the process, which can also include grade maintenance, data download and upload, and release of grades. Institution administrators can grant some or all of these permissions to trusted facilitators to help ease the grading responsibility in larger courses.

Explore use cases for the facilitator role and privileges


Course Groups

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors often need to organize students into groups. Previously, instructors created groups of students only in the context of assessments and discussions. This ability is useful and important, but it didn’t account for many other reasons why an instructor would want to create groups independent of assessments.

In this release, instructors can create groups and group sets at the course level, outside of assessments. Group sets help identify students who are paired together based on specific attributes or purposes.

In a future release, instructors will have the ability to apply course groups to graded content.

More on creating course groups in Ultra


Learning modules and forced content sequence 

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Ultra Course View

This feature was initially expected to be part of 3500.5.0 and is now confirmed as part of 3500.5.0. In an earlier update, we incorrectly stated the feature had been delayed to a later release. We apologize for the confusion.

Learning modules are a valuable way to organize and present content in the Original Course View. Modules let content creators require students to access learning materials in a specified order, walking learners through a guided path. In this release, we bring the power of learning modules to the Ultra Course View.

Use learning modules to organize content for an immersive learning experience. Students can work on content in sequence without needing to close and open content items. Instructors can also enforce a content sequence so students access and complete content in the sequence specified.

Learning modules are available in new courses only. Courses created in a Learn environment prior to this release won’t have access to learning modules.

More on creating learning modules in Ultra


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original 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 3500.5.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates 

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • The Consulting Central Building Block is bundled with this release. Learn more about Consulting Central on Behind the Blackboard.
  • The French language pack previously used an incorrect phrase to label new discussions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Users saw an error when downloading an annotated PDF with comments. We’ve fixed the issue so the downloads now include a summary list of comments.
  • To avoid permissions and grading issues, all LTI tools are excluded from the Copy Content option in the Ultra Course View.
  • When a student attempted to access an unavailable course in the Ultra experience, the date was recorded in the Performance Dashboard under “Last Course Access.” We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When a user attempted to access Organizations in the Ultra experience while using a touchscreen device, the page would display an error. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When the Attendance tool was set to unavailable or inactive at the system level, instructors may have encountered error messages in the gradebook. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Optional data wasn’t consistently included in Grade Journey extractions using REST. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When an administrator attempted to move a user from one child course to another, the user enrollment wouldn’t change successfully. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Students may have had trouble accessing the activity stream due to conflicting backend logic regarding grade columns and due dates. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Special characters in custom Ultra locales weren’t displaying correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Course reports weren’t enforcing the date format for the system’s chosen language pack. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some devices displayed misaligned numbers for options in multiple choice, either/or, and true/false questions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • The words points and score were sometimes used interchangeably in the Ultra Course View. We've updated the user interface to use points where it's more accurate.
  • Based on user feedback, we’ve updated the activity stream messages regarding student achievement and activity in courses. The new messages aim to reduce confusion and be more encouraging.
  • The Availability Override option didn’t work as expected when a start date wasn’t specified. We’ve fixed the issue so students with this privilege can access courses with or without a specified start date.
  • The service that connected cloud storage to Learn environments used a case-sensitive check to verify domain security. When domains used a mix of upper and lower case letters, the service couldn’t complete the request and resulted in incomplete attachments. We’ve fixed the issue.

New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.23.1 | Release to Production 23 November 2018
New Features, Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.23.1) contains new features, bug fixes, and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.23 | Release to Production 14 November 2018
New Features, Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.23) contains new features, bug fixes, and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Additional search criteria in Reuse Questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

On the Reuse Questions page, instructors can filter questions by more criteria. In addition to assessments and question banks that come over from the Original Course View, you can also filter by question types and Original Course View tags, such as categories. You can also search for keywords to find questions. The active filter area changes automatically as you select or clear criteria.

More on how to reuse questions in Ultra assessments


Advanced settings in SCORM

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

SCORM is a content standard that is used by some institutions, instructors, and instructional designers to author and present online learning materials and assessments to students.

In this release, we’ve added a number of enhancements to SCORM in the Ultra Course View:

  • Instructors can assign a grade category to SCORM packages.
  • Instructors can upload SCORM packages from the Content Collection.
  • SCORM due dates appear on the calendar and in the activity stream.
  • SCORM packages are supported in Ultra Course Preview and conversion from the Original Course View.

More on SCORM in the Ultra Course View


Ally integration available for the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

Starting with this release, Blackboard Ally integrates with the Ultra Course View. Ally provides detailed accessibility reports for content uploaded to Blackboard Learn. The integration is available to institutions who license Ally. 

In the Ultra Course View, instructors have access to Ally’s accessibility scores and feedback, including tutorials on how to make common file types more accessible to learners of all abilities. Students can view and download course content in alternative accessible formats. 

In a future release, we’ll show the file’s accessibility score on the Course Content page so instructors can quickly prioritize items to edit. 

Get started with Blackboard Ally


Batch edit visibility of course content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors often reuse courses and content from one term to the next without major changes. At the start of a new term, instructors need a way to make these changes en masse. In this release, we introduce a new Batch Edit option on the Course Content page. Here, an instructor can select multiple pieces of content and edit visibility for each selected piece at the same time.

Along with this feature, instructors and course builders will notice that the Books & Tools link has moved to the Details & Actions menu. In a future release, instructors will also have the ability to adjust dates in course content using Batch Edit.

Learn how to use Batch Edit in a course


Calendar items and due date notifications for additional content types

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

The Calendar and To Do modules show the due dates of course items, but this was previously limited to activities and assessments using just Blackboard Learn tools. In this release, the capability is expanded so that other content types, including those from 3rd party solutions, are now incorporated into these Original Experience areas when using a web browser.

Users see these due items in their Course Calendar or My Blackboard Calendar, and due date notifications appear in the To Do module and through other notification subscription channels.

All of the following create calendar items and due notifications:

  • Assessment items such as assignments and tests
  • Interactive tools including graded discussions, blogs, journals, and wikis
  • Grade Center columns created manually and not linked to content items such as an observation or offline assignment
  • SCORM packages
  • Content items generated from building blocks when a linked Grade Center column has a due date
  • LTI resource links when a linked Grade Center column has a due date

Create percentage-based grading rubrics

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors give very specific rubric scores with feedback when grading student submissions. A simple rubric with wide gaps between levels of achievement are insufficient for providing the granularity these institutions require. For example, two students may both meet the criteria for Sufficient for a given rubric row, but one student barely met the criteria while another almost did enough to be marked with the next highest level of achievement. With a normal rubric, these students would receive the same score. Instructors working under these requirements need to be able to mark both students as Sufficient, but provide more granular scoring within the range of scores associated with this rubric row.

In this release, we’ve expanded rubric criteria to include more granular levels of achievement, measured with percentages.

How to create rubrics with percentage ranges


Data Integration Logs storage load reduced

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve improved the way that data integration logs store information in the shared file system. Searches in SIS logs are limited to seven-day date ranges to improve performance and reduce system strain.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
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 3500.3.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • When versioned files are imported/restored as part of course import/restore, the version number (of the file in the source course) is appended at the end of the file name so that users can differentiate which version it is. For example, if version 1 and 2 of a file named "geography.html" are imported, the new files will be named "geography_v1.html" and "geography_v2.html", respectively.
  • A permissions issue in the Mobile Web Services building block caused tests to be inaccessible when first opened through the app. We fixed the issue.
  • An updated version of the Partner Cloud Building Block is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Wiley Plus Building Block is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Cengage Mindlinks Learning Building Block is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Vital Source Building Block is bundled with this release. Grade syncing in the VitalSource Building Block is disabled by default in this release to prevent issues on the vendor's side.
  • Files uploaded as part of a SCORM package are now saved in a Content Collection folder (/internal/courses/<courseID>/content/<contentID>) rather than the Local/Shared File System. When a client system is upgraded to this release, a background migration task is invoked upon server startup to move all existing SCORM files from Local/Shared File System to Content Collection. Several optimizations have been added to minimize the performance impact and memory usage for this task and it should be virtually transparent for users.
  • Counts in the Ultra gradebook were confusing when some students were denied access in the course after participating in discussions or submitting assessments. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, users designated as Observers were unable to view files added to the course through the Build Content > Add File workflow. We fixed the issue.
  • Attachments to course messages in the Original Course View resulted in the Tomcat temp directory disappearing, which led to other areas of Learn malfunctioning. We fixed the issue.
  • When an instructor attempted to grade a group assignment using a rubric and the language pack used commas to designate decimal places, the grade would display inconsistently. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, pattern matching questions with incorrectly formatted regular expressions in the answer were marked wrong. We fixed the issue.
  • As part of an earlier improvement for content delivery in the Content Collection, we added the ability to disable certain MIME types in Learn. We expanded the list of default allowed MIME types.
  • Instructors encountered errors when grading a group discussion with a rubric. We fixed the issue.
  • We’ve fixed some issues in reports: All User Activity Inside Content Areas and Course Performance Report.
  • Clients using the Australian English language pack in Ultra encountered problems when creating calendar items. We fixed the issue.
  • Conversations on course content in the Ultra Course View were capped to the previous 10 replies, with no way to view earlier parts of the conversation. In this release, students and instructors can access earlier parts of the conversation.

SAML updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve enhanced the logout process for SAML single-sign on sessions. When a user logs out of Blackboard Learn, a message appears and asks them to confirm log out for all associated apps in the session. Previously, the SSO session persisted until it expired. Users can choose to terminate their entire SSO session when they log out of Blackboard Learn to protect their security when using public or shared computers.


Upload gradebook data in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

In an earlier release, we introduced the ability for instructors to download gradebook data in the Ultra Course View. The counterpart to downloading grades is the ability to upload them, which is useful for instructors who prefer to work in an application like Excel and load student grade data into the LMS. In this release, instructors have the option to upload course gradebook data in Ultra.

Offline grading is a valuable and important enhancement. Instructors may prefer, or even require, that they are able to download the files students have submitted for an assessment. Limited WiFi access on a train, for example, shouldn’t impact the instructor’s ability to grade student submissions. In this scenario, the instructor can download the gradebook, enter the grades for the assessment, and then upload the grade data at a later time.

Learn how to upload grade data


Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q4 2018 (3500.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers will soon be available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3400.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q2 2018 (release 3400.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Expanded ability to reconcile grades in Delegated Grading

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Course View

Delegated grading lets an instructor share grading responsibilities by assigning course members to grade sets of submissions. Grading and feedback from more than one grader can promote reliability, improve consistency, and remove bias. The instructor can reconcile grades and settle on final scores after the graders have completed their assigned submissions.

The ability to reconcile grades was previously limited to instructors and users who were granted the permission by an administrator. In this release, instructors can grant this permission to graders. The Can reconcile grades option appears when the instructor delegates grading. Instructors can choose to grant the permission to any or all graders who are delegated submissions.

More on Delegated Grading in the Original Course View


Internet Explorer no longer supported

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Support for Internet Explorer ends with Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018 and SaaS 3500.0.0. Older releases may still work using this browser. Microsoft ended active development for Internet Explorer in January 2016. Some newer features in Learn may not work, including Attendance and Create Recording. Reported issues isolated to Internet Explorer won't be resolved by Product Support. We recommend using another browser.


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now 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 3500.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • When a course was converted from Original to Ultra, instructors found they weren’t able to edit point values for assessments and questions that used decimal points in the number of possible points. We’ve fixed the issue by rounding point values down to the nearest whole number. This change is listed as an exception during the Ultra Course Preview.
  • Some users were unable to save drafts in discussion forum threads when using a language pack other than English. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Placeholder text in the Ultra login page would sometimes obscure the username and password when the user input this information. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Discussion descriptions in courses using the Learn 2016 theme were sometimes obscured or displayed with a limited width. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users were unable to create criteria for Self and Peer Assessments when accessing the feature on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When the Ultra experience is enabled, the Exit button overlapped the Add button in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • We’ve rewritten an error message in Ultra to make acceptable date formats clearer.
  • When an instructor reversed the decision to ignore an attempt in the Original Course View, the message displayed on the screen was unclear and didn’t indicate the workflow. We’ve updated it to say Attempt marked as Not Ignored.
  • When users attempted to select all text in an Ultra assessment attempt, the browser didn’t select the text included in the attempt. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When a user edited a test question in the Original Course View, some options in the text editor didn’t display correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.

Search the Ultra gradebook

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Ultra Course View

Today’s courses, both online and mixed mode, can have large enrollments and volumes of course work. Instructors and other course facilitators may find it difficult to browse a gradebook in this type of course. In this release, we’ve introduced a search function in the Ultra gradebook to help users locate specific students when the list may be too long to browse.

To search for a student, open the Ultra gradebook in grid view. You can type the student’s name or student ID. Matching names appear below the search box. Select a student to filter your gradebook view and see their attempts and grades. In the future, we’ll continue development on this feature to include the ability to search for gradebook columns and categories.

Learn how to search for students in the Ultra gradebook


New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.19.3 | Release to Production 9 September 2018
Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.19.3) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.11.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • Download annotated PDFs
  • Anonymous grading in Ultra Course View
  • Unsubmitted work counts as zero

Learner engagement

  • Download annotated PDFs
  • Improvements for course messages

Anonymous grading

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors need a way to ensure the anonymity of students (hiding personally identifying information) to avoid bias when grading. Some regions mandate anonymity for high-stakes assessment.

To support this, we developed an enforceable means to anonymize student information to instructors and other reviewers. After grading is complete, the information can be revealed. Student identities remain hidden until all grades are posted, at which point names are revealed.

Learn more about anonymous grading in Ultra


Content delivery improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Multimedia is essential in many mixed-mode and online courses, and poor performance can lead to a frustrating user experience. To help speed the delivery of online media, such as video, we’ve added configuration options for administrators to control content delivery through signed URLs. Signed URLs allow content to be delivered directly and securely from cloud storage, which provides faster transfers and requires fewer resources to run on the system. A signed URL is equivalent to the actual file after it’s delivered to the browser.

Find the settings on Administrator Panel > Content Management Settings > Cloud Signed URL Settings.

Learn more about content delivery improvements


Download annotated PDFs

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

This feature was also available for Self- and Managed-Hosting environments as a Cumulative Update for Blackboard Learn 9.1.

Users were accustomed to downloading annotated files when Crocodoc handled inline file rendering. With the switch to New Box View, this capability wasn’t available and highly requested. Blackboard listened and developed the ability to download annotated files using the New Box View.

In this release, both instructors and students can download certain file types (DOC, DOCX, PDF) with annotations as an annotated PDF. Students can download the annotated file after their submission has been graded.

Visit Inline Grading and New Box View Update on the Blackboard Community for more information and a video demonstration

Check out the October 2018 Inline Grading and New Box View Update for an update about comment summaries in annotated PDFs

Learn more about downloading annotated PDFs in New Box View


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) User Report

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

One of the requirements of the European Union (EU) GDPR is to allow users to receive human-readable reports of personal information that has been collected about them. Clients receiving user requests may submit a case on Behind the Blackboard, including the user’s ID, to request the exported report package. The report is a ZIP file that contains CSV files with site- and course-level information about user activity, tool interactions, uploaded content, or submitted work within Blackboard Learn. Any grade data in the report are raw values and don’t include any calculations or weighting the instructor may have applied in the Grade Center. The report won’t contain information about other users in the system, content created by the institution or other users, or information from deleted courses.

Flexible Deployment Option customers: In Q4 2018 CU1 (3500.0.1), the GDPR User Report includes Activity Log and Attendance data.


Improvements for course messages

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Experience

We’ve updated the global and course messages pages for more intuitive and easy navigation. You’ll notice the following changes:

  • On the global Messages page in the base navigation, courses are grouped according to term, similar to the way they are grouped on the Courses page. Your current courses appear first when you open the Messages page. You can use the arrows to navigate through the groups.
  • The number of messages you've received in each course is displayed with a course card. Select the course card to jump to all of your messages.
  • In your course, you can select the number of messages that appear per page.
  • When you select a course message to view, you can use arrows to browse through messages in order.

Learn more about improvements to course messages


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now 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 3400.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • In the Original experience, administrators had no option in the user interface to remove images they had added to a default brand. This issue was fixed.
  • Some institutions who customized the default landing page in the Ultra experience noticed some inconsistent behavior for the destination when users logged in. This issue was fixed.
  • Some custom administrator roles were unable to access courses delivered in the Ultra Course View. This issue was fixed.
  • Attachments to course messages caused unnecessary file backups that could lead to system performance issues. This issue was fixed.
  • In the Ultra experience, default course view settings would sometimes reset on system restart or upgrade. This issue has been fixed.
  • Some instructors who used percentage-based rubrics to grade assignments noticed that mid-range values would revert on save. This issue was fixed.
  • For environments with automatic course archive enabled, some files older than 45 days weren’t included in course backup files. This issue was fixed.
  • We’ve updated the text shown to administrators who choose to use the Ultra experience on Test environments. The message now states more clearly that the environment will need to be completely rebuilt and all data will be lost to convert back to the Original experience.
  • We’ve updated the text shown to users when content controlled with conditional release is unavailable. When a student hovers on the content after access is over, the message now reads: You can't access this content after MM/DD/YYYY, 00:00AM. Previously, the message only stated when the content became available, not when access ended.

Unsubmitted work counts as zero

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors may want to set up the gradebook so that unsubmitted, past-due work is automatically marked as zero. For larger courses, it can be burdensome and time-consuming to grade these missing submissions as zeros manually.

This release includes a global gradebook setting to allow instructors to assign automatic zeros to missing work past the due date. Instructors can save the time it takes to go through the gradebook to manually enter zeros for this work. Students can still submit work after an automatic zero is assigned and instructors can grade as normal.

The Automatic Zero option is enabled by default in all new Ultra courses.

Learn more about automatic zeros for unsubmitted work in Ultra


Upload an image to the Institution Page

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Experience

On the Institution Page, administrators can upload a picture hosted in the Content Collection. Previously, images used for the institution logo or banner were added with a URL. Institutions who host the images with other institution content needed to take an additional step to locate the file path. Starting with the release, administrators can open and browse the Content Collection to use these images on the Institution Page.

Images can also be added to the Helpful Links module in this way. When the administrator adds an image from the Content Collection, the permissions for the image file update to include any user who’s able to view the module.

Learn more about uploading images to the Institution Page


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q2 2018 (release 3400.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.9.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • SCORM support in Ultra
  • Download gradebook
  • Custom locales in Ultra

Learner engagement

  • Group creation & grading enhancements
  • Course list optimization
  • Conversation improvements
  • Add LTI links to the Institution Page

Add LTI links to the Institution Page

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience

In this release, we bring the LTI standard to the Institution Page. Schools can now surface LTI tools outside of the course context for all their users or a select subset of users based on institution role.

To add an LTI item to the Institution Page, create a Custom Content module. Select Insert/Edit LTI Item in the editor and browse for system tools available in the system. LTI tools appear in the editor with the provider’s icon, but you can change the display text.

More on the Institution Page


Conversation improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

Conversations on course content items have been improved in the following ways:

  • The Conversations panel has been increased to full-width.
  • Students can now respond and reply to each other in conversations the same as they do in discussions.
  • We’ve added activity indicators for new conversation posts.
  • A student or instructor can see all conversation participants.
  • A student or instructor can search all conversation participants.

More on conversations regarding Ultra course content


Course list optimization

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience

In an earlier release, we improved the Courses page in the Ultra experience to better course terms and let institutions display courses in a way that aligns to the student journey. With this release, we will continue to refine the page as we allow for more user choice and improve the layout of the page overall. These changes include:

  • Addition of a quick drop down for quick past-term navigation
  • Original Course View label added to all Original courses
  • Original courses descriptions are now available from the expanded course card view
  • Term sub-listings are now displayed on the current courses page to let users scan quickly

More on how terms affect the Courses page in the Ultra experience


Custom locales in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience

Previously, Learn Ultra supported predetermined language packs without the ability to customize. This release introduces custom locale capabilities that will allow an institution to change specific words or phrases within their site and not have it break with each monthly update.

With multitudes of dialects comprising the world’s many languages, Blackboard understands how many varieties and nuances of languages exist. The adjustments you make to your locale end up making a huge difference in the lives of educators and learners and it is one less barrier to overcome when digesting the material being taught.

Ultra locales only contain strings in the Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View user interfaces. To edit strings that appear in the Original Experience or Original Course View, see Create and Edit Language Packs for the Original Experience

More on custom locales in Ultra


Download gradebook

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors sometimes find the gradebook insufficient for doing statistical analysis or other ad hoc computational work with student grades. These instructors prefer to download the raw student and grade data and manipulate it in an application like Microsoft Excel.

In this release, instructors can download grade data within their Ultra courses. Instructors can select to download the entire gradebook or select columns, choose to export in a .CSV or .XLS format, and save it to the device or the Content Collection for future access. Uploading gradebook data is not yet available but in development for future release.

More on how to download gradebook data in Ultra


Group creation & grading improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors may require the ability to edit groups after they’ve released a group discussion, assignment, or test for students. Previously, instructors didn’t have the option to modify groups at all after students started drafting submissions. However, the ability to make small changes is sometimes necessary to provide minimal disruption for all course members.

To help support instructors in these situations, we’ve added the following enhancements to group assessments:

  • New empty state page lets instructors create as few or as many groups as they’d like from the beginning.
  • Instructors can edit group names after students begin attempts.
  • New Unassign All option appears when creating groups.
  • Instructors can edit group membership if a given group hasn’t started working or existing attempts are removed.

More on how instructors create an Ultra group assignment


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now 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 3400.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • We've updated text regarding external submissions in the Ultra Course View. The assessment setting now says Collect submissions offline, and students see a message that says Offline submission when accessing assessments of this type.
  • Instructors encountered an error in graded discussion boards converted from the Original Course View to the Ultra Course View. The error appeared when the instructor tried to change the grade schema. This issue was fixed.
  • Recipients were unable to download message attachments that contained special characters in the file name. This issue was fixed.
  • Instructors may have encountered an error when attempting to delete submissions that contained attachments. This issue was fixed.
  • Course members may have experienced issues opening and viewing discussion boards where a deactivated user had once participated. This issue was fixed.
  • Messages in the Ultra Course View sometimes showed the incorrect sender and recipient names. This issue was fixed.
  • Administrators may have seen an error regarding permissions when attempting to download an attachment on a student submission. This issue was fixed.
  • Users who change their language setting can see system announcements that were posted before changing the setting.
  • In the Original Course View, some users had to refresh the page to see their reply to a discussion forum. This issue was fixed.
  • In the Original Course View, some users were unable to remove file attachments in draft discussion posts. This issue was fixed.
  • Instructors may have observed unexpected characters in the Due Date column of the Ultra gradebook when the assignment had no due date assigned. This issue was fixed.

SCORM support in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

SCORM is a content standard that is used by some institutions, instructors, and instructional designers to author and present online learning materials and assessments to students. In this release, we’re adding support for selecting, adding, presenting, and using SCORM content in Ultra courses.

Instructors can import SCORM packages into an Ultra course and select grading options for the package as a whole or each content item individually.

More on SCORM in Ultra


New updates for Ally customers

Continuous Delivery Ally 1.17 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
New features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.17) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Mobile Web Services

Blackboard Learn 9.1
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Building Blocks

The Blackboard Mobile Web Services Building Block enables users to connect to their courses through Blackboard's mobile applications: Blackboard app and Blackboard Instructor. The latest version of the Mobile Web Services Building Block is 94.9.12. Check these links for the best available version for your installation.

Mobile Web Services release notes for all versions


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.7.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • Reuse questions
  • Matching questions

Learner engagement

  • Matching questions
  • Course announcements

Announcements in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors often want to post information for students in a certain course. Rather than sending a message that can easily be dismissed or left unread, instructors may prefer to post an announcement that every course member sees when opening the course. Instructors can draft, schedule, and post course announcements in the Ultra Course View in this release.

Announcements are a high-profile way to communicate a message as it relates to the course environment. Instructors can communicate schedule changes, upcoming exams, or anything else the students should pay attention to. Students can access the announcement archive to double-check any of the information you’ve posted. You can also schedule announcements for the future.

More on how instructors can create a course announcement in Ultra


Cloud storage integration in the Original Course View

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Course View

Blackboard is pleased to announce cloud storage integration in the Original Course View. Instructors and students can access an aggregated cloud service that lets users connect to their preferred cloud storage accounts and place content directly into their course. Instructors and students can instantly connect to multiple web apps where they store files.

Your files are stored on secure, online servers where they're protected from accidents and viruses. If something happens to your computer or phone, you don't have to worry about file loss. You can access your files in the cloud any time you're connected to the internet, on any of your devices.

This feature was also made available with Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 CU4.

Get started with the cloud storage integration


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now 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 3400.7.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Matching questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors need flexibility in how they evaluate a student's mastery of a concept. Matching is a common question type instructors use in assessments where students are shown two sets of options and asked to associate options from the first set with the correct option in the second set. Matching questions are a popular question type in the Original Course View. In this release, we’ve brought the same capability to the Ultra Course View.

Instructors have many options when creating a matching question in Ultra. There can be more answers than prompts to prevent students from answering by a process of elimination. Additionally, instructors can grade matching questions with partial credit, all or nothing, subtract points for incorrect answers, and even allow negative scoring to discourage guessing.

More on matching questions in the Ultra Course View


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • In the Ultra Course View, the Add Content icon is now a darker shade and heavier weight to provide greater contrast with the surrounding elements in the user interface.
  • When setting up SMS notifications in Ultra, users now see a message reminding them that their cellular carrier may charge a fee for these messages.
  • The SafeAssign Originality Report is disabled for assessments set to collect external submissions.
  • An updated version of the Cengage Building Block (v1.101.20182347) is bundled with this release.
  • Some students may have had trouble accessing a group assignment if a group member was disabled from accessing the course. This issue has been resolved.
  • Lengthy videos displayed through the New Box View service were stopping before reaching the end of playback. The vendor has fixed this issue.

Localization updates

  • The German translation for Open to Students in the Ultra Course View has been improved.
  • The word “goals” was inconsistently translated in the Spanish language pack for the Ultra experience. This issue has been resolved.

Reuse questions in an Ultra assessment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors invest a lot of time and effort crafting questions for assessments. A test or assignment may be created for a specific purpose, but the questions within may be repurposed for a unit test or a final exam. To support instructors who create assessments in this way, we’re introducing the ability to reuse questions in a course.

In this release, instructors can reuse questions from any other assessment within an Ultra course. Select Reuse questions within an assignment or test to get started. Filter questions by assessment or view all available questions to copy. When browsing questions to reuse, instructors can quickly view what type of question it is, as well as the content.

Selected questions are copied into the assessment, so any edits to the original question won’t carry over to other places it appears.

More on how to reuse questions in Ultra


New updates for Ally customers

Continuous Delivery Ally 1.16.5 | Release to Production 2 July 2018
Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.16.5) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Educator Preview is now the new CourseSites!

Release to Production 27 June 2018

Educator Preview is now the new CourseSites. The learning environment will still serve as the premier place to test drive the Ultra experience, with the added bonus of having a course delivery option for you to teach live courses using either the Ultra Course View or the Original Course View. Check out the new CourseSites and visit the CourseSites Community for more information.


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.5.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • Discussion Analysis
  • External submissions
  • Additional cloud storage providers

Learner engagement

  • Improvements to user privacy
  • Announcements on the Ultra login page
  • Insert recordings using the editor in assessment feedback

Announcements on the Ultra login page

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Experience

Institutions sometimes want to communicate messages to users in a prominent place, possibly even before users log in to the system. Prior to this release, announcements could be placed on the login page only in the Original experience. Now, we bring the same functionality to Ultra.

Administrators can create and place announcements on the login page the same way for both experiences. Go to Admin Panel > Announcements > Create Announcement to get started. Set Show at Login to Yes to have your announcement appear to unauthenticated users.

More on announcements


Collect submissions offline and grade with rubrics 

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Sometimes an instructor wants to create a rubric to assess a student's performance in an offline or non-Ultra course context. For example, if a student is being assessed for a public speaking project, the instructor may want to convey instructions or the rubric preview to the student to prepare them for this offline assessment but won't expect to collect the submissions through the course. 

In this release, we're introducing a new assessment setting to allow users to track offline submissions and use a rubric to grade. This feature helps bridge the gap for hybrid courses that meet in person and conduct course activities online. Instructors can keep track of all relevant coursework within Ultra and eliminate the need to transcribe grades from items or activities that took place physically. 

More on collecting submissions offline in Ultra


Configure static resources

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Starting with this release, you can specify a desired directory in the Content Collection. To access this setting, go to Admin Panel > System Configuration > Configure Static Resources. Blackboard Learn ships with this set to an internal default directory, but you can change that to any location of your choice. Files in the chosen location are served by the Learn application server as if they were located at the server root, allowing the server to serve static files such as robots.txt and favicon.ico. Before this improvement, this functionality required custom workarounds.

This feature is intended solely for files such as those listed; it is not intended for serving dynamic content or large files.

More on system configuration in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Connect additional cloud storage services

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Using cloud storage in the Ultra Course View, instructors and students can instantly connect to multiple web apps where you store files. Your files are stored on secure, online servers where they're protected from accidents and viruses. If something happens to your computer or phone, you don't have to worry about file loss. You can access your files in the cloud any time you're connected to the internet, on any of your devices.

In this release, we're expanding the cloud services you can connect to in your course. Add content directly from your OneDrive for Business, Dropbox, or Google Drive accounts to your Ultra course. In an earlier release, we included the ability to connect to Box and personal OneDrive accounts.

We added the ability to add files from cloud storage for the Original Course View in Blackboard Learn SaaS release v3400.7.0.

More on how instructors add content from cloud storage


Speed up grading with Discussion Analysis

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors use graded discussions to encourage thoughtful and relevant conversation related to a given topic. The act of grading is already a time-consuming process that can be exaggerated in the context of discussions. A student's discussion participation grade can be based on many qualitative factors that aren't easy or quick to evaluate but deserve in-depth analysis.

We're happy to announce a new feature in graded discussions to help assist instructors determine complexity and engagement for each student. The new Discussion Analysis feature displays key metrics such as critical thinking, sentence complexity, responses, replies, and average word count. The critical thinking metric is analyzed using a Blackboard-developed algorithm, while sentence complexity uses Flesch-Kincaid readability benchmarks.

More on Discussion Analysis


Improvements to User Privacy in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018 CU1 (3400.0.1), Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard is committed to protecting the privacy of all users. Due to changing regulations globally concerning use of data and privacy, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this release includes updates that impact user experience. Administrators should evaluate the impact this may have for their users.

  1. On the login page, we've added links to access the Blackboard privacy and data use statement, the Blackboard terms of use, and an optional privacy and data use statement from the institution have been added to the login page. In the Original experience, the links also appear in the login module and the settings area of My Blackboard. In the Blackboard and Blackboard Instructor mobile apps, the links are found in Settings and in the Terms of Use shown at login. This way, users can access important information about the use of their data and their privacy both before and after authentication.
  2. The Security Management: Cookie Disclosure Building Block, originally intended to address regulations in the European Privacy Data Directive, has been replaced by the Security Management: Data Use and Privacy Disclosure Building Block. This Building Block is part of the core system and can't be disabled or removed.
  3. For institutions that don't have users who would fall under regulations requiring this acceptance, the terms acceptance interface can be disabled in the Security Management: Data Use and Privacy Disclosure settings page. However, we recommend institutions keep the acceptance interface enabled because some users might access from another location with such regulations.
  4. The Security Management: Data Use and Privacy Disclosure settings page allows an administrator to define a web link to institutional statements about data use and privacy. An administrator could also store such a statement in the Content Collection as a public file and link to it.

More on the Security Management - Data Use and Privacy Disclosure Building Block


Insert recordings using the editor in assessment feedback

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors providing students with feedback, whether for in-person or distance education, is a critical aspect of the pedagogical process. It is also challenging to engage learners in non-face-to-face settings, thus increasing the importance of audio communication media. The ability to embed video/audio communication into a course provides a simple way for users to provide feedback.

Instructors can record video and audio using the editor in assessment feedback. When paired with text-based feedback, video and audio messages can help provide students with useful, actionable, and more personal feedback regarding their submissions.

This feature is controlled by a service that is independent of Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery releases. The feature became available on June 12th for Continuous Delivery environments in the United States (additional regional available will be added over time).


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now 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 3400.5.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View

  • We've updated the scoring options for multiple choice questions so they are shorter and easy to scan:
    • All or nothing: All correct answers must be selected to receive full credit
    • Partial credit: Give credit for correct answers with no penalty for incorrect answers
    • Subtract points for incorrect answers: Give credit for correct answers, but subtract points for incorrect answers. The question score can total less than 0.
  • When accessing the course catalog as a guest in Ultra, the user wasn't always able to return to the login page from within a course. This issue has been resolved.
  • The Maximum Score field in Ultra assessments now displays an error message when a user attempts to input a negative number
  • We fixed a bug that incorrectly displayed the number of students with accommodations in a discussion
  • When more than one instructor was enrolled in a course, these users were assigned to groups in group discussions in the Ultra Course View. This issue has been resolved.
  • Students may have seen an error message when attempting to view grades in a course where a graded discussion was available at a certain date and time. This issue has been resolved.
  • The Ultra course roster was including disabled enrollments in the overall count of course members. This issue has been resolved.
  • The link to chat with Support in Educator Preview was updated to a new destination

Original Experience and Original Course View

  • We've fixed an error that appeared when an instructor attempted to create an assignment using a Portfolio template in the Original Course View
  • The number of points possible for an assessment in the Original Course View was inconsistent when a rubric was applied. This issue has been resolved.
  • When students uploaded multiple attachments to Self and Peer Assessments, only the first attachment was displayed. This issue has been resolved.
  • On the Goal Performance page, the overall progress for a goal was incorrectly aggregating the performance on aligned course items. This issue has been resolved.

General

  • Some institution announcements may have disappeared after upgrading from Managed Hosting to SaaS. This issue has been resolved.
  • SafeAssign sporadically failed to generate Originality Reports for assignments. This issue has been resolved.
  • An error occurred when attempting to create a new system role in Blackboard Learn. This issue has been resolved.

Localization updates

  • Placeholder text in fill in the blank questions wasn't properly localized. This issue has been resolved.
  • Fields in the attendance report for instructors weren't properly localized. This issue has been resolved.
  • Users who selected Swedish as their default language in Ultra saw untranslated strings when viewing events on the base calendar. This issue has been resolved.

New updates for Ally customers

Continuous Delivery Ally 1.16.2 | Release to Production 23 May 2018
New features, Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.16.2) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally 1.16.2 release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Cumulative Update 1 for FDO Q2 2018 (release 3400.0.1)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 1 for the Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Accommodations for timed assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Accommodations allow instructors to mark certain students exempt from high pressure aspects of a course, such as due dates. Accommodations can help students complete coursework and succeed where they might otherwise be at a disadvantage.

In this release, we're introducing the ability to accommodate students for timed assessments. From the roster, an instructor can allow chosen students extra time on a timed test or assignment or exempt them from the time limit completely. A student with the Unlimited Time accommodation never sees the time limit for the assessment, reducing the pressure or anxiety that comes with coursework.

More on accommodations


Activity indicators for active Collaborate rooms

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Distance courses hold virtual meetings to foster communication and reinforce engagement among course members. Without a pre-established meeting time, a student or other course member may not know when others are engaged in the Collaborate session. With this release, we’ve made it easy to see when virtual meetings—for the entire course or among assessment groups—are taking place.

When a course Collaborate room is in session, an indicator appears on the Course Content page to let others know the room is in use. The same icon appears in group assessments when the instructor has enabled conversations and another group member is in the room.

This feature is a subtle but impactful enhancement around user presence in a course.

More on joining a Collaborate session from Blackboard Learn


Add web content in the editor

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Today, in the Original experience, content creators can add links and embedded content from a variety of external content sources from the Rich Text Editor. Instructors need to be able to discover any content from the spot where they’d like to place it. Instructors often use content from outside sources in courses rather than building all of their course materials from scratch.

To support these instructors, we've introduced the ability to add web content directly in the editor. This ability was previously restricted to direct links to videos or images. In the first phase of the Insert Web Content feature, we've added the ability to browse and search YouTube for videos. Instructors don't have to leave their course to find a relevant video. We're adding more content providers in this menu over the forthcoming releases.

More on how to add web content in the editor


Auto-archive courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard is introducing a new feature that automatically archives active courses on Blackboard Learn SaaS client sites. Auto-archive is an automated process that archives any course that has had activity since the last time the process ran. Archives are stored in the Content Collection where administrators can view, restore, and download the archives as needed. Blackboard Learn keeps the latest archive of a course indefinitely, but deletes older archives after 30 days.

Using this tool, an administrator can restore an archive of an existing course if the owner has damaged the course. Administrators can also restore previous versions of a course (within 30 days) if the owner needs to compare the current version to an earlier version of the course.

This feature is being introduced to client sites incrementally, so you may not see it available on your system even though the 3400.3.0 release is available.

Learn more about archiving courses in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Cloud storage integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Blackboard is pleased to announce additional cloud storage integration providers available in the Ultra Course View. With this release, instructors and students have access to an aggregated cloud service that lets users connect to their preferred cloud storage accounts and place content directly into their course. In the Ultra Course View, instructors and students can instantly connect to multiple web apps where you store files.

This integration is happening from a few different places in Ultra:

  • Within ‘add content’ workflows in the Course Content page,
  • In assessment creation and submission workflows, and
  • In the editor

Your files are stored on secure, online servers where they're protected from accidents and viruses. If something happens to your computer or phone, you don't have to worry about file loss. You can access your files in the cloud any time you're connected to the internet, on any of your devices.

This service is being introduced over multiple releases and won’t be available in all regions simultaneously.

  • In 3400.3.0, the first services available are Box and OneDrive (personal accounts only)
  • Remaining services, such as Google Drive, will be introduced in 3400.5.0
  • Regional availability begins with the United States
  • Additional regions will be added over time and may be independent of release cadence
  • Availability in the Original Experience and Original Course View is forthcoming

Cloud storage integration is available in Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery environments, but isn't compatible with the generally available version of 9.1 Q2 2018 (build 3400.0) or SaaS Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option release. A Cumulative Update will be required to enable the feature in these environments.

Get started with the cloud storage integration


Content lockdown

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Many institutions use Subject Matter Experts to create content for a course. This content is used across all sections of a course and is facilitated by multiple faculty. To ensure that the content in each course section remains consistent, we’ve added new entitlements for course roles so administrators can grant additional permissions for users that will allow them to view the content but they will not be able to modify the content.

In the coming releases, we’ll introduce even more granular entitlements like these with the goal of ultimately providing a formal Facilitator role that you can enable and designate for chosen users. You’ll find the following permissions are now available:

  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Adaptive Release > Create Date-Based Criteria
  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Adaptive Release > Delete Date-Based Criteria
  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Adaptive Release > Edit Date-Based Criteria
  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Material Availability
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Grade Center) > Change Due Date of Grade Center Items

More on course roles in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Course list optimization

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Experience

The Courses page in Ultra is a simple, quick way to access all of your courses, including those in the past or in the future. But is it really that simple if you're enrolled in a lot of courses?

In this release, we've enhanced the Courses page to work for instructors and students who are enrolled in a small or large number of courses. Improvements include:

  • A new search bar lets a user quickly find one key course without scrolling through all of their courses.
  • Course cards now occupy the full width of the list so you can easily read the full course name, instructors, and other key information.
  • The Courses page now include pagination for longer lists to improve load speeds and prevent information overload.
  • Users can now add courses to a Favorites list for quick access. Favorite courses appear at the top of the course list.
  • Courses in the Original Course View appear with a grey course card. Ultra course cards contain colors.

Explore the courses page from the instructor perspective


Discussion Forum Insights for group discussions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors want to understand the contribution, or lack of contribution, of students in a group discussion to encourage participation. To support this need, we’re pleased to share that discussion forum insights is now available for group discussions.

With discussion forum insight for group discussions, instructors can determine how effective their discussion was in soliciting class participation and engagement, the top student contributors, as well as the overall class activity. Reports clearly show the number of participants, the percentage of students who have participated so far, the average number of comments per student, the average word count of student comments, and the average grade for the class if it's a graded discussion. Discussion insights also highlights the top five participants in the discussion and allows you to drill down into their comments and replies for more context.

Instructors can view information for both the overall discussion and each assigned group. Insights include how many students have opened the discussion, how many students have posted, and the average number of posts for each group member.

More on discussion analytics


Institution Page – Role-based modules

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Institutions publish and share lots of information for different audiences. While all users may need access to the help desk, for example, the contact information for students and faculty may be different.

Modules on the Institution Page can now be displayed to selected user groups. By reducing the amount of information that doesn't affect a user, administrators can help maximize the available real estate on the Institution Page and help prevent confusion for all users.

More on the Institution Page


Learn Data Pipeline Upgrade

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard is upgrading the data management process for Blackboard Learn clients with Direct Data Access (DDA). This change applies to Blackboard Learn SaaS Advantage customer institutions using DDA. Blackboard is migrating SaaS reporting data to a new state-of-the-art Snowflake database. After the migration is complete, clients will have access to a new data microservice for Blackboard Learn. You can get the same data that supports Learn's built-in reporting using the new microservice.

This change is being introduced to client sites incrementally, so you may not see it available on your system even though the 3400.3.0 release is available. Full documentation, including credential requests, user interface access, and affected Building Blocks, will be available soon.


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now 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 3400.3.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • We've updated a message in the mobile view of the Ultra Course Preview to be more consistent with the experience on desktop. Both platforms now show the user the following message:
    If you like the preview, you can permanently convert your course and save any changes you've made during the Ultra Course Preview. If you switch back to Original Course View, changes made during preview are lost.
  • We've updated text for students beginning assessments without time limits in the Ultra Course View. When a student opens an assignment or a test without a time limit, the button says View assessment instead of Start attempt. This language more clearly communicates that the student is not compelled to submit the attempt after opening it if it isn't timed.
  • We've improved the user experience in the new editor. Previously, when a user wanted to remove a hyperlink from a piece of text, they would need to delete the text entirely. Now, a user can simply remove the hyperlink without affecting their content.
  • In both Ultra and Original courses, when instructors first access the attendance feature, they’re able to select Add Attendance and add an attendance column after attendance records are generated. In the Ultra Course View gradebook, instructors can delete attendance if no attendance records exist.
  • Administrator preview for a system notification in the Ultra experience previously cut off long pieces of text. The preview now wraps text and this issues has been resolved.
  • The SafeHTML filter now applies to additional files types in Blackboard Learn.
  • Course content wasn't appearing as expected when a course bound to a term was archived and restored in a system that did not have the equivalent term. This issue has been resolved.
  • Instructions on how to set up shared locations and web folders in the Content Collection previously displayed natively in Blackboard Learn. In this release, these instructions now lead to help.blackboard.com so the content can be kept up to date.
  • Some users received a past due notification for assessments, even when they had already submitted ahead of the due date. This issue has been resolved.
  • In-product help links now appear for all users on the Institution Page.

NewBoxView is default service

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Starting with the 3400.3.0 release, New Box View will be the default service (instead of Crocodoc) for all new Blackboard Learn installations. If your institution decided not to transition to New Box View and is upgrading to a more recent version of Blackboard Learn, this change won't affect you unless you are starting with a fresh install for the new target instance.


Randomize question answers (multiple choice/multiple answer)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Sometimes instructors want to change the display order of question and answer options for individual students to support practice/drilling, as well as to avoid academic dishonesty. Unpredictable order of answers can help reduce the risk of students memorizing material from study guides without truly absorbing the information.

In this release, instructors can now randomize the order of answers in multiple choice and multiple answer questions in the Ultra Course View. Combined with randomized questions, this new option puts more control in the instructor's hands to have assignments and tests appear differently for each student.

More on how to randomize answers in Ultra assessments


Rearrange gradebook with drag and drop

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors may not create graded course content in the exact sequence students will complete them. In a course where there is a weekly quiz, weekly discussion, and monthly written assignment, the order of these items in the gradebook may not match the order on the Course Content page. This can be frustrating for instructors and students. Further, students may be confused if they refer to the gradebook as a guide to what they should be working on next, or if they look for their grade on a specific item but can't find it because items appear to be "out of order" in the gradebook.

This release includes the ability for instructors to rearrange gradebook entries in the Ultra Course View. Instructors can drag and drop items in the gradebook so the list appears in an order that makes sense to instructors and students alike. This improvement can save time, confusion, and frustration for users who prefer to browse course content from multiple entry points in a course.

Drag and drop isn't yet available in the gradebook grid view.

More on organizing grade data in the Ultra Course View


Ultra access to the Course Catalog

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Experience

Large institutions offer many courses as part of different curricula or degree programs. To help students learn more about the course options and expectations, administrators may want to allow visibility into the current or upcoming courses for those who aren’t yet enrolled. The Course Catalog has been available in the Original Experience. With this release, we bring Course Catalog access to Ultra.

Students and instructors can access the Course Catalog directly from the Courses page. The Catalog contains the same search and browse functions as it had in the Original Experience, allowing users to find courses by course name, ID, description, term, or instructor. If the administrator created categories within the catalog or uses terms to group courses, users can also browse the catalog with this information.

Administrators can make the Course Catalog in Ultra available for all logged in users and for guests by placing a link on the Login page.


Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q2 2018 (3400.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers will soon be available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3300.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule

More information on the FDO Q2 2018 on Behind the Blackboard


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018

As we move into 2018, we are thinking about and developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.1.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

Learner engagement


Fill in the Blank questions now available in Ultra Course View assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors want to construct context-based questions where the student responds with text as part of a longer text prompt. The system can automatically assess the student response, matching the characters entered compared to the correct answer.

With this release, instructors can craft fill in the blank questions to assess student understanding in tests and assignments. Fill in the Blank questions are graded automatically. Answers are scored based on if student answers match the correct answers the instructor provides. Instructors choose the evaluation method for answers:

  • Exact match
  • Contains part of the correct answer
  • Matches a specified pattern

More on Fill in the Blank questions in the Ultra Course View


Improvements to course conversion process

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Experience

The Blackboard Learn course conversion experience can be intimidating for instructors, as many features don’t function in Ultra the same way they did in Original. This often causes unexpected course behavior or appearance and can be seen a barrier for Ultra adoption. While many of these changes are minor, there is a need for instructors to know and understand the implications before fully adopting the Ultra Course View.

With this release, we’ve improved the conversion experience so instructors have more insight into what’s changing. Exceptions are now categorized into groups based on priority and potential impact. Instructors can explore their courses and view the exceptions to better understand how students will experience the Ultra Course View.

More on the Ultra Course Preview


Institution Page enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Experience

This release includes customization features in the Institution Page. In the existing Helpful Links module, you can now:

  • Move the module image to the right side or remove the module image
  • Associate the module image with a hyperlink in the list

More on the Institution Page


LTI placement improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

A number of enhancements have been made to LTI Tool Provider setup and placements:

  • Administrators can now access LTI Tool Providers directly from the Administrator Panel in the Integrations menu.
  • There are new naming and capabilities in the placement options for an LTI tool.
    • Under Type, the student tool has been renamed to Course tool, with availability options for students and non-students. Student Course tools appear in the Student Tools area and no longer require instructor action for students to use the tool. Non-student Course tools appear in the Control Panel for instructors and other course users with access to the Control Panel.
    • The Content Item Message tool type is now the Supports deep linking option within the Course content tool to reflect a name change by the IMS Global organization.
    • There is a new Administrator tool placement type, which lets administrators place LTI tools in the Tools and Utilities menu on the Administrator Panel.

More on LTI placements


Maintenance items for 3400.1.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now 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 3400.1.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • Instructors can sort the roster by student last name in the Ultra Course View.
  • Attendance in the Original Experience now supports Internet Explorer 11.
  • File attachments in the Ultra editor were not displaying as expected due to copy/paste behavior. A message has been added to the editor prompting the user to reinsert any pasted attachments to ensure they display correctly for other course members.
  • Content items in the Original Course View were unexpectedly moving their position in a list after being edited. This issue has been resolved.
  • Some students who had been removed from an Original course were receiving notifications regarding group activity in the course. This issue has been resolved.
  • When upgrading Blackboard Learn, the Mobile Building Block’s environment setting was reset and caused issues for users searching for courses via mobile apps. This issue has been resolved.
  • After an upgrade, the scrollbar in the Grade Center appeared on the left side of the screen and obscured information. This issue has been resolved.

New editor available in multiple areas

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Course View

We've enhanced the content editor to use more intuitive iconography and organization. Use the options in the menu to format text and paragraphs. You can also insert links and images using a simplified workflow.

Starting with this release, the editor appears for instructors creating assessments questions and for students drafting freeform responses in assessments, including essays.

More on the Ultra editor


Outcomes roles based on Institutional Hierarchy

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

When the centralized Assessment team demonstrates the simplicity and time-saving power of Outcomes Assessment, other departments and programs across the institution often want to take advantage of the solution and move their Assessment practices to Outcomes. Historically, though, institutions have been hesitant to roll it out to individual departments because adding Outcomes roles for users outside of the central office would grant full access to the entire institution’s evidence collections, evaluations, and reports.

With this update, we have enhanced Outcomes to respect the access limitations you’ve put in place by configuring Institutional Hierarchy. You can now assign Outcomes roles to key stakeholders within each department and these users will only be able to create evidence collections, manage evaluations, and view reports for courses within their node of the Institutional Hierarchy.

More on Outcomes Assessment in Blackboard Learn SaaS


User interface changes in Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Course View

We’ve upgraded the technology that powers assessments in the Ultra Course View. Instructors will notice that the Add Question button no longer opens a panel of options. Now, an instructor can add any type of content to the test or assignment, such as questions, text, and files, using one simple menu in the assessment body. We’ve applied these updates to your existing assessments as well, so you can enjoy this improved experience whether you are creating new assessments or working on existing content.

More on creating assignments in Ultra


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q4 2017 (release 3300.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2017 (v3300.0.0)
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q4 2017 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018

As we move into 2018, we are thinking about and developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3300.11.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list in to groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

Learner engagement

Education insight


Additional course activity indicators

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Ultra Course View, Learner Engagement

When an instructor or student opens an assessment peek panel, an icon appears to notify them of any unread conversation messages. The icon also appears in assessments and documents, as well as on the Course Content page. The submissions list now also includes the activity icon when new conversation messages are unread.

In an earlier release, the icon first appeared only on the Course Content page. Now, the icon appears at additional entry points so the user is notified of activity no matter how they open the content. This enhancement is in direct response to client feedback on Ultra's usability.


Branding and color configuration in the Learn 2016 Theme

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Original Course View

This release includes additional options for users who wish to configure the Learn 2016 theme in all courses. In the Blackboard Learn 2016 theme, Course Menu and Theme color customization is now available through the entire interface.

Instructors and course designers can configure the course colors in the course control panel when using the Learn 2016 Theme. The course menu area appears in these colors in both desktop and mobile experiences. Extended menu areas such as the Control Panel for instructors and My Groups menu for students remain in the gray and white color scheme.

These enhancements apply to courses using the Learn 2016 theme in an Original experience environment.

More on the Learn 2016 Theme


Clear multiple choice selection

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Original Course View

Students are now able to clear a selection from multiple-choice questions. This lets students avoid a penalty when they’ve made an initial selection and negative points are associated with answer choices.

More on submitting a test attempt in Blackboard Learn