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Learn SaaS release 3900.28.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.28.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 16 November 2021 
| Release to Production: Thursday, 2 December 2021.
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.28.0 version included below on this page.

Latest release: 3900.28.0-rel.11+732fc84 to Production servers on 2 December 2021.

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

 


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 3900.28.0: 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 3900.28.0: 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.


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.



Looking for older release notes?

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