This page contains features and updates currently on Learn SaaS Test/Stage and Production environments. Visit Archived SaaS Release Notes to see features and updates in older versions.
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Learn SaaS release 3900.21.0 and 3900.23.0: Update to client Production and Test/Stage environments
We’re applying an updated version of 3900.21.0 to client Production servers and an updated version of 3900.23.0 to client Test/Stage servers on Friday, September 17, 2021. Full Learn release numbers will not change.
Updates in this release include:
- Update to the Ultra UI for iOS 15.
Learn SaaS release 3900.23.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments
We’re applying an updated version of 3900.23.0 (full release number 3900.23.0-rel.11+a845e27) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
Updates in this release include:
- In the Original Experience, some clients' SafeHTML policy was overwritten by default after rolling restart took place. We've fixed the issue.
Ultra: Submission Receipt - 3900.23.0
Students need a way to ensure their work has been correctly submitted into the system. There are times where a student believes they have submitted their work when, in fact, it wasn't sent at all, or it wasn't sent successfully.
This new functionality provides students with a unique tracking number that confirms their academic submission. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their work, and evidence for academic disputes.
A modal window with the tracking information will appear to students after they submit their work. They can also receive an email with that information if they have a registered email, and download a similar text file to keep for their records.
Rubric Criterion Increase - 3900.23.0
Rubrics are grading tools that help instructors to assess student performance and give feedback in detail. Before, Ultra allowed a maximum of 10 columns and rows. To provide more flexibility for the grading processes, Blackboard now decided to increase the limit up to 15 columns and rows.
We are conscious of the different pedagogical approaches and practices. We support institutions and instructors who prefer to grade students with a greater level of granularity.
Ultra: Rich Text Editor improvements: Add table - 3900.23.0
For deeper versatility in the Rich Text Editor, this 3rd milestone brings the Add Table functionality to our users. Tables are a common way for instructors and students to align and organize content in a customized manner, better suited to their own preferences.
For the time being, only a few options are not yet available when using tables:
- Text Style
- Alignment options
- Insert content
API updates - 3900.23.0
We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including: the ability to manage the release or visibility of a course content based on timing or student success criteria.
- Adaptive Release API Support: GETs and POSTs for Rule APIs and Rule Criteria APIs
For more information about our Rest Public APIs, please refer to: https://developer.blackboard.com/portal/displayApi
Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.23.0
The bug fixes in this Learn release include:
In the Ultra Course View, when creating assignments with the auto zero set on, any past due standard assignments and basic LTI links are marked with automatic zeros after their due date. However, items deployed using partner cloud were never marked. We've fixed the issue and now the partner cloud and the manual column set the automatic zeros as required.
In the Ultra Course View, in the instructor view, the help bubble icon on a discussion board disappeared once an instructor had created and closed the discussion. When accessing the discussion again, the icon disappeared as well. We've fixed the issue.
In the Ultra Experience, an instructor added a SCORM package to a course content with a grade category TEST/ASSIGNMENT, and then created another test with a release condition based on the performance of the SCORM content. However, the SCORM test didn't appear for students. We've fixed the issue.
In the Ultra Course View, when users tried to add content to a course by selecting the plus sign "+" for adding content, then selecting on "+ Create", a menu on the right was displayed. If the user then selected the 'X' for canceling the action on that menu, the content area didn't refresh properly. 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 3900.23.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.
Learn SaaS release 3900.23.0: Release to client Test/Stage environments
We’re releasing a new Learn version 3900.23.0 (full release number 3900.23.0-rel.7+ad745cb) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. The details on new features and updates will be published during the course of that day.
Learn SaaS release 3900.21.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments
We’re applying an updated version of 3900.21.0 (full release number 3900.21.0-rel.19+e6e7e83) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
Updates on this release include:
- In the Ultra Course View, the automatic zero functionality wasn't working for some content items with release conditions that were partially visible within a course. It wasn't working for Ultra courses or Original to Ultra converted courses. We've fixed the issue.
- In the Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View, for course announcements and instructor feedback features, users couldn't use the A/V recording option for Collab in the Rich Text Editor. We've fixed the issue.
- In the Original and Ultra Course Views, the Wiris math editor was sometimes displaying overlapped formula symbols, due to an improper font family type setting, making it difficult to read. We've fixed the issue and set a default font family, but please be aware that any formulas currently corrupted need to be manually edited.
Learn SaaS release 3900.21.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments
We’re applying an updated version of 3900.21.0 (full release number 3900.21.0-rel.15+3067e88) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.
Updates on this release include:
- In the Original and Ultra Experiences, the Telemetry/LDP Export with Snowflake, Blackboard reports and the Consulting Central B2, were failing for some users, who were receiving error messages and a Snowflake exception. We've fixed the issue.
- In the Original Course View, attendance activity in the gradebook was triggering many session spikes affecting the system's capacity. We've made improvements for better performance and fixed the issue.
- In the Original Course View, instructors weren't able to create math equations for content within courses on alternate domains, unless it's the default domain at the Blackboard configuration properties. We’ve fixed the issue.
- In the Original and Ultra Course Views, users created using a SIS integration were seeing an error page when trying to load the Content Market page. We updated the integration and fixed the issue.
Ultra: Assignment Attempts Screen Improvements - 3900.21.0
Evaluating student-submitted content is a continuous job critical to the learning process. We know it's important to instructors and graders to improve the content view and create a practical grading process. That's why we keep enhancing grading workflows.
To help instructors, teaching assistants, and graders have a better view of the content they're grading, we've widened the screen of the submission area. It also includes a collapsible and expandable panel where users can navigate through tabs such as rubrics, feedback, and originality report.
On top of that, instructors and students can navigate the submission view and the panel tabs with different scroll bars. Independent scroll bars allow instructors or graders to scroll up and down the submission content without affecting the side tab navigation or the header. Now, instructors can use rubrics in a more practical way and provide feedback focused on a specific part of the submission.
These improvements will enable users to better navigate through content in the submission view, grade it with rubrics if applicable, or give feedback based on content provided in order to enhance student knowledge.
Partial Credit for Fill In the Blank Questions - 3900.21.0
Fill in the blank questions are a great assessment tool to test knowledge at different levels and contexts. In our September release, we're expanding the grading capabilities of this question type.
This improvement will support those instructors who wish to grade student attempts at a more granular level. It will also benefit students based on their associated effort on these complex questions, and provide them with a more accurate representation of their proficiency
Allow Instructors to Show or Hide the "Additional Content" Section at the End of Assessments - 3900.21.0
At the end of Ultra Assignments and Tests there is section called “Additional Content” where students can add text, images and files to complete their submissions or support their answers. This section was always included by default and could confuse students into thinking they needed to complete this extra requirement. Instructors would like to choose when this should be an option or not.
In this release, Blackboard has added a toggle to allow instructors to show or hide the “Additional Content” section. This gives greater control to instructors over what’s displayed to their students during assessments. If an assessment only has text or support visuals but doesn’t have questions, this section will be the space for the submission and will be activated always. If an assessment has questions, this section will hold additional content, for students to add supporting evidence, and the instructor can enable or disable it.
- Instructor view:
- Student view:
Email Styling Enhancements - 3900.21.0
Email notifications are reminders to help instructors and students keep track of important updates in their courses. In this release, we've made an email styling enhancement to the following email areas:
- New announcement
- New message
- Assessment overdue soon
- Assessment overdue
- Daily digest
To provide better context, the course ID appears now above the course name. Message content will now follow the justification that the author selected. This makes messages easier to read and allows greater customization for the author. The footer now explains when notification settings can be managed. Finally, the new general style is cleaner and should align better to user expectations. We're excited because users will receive the valuable information contained in their emails in the best possible way.
Peer Review Assignments: Improved Handling for Disabled Students and Deleted Attempts - 3900.21.0
We’ve improved the user experience of a peer review assignment when a student is removed from a course (disabled or unavailable), and when a student’s submission is deleted during the peer review process.
When an instructor deletes a student submission containing peer reviews, they'll receive a warning message, as they'll lose those reviews. The list of affected students will be visible.
When grading or viewing peer reviews, the submission from a disabled or unavailable student will still be available.
If a student started or completed a review on a student submission that is no longer available (because it belongs to a disabled or unavailable student), they'll see they no longer have access to it. The student can start a different review if they’d like or if asked by the instructor. An instructor can see when a student completed a review that’s no longer available, giving the opportunity to let the student know they don’t need to complete another review if that’s preferred.
Ally File Transformer in Blackboard Assist (North America availability)
The Ally File Transformer helps students to personalize their learning experience. It can convert files into alternative formats that better fit their needs, devices, and learning preferences.
- Available at no cost with Blackboard Assist enabled. An Ally license is not required.
- It converts files to alternative, more accessible formats including HTML, ePub, electronic braille, audio, or BeeLine reader. Also, to a PDF that’s undergone optical character recognition (OCR).
- For institutions licensing Ally, the Ally File Transformer allows students to convert their own files, or files they've found via research or project work.
- The Ally File Transformer comes automatically with Blackboard Assist. There is an option to turn it off, if preferred, in the Administrator Panel > Partner Cloud Settings.
The Ally File Transformer will be available with Blackboard Assist for Higher Education clients in North America on August 5. Availability for clients outside this region is expected later this year.
On June 17, Blackboard Student Success updated Blackboard Chatbot. Chatbot is included in Blackboard Learn at no additional cost, so the Learn experience is also improved:
- Search Blackboard Learn Help documentation for Instructors as well as Students.
- In addition to asking the chatbot questions, users can now also navigate a category hierarchy to discover common topics.
- Resulting help information is now previewed directly in the chat interaction. Users can click to open the full documentation from the Help site.
- The default Help articles reference the Ultra Course View to better support users transitioning to our latest interface and may need more assistance. However, users can easily switch to the Original Course View versions of Help articles as needed.
- Institutions can upgrade to the premium version of Blackboard Chatbot that now supports adding institutional-specific help resources and defining a unique, branded chatbot persona.
Blackboard Chatbot currently supports English language North American SaaS environments using Base Navigation. The June 17 update applies to all production and test/stage environments.
Looking for older release notes?
Check out the Blackboard Learn Release Notes Archive for more information on past releases.