Looking for the latest release information? Check out the Blackboard Learn SaaS release notes feed.

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.

Check earlier versions' notes at the end of this page.

Learn SaaS release 3900.50.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.50.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 13 September 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 6 October 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.50.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.50.0-rel.21+840a19d to Production servers to take place on 26 October 2022. The build number doesn't increase from last week's as this is an Ultra UI only update. Also, it includes Bb Annotate iterative conversion improvements and bug fixes.

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

 


Learn SaaS release 3900.48.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.48.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 1 September 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.48.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.48.0-rel.18+c7edfda to Production servers to take place on 22 September 2022.

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

 


October 2022 – 3900.50 Release

The October 2022 - 3900.50 release is complete with features in four areas:

  • assessment and grading;
  • richer course and content design;
  • integration, extension, and management; and
  • course upgrading.

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

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

All users:

Administrators:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Course Messages recipient picker improvement for courses with more than 100 participants – 3900.50

Blackboard Learn Original
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

Course Messages is a useful tool for course communication.

In the past, the recipient picker did not work as expected in courses with more than 100 participants. When a user clicked the “Add recipients” button, the Compose Message page collapsed and was unusable.

Now users may add recipients as expected.

Image 1. Recipient picker for courses with more than 100 users

Recipient picker for courses with more than 100 users

When users select recipients, a recipient chip is created. If the user wishes to edit the list of recipients, the user should remove the chip and select the desired recipients.

Image 2. Recipient chip with all selected recipients

Recipient chip with all selected recipients

For administrators: There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2022 – 3900.50 Release description


Integration, Extension, and Management:

Global HTML Filter Requirement Change – 3900.50

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

We conduct continuous reviews of Blackboard Learn to improve our security. Learn has an HTML filter in the Original Experience and Original Course View. This filter removes scripts that users add in the content editor. This helps prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.

In the past it was possible for an administrator to turn off this filter. Starting with this release, the filter will always be on. Administrators can still allow certain users to bypass the filter. They can grant users the privilege Add/Edit trusted content with scripts. As before, we recommend administrators restrict the number of users with this privilege.

The Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View do not use this filter. In the Ultra Course View, HTML blocks render in an iframe from a separate domain. This prevents XSS risk to the Learn application.

For administrators: There are no configurations needed. This change will happen automatically. It will not be possible to turn off the global HTML filter.

Return to October 2022 – 3900.50 Release description


Improvements to Blackboard App Settings – 3900.50

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

Users expect to have access to their courses on mobile devices. The transition between mobile and desktop applications should be seamless and frustration free. To support effortless movement between the two, we added settings categories and mobile-specific categories. A new design of this section provides simplified toggles for configurating your preferences.

Image 1. Stream notification option in the Settings section

Stream notification option in the Settings section

Image 2. Stream notification settings

Stream notification settings

Image 3. Disrupted connectivity alert

Disrupted connectivity alert

For administrators: This feature is available for all users of the Mobile App. Users with enabled automatic updates on their devices are not required to do any actions. Users with disable automatic updates on their devices must download the update.

Return to October 2022 – 3900.50 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.46.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.46.0
Release to Test/Stage: Wednesday, 20 July 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 4 August 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.46.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.46.0-rel.27+79a83af to Production servers to take place on 25 August 2022.

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

 


September 2022 – 3900.48 Release

The September 2022 - 3900.48 release is complete with features in four areas:

  • assessment and grading;
  • richer course and content design;
  • diversity, equity, and inclusion; and 
  • integration, extension, and management.

These improvements primarily impact instructors and students, but value is truly added for all users. Some features do require administrative action.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

Administrators:

All users:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Assessments and Grading

Rubric Copy between Courses – 3900.48

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

Instructors spend a great amount of time building and refining assessment rubrics. Rubrics provide instructors with a set of criteria to grade student assignments. Reusing these rubrics provides instructors with greater flexibility in how they design and build their courses. This saves time and reduces the need to recreate items within their Ultra courses.

From the Copy Content menu, instructors may select the Rubrics folder from the desired course. To copy all rubrics the instructor may select the checkbox for the Rubrics folder.

Image 1. Rubrics folder option from Copy Content menu

Rubrics folder option from Copy Content menu

To copy individual rubrics the instructor may select the Rubrics folder to open it. Select the checkbox for each rubric to copy.

Image 2. List of all Rubrics

List of all Rubrics

Copied Rubrics appear in the Gradebook Settings area. Select ‘Gradebook,’ select the gear icon in the top right-hand corner, and review all the rubrics in the ‘Course Rubrics’ section.

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

Return to September 2022 – 3900.48 Release description


Icon that indicates the release note is a new feature

Summary list of annotations for inline grading – 3900.48

 

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

File submissions can be annotated inline when grading. Now a side panel will summarize all comments in a list. Selecting a comment will navigate the instructor or student to the location of that comment in the document. This change makes it easier to find all comments and feedback in a student’s submission.

This functionality will be released in September, independently from the 3900.48 release.

Rollout schedule by region:

  • Korea (prod-ap-northeast-2) - Tue 06 Sep  1pm EDT
  • Singapore (prod-ap-southeast-1) - Tue 06 Sep  2pm EDT
  • South Africa (prod-af-south-1) - Tue 06 Sep  7pm EDT
  • GOV US (prod-us-gov-west-1) - Wed 07 Sep  6am EDT
  • Sydney (prod-ap-southeast-2) - Wed 07 Sep 11am EDT
  • EU (prod-eu-central-1) - Wed 07 Sep  7pm EDT
  • Canada (prod-ca-central-1) - Thu 08 Sep  8am CET
  • US (prod-us-east-1) - Thu 08 Sep  8am CET

For administrators: There are no configurations needed.

Return to September 2022 – 3900.48 Release description


Richer Course and Content Design

Microsoft Immersive Reader for Anthology Ally for LMS – 3900.48

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

Many classrooms today, both physical and digital, include participants with diverse needs. To better support learning needs and preferences, alternative formats are key. Alternative formats let all participants access course content according to their preferences.

Anthology Ally for LMS now includes a new alternative format: Microsoft Immersive Reader. Microsoft Immersive Reader helps students improve their reading, comprehension, and grammar skills. All course participants are empowered by Anthology Ally with Microsoft Immersive Reader.

From the Ally Alternative Format menu, users may select the Immersive Reader option and select download.

Image 1: Select the Anthology Ally Icon

Course Content displayed. Select the Anthology Ally Icon to start

Image 2: Select Immersive Reader Alternative Format

Select Immersive Reader Alternative Format

Image 3: Immersive Reader View

Immersive Reader View

This functionality will be released on August 31 independently from the 3900.48 release and as part of the Ally release.

Your institution will need to license Anthology Ally for LMS to use this functionality.

For administrators: There are no configurations needed.

Return to September 2022 – 3900.48 Release description


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Display Name Choice – 3900.48

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: All users, if enabled by administrator

As part of planned diversity, equity, and inclusion improvements, this feature gives institutions the option to allow users to express their preferred name. Name expression fosters greater respect among students and with faculty. Name expressions inform other course members about how best to refer to them.


Profile page settings

When administrators enable this feature, users may select their display name. The new options will appear for all users when editing their own profile in the Base Navigation area. A user editing their name will have options to display the first name, the additional name, or both names. A card preview shows how their name will appear.

  • First name: The first name field continues to display to users. This is the default for all users.
  • Additional name: A user chooses to display a different name to others. This is used when someone does not go by their legal given name.
  • Both names: A user chooses to display both the first name and additional name to other users. When selected, the additional name appears before the first name. This is used for nicknames or when a name has multiple forms.

Image 1: A user selecting to display additional name

A user selecting to display additional name

Image 2: A user selecting to display both first and additional names

A user selecting to display both first and additional names


Name display in Ultra Course View and Original Course View

Anywhere name information appears, the user’s choice is displayed to other users. This applies to areas throughout Learn:

  • Ultra Course View tools and pages
  • Original Course View tools and pages
  • Base Navigation and tools
  • Administrator experiences
  • Non-course tools such as Portfolios and Content Collection

Images 3 and 4: Examples from Ultra and Original Discussions

Examples from an Ultra Discussion showing a student's name
 
Examples from an Original Discussion showing a student's name

Images 5 and 6: Examples from Ultra and Original Groups

Example from an Ultra Group showing a student's name
 
Example from an Original Group showing a student's name

Sometimes administrators, faculty, and graders need to see actual name values. They may need to match up a user to an external system such as a Student Information System. The following locations show name values in the fields as they are set by the Student Information System:

  • Ultra Course View: Instructors, assistants, and graders viewing the user details in the Course Roster under the Basic Information header.
  • Original Course View: Instructors, assistants, and graders viewing the “Edit” page in the Control Panel user list
  • Administrator Panel: An administrator viewing the user “Edit” page in the user management panel
  • Gradebook exports and system and course reports

Image 7: An instructor viewing the student details in the Ultra Course Roster sees both the student’s display name choice and first name (defined in the Student Information System).

An instructor viewing the student details in the Ultra Course Roster sees both the student’s display name choice and first name (defined in the Student Information System).


Integration frameworks: REST, LTI, SIS Integration

  • Full name information sent for LTI will be the selected display name.
  • The SIS Framework remains unchanged. Field control configurations and field names are the same.
  • REST calls to First Name and Other Name fields remain unchanged.

For administrators: This feature is off by default. Enable in Admin Panel > Customize User Information. To use this feature, enable Base Navigation, and the “other name” field set to display. There are no other permissions configurations needed. Administrators still control whether users can edit data in the name fields. Admins still control whether data populates by external systems. The “Other Name” field name remains unchanged for integration purposes. This field displays to end users as “Additional Name.”

Image 8: Setting for allowing users to choose their displayed name

Setting for allowing users to choose their displayed name

Return to September 2022 – 3900.48 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.44.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.44.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 21 June 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 7 July 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.44.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.44.0-rel.23+b930328 to Production servers to take place on 28 July 2022.

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

 


August 2022 – 3900.46 Release

The August 2022 - 3900.46 release is replete with features in three areas: assessment and grading; richer course and content design; and integration, extension, and management. These improvements primarily impact instructors and students. Some features do require administrative action.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

  • Enhanced auto save capability in the content editor in Tests & Assignments
    On the Submission page, instructors and students were unable to download files attached from Cloud Storage. Due to this issue, this feature has been removed from this release to be included in a future one.

All users:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Richer Course and Content Design:

Microsoft OneDrive: Create a Collaborative Document - 3900.46

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

Collaborative documents provide students opportunities to engage with one another and course content. Instructors can now create a Microsoft OneDrive collaborative document in the Ultra and Original Course Views.

Supported file types:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

In the Ultra Course View, a new choice, Cloud Document, appears on the menu after selecting “Create” from the plus sign to add content.

Ultra Course View Flow

Image 1. Improved workflow for adding content from OneDrive

Learn Ultra add file by open it from the Cloud Content item in the Create Content panel, and then, chose Open from OneDrive

An instructor can choose Cloud Document from the “Create Item” panel and select “One Drive.” The following options are displayed:

  • 'Open from OneDrive' to create a document link
  • 'Start a new Collaboration' to create a collaborative document

Image 2. Start a new collaboration

In the Course Content page, select Add Content, then Cloud Document and then Start a new Colaboration

Instructors may need to sign into a Microsoft account to continue.

Instructors can select an existing document or create a new file for collaboration.

Image 3. Create a new collaboration

Start a new collaborative document with Microsoft OneDrive

All student members of the course will be able to access the file. The students may select Edit Document to begin collaborating on the file.

Image 4. Students select Edit Document to begin collaborating on the document

Students select Edit to begin collaborating on the document

Any existing file linked to OneDrive stays unchanged. These files will remain read only.

In the Original Course View, a link appears in the content add tools menu and/or the add content button (+) in the content editor. The system administrator can decide the specific name in the Original Course View.

Original Course View Flow

Image 5. Adding Microsoft Cloud Collaboration document in Learn Original

Adding Microsoft Cloud Collaboration document in Learn Original

An instructor can choose to create an item or edit an existing item and select the + symbol from the content editor. Select the "Microsoft Cloud Collaboration document" to continue.

Image 6. Start a new collaboration

Start a new collaboration

Instructors may need to sign into a Microsoft account to continue.

Instructors can select an existing document or create a new file for collaboration.

All student members of the course can access the file. 

Image 7. Students select "Edit Document" to begin collaborating on the document.

Students select "Edit Document" to begin collaborating on the document.

For administrators: Please register the LTI Tool Provider in the Administrator Panel. Only users in the same Microsoft tenant can collaborate on documents.

Return to August 2022 – 3900.46 Release description


Unified Blackboard App– 3900.46

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

In the past we had two separate mobile apps: the Blackboard App and the Blackboard Instructor App. The two apps caused confusion for many instructors. They did not realize that they needed to use a different app to manage their courses.

With this release, we are consolidating to a single app for both instructors and students. The user experience will change based on the user’s role within a course. Instructors can use the updated Blackboard app for both Original and Ultra courses.

Action needed: Support for the Blackboard Instructor iOS and Android apps ends in September 2022. Instructors, Assistants, and Graders should download the Blackboard app for iOS or Android.

For administrators: There are no configurations needed. We encourage admins to notify instructors of the need to download a different app.

Return to August 2022 – 3900.46 Release description


File Upload Indicator for Original Course View - 3900.46

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

Users sometimes upload large files or have slow upload speeds. In Original Course View, it may not be clear to users that anything is happening. Some pages in Original Course View will now display a file upload indicator after users submit. We added this upload animation to four course tools where large file uploads are most common. Other pages stay the same. The upload indicator will now appear on these pages:

  • Assignment Submission
  • Content Item
  • Discussion Board Thread or Reply
  • SCORM

Image 1. Before – no file upload indicator

Before – no file upload indicator

Image 2. After – new file upload indicator

After – new file upload indicator

For administrators: There are no configurations needed. As before, a user cannot upload a file if it is larger than the configured file size limit.

Return to August 2022 – 3900.46 Release description


Icon that indicates the release note is a new feature

Bb Annotate undo/redo functionality: Roll out deployment - 3900.46.0

 

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Ultra Course View and Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, roles with grading permissions

We will do a phased roll-out deployment for the new undo/redo functionality of Bb Annotate. This new capability will allow instructors to easily edit their annotations. The schedule is:

Region/Date

  • ap-southeast-1-p: Aug 1, 2022
  • af-south-1: Aug 2, 2022
  • ap-southeast-1: Aug 3, 2022
  • us-gov-west-1: Aug 4, 2022
  • ap-northeast-2: Aug 5, 2022
  • us-east-1, eu-central-1, ap-southeast-2, and ca-central-1: Aug 11, 2022

The deployment will include some downtime, and we will avoid high traffic hours in each specific region.

The downtime will only be for Bb Annotate not the entire Learn environment.
It is expected to be around 1 hour long. During this time users will see a maintenance message inside the Bb Annotate framework.

Return to August 2022 – 3900.46 Release description


Copy Question Banks - 3900.44

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

Instructors spend a great amount of time building and refining assessment questions. Reusing these questions across courses is of utmost importance. Now instructors can copy question banks from Original and Ultra courses. This saves time and provides greater efficiency.

From the Copy Content menu, instructors may select the Question Banks folder from the desired course. To copy all banks the instructor may select the checkbox for the Question Bank folder.

Image 1. Question Banks folder option from Copy Content menu

Question Banks folder option from Copy Content menu

To copy individual banks the instructor may select the Question Banks folder to open it. Select the checkbox for each bank to copy.

Image 2. List of all Question Banks

List of all Question Banks

Copied Question Banks appear in the Question Banks area. Select 'Manage banks' in the Details & Actions menu to review all question banks in the course.

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

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Quality and accessibility improvements of math formulas - 3900.44

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

Instructors and students often use math formulas in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses. In the past, formulas might render slowly or lose quality when zoomed. Now we will render math formulas as images in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format. This allows users to zoom in or enlarge formula images without losing quality. This change also improves accessibility for users with low vision.

Image 1. Before rendering images in SVG format

Before rendering images in SVG format

Image 2. After rendering images in SVG format

After rendering images in SVG format

Users can create math formulas using the text editor. Some content types include a description. The description appears on the Course Content page. Some notifications on the Activity Stream also display the description. When a description for a discussion or journal includes a math formula, we replace the formula image with '[Math formula].' When the user selects the content or notification, the math formulas will render as images.

Image 3. Example discussion description that includes a math formula.

Example discussion description that includes a math formula

Image 4. Example discussion topic that has math formulas.

Example discussion topic that has math formulas

For administrators: There are no configurations needed.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Display Pronouns and Pronunciation in Original Course View - 3900.44

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

The November 3900.26 and February 3900.32 releases included these features for Ultra Course View. This release adds full support for Original Course View. It also adds limited capabilities for Original Experience without Base Navigation enabled.

This release continues to deliver on planned diversity and inclusion improvements. Institutions can allow users to express their personal pronouns. This fosters greater respect among students and with faculty.

Institutions can also enable name pronunciation. Users can add text guidance to describe the pronunciation of their names for other users. Users can record the pronunciation of their names. The recording tool counts down to when the recording begins. The recording may be up to 20 seconds long. For accessibility reasons, text guidance must be allowed if name recording is enabled. Recordings are compressed and included in storage use calculations.

If a user has pronoun or pronunciation information, it is displayed on a profile card. Selecting any avatar icon in Original Course View displays the profile card. All avatars are selectable in user lists, course tools, and grading workflows.

Image 1. Pronouns and pronunciation for a student when the instructor views an assignment submission.

Pronouns and pronunciation for a student when the instructor views an assignment submission

Image 2. Pronouns and pronunciation in discussion.

Pronouns and pronunciation in discussion

Base Navigation is required for the following features:

  • Administrator can enable pronunciation recording
  • Administrator can configure pronoun options for user choice
  • Users can select their own pronouns
  • Users can create or play back pronunciation recordings

All deployments support the following, including Original Experience:

  • Display pronouns and pronunciations in Original Course View
  • Integrate pronoun and pronunciation guidance text from a user information system
  • Administrators can manually set user pronouns and pronunciation guidance text
  • Users can manually set pronunciation guidance text

Known issue in Safari browsers: There is a known issue creating or playing pronunciation recordings in Safari. The issue is because of a mismatch of compression codecs that Safari supports.

For administrators: Manage these features in Administrator Panel > Customize User Information. You may add pronouns and pronunciation guidance text through data integration. This includes REST, flat file, LIS, XML, and IMS methods.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Institution Role Mapping to LTI Institution Roles - 3900.44

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

Some third-party integrated tools function better when users’ institution roles are more specific. This is especially true for tools accessed outside of courses. In the past, Learn did not send institution role information to LTI tools. Learn will now send to LTI tools users’ mapped primary institution role information. Secondary institution roles are not supported.

When administrators edit institution roles, they may select from a list LTI Institution Roles that their tools expect.

The mappings are supported for all deployment types. Mappings apply to both user experiences and course types. You can map the Learn default institution roles or any custom ones made by the institution. We support mapping for LTI 1.1 or 1.3/Advantage.

To prevent disruption for current users, the default role behavior remains unchanged. Administrators may edit each role configuration and choose the best LTI role for each. LTI institution role mapping applies to all LTI tools.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Administrator launch for LTI course links - 3900.44

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators, System Support Roles, Node Administrators

In the past, administrators would receive an error when selecting an LTI link in a course. To remediate the error, administrators would have to enroll in the course. Because only course members could launch LTI links, enrollment was a requirement.

Now administrators no longer need to enroll in the course.

The tool shows the user with an LTI system role of “Administrator” and an LTI context role of “Administrator.” The administrator or support user will not appear in tool requests for course membership. The tool shows them as an administrator, not an instructor. A tool must follow the LTI specification and be able to give a proper experience to an administrator user.

This change applies to the mobile application as well since LTI links are handed off to the responsive web browser.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Icon that indicates the release note is a new feature

Blackboard Home Improvements – 3900.44

 

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

Administrators need access to timely information about storage and usage. We released Blackboard Home in the June 2022 - 3400.41 release. In response to client feedback, we have made four improvements:

 
  • Added a new ‘Courses’ Tab under Insights with two pie charts to show the number of Active and Total courses. Pie charts display the number of courses on Ultra and Original

Image 1. New Courses Tab

Courses Tan view in the Blackboard Home page
 
  • Included more support links in the My Support section

Image 2. More general support options from My Support menu

General Support menu view with more help options within the Blackboard Home page
 
  • Updated the language on the Logins subtab of Insights. We made this change to more clearly define unique logins and how they are counted.

Image 3. Updated description for Unique Logins

Unique logins description within the Blackboard Home page
 
  • A major change we added is the new option to download the metrics in .csv format. At the moment, it's available for Storage, Users, and Logins graph types, but not for Courses.

You asked, we listened: this feature was added as per initial feedback from one of our clients who took part on the Beta release. Thank you for helping us improve our platform for the benefit of all.

Image 4. Option to download the metrics in .csv format

Option to download metrics in cvs format

For administrators: This feature is an LTI 1.3 application and managed via DevPortal. Application must be enabled via Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Blackboard Home. LTI application must be configured to send the user fields "Role in Course". Administrators are unable to further limit access. If the application is not present, you may just need to resynchronize the LTI Tool Providers via: Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Synchronize LTI 1.3 Tools > Submit.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.41.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.41.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 10 May 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 2 June 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.41.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.41.0-rel.22+d0bc71c to Production servers on 23 June 2022.

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

 


June 2022 – 3900.41 Release

The June 2022 - 3900.41 release is rich with new features and improvements in three areas: assessment and grading; richer course and content design; and integration, extension, and management.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Administrators:

All users:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Changed behavior for pasting JavaScript in Original Course View Content Editor - 3900.41

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

The Original Course View Content Editor allows users to paste JavaScript into their HTML. JavaScript can add rich capability to web content but can be malicious. The Content Editor removes JavaScript automatically for most users when saved. This way, scripts cannot harm other users. Only authorized users can keep JavaScript when they save.

In the past, the Content Editor would temporarily render pasted scripts in the edit view. A user copying a script from a bad actor could inadvertently run a script against themselves.

A user could still run malicious JavaScript against their own device, but not by using the Content Editor. For users authorized to save scripts, JavaScript will still render after they save.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Original courses. There are no configurations needed. The existing permission for the ability to save scripts is called, “Add/Edit trusted content with scripts.”

Return to June 2022 – 3900.41 Release description


Blackboard Home: storage and utilization reports – 3900.41

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

Administrators need access to timely information about storage and usage. They use this to compare actual usage against contracted limits. We send administrators monthly reports of peak usage metrics. Using Insights Reports, admins can also look at many daily metrics over time to find the peaks. Blackboard Home now provides up-to-date peak usage metrics. The reports show peak usage over a configurable number of months. These metrics include billable storage and users, displayed together with the contracted limits. There are also reports for login counts and current storage use segmented by file type. Blackboard Home has not yet replaced the Insights Report. Both reports will appear for now. Blackboard Home appears to full System Administrators in the Admin panel.

Blackboard Home will become available to all Blackboard Learn SaaS instances with the next SaaS Feature Release in June, scheduled for June 2nd, 2022. This includes production, stage, and test environments. Blackboard Home is only for Learn SaaS.

Image 1. Peak storage usage

Peak storage usage

Image 2. File type breakdown

File type breakdown

Image 3. Peak User Counts

Peak User Counts

For administrators: This feature is an LTI 1.3 application and managed via DevPortal.
Application must be enabled via Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Blackboard Home. LTI application must be configured to send the user fields "Role in Course". Administrators are unable to further limit access.
If the application is not present, you may just need to resynchronize the LTI Tool Providers via: Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Synchronize LTI 1.3 Tools > Submit.


Watch a video about storage and utilization reports appearing in the Blackboard Home

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video: Storage and Utilization reports in the Blackboard Home shows how Blackboard Home provides up-to-date peak usage metrics.

Storage and Utilization reports in the Blackboard Home video

Return to June 2022 – 3900.41 Release description


REST APIs to read all Content Collection files - 3900.41

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

The Content Collection stores files used in courses. It also stores files needed for other features of Blackboard Learn. Some third-party apps need access to these files to function. In the past, tool developers may have used Building Blocks APIs to read these files. Now developers can use REST APIs to read all files in all Content Collection directories. An administrator must authorize this access for a third-party app. The admin should assign permission “Read-only access to the Content System filesystem” to the API user. This improvement is part of ongoing work to expand the capabilities of the Content Collection REST APIs.

Return to June 2022 – 3900.41 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.39.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.39.0
Release to Test/Stage: Friday, 22 April 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 5 May 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.39.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.39.0-rel.27+6e72bbb off cycle release to Production servers on 13 May 2022.

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

 


May 2022 – 3900.39 Release

This release features a variety of improvements. Some improvements center on assessment and grading and better, more efficient workflows. Other features focus on refinement based on instructor, student, and administrator feedback.

The May 2022 - 3900.39 release includes several new features.

Instructors:

Students:

Administrators:

All users:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Support "undo" and “redo” capability in Bb Annotate - 3900.39

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Ultra Course View and Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, roles with grading permissions

We've paused the release of the new undo/redo capability in Bb Annotate due to an issue causing loss of information on comments. The root cause of it has been identified, and we'll communicate a new target date for the deployment in the following days. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, as we understand this is a critical timing, and a critical tool for the grading process.

Many instructors today enjoy the efficiency and effectiveness of using Bb Annotate. Assignments with file submissions include the Bb Annotate feature. This release adds new functionality to include an "undo" and "redo" option. An instructor may undo a change and then if inclined, redo it.

Image 1. Before - Bb Annotate toolbar.

BBAnnotate: Before the new Undo and Redo functionalities on the top bar

Image 2. After - undo and redo buttons on the Bb Annotate toolbar

BBAnnotate: After the new Undo and Redo functionalities included on the top bar

"Undo" and "redo" will not apply to comments. All other annotations are included for this capability.

For administrators: This feature is not aligned to the deployment dates for 3900.39. This feature will be released on 19 May 2022. There are no configurations needed.

Return to May 2022 – 3900.39 Release description


Improvements to permissions - 3900.39

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View and Original Course View
Impact: All users - system and course roles with corresponding permissions

There are several areas where permission checks do not work as expected. This results in “You’re not on the list” errors. We are making improvements in several upcoming releases that address permission issues. These improvements will also remove the need for a quick enroll option. In this release, we have corrected the following permission issues:

  • Managing settings in Course Timeline for graders, course builders, and other non-instructors:
    There are non-instructor course roles such as graders and builders. In the past, they could not favorite their courses in the Course Timeline. They also could not choose to hide and show courses. When they had permissions, they could not open courses and make them private. We have corrected these issues in the Course Timeline.
  • Access to notification settings for graders, course builders, and other non-instructors:
    There are non-instructor course roles such as graders and builders. Users manage their email notification preferences in the Stream. Before users with these roles could not set their email notification preferences. We have corrected this.
  • Support users accessing Journals will not receive errors:
    There are support users such as administrators who access courses. In the past, these users who accessed a Journal saw error messages in Ultra courses. We have corrected this.
  • Improved Rubric access for graders:
    In the past, some Rubric grading workflows would cause errors for graders. We have corrected these.
  • Improved SCORM access for course builders:
    Course builders could receive errors editing SCORM settings. We have corrected this.
  • Support users without view enrollment permissions will not see Roster errors:
    There are support users who access courses. Sometimes these users do not have permission to view course enrollments. At times, these users would click on the Roster tool and see errors. Now the Roster tool will not appear for these users. They also will not see the Course Faculty section in the Course Outline.

Return to May 2022 – 3900.39 Release description


In-product Updates and User Engagement Surveys Improvements - 3900.39

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View and Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

We have a responsibility to help users understand new features and other changes. To support this effort, we introduced in-product updates and user engagement surveys. Product updates are brief mentions of what is new in the Ultra Course View. User engagement surveys are brief polls launched to small samples of users. These polls help us improve our product.

In the April release, these settings were "off" by default.

With the May release, these settings will be "on" by default.

For administrators: If you do not wish to allow in-product updates and/or user engagement surveys, you may opt out. Define the setting for your institution: Administrator Panel > Configure Ultra Experience.

Return to May 2022 – 3900.39 Release description


Manage image title attribute in Original course Content Editor - 3900.39

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

The Content Editor in Original courses allows users to add image attributes. Now it also supports adding the "title" attribute. This attribute adds text tips to images. We still recommend prioritizing alternative description. An alternative description makes content more accessible, while a title doesn't.

Image 1. Before

Learn Original Content Editor: Before the new image title attribute existed

Image 2. After

Learn Original Content Editor: with the new image title attribute addition

Return to May 2022 – 3900.39 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.37.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.37.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 15 March 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 21 April 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.37.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.37.0-rel.37+c829417 off-cycle release to Production servers on 29 April 2022.

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

 


April 2022 – 3900.37 Release

Educators consider many areas as they design high-quality, engaging courses. This release features improvements for instructors and students around assessment. Other features focus on intuitive and time saving workflows and surfacing data insights.

The April 2022 - 3900.37 release includes several new features.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

Administrators:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Granular Content Copy within the current Ultra Course - 3900.37

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

Course copy is an important feature for building out and updating courses. Instructors desire flexible approaches to support how they design and build courses. To better equip instructors, we have added a way to copy content within a single course. This new workflow supplies a way to duplicate content for quicker course building. Instructors can access the Copy Content menu to search for the current course. From there it is easy to navigate content and select content to copy or duplicate.

Supported content types include:

  • Folders
  • Documents
  • Tests, including group tests
  • Assignments, including group assignments
  • Links to websites
  • SCORM packages
  • Discussions and Journals
  • Learning Modules and individual items within a Learning Module

Image 1. Instructor view - Copy Content from an Ultra course within the Same Ultra Course

Instructor view - Copy Content from an Ultra course within the Same Ultra Course

Image 2. Instructor view - Copy items from within a Learning Module

Instructor view - Copy items from within a Learning Module

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


Watch a video about granular content copy enhancements

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video: Granular content copy enhancements shows how to copy content within a single course.

Return to April 2022 – 3900.37 Release description


Branded URLs in Scheduled Notification Emails - 3900.37

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

Some institutions use domain branding. Different authentication providers (IdPs) can have an association with a specific domain. When this is the case, notification emails reflect the domain in the URL for each individual user. This functionality supplies support for all authentication types for each individual user. When a user clicks into a notification email, they will authenticate to that domain.

Recently scheduled notifications sent daily had correct URLs in links. This release improves links for emails sent because of a user action (e.g., a user may share a portfolio or send an announcement).

For administrators: No action is necessary. This update is structural only.

Return to April 2022 – 3900.37 Release description


Automatic grades release for 3rd party tools using LTI Advantage - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1 MH/SH
Original & Ultra Experience, Original & Ultra Course Views
Impact: Instructors and Students

We support the latest interoperability standards for adding 3rd-party apps into your courses. We use LTI Advantage from IMS Global. In the past, scores from integrated apps would not auto-post in Ultra Course View. This required instructors to act so students could see their grades.

The specification for LTI Advantage was ambiguous about how to handle grade visibility. We partnered with the IMS organization to update the standard. Now the LTI Advantage / LTI v1.3 tools can define whether grades should auto-post to students.

Updated behavior for tools

  • Ultra Course View: We now default to auto-post grades for LTI Advantage tools. Instructors will not have to remember to post grades. One exception exists when a tool indicates that grades should not post to students.
  • Original Course View: The behavior for LTI Advantage tools remains unchanged. Grades auto-release when the tool sends scores. One exception exists when the Grade Center column is not visible.

New capability for tools

We also now support the ability for an LTI Advantage tool to manage the release of grades. When appropriate, grades auto-post to students. TurnItIn, for example, plans to use this approach in an upcoming release.

  • Ultra Course View: If a tool sets that grades should not auto-post, scores sent to the Learn Gradebook only display to instructors. Instructors can choose to post grades for students, or the tool can auto-release grades later.
  • Original Course View: If a tool sets that grades should not auto-post, scores sent to the Learn Grade Center appear behind a “Needs Grading” status indicator. Students and instructors see that students have submitted work but not the result. When the tool releases grades, all students will see their scores.

The improvements in this release are specific to LTI Advantage/LTI 1.3 tools. Behavior for older LTI 1.1 tools remains unchanged. For older LTI 1.1 tools in Ultra Course View, new scores sent from tools are always auto posted.

For developers and tool providers: LTI Advantage has a new Line Item attribute - gradesReleased. You can specify it in a Deep Linking message or an Assignment and Grades service call. You only need to update your tool if you want to send scores to Learn but release them to students later. The default value for gradesReleased is true if you do not specify the attribute. When set to false, students will not see scores sent to the gradebook. When the attribute is true, students see current scores and future updates. If you use the gradesReleased=false attribute and want to maintain compatibility with Original Course View, you will need to manage the release of grades. Instructors do not have a post action in Original Course View to release grades. Instructors do have the post action in Ultra Course View.

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


Automatic cleanup of user-created archive and export packages - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1 MH/SH
Original and Ultra Experience, Original and Ultra Course Views
Impact: Users with permission to create course packages (Administrators; in some cases, instructors, course builders, and other privileged users)

Export and archive packages within a course will now have auto-delete settings. This automatic cleanup enables institutions to reduce storage space used. The auto-cleanup also allows administrators to control storage growth. This also saves time and reduces frustration for administrators.

In the past, all packages remained in the course until the deletion of the packages or the course. The retention of the course packages resulted in extensive storage usage.

Existing user-generated course packages will be set to expire in 90 days from the 3900.34 upgrade. This gives more time to copy packages to external storage if needed. In the course package list view, the expiry date for these packages will reflect a 90-day expiry. Packages are deleted on the expiry day.

Course packages created after the upgrade to 3900.34 will expire and auto-delete 30 days after the creation date.

We will notify users of this behavior in three ways:

  • When creating the package, the interface informs the user of this time constraint.
  • The notification that a package is ready to download informs the user of the time constraint.
  • In the course package list view for the course, the removal date displays for each package.

This improvement does not change the way administrators delete courses. These changes only apply to the export/archive packages stored within the course. There are no changes to the behavior of automatic archive creation or deletion.

For Administrators: Please leverage your own communication channels to reinforce this change to affected users.

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


Access automatic archive packages from within courses - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Original and Ultra Experience, Original and Ultra Course Views
Impact: Administrators, others to whom admins grant permissions

In SaaS, daily archives are auto created for active courses. Administrators can retrieve lost data from these archives. These archives are available for 30 days. Now privileged users can now access and download archive packages from the course. The daily archives often lessen the need for other users to create their own packages. This change in access reduces storage space used. The access change saves time and reduces frustration for privileged users and administrators.

For Administrators:

  • This permission is not on by default for instructors. Required permission: Course/Organization Control Panel (Packages and Utilities) > Archive Course/Organization, including user passwords
  • Automatic archive packages include highly sensitive personal information for users. If you use the default authentication type in Learn, the package includes an encrypted version of users' passwords. When this is the case, we recommend that you do not enable this feature for instructors.
  • The password values in the Learn database pose no security risk if you use an identity provider (IdP) for authentication (e.g., SAML/LDAP) without fallback to the default Learn authentication.
  • We recommend that you review policies about storing and handling sensitive personal data. These archives contain highly sensitive data. Please ensure it is appropriate to grant users privileges to access these archives.
  • There are no changes to the restore process with this enhancement. Only administrators can retrieve user data through a restore process. We always recommend restoring courses into a non-production environment. This helps to ensure no disruption to current courses/users in production.

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


Bb Annotations: Save preferences / Settings 

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

For this improvement, we constantly work with our partners to align the product functionality with the pillars of efficiency and pedagogy, now we are pleased to present this update for Bb Annotate tool, available for both Original and Ultra Courses which is built around the common and really used workflow: the grading process.

Since the initial deployment of Bb Annotate, we have identified that saving preferences is a great need for instructors and grading roles, avoiding the need to reset common preferences when switching from submission to submission. For this release, we will be able to go through the inline grading process in the Course, saving common preferences for Annotation tools, and having the possibility to save custom Stamps to add to the submissions, these new functionalities are user-defined, which means that user preferences and custom stamps will persist through all courses.

With this release, we help our instructors and grader roles to improve their productivity, decreasing work time in a “do it once and then forget” way and encouraging the use of the application as a preferred tool for feedback.

Enhancement is going to be out in January, the exact date may differ from the release update and even be different across regions. This improvement will be released to client Production environments with the 3900.30.0 release.