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 3900.28.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

We're releasing an updated version of 3900.28.0 (full release number 3900.28.0-rel.11+732fc84) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, the way the system handles an error produced while a document is uploaded again to the Annotation server, changed. Now the Annotation server provides a flag to let the system know when to upload a document again.
  • In the Original Experience, when students tried to submit files in a group assessment, they got a UI red ribbon error reading “Failed to submit", but they could see the successfully submitted file after refreshing. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Update to client Production environments

We're releasing an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.27+c56b21e) to client Production servers on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, the announcements page wasn't loading in specific cases where announcements contained tables. The logic replacing tables for the text ‘Table with contents’ in the announcement's preview was causing an error and affected the whole announcements panel. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, when students tried to submit files in a group assessment, they got a UI red ribbon error reading 'Failed to submit', but they could see the submitted file after refreshing. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.28.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

We're releasing an updated version of 3900.28.0 (full release number 3900.28.0-rel.8+671a810) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, administrators who had access to all courses but weren't enrolled in a course weren't allowed to open or edit that course's banner. We fixed the issue and now, administrators can edit the course banner in any course, even if they aren't enrolled in it.
  • In the Ultra Experience, the Course Faculty list feature has changed based on client feedback:
    • When a system admin has set course messages to read-only, message links will no longer be displayed by instructor names for students.
    • Also, the Faculty list will only show the teaching roles of instructor, facilitator, and any custom role with “Treat Users with this Role like Instructor” set true. It'll now exclude other non-teaching roles such as course builder or grader.
  • In the Ultra Experience, the accommodations functionality was merged in release 3900.28.0, but the translation of its corresponding strings wasn't. We've fixed the issue and completed the string translation in the latest version.
  • In the Ultra Experience, the announcements page wasn't loading in specific cases where announcements contained tables. The logic replacing tables for the text ‘Table with contents’ in the announcement's preview was causing an error and affected the whole announcements panel. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Update to client Production environments

We're releasing an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.24+b3048ed) to client Production servers on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, the Course Faculty list feature has changed based on client feedback:
    • When a system admin has set course messages to read-only, message links will no longer be displayed by instructor names for students.
    • Also, the Faculty list will only show the teaching roles of instructor, facilitator, and any custom role with “Treat Users with this Role like Instructor” set true. It'll now exclude other non-teaching roles such as course builder or grader.
  • In the Ultra Experience, administrators who had access to all courses but weren't enrolled in a course, couldn't open or edit that course's banner. We fixed the issue and now, administrators can edit the course banner in any course, even if they aren't enrolled in it.

Learn SaaS release 3900.28.0: Release to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We're releasing a new Learn version 3900.28.0 (full release number 3900.28.0-rel.5+d4503d3) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The details on new features and updates will be published in the corresponding individual feature release notes.


Point-based and point-range rubrics - 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Ultra Experience

We are excited to add point-based and point-range rubrics to Learn Ultra courses. Point-based and point-range rubrics provide instructors the flexibility that is expected for a variety of grading procedures and use cases. Instructors may customize rubrics with different point scales to support various pedagogical approaches and instructional practices. Likewise, faculty may opt to use decimals, organize columns with points or points ranges ascending or descending, and utilize total points that sum up to 99,999.00.

With this addition, we continue to expand the capabilities of Learn Ultra and make the transition from Original Course View to Ultra Course View seamless. We've been careful to design point-based rubrics so that those created in Original courses migrate to Ultra as part of a course conversion. The December 2021 release of these improvements is perfect timing for instructors to take advantage of these new rubric features in their winter and spring 2022 classes!

Points based rubrics example
Point range rubrics example

 


Accommodations: Support more granular control - 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

We have frequently heard from our clients that instructors need greater granularity of control for specifying any extra time a student may need on timed assessments. The next phase for Accommodations includes the option for faculty to set the percentage of extra time for those students who need more time to complete a timed assessment.

When adding a time limit accommodation, faculty may specify any percentage of extra time that is needed to honor a time limit accommodation. This change provides greater flexibility to the instructor supporting both the students’ needs and the instructor’s assessment strategy.

Accommodations granularity settings using time percentages successful example
Accommodations granularity settings showing an error example with an invalid value

Ultra course banner: Image description - 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

Visual components of courses are helpful for aesthetic and identification purposes. To ensure that all visual elements are accessible, we are building on recent improvements to the Ultra Course banner. In this release, we have added the option for instructors to include an image description when uploading a banner image in the course. Faculty may also add an image description to existing course banner images. We are also providing greater control for instructors to mark images as decorative whenever images are not primary content. Providing visually appealing courses that adhere to accessibility best practices and standards is truly key to engaging all students and ensuring an equitable learning experience.

Set the image description for course banner image

Both Original and Ultra courses include the option to add an image description to the course cards from the Courses page on the Ultra Base navigation.

 


Set visibility for group sets - 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

Adding to the current functionality of Group Sets, the next phase of our work on course groups provides faculty an option to change the visibility for custom or randomly created group sets. A new choice to hide course groups from the students’ view gives instructors the option to use groups to discretely organize students based on their performance, interests, adopted knowledge, and other criteria.

Instructors hide or show groupsets to students while they create them in the gradebook

Instructors may also change the visibility option preferred for each group set from the course groups page when creating a group set.

Group set visibility status can be seen under the groupset's name in the Gradebook

Instructors can see the visibility status of group sets when applying filters in the Gradebook grid view, setting up conditional release, and associating a group set to content such as an assessment or discussion.

To ensure that faculty maintain the appropriate interaction among students, the self-enrollment option will be automatically set as disabled when any course group’s visibility is set to “hidden from students”. And content association will always be possible when course group’s visibility is available to students.

For a few users, visibility settings of current hidden group sets in Ultra may not match the specifications explained above. If you note any inconsistencies in your Learn visibility configuration, please contact Client Support. We've got your back.


File upload size limit (Original Course View) - 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Original Course View

Setting limits on users’ uploads helps institutions contain storage utilization, maintain institutional policies, and encourage use of resources better suited to online use or limited bandwidth. This release includes the following capabilities:

  • Administrators can set a file size limit in megabytes for all files uploaded into courses. This restriction is applied to uploads in the Original Course View. This is configured in Administrator Panel > System Configuration.
  • Administrators can optionally configure recommended alternative storage locations that will appear in warning messages when the file limit is surpassed, directing users to more appropriate services the institution licenses, supports, or recommends.
  • In Original courses, users who attempt to upload files that are larger than the specified restriction will receive a warning, indicating the filenames of files that were rejected. When adding multiple files at once, each file is considered individually and accepted or rejected based on their individual sizes.
  • The file size limit isn’t applied when uploading course import or SCORM packages.
  • Blackboard mobile apps have an existing file size limit for both Original and Ultra courses that is set to 250MB. That is unchanged with this release.

In a future release, the configured file size limit will also be applied to Ultra Course View.


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 December, the exact date may differ from the release update and even be different across regions (by one day at maximum). There will be a later communication with more information about it.


Microsoft Teams integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

We are excited to announce continued improvements to the Microsoft Teams classes integration, which demonstrates our commitment to providing best-in-class tools and technologies for the Ultra Course View. This release includes the following capabilities:

  • When an Administrator disables the integration, only an Administrator can re-enablement the integration on a course-by-course basis. This option is only possible when the integration has been re-enabled by the Administrator on the Learn instance. 
  • When the course is marked as completed or the integrations are disabled, any Teams synched with the course will be put into archive status and the synch will be stopped. If the course is re-opened or re-enabled, the course changes will resynch with the archived Team and that Team will be reactivated.  

API updates - 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View, Original Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates:

  • Ultra Discussion APIs: Management of discussion topics/posts (Ultra only). We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including the management (creating, updating, deleting and grading) of discussion posts in Ultra course.
  • Adaptive Release API Support: PATCHs, PUTs and DELETEs for Rule APIs and Rule Criteria APIs (Ultra and Original). 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.

For more information about our REST Public APIs, please explore the Learn API at: https://developer.blackboard.com/portal/displayApi


Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021
Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • Issues with Discussion board and Discussion analysis: Discussion analysis showed no information and the Discussion board visible/hidden menu was too small to use. These issues have been fixed and the UI now behaves as expected, and allows for better working space.

  • Student assessment answers show "None given" and "saved question 0 multiple times": The access log for assessments displayed confusing and inaccurate messages. The log now displays messages as expected.

  • Issues with special characters causing erratic behavior: The platform was having issues interpreting some characters,  causing special characters to appear in the subject of Original course messages in the global navigation updates, and the “What's New” Module. It also caused inadvertent posting of an announcement and emails sent to users to fail when an ampersand was in the course name. This behavior has been fixed and now works as expected.

  • Student preview does not work properly on Ultra courses: The 'Reset preview' text box was shown in white over white, which made the message invisible unless the user highlighted it. Also, selecting the 'Reset' button didn't reset the actual coursework for the student preview user. These issues have been fixed by changing the color of the text and correcting the behavior of the 'Reset' button.

  • Adding LTI option to the questions feedback: To give instructors more tools for providing feedback on student evaluations, the present development makes the LTIs available in the question feedback RTE. The following plugins were enabled in the automatic feedback editor: LTI content, YouTube inserts and Cloud files access.

  • Spacing issues on Ultra documents - Course restore: The line spacing between a heading and paragraphs was affecting legibility. After resolving the spacing issues for courses that are currently in the database, the issue remained for course documents that were restored in Ultra. The space issue was adjusted and corrected for courses that weren't in the database when the upgrader was executed.

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 3900.28.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Release to client Production environments

We released an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.22+4fb8410) to client Production servers on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Please note that the build number remains the same as last week.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, some content in the tables wasn't appearing correctly. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, instructors couldn't edit the fill in the blank questions after submitted by students. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, the entire discussion UI was freezing if a user had a lot of enrollments. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Release to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re releasing an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.22+4fb8410) to client Production servers on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when grading discussion boards, the entire discussion thread wasn't appearing. We've fixed the issue (2).
  • In the Ultra Experience, assessments weren't submitted after students selected 'Submit', cancelling altogether the submission prompt. We've fixed the issue (2).
  • In the Ultra Experience, multiple options for matching questions weren't supported with voiceOver for IOS phones, and gestures didn't allow a correct interaction with controls or inputs, affecting the experience for IOS users who had voiceOver enabled and tried to select an answer in an exam or quiz. We've fixed the issue (1).
  • In the Original and Ultra experiences, In a multi node environment, when the administrator changed the Safe HTML policy, it wasn't reflected in the other nodes of the application. We've fixed the issue and now, the Safe HTML policy updated will reflect in all nodes across the application immediately(1).
  • In the Original Experience, after the latest upgrade on November 4, multiple sites in the APAC, US Central, US Mountain, and US Pacific regions experienced periods of unresponsiveness or degradation, due to a database index that wasn't recreated as part of the 3900.26 upgrade. We've fixed the issue.

For client sites already on 3900.26.0 before November 11 release:
(1) These fixes were deployed on November 4.
(2) These fixes were deployed on November 8. 


Learn SaaS releases 3900.26.0 and 3900.28.0: Update on release to client Production and Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2021

Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Due to a critical issue reported in discussion forums during the latest release, we’re performing an unscheduled update today, Monday 8 November, 2021, to the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.26.0 release (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.18+de6a634) to client Production environments in APAC and US Pacific, Mountain, and Central time zones. This update will only apply to production sites which have already been upgraded to 3900.26.0, and won't impact Europe or US Eastern time zones.

The issue addressed in this release is:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when grading discussion boards, the entire discussion thread wasn't appearing. We've fixed the issue.

As a result of the delay completing the full roll-out of 3900.26.0 to production environments, we will postpone the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.28.0 release to client Test/Stage servers, previously scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2021, to Tuesday, November 16, 2021. This new release date aligns with our usual pattern. 

The release schedule has been updated to reflect this latter change.


Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Release to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re releasing an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.15+621c3b2) to client Production servers on Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, multiple options for matching questions weren't supported with voiceOver for IOS phones, and gestures didn't allow a correct interaction with controls or inputs, affecting the experience for IOS users who had voiceOver enabled and tried to select an answer in an exam or quiz. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra experiences, In a multi node environment, when the administrator changed the Safe HTML policy, it wasn't reflected in the other nodes of the application. We've fixed the issue and now, the Safe HTML policy updated will be reflected in all nodes across the application immediately.

Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.13+180c3aa) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, the Ultra Extension Framework hover events weren't triggered for the new course menu. We've added the analytics hover event for Eesysoft on the new course menu links, and we've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, the Enable/Disable feature, and the Save and Submit buttons weren't behaving properly for assessments that have text questions only. The assessments were enabled in the presence of an answer, but couldn't be disabled when the answer was removed. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, the feature flag progress tracking was removed without making available the toggle for administrators. When announced in the Community site some users requested to recover the feature flag toggle while the administrator flow is completed, and we listened. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, whenever a tab was loaded, individual records for all modules on the accessed page were logged. While on Ultra the impact was negligible, on the Original Experience this could account for between 25% to 75% of data, slowing down the execution of reports for more relevant details. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, some clients were still experiencing overlapping issues on Wiris math formulas after the latest fix we provided. The Stix font family wasn't used when the overlapping happened. We've fixed the issue for formulas created from this point onwards. Formulas created before this fix need to be modified again manually, using the Wiris editor.
  • In the Original Experience, in the Administrator Panel's Tools and Utilities section, there was a generic label with a broken link. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, when the Learn version was being upgraded on Windows servers, the script that completed the process generated an execution error. We've fixed the issue, and made sure the upgrading process now finishes successfully.
  • In the Original Experience, when admins copied a course with embedded LTI links within the Rich Text Editor to a new or existing course, those links broke. They were still pointing back to the old course where users of the new course didn't have permissions. We've definitely fixed the issue for both links and embedded LTI calls, but the LTI links in the Original editor created before this release won't copy correctly. They'll have to be recreated.

Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.2+6bc051d) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Please note that the build number remains the same as last week.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students' usernames were not displayed after due date accommodation was enabled for groups, the roster or the discussions page. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.2+6bc051d) to client Test/Stage servers on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. Please note that the build number remains the same as last week.

Updates in this release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, the entire discussions UI was freezing if a user had a lot of enrollments. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.26.0: Release to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We're releasing a new Learn version 3900.26.0 (full release number 3900.26.0-rel.2+6bc051d) to client Test/Stage servers on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. The details on new features and updates will be published in the corresponding individual feature release notes.


Set and display pronouns in Ultra Course View - 3900.26.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of planned diversity, equity, and inclusion improvements, this release gives institutions the option to allow users to express to others their personal pronouns. This fosters greater respect between students and with faculty engaging online by letting others know how best to refer to them in their group activities and discussions.

Included in this release:

  • Administrators can opt-in to allow use of the new pronoun field.
  • Administrators can set the pronoun values users will be able to select, allowing conformance with institutional standards, policy, and culture.
  • Administrators can allow users to request additional pronouns to be added to the approved list.
  • When allowed, users can select one or more pronoun values to display to others.
  • Users in Ultra Course View courses can see the pronouns populated by others in the class.
  • Data integration supports populating pronoun values for users through REST, flat file, XML, LIS, and IMS Enterprise methods.

A future release will allow for the display of pronouns in Original Course View courses. User self-selection of pronouns will require that Base Navigation is enabled. When using Original Experience (Base Navigation is not enabled), only data population through data integration will be supported.


Ultra: Course Overview M2 – Banner - 3900.26.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

We have frequently heard from clients about a desire to include additional visuals into Ultra Course View, for both aesthetic and identification purposes. As a next phase in our work to improve overall navigation and an intuitive course experience, the course card image from base navigation can now be used as a course banner in Ultra courses.

When adding a new course image, instructors can opt to make it visible within the course and are able to easily crop the image to the preferred size and zoom in or out on the uploaded image to select the part they want to focus on. This change also makes it easier for instructors to add a course schedule and for students to identify course faculty members and class meeting days, times, and location.

Providing a visually appealing course, images consistent with Base Navigation, and easy-to-locate course details, is key to engagement and the overall student experience.

Ultra Course Overview image with new top banner included

 


Ultra Rich Text Editor Improvements: Tables. New options available when using tables - 3900.26.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

We recently released the tables function in the Ultra rich text editor. In this release, we are pleased to share that additional formatting options are now available when using tables.

  • Text Style
  • Alignment options
  • List Attachment
  • Insert content

These options provide greater flexibility for faculty and students, especially in disciplines where the presentation and formatting of data is particularly important.

Table showing different text style, alignment options, list attachment, and content insertion within a it

Microsoft Teams integration - 3900.26.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

Blackboard is excited to announce continued improvements to the recently released Microsoft Teams classes integration, solidifying our commitment to providing best-in-class tools and technologies for the Ultra Course View.

To ensure consistency of data processing and to reduce potential synchronization issues between Learn Ultra course view and an institutions Microsoft Tenant, at initial launch in August, Blackboard introduced a new Institutional email field within the Student Information System framework. This was specifically for cloud providers such as Microsoft who use email as their primary user identifier. This was made available for all SIS integration types.

This release includes the following capabilities:

  • The ability to allow courses to be Archived and Restored but keeping all institution emails intact. This is a continued change management improvement, and the first of several process improvements planned with this integration.
  • Support for large course sizes up to 10,000 enrollments, keeping inline with the maximum number of users that can be supported in a single Microsoft Team.
  • Greater system administration messaging within the integration setup flow, to detect Microsoft Tenants that don’t have the Teams Education profile added. This was an enhancement added as a result of our initial beta testing that took place earlier this year.

Progress Tracking M1.2: Permanent Tracking and Feature Flag Removal - 3900.26.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our August release, we included our Beta version of progress tracking. From this release on, progress tracking in Ultra Course View (UCV) could be activated in new courses, where no previous activity had taken place. This feature was also the first functionality behind a feature flag. In other words, administrators had the ability to decide whether they want to enable progress tracking at their institution or hold it for a while. We are happy to share that we are removing the current limitations around this feature.

With this release, instructors will be able to enable progress tracking at any time during the term. Enabling this functionality will give students an easy way to keep track of what they have done inside each one of their courses. When enabling progress tracking later than the beginning of the term, participatory items will be retroactively marked as complete. For example, assessments submitted previously by students will be marked as complete. Non-participatory items, like Ultra documents, will still need to be manually marked by students.

This is the next step in our work on progress tracking, and we’re excited to move forward alongside our clients. Future releases will provide additional instructor capabilities, such as the ability to monitor progress made by their students inside their courses.


API updates - 3900.26.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

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:

  • Ultra Discussion APIs: Read - Discover (Filters). We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including filters for the READ Discussion topic(s) and post(s) - collection and individual, where the user can filter before/after creation, or modify dates.

For more information about our REST Public APIs, please explore the Learn API at: https://developer.blackboard.com/portal/displayApi


Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.26.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.26.0 | Release to Production 4 November 2021
Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • 'Needs grading' didn't take effect in Ultra grade journal on 'Grades and Participation' screen: this issue is now fixed and the Needs Grading filter is working as expected.

  • Unable to rename file in Ultra assignment: when an instructor tries to rename a file added into an Ultra assignment, a pop up titled "Close Without Saving?" appears when the user navigates away from the page. The edit option is there for instructors to be able to rename assignment's files, and it is now working without errors.

  • When the search box was clear in the gradebook grid view, not all columns were restored: when interacting with the search box, the elements (students(rows) and gradable items (columns)) are filtered. Now when the input is clear (by using the X button or removing the text explicitly with the keyboard), and all elements are restored, meaning no filtering.

  • Completed Course was not displayed in the vertical message tab for students: this has been fixed. Completed courses are displayed in the messages tab for students.

  • The number of unread messages was displayed twice on the Japan Language pack: the  number of unread messages was displayed twice in the Ultra Base navigation on the Japanese Language. This is now fixed.

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 3900.26.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Ally File Transformer in Blackboard Assist (North America availability)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.19.0 | Release to Test/Stage and Production 5 August 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience, Base Navigation, and Blackboard App

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.

Ally file transformer trial promo

Chatbot enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 and v3900.17.0 | Release to Test/Stage and Production 17 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View and Base Navigation

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.


Bb Annotate enhancements

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

As part of the Q1 work on Bb Annotate we released the following fixes to known issues that were affecting our clients:

  • Some users couldn’t delete an annotation note after they reselected it unless they edited the note again. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • The selection of text in the document was not working properly, causing difficulty when highlighting or placing notes into documents. We've fixed the issue.
  • When placing a note or comment into the file there was an additional comment count added to it, which caused confusion and the feeling of an unseen reply. We've fixed the issue.

The fixes were deployed for Singapore, Polymall, Korea, and Govcloud regions on March 3, 2021. Customers in Sydney, Europe, Canada, and US regions were updated on May 12, 2021.


Annotate information message

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

In the Original and Ultra Course Views, formatting space differences may be visible between the original uploaded document and the one rendered online for .docx, .doc, .ppt, and .pptx files. We've added an on-screen information message to let users know about this. The message appears anywhere where Bb Annotate is enabled, including the Mobile View. Instructors and students are able to download the original file as usual.



Looking for older release notes?

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