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Learn SaaS release 3900.82.0

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

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

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

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

 


January 2024 – 3900.82 Release

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

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

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

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

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

All users:

Instructors and Administrators:

Administrators:


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

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

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

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

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

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

Return to January 2024 – 3900.82 Release description
 


Upgrade to Ultra

Restricting Original Copy Workflows – 3900.82

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

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

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

Here are two examples:

Example 1

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

Example 2

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

Previous Behaviors:

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

New Behaviors:

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

Alternatives

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

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

Return to January 2024 – 3900.82 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.80.0

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

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

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

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


Integrations

Gradebook API: Accessing grading dates – 3900.80

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

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

"firstRelevantDate" determined as:

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

"lastRelevantDate" determined as:

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

We also introduce the following query parameters:

  • firstRelevantDateCompare
  • lastRelevantDateCompare

These parameters allow users to filter and refine the results.

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

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


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

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

Related topic: Learn APIs

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

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

Users can now use a secondary ID:

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

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

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

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


REST API for accessing assessment passwords - 3900.80

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

Related topic: Learn APIs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image 1. Converting Building Block Content to LTI

Converting Building Block Content to LTI

Image 2. Migration Service Settings

Migration Service Settings

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

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

Image 3. Migration settings for Echo 360 and Kaltura

Migration settings for Echo 360 and Kaltura

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

Image 4. Building block mappings

Building block mappings

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

Image 5. Migrate courses with building block content

Migrate courses with building block content

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

Image 6. Migration run status

Migration run status

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

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


Mobile App

Enhancements to Grades – 3900.80

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

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

For Instructors:

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

Image 1. Instructor view of Grades

Instructor view of Grades

For Students:

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

Image 2. Student view of Grades

Student view of Grades

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

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description


Canvas conversion improvements: Support for Multiple Grade Schemes – 3900.80

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

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

Image 1. A Grade Scheme in Canvas

A Grade Scheme in Canvas

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

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

Return to December 2023 – 3900.80 Release description