Release Notes for Learn SaaS

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. Visit In-Product Updates to learn more about in-product updates.

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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.12+b0cddc4 to Test/Stage servers to take place on 27 September 2022.

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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Looking for older release notes?

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

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