Release Notes for Learn SaaS

This page contains features and updates currently on Learn SaaS Test/Stage and Production environments. Visit Archived SaaS Release Notes to see features and updates in older versions. Visit In-Product Updates to learn more about in-product updates.

Filter the list of features to learn more.

More on Learn with the SaaS Deployment | Export the list of Known Issues | Access the latest API and database documentation | Blackboard Learn SaaS release notes archive | Learn Releases White Paper

Looking for Blackboard Learn 9.1 release notes?

Follow this page to get email updates when we publish new release notes

View the SaaS release schedule


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.22+29d441b to Test/Stage servers to take place on 2 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.

 


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



Looking for older release notes?

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

Return to top