Looking for the latest release information? Check out the Blackboard Learn SaaS release notes feed.

More on Learn with the SaaS Deployment | How to enable the Ultra experience

Browse the list of features or view the maintenance items.

You can also see our instructions to create and export a list of Known Issues in Behind the Blackboard.

Check earlier versions' notes at the end of this page.

Learn SaaS release 3900.46.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.46.0
Release to Test/Stage: Wednesday, 20 July 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 4 August 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.46.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.46.0-rel.27+79a83af to Production servers to take place on 25 August 2022.

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

 


Learn SaaS release 3900.44.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.44.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 21 June 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 7 July 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.44.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.44.0-rel.23+b930328 to Production servers to take place on 28 July 2022.

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

 


August 2022 – 3900.46 Release

The August 2022 - 3900.46 release is replete with features in three areas: assessment and grading; richer course and content design; and integration, extension, and management. These improvements primarily impact instructors and students. Some features do require administrative action.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

  • Enhanced auto save capability in the content editor in Tests & Assignments
    On the Submission page, instructors and students were unable to download files attached from Cloud Storage. Due to this issue, this feature has been removed from this release to be included in a future one.

All users:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Richer Course and Content Design:

Microsoft OneDrive: Create a Collaborative Document - 3900.46

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

Collaborative documents provide students opportunities to engage with one another and course content. Instructors can now create a Microsoft OneDrive collaborative document in the Ultra and Original Course Views.

Supported file types:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

In the Ultra Course View, a new choice, Cloud Document, appears on the menu after selecting “Create” from the plus sign to add content.

Ultra Course View Flow

Image 1. Improved workflow for adding content from OneDrive

Learn Ultra add file by open it from the Cloud Content item in the Create Content panel, and then, chose Open from OneDrive

An instructor can choose Cloud Document from the “Create Item” panel and select “One Drive.” The following options are displayed:

  • 'Open from OneDrive' to create a document link
  • 'Start a new Collaboration' to create a collaborative document

Image 2. Start a new collaboration

In the Course Content page, select Add Content, then Cloud Document and then Start a new Colaboration

Instructors may need to sign into a Microsoft account to continue.

Instructors can select an existing document or create a new file for collaboration.

Image 3. Create a new collaboration

Start a new collaborative document with Microsoft OneDrive

All student members of the course will be able to access the file. The students may select Edit Document to begin collaborating on the file.

Image 4. Students select Edit Document to begin collaborating on the document

Students select Edit to begin collaborating on the document

Any existing file linked to OneDrive stays unchanged. These files will remain read only.

In the Original Course View, a link appears in the content add tools menu and/or the add content button (+) in the content editor. The system administrator can decide the specific name in the Original Course View.

Original Course View Flow

Image 5. Adding Microsoft Cloud Collaboration document in Learn Original

Adding Microsoft Cloud Collaboration document in Learn Original

An instructor can choose to create an item or edit an existing item and select the + symbol from the content editor. Select the "Microsoft Cloud Collaboration document" to continue.

Image 6. Start a new collaboration

Start a new collaboration

Instructors may need to sign into a Microsoft account to continue.

Instructors can select an existing document or create a new file for collaboration.

All student members of the course can access the file. 

Image 7. Students select "Edit Document" to begin collaborating on the document.

Students select "Edit Document" to begin collaborating on the document.

For administrators: Please register the LTI Tool Provider in the Administrator Panel. Only users in the same Microsoft tenant can collaborate on documents.

Return to August 2022 – 3900.46 Release description


Unified Blackboard App– 3900.46

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Assistants, and Graders

In the past we had two separate mobile apps: the Blackboard App and the Blackboard Instructor App. The two apps caused confusion for many instructors. They did not realize that they needed to use a different app to manage their courses.

With this release, we are consolidating to a single app for both instructors and students. The user experience will change based on the user’s role within a course. Instructors can use the updated Blackboard app for both Original and Ultra courses.

Action needed: Support for the Blackboard Instructor iOS and Android apps ends in September 2022. Instructors, Assistants, and Graders should download the Blackboard app for iOS or Android.

For administrators: There are no configurations needed. We encourage admins to notify instructors of the need to download a different app.

Return to August 2022 – 3900.46 Release description


Icon that indicates the release note is a new feature

Bb Annotate undo/redo functionality: Roll out deployment - 3900.46.0

 

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Ultra Course View and Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, roles with grading permissions

We will do a phased roll-out deployment for the new undo/redo functionality of Bb Annotate. This new capability will allow instructors to easily edit their annotations. The schedule is:

Region/Date

  • ap-southeast-1-p: Aug 1, 2022
  • af-south-1: Aug 2, 2022
  • ap-southeast-1: Aug 3, 2022
  • us-gov-west-1: Aug 4, 2022
  • ap-northeast-2: Aug 5, 2022
  • us-east-1, eu-central-1, ap-southeast-2, and ca-central-1: Aug 11, 2022

The deployment will include some downtime, and we will avoid high traffic hours in each specific region.

The downtime will only be for Bb Annotate not the entire Learn environment.
It is expected to be around 1 hour long. During this time users will see a maintenance message inside the Bb Annotate framework.

Return to August 2022 – 3900.46 Release description


Quality and accessibility improvements of math formulas - 3900.44

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

Instructors and students often use math formulas in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses. In the past, formulas might render slowly or lose quality when zoomed. Now we will render math formulas as images in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format. This allows users to zoom in or enlarge formula images without losing quality. This change also improves accessibility for users with low vision.

Image 1. Before rendering images in SVG format

Before rendering images in SVG format

Image 2. After rendering images in SVG format

After rendering images in SVG format

Users can create math formulas using the text editor. Some content types include a description. The description appears on the Course Content page. Some notifications on the Activity Stream also display the description. When a description for a discussion or journal includes a math formula, we replace the formula image with '[Math formula].' When the user selects the content or notification, the math formulas will render as images.

Image 3. Example discussion description that includes a math formula.

Example discussion description that includes a math formula

Image 4. Example discussion topic that has math formulas.

Example discussion topic that has math formulas

For administrators: There are no configurations needed.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Display Pronouns and Pronunciation in Original Course View - 3900.44

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

The November 3900.26 and February 3900.32 releases included these features for Ultra Course View. This release adds full support for Original Course View. It also adds limited capabilities for Original Experience without Base Navigation enabled.

This release continues to deliver on planned diversity and inclusion improvements. Institutions can allow users to express their personal pronouns. This fosters greater respect among students and with faculty.

Institutions can also enable name pronunciation. Users can add text guidance to describe the pronunciation of their names for other users. Users can record the pronunciation of their names. The recording tool counts down to when the recording begins. The recording may be up to 20 seconds long. For accessibility reasons, text guidance must be allowed if name recording is enabled. Recordings are compressed and included in storage use calculations.

If a user has pronoun or pronunciation information, it is displayed on a profile card. Selecting any avatar icon in Original Course View displays the profile card. All avatars are selectable in user lists, course tools, and grading workflows.

Image 1. Pronouns and pronunciation for a student when the instructor views an assignment submission.

Pronouns and pronunciation for a student when the instructor views an assignment submission

Image 2. Pronouns and pronunciation in discussion.

Pronouns and pronunciation in discussion

Base Navigation is required for the following features:

  • Administrator can enable pronunciation recording
  • Administrator can configure pronoun options for user choice
  • Users can select their own pronouns
  • Users can create or play back pronunciation recordings

All deployments support the following, including Original Experience:

  • Display pronouns and pronunciations in Original Course View
  • Integrate pronoun and pronunciation guidance text from a user information system
  • Administrators can manually set user pronouns and pronunciation guidance text
  • Users can manually set pronunciation guidance text

Known issue in Safari browsers: There is a known issue creating or playing pronunciation recordings in Safari. The issue is because of a mismatch of compression codecs that Safari supports.

For administrators: Manage these features in Administrator Panel > Customize User Information. You may add pronouns and pronunciation guidance text through data integration. This includes REST, flat file, LIS, XML, and IMS methods.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Institution Role Mapping to LTI Institution Roles - 3900.44

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

Some third-party integrated tools function better when users’ institution roles are more specific. This is especially true for tools accessed outside of courses. In the past, Learn did not send institution role information to LTI tools. Learn will now send to LTI tools users’ mapped primary institution role information. Secondary institution roles are not supported.

When administrators edit institution roles, they may select from a list LTI Institution Roles that their tools expect.

The mappings are supported for all deployment types. Mappings apply to both user experiences and course types. You can map the Learn default institution roles or any custom ones made by the institution. We support mapping for LTI 1.1 or 1.3/Advantage.

To prevent disruption for current users, the default role behavior remains unchanged. Administrators may edit each role configuration and choose the best LTI role for each. LTI institution role mapping applies to all LTI tools.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Administrator launch for LTI course links - 3900.44

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators, System Support Roles, Node Administrators

In the past, administrators would receive an error when selecting an LTI link in a course. To remediate the error, administrators would have to enroll in the course. Because only course members could launch LTI links, enrollment was a requirement.

Now administrators no longer need to enroll in the course.

The tool shows the user with an LTI system role of “Administrator” and an LTI context role of “Administrator.” The administrator or support user will not appear in tool requests for course membership. The tool shows them as an administrator, not an instructor. A tool must follow the LTI specification and be able to give a proper experience to an administrator user.

This change applies to the mobile application as well since LTI links are handed off to the responsive web browser.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Icon that indicates the release note is a new feature

Blackboard Home Improvements – 3900.44

 

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

Administrators need access to timely information about storage and usage. We released Blackboard Home in the June 2022 - 3400.41 release. In response to client feedback, we have made four improvements:

 
  • Added a new ‘Courses’ Tab under Insights with two pie charts to show the number of Active and Total courses. Pie charts display the number of courses on Ultra and Original

Image 1. New Courses Tab

Courses Tan view in the Blackboard Home page
 
  • Included more support links in the My Support section

Image 2. More general support options from My Support menu

General Support menu view with more help options within the Blackboard Home page
 
  • Updated the language on the Logins subtab of Insights. We made this change to more clearly define unique logins and how they are counted.

Image 3. Updated description for Unique Logins

Unique logins description within the Blackboard Home page
 
  • A major change we added is the new option to download the metrics in .csv format. At the moment, it's available for Storage, Users, and Logins graph types, but not for Courses.

You asked, we listened: this feature was added as per initial feedback from one of our clients who took part on the Beta release. Thank you for helping us improve our platform for the benefit of all.

Image 4. Option to download the metrics in .csv format

Option to download metrics in cvs format

For administrators: This feature is an LTI 1.3 application and managed via DevPortal. Application must be enabled via Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Blackboard Home. LTI application must be configured to send the user fields "Role in Course". Administrators are unable to further limit access. If the application is not present, you may just need to resynchronize the LTI Tool Providers via: Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Synchronize LTI 1.3 Tools > Submit.

Return to July 2022 – 3900.44 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.41.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.41.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 10 May 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 2 June 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.41.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.41.0-rel.22+d0bc71c to Production servers on 23 June 2022.

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

 


June 2022 – 3900.41 Release

The June 2022 - 3900.41 release is rich with new features and improvements in three areas: assessment and grading; richer course and content design; and integration, extension, and management.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Administrators:

All users:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Changed behavior for pasting JavaScript in Original Course View Content Editor - 3900.41

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

The Original Course View Content Editor allows users to paste JavaScript into their HTML. JavaScript can add rich capability to web content but can be malicious. The Content Editor removes JavaScript automatically for most users when saved. This way, scripts cannot harm other users. Only authorized users can keep JavaScript when they save.

In the past, the Content Editor would temporarily render pasted scripts in the edit view. A user copying a script from a bad actor could inadvertently run a script against themselves.

A user could still run malicious JavaScript against their own device, but not by using the Content Editor. For users authorized to save scripts, JavaScript will still render after they save.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Original courses. There are no configurations needed. The existing permission for the ability to save scripts is called, “Add/Edit trusted content with scripts.”

Return to June 2022 – 3900.41 Release description


Blackboard Home: storage and utilization reports – 3900.41

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

Administrators need access to timely information about storage and usage. They use this to compare actual usage against contracted limits. We send administrators monthly reports of peak usage metrics. Using Insights Reports, admins can also look at many daily metrics over time to find the peaks. Blackboard Home now provides up-to-date peak usage metrics. The reports show peak usage over a configurable number of months. These metrics include billable storage and users, displayed together with the contracted limits. There are also reports for login counts and current storage use segmented by file type. Blackboard Home has not yet replaced the Insights Report. Both reports will appear for now. Blackboard Home appears to full System Administrators in the Admin panel.

Blackboard Home will become available to all Blackboard Learn SaaS instances with the next SaaS Feature Release in June, scheduled for June 2nd, 2022. This includes production, stage, and test environments. Blackboard Home is only for Learn SaaS.

Image 1. Peak storage usage

Peak storage usage

Image 2. File type breakdown

File type breakdown

Image 3. Peak User Counts

Peak User Counts

For administrators: This feature is an LTI 1.3 application and managed via DevPortal.
Application must be enabled via Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Blackboard Home. LTI application must be configured to send the user fields "Role in Course". Administrators are unable to further limit access.
If the application is not present, you may just need to resynchronize the LTI Tool Providers via: Administrator Panel > LTI Tool Providers > Synchronize LTI 1.3 Tools > Submit.


Watch a video about storage and utilization reports appearing in the Blackboard Home

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video: Storage and Utilization reports in the Blackboard Home shows how Blackboard Home provides up-to-date peak usage metrics.

Storage and Utilization reports in the Blackboard Home video

Return to June 2022 – 3900.41 Release description


REST APIs to read all Content Collection files - 3900.41

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

The Content Collection stores files used in courses. It also stores files needed for other features of Blackboard Learn. Some third-party apps need access to these files to function. In the past, tool developers may have used Building Blocks APIs to read these files. Now developers can use REST APIs to read all files in all Content Collection directories. An administrator must authorize this access for a third-party app. The admin should assign permission “Read-only access to the Content System filesystem” to the API user. This improvement is part of ongoing work to expand the capabilities of the Content Collection REST APIs.

Return to June 2022 – 3900.41 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.39.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.39.0
Release to Test/Stage: Friday, 22 April 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 5 May 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.39.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.39.0-rel.27+6e72bbb off cycle release to Production servers on 13 May 2022.

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

 


May 2022 – 3900.39 Release

This release features a variety of improvements. Some improvements center on assessment and grading and better, more efficient workflows. Other features focus on refinement based on instructor, student, and administrator feedback.

The May 2022 - 3900.39 release includes several new features.

Instructors:

Students:

Administrators:

All users:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Support "undo" and “redo” capability in Bb Annotate - 3900.39

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Ultra Course View and Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, roles with grading permissions

We've paused the release of the new undo/redo capability in Bb Annotate due to an issue causing loss of information on comments. The root cause of it has been identified, and we'll communicate a new target date for the deployment in the following days. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, as we understand this is a critical timing, and a critical tool for the grading process.

Many instructors today enjoy the efficiency and effectiveness of using Bb Annotate. Assignments with file submissions include the Bb Annotate feature. This release adds new functionality to include an "undo" and "redo" option. An instructor may undo a change and then if inclined, redo it.

Image 1. Before - Bb Annotate toolbar.

BBAnnotate: Before the new Undo and Redo functionalities on the top bar

Image 2. After - undo and redo buttons on the Bb Annotate toolbar

BBAnnotate: After the new Undo and Redo functionalities included on the top bar

"Undo" and "redo" will not apply to comments. All other annotations are included for this capability.

For administrators: This feature is not aligned to the deployment dates for 3900.39. This feature will be released on 19 May 2022. There are no configurations needed.

Return to May 2022 – 3900.39 Release description


Manage image title attribute in Original course Content Editor - 3900.39

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

The Content Editor in Original courses allows users to add image attributes. Now it also supports adding the "title" attribute. This attribute adds text tips to images. We still recommend prioritizing alternative description. An alternative description makes content more accessible, while a title doesn't.

Image 1. Before

Learn Original Content Editor: Before the new image title attribute existed

Image 2. After

Learn Original Content Editor: with the new image title attribute addition

Return to May 2022 – 3900.39 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.37.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.37.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 15 March 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 21 April 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.37.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.37.0-rel.37+c829417 off-cycle release to Production servers on 29 April 2022.

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

 


April 2022 – 3900.37 Release

Educators consider many areas as they design high-quality, engaging courses. This release features improvements for instructors and students around assessment. Other features focus on intuitive and time saving workflows and surfacing data insights.

The April 2022 - 3900.37 release includes several new features.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

Administrators:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Granular Content Copy within the current Ultra Course - 3900.37

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

Course copy is an important feature for building out and updating courses. Instructors desire flexible approaches to support how they design and build courses. To better equip instructors, we have added a way to copy content within a single course. This new workflow supplies a way to duplicate content for quicker course building. Instructors can access the Copy Content menu to search for the current course. From there it is easy to navigate content and select content to copy or duplicate.

Supported content types include:

  • Folders
  • Documents
  • Tests, including group tests
  • Assignments, including group assignments
  • Links to websites
  • SCORM packages
  • Discussions and Journals
  • Learning Modules and individual items within a Learning Module

Image 1. Instructor view - Copy Content from an Ultra course within the Same Ultra Course

Instructor view - Copy Content from an Ultra course within the Same Ultra Course

Image 2. Instructor view - Copy items from within a Learning Module

Instructor view - Copy items from within a Learning Module

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


Watch a video about granular content copy enhancements

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video: Granular content copy enhancements shows how to copy content within a single course.

Return to April 2022 – 3900.37 Release description


Branded URLs in Scheduled Notification Emails - 3900.37

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Managed Hosting, Self-Hosted
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: All users

Some institutions use domain branding. Different authentication providers (IdPs) can have an association with a specific domain. When this is the case, notification emails reflect the domain in the URL for each individual user. This functionality supplies support for all authentication types for each individual user. When a user clicks into a notification email, they will authenticate to that domain.

Recently scheduled notifications sent daily had correct URLs in links. This release improves links for emails sent because of a user action (e.g., a user may share a portfolio or send an announcement).

For administrators: No action is necessary. This update is structural only.

Return to April 2022 – 3900.37 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.34.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 15 February 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 3 March 2022.
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.34.0 version included below on this page. Details will also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.34.0-rel.63+d2ece0b to Production servers on 24 March 2022.

Due to the way that our release calendar lines up in March, we will release 3900.34 to production on Thursday, 3 March. It will remain for a week in both Test/Stage and Production environments while version 3900.37.0 is released to Test/Stage on Tuesday, 15 March.
Any changes to version 3900.34 after the initial release to Production will go directly to the Production environment.

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

 


March 2022 – 3900.34 Release

The March 2022 - 3900.34.0 release includes several new features.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

Administrators:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Automatic grades release for 3rd party tools using LTI Advantage - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1 MH/SH
Original & Ultra Experience, Original & Ultra Course Views
Impact: Instructors and Students

We support the latest interoperability standards for adding 3rd-party apps into your courses. We use LTI Advantage from IMS Global. In the past, scores from integrated apps would not auto-post in Ultra Course View. This required instructors to act so students could see their grades.

The specification for LTI Advantage was ambiguous about how to handle grade visibility. We partnered with the IMS organization to update the standard. Now the LTI Advantage / LTI v1.3 tools can define whether grades should auto-post to students.

Updated behavior for tools

  • Ultra Course View: We now default to auto-post grades for LTI Advantage tools. Instructors will not have to remember to post grades. One exception exists when a tool indicates that grades should not post to students.
  • Original Course View: The behavior for LTI Advantage tools remains unchanged. Grades auto-release when the tool sends scores. One exception exists when the Grade Center column is not visible.

New capability for tools

We also now support the ability for an LTI Advantage tool to manage the release of grades. When appropriate, grades auto-post to students. TurnItIn, for example, plans to use this approach in an upcoming release.

  • Ultra Course View: If a tool sets that grades should not auto-post, scores sent to the Learn Gradebook only display to instructors. Instructors can choose to post grades for students, or the tool can auto-release grades later.
  • Original Course View: If a tool sets that grades should not auto-post, scores sent to the Learn Grade Center appear behind a “Needs Grading” status indicator. Students and instructors see that students have submitted work but not the result. When the tool releases grades, all students will see their scores.

The improvements in this release are specific to LTI Advantage/LTI 1.3 tools. Behavior for older LTI 1.1 tools remains unchanged. For older LTI 1.1 tools in Ultra Course View, new scores sent from tools are always auto posted.

For developers and tool providers: LTI Advantage has a new Line Item attribute - gradesReleased. You can specify it in a Deep Linking message or an Assignment and Grades service call. You only need to update your tool if you want to send scores to Learn but release them to students later. The default value for gradesReleased is true if you do not specify the attribute. When set to false, students will not see scores sent to the gradebook. When the attribute is true, students see current scores and future updates. If you use the gradesReleased=false attribute and want to maintain compatibility with Original Course View, you will need to manage the release of grades. Instructors do not have a post action in Original Course View to release grades. Instructors do have the post action in Ultra Course View.

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


Automatic cleanup of user-created archive and export packages - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1 MH/SH
Original and Ultra Experience, Original and Ultra Course Views
Impact: Users with permission to create course packages (Administrators; in some cases, instructors, course builders, and other privileged users)

Export and archive packages within a course will now have auto-delete settings. This automatic cleanup enables institutions to reduce storage space used. The auto-cleanup also allows administrators to control storage growth. This also saves time and reduces frustration for administrators.

In the past, all packages remained in the course until the deletion of the packages or the course. The retention of the course packages resulted in extensive storage usage.

Existing user-generated course packages will be set to expire in 90 days from the 3900.34 upgrade. This gives more time to copy packages to external storage if needed. In the course package list view, the expiry date for these packages will reflect a 90-day expiry. Packages are deleted on the expiry day.

Course packages created after the upgrade to 3900.34 will expire and auto-delete 30 days after the creation date.

We will notify users of this behavior in three ways:

  • When creating the package, the interface informs the user of this time constraint.
  • The notification that a package is ready to download informs the user of the time constraint.
  • In the course package list view for the course, the removal date displays for each package.

This improvement does not change the way administrators delete courses. These changes only apply to the export/archive packages stored within the course. There are no changes to the behavior of automatic archive creation or deletion.

For Administrators: Please leverage your own communication channels to reinforce this change to affected users.

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


Access automatic archive packages from within courses - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Original and Ultra Experience, Original and Ultra Course Views
Impact: Administrators, others to whom admins grant permissions

In SaaS, daily archives are auto created for active courses. Administrators can retrieve lost data from these archives. These archives are available for 30 days. Now privileged users can now access and download archive packages from the course. The daily archives often lessen the need for other users to create their own packages. This change in access reduces storage space used. The access change saves time and reduces frustration for privileged users and administrators.

For Administrators:

  • This permission is not on by default for instructors. Required permission: Course/Organization Control Panel (Packages and Utilities) > Archive Course/Organization, including user passwords
  • Automatic archive packages include highly sensitive personal information for users. If you use the default authentication type in Learn, the package includes an encrypted version of users' passwords. When this is the case, we recommend that you do not enable this feature for instructors.
  • The password values in the Learn database pose no security risk if you use an identity provider (IdP) for authentication (e.g., SAML/LDAP) without fallback to the default Learn authentication.
  • We recommend that you review policies about storing and handling sensitive personal data. These archives contain highly sensitive data. Please ensure it is appropriate to grant users privileges to access these archives.
  • There are no changes to the restore process with this enhancement. Only administrators can retrieve user data through a restore process. We always recommend restoring courses into a non-production environment. This helps to ensure no disruption to current courses/users in production.

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


API Updates:
Adaptive Release API Support: User Predicate APIs and Group Predicate APIs (Ultra and Original) - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Impact: All clients and partners

Instructors value the option to release course content according to various criteria. Using APIs, developers can now manage the release of content by group membership. Added with this release are PUTs endpoints:

  • one that will receive a list with only the userId set
  • one that will receive a list with only the groupId set

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

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.34.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience and Original Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • Date picker uses the default server time zone rather than the user’s time zone: The date/time selector for course duration on course management pages uses the default server time zone rather than the user’s time zone.

    This applies to course properties management:

    • in the administrator panel
    • in course settings for the Original Course View when instructors have access to course properties
    • To provide greater clarity, we have added a time zone indicator to display the time zone that applies. For example, a Learn environment with a default time set to US Eastern Standard Time (EST) would display UTC –05:00.

    Integration behaviors remain unchanged:

    • course duration times set through REST APIs should use UTC
    • times set through SIS Framework should use server default time.

    Also, users can configure the availability dates with hours precision from the user interface. This configuration does not affect the integrations.

  • Notifications are not created for some users: In the past, because of performance reasons, we omitted notifications for users with 500 or more enrollments. Now if the number of enrollments for a user falls below 500, the notifications resume. Please remember that this process will run only every 24 hours.

  • Unable to change course role in Ultra courses due to "Save" button disabled: Users with the appropriate privileges were unable to save role changes made in other users' profiles. The issue was that the "Save" button was disabled. We have corrected this behavior.

You can view all maintenance items on 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. You can view the 3900.34.0 maintenance issues details on Behind the Blackboard.

 

Return to March 2022 – 3900.34 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.32.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.32.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 11 January 2022
| Release to Production: Thursday, 10 February 2022.
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.32.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.32.0-rel.35+f6a6242 to Production servers on 17 February 2022.

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

 


February 2022 – 3900.32 Release

The February 2022 - 3900.32.0 release includes several new features.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Administrators:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Pronunciation display and recording - 3900.32.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience and Original Experience (pronunciation description only)
Impact: All users

When enabled, all users can add text guidance and an audio recording of their name to their user profile. Users can use the text guidance to describe the pronunciation of their names for other users. Users can record the pronunciation of their name. The recording tool counts down to when the recording begins. The recording may be up to 20 seconds long.

If enabled, text guidance and audio recordings appear with pronouns in these locations:

Assessments

  • Group Assessments
    • A user can see group pronunciation information in the overview panel.
    • A user can see group members’ pronunciation information while taking the assessment.
  • Peer Review
    • A user entitled to see peer reviewers’ names can see their pronunciation information. This information displays above their feedback when viewing a student’s attempt.

Course Roster

  • Roster
    • Users can see other users’ pronunciation information in the course roster view.
  • User Management
    • A user can see pronunciation information when searching for users to enroll.
    • A user can see a user’s pronunciation information when editing users in the course roster.
    • A user can see a user’s pronunciation information when editing their accommodations.

Communication Tools

  • Discussions
    • Users can see other users’ pronunciation information with their responses.
  • Messages
    • Users can see other users’ pronunciation information when searching for message recipients.
    • Users can see other users’ pronunciation information in the message panel.

Gradebook

  • Instructors and graders can see users’ pronunciation information in the grid view.
  • Students can see their own pronunciation information when viewing their own grades.

Groups

  • A user can see the pronunciation information of users in a group.
  • Instructors can see the pronunciation information of students in the group management view.

User profile

  • A user can see their own pronunciation information in their profile page.
  • A user can see their own pronunciation information when editing their profile.
Before and after image. On the right, the name pronunciation option is now available in the basic information panel for all users

System administrators should configure this feature. Define preferences from the Customize User Information option in the Users section. Enabling the audio recording option also enables the textual pronunciation description. We have designed this rule for accessibility reasons. You may choose to manage the pronunciation description field through data integration.

 

Providing this functionality to all users is important to us. We will complete this feature work for other experiences in an upcoming release.

Base Navigation and Original Course View:

For now, if enabled, users can create audio recordings of their name pronunciation. Users may also add a pronunciation description. The pronunciation description appears to users who have privileges to edit others’ profiles. The information will not appear to students in courses.

Original Experience and Learn 9.1:

For now, administrators can enable a text field for pronunciation description. Users may add a pronunciation description. The pronunciation description displays to those with privileges to edit other users’ profiles. Pronunciation information will not display to students in courses.

Known issue in Safari browser:

There is a known issue creating or playing pronunciation recordings in Safari. The issue is because of a mismatch of compression codecs that Safari supports. Safari users will receive warnings about the issue in the interface.

Return to February 2022 – 3900.32 Release description


Branded URLs in Scheduled Notification Emails - 3900.32.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Impact: All Users

Some institutions use domain branding. Different authentication providers (IdPs) have an association with a specific domain. When this is the case, notification emails reflect the domain in the URL for each individual user. This functionality provides support for all authentication types for each individual user. When a user clicks into a notification email, they will now authenticate to that domain.

System administrations do not need to take any action. This update is structural only. Changes apply only to emails sent per the notification settings that each user has made.

Return to February 2022 – 3900.32 Release description


Other improvements - 3900.32.0

Force Completion changes to better support Multiple Attempt Tests

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Impact: Instructors, Students

In Original Course View, enabling Force Completion on a test or survey has new behaviors. The Force Completion option now requires a time limit and automatic submission. We made this change to enforce the submission of incomplete or abandoned attempts. This change is important so that instructors can access and grade these attempts. Instructors may also create a multiple attempt assessment with the Force Completion option. This change ensures that students can now start new attempts in this scenario.

 

Gender Field update: Other

Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Impact: All users

We have updated the gender field to include a new parameter for "other." This change is important as we strive to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in Learn. As part of this work, we have updated REST APIs and SIS Frameworks to map a value of "X" to "other." As a categorical field, gender is primarily important for institutional reporting. The gender field is an option for inclusion in two Learn reports:

  • Enterprise Surveys
  • Outcomes reports

Note for Administrators: We recommend that administrators do not enable the gender field. Instead, enable the pronouns option for personal expression in teaching and learning. Pronouns provide a more valuable option for self-expression when interacting with course members.

 

Text on Page update: Exceptions setting consistency

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Impact: Instructors

In the Assessment view list, the descriptive text reads "Edit settings." In the Submission view, the descriptive text reads "Exceptions." We updated both texts, which now read "Add or edit exceptions." This change provides a more consistent experience and improves clarity. We also changed the title of the peek panel. The title was "Edit Submission Settings" but is now "User or Group Exceptions."

Exceptions Setting Consistency

Content Editor improvements for Original Course View

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

  • Pasting from Google Docs now gives an option to keep styling or simplify the HTML.
  • Users can move the spellchecker window so that it does not cover the text the user is checking for errors.
  • Missing icons for table row and column cut/copy/paste will now appear.

Return to February 2022 – 3900.32 Release description


API updates: Adaptive/Conditional Release API Support - 3900.32.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience and Original Experience
Impact: All clients and partners

Instructors value the option to release course content according to various criteria. Using APIs, developers can now manage the release of content by group membership.

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

Return to February 2022 – 3900.32 Release description


Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.32.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience and Original Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • Future courses shown as "ended" to students: When a student tried to access a course that began on a future date, the student received this error:
        "This course has ended. You can no longer access this course."
    This message is now updated to provide clearer information.
        "You can't access this course right now. Your instructor will allow access when the course is ready."
  • Students received error when trying to access group assessment:
    When a student tried to access a group assessment, the student received this error:
        "Oops! Something went wrong. Please reload the page."
    We corrected this error. Students can now access the group assignment as expected.
  • Incorrect submission date on assignment submission receipt:
    The assignment submission receipt included the timestamp when the student started the attempt. The timestamp now shows the time/date the student submitted the attempt.
  • Feedback was not saved if the instructor did not click save before updating and saving the grade:
    Feedback was not saved if the instructor did not click save before updating and saving the grade. This problem occurred only in Ultra courses. We have corrected this error. Both the grade and feedback save as expected.

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 3900.32.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.

Return to February 2022 – 3900.32 Release description


Learn SaaS release 3900.30.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.30.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 7 December 2021
| Release to Production: Thursday, 6 January 2022.
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

For full feature details please see the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.30 version included below on this page. Details can be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.30.0-rel.39+97a2be2 to Production servers on 24 of January 2022.

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

 


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 January, the exact date may differ from the release update and even be different across regions. This improvement will be released to client Production environments with the 3900.30.0 release.


Assist disclaimers for third-party tools

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.30.0 | Release to Test/Stage and Production 6 January 2022
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The Assist updates are micro-service changes that will affect all Test/Stage and Production instances on the same day. On this first launch for a third-party tool, as a user, you'll see and need to accept a legal disclaimer anywhere Assist is used. You can set later not to see the disclaimer again for each tool.


Ally File Transformer in Blackboard Assist (global availability)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.30.0
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. Ally File Transformer, as a free part of Blackboard Assist, is available by default but can be turned off.

  • 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, BeeLine reader and 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.

Previously available for North American higher education clients, the Ally File Transformer will now be available with Blackboard Assist for clients globally on January 6. Blackboard Assist is available for all Learn SaaS clients except for US K12.

Ally file transformer brief explanation

Blackboard Assist (business/government availability)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.30.0
Ultra Experience, Original Experience, Base Navigation, and Blackboard App

Assist offers your learners one central hub within Blackboard Learn to find and access the services they need to flourish. Previously, Blackboard Assist was not available to clients with business or government licenses. From January 6, 2022 these clients will also have the chance to enable Assist.

Enable Blackboard Assist within Blackboard Learn and you will:  

  • Give learners one place to find vital support services: Blackboard Assist’s prominent placement in Blackboard Learn helps make learners increasingly aware of all connected support resources.
  • Get learners to take advantage of available services: Blackboard Assist’s around-the-clock availability through both the desktop and Blackboard app means that learners can access these support resources whenever and wherever they need them. Featuring services offers an additional way to capture your learners’ attention.  
  • Gain access to Ally File Transformer: Blackboard’s Ally File Transformer helps learners to personalize their learning experience. It can convert files into alternative formats that better fit their needs, devices, and learning preferences.