Mobile Web Services
The Blackboard Mobile Web Services Building Block enables users to connect to their courses through Blackboard's mobile applications: Blackboard app, Blackboard Instructor, and Bb Grader. The latest version of the Mobile Web Services Building Block is 94.9.12. Check these links for the best available version for your installation.
Cumulative Update1 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018
Cumulative Update 1 for Q2 2018 is now available.
Blackboard is committed to protecting the privacy of all users. Due to changing regulations globally concerning use of data and privacy, including the European Union General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR), this release includes updates that impact user experience. Administrators should evaluate the impact this may have for their users.
Configure static resources
You can specify a desired directory in the Content Collection. To access this setting, go to Admin Panel > System Configuration > Configure Static Resources. Blackboard Learn ships with this set to an internal default directory, but you can change that to any location of your choice. Files in the chosen location are served by the Learn application server as if they were located at the server root, allowing the server to serve static files such as robots.txt and favicon.ico. Before this improvement, this functionality required custom workarounds.
This feature is intended solely for files such as those listed; it is not intended for serving dynamic content or large files.
Available in Q3: Cloud storage integration
Instructors can copy files from their favorite cloud storage solutions when authoring Content Items or creating Assignments. Students can submit assignments from their favorite cloud storage solutions. Cloud storage that is supported includes OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Google Drive including G suite accounts, Dropbox, and Box.
Cloud Services integration isn't compatible with the generally available version of 9.1 Q2 2018 (build 3400.0) or SaaS Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option release. A Cumulative Update will be required to enable the feature. This feature is available in Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery environments.
Create recording for feedback
An instructor or grader can create personalized feedback recordings for individual assessment attempts or manual gradebook items. Each recording can be up to 5 minutes long and can be both video and audio. The option appears in the third row of the Content Editor as a microphone icon.
Administrators need to update their bb-config.properties file. For more information, please see behind the Blackboard.
The following feedback locations are supported:
- Graded Discussion
- Graded Wiki
- Graded Blog
- Graded Journal
- Feedback in a manual grade column
Students will see icons representing recordings that they can select to start streaming playback of the video on their computer or mobile device.
Learn 2016 theme grade center enhancements
The Learn 2016 theme now has an improved grade center. Instructors will now be able to:
- View full titles of Grade Center columns, making it easier to distinguish between similarly-titled items,
- View as many columns as the size of their window will allow, and
- Enter into Grade Center full-screen mode to make the most of their desktop experience.
Learn 2016 theme mobile optimization
Tests and the learning modules tool are now optimized for web on mobile devices. In the Learning Modules tool, the table of contents will always be pinned to the bottom of the page and can be expanded or collapsed.
In tests, additional question types have been optimized for use on mobile devices.
To meet Java 8 default performance requirements, we recommend that Blackboard Learn system administrators for Self-Hosted environments increase code cache settings for Tomcat JVM. These changes help maintain application performance.
You can find and update the settings using these steps:
1. Open bb-config.properties
2. Locate the following properties and update the values:
3. Save the changes and run PushConfigUpdates.sh to apply the changes to your environment.
LTI System and Course tool updates
The Assessment option under Course Tool placement has been removed. There is now a setting for Student Tool and Content Type. Placements previously set to use the Assessment placement type will continue to display in the same way. If the placement is edited, the course tool type will be changed.
New REST APIs and enhancements
This release includes new REST APIs and enhancements to previously-released web services, including:
- Course Roles
- System Roles
- Course copy
- Course tasks/status
- LTI configure domains
- Gradebook attempts
- Grade schemas
- Other gradebook improvements
- Grading periods
Password reset enhancement
When using Learn's password reset function, the password reset URL sent through email now expires in 15 minutes for greater security.
Passwords with SAML authentication
When SAML is implemented, users can’t reset their Blackboard Learn system password because the institution requires log in with an external account.
Institutions and instructors want to track attendance for various purposes, including at-risk detection, federal financial aid and accreditation compliance, and to support instructor pedagogical preference where being present is a component of a course grade.
With this release, instructors can track attendance in both experiences. In Learn courses, a gradebook column is added when the instructor begins taking attendance. The Attendance column provides the overall attendance score in the gradebook, where it can be included in the student’s overall grade.
Based on your data region, some Blackboard Learn features may not be available. Attendance isn't supported on Internet Explorer 11.
This release contains a security fix to the login page that could interrupt the way third party SSO solutions pass user credentials from a client portal to Blackboard. Clients using supported SSO methods including SAML and CAS aren't affected. Clients experiencing difficulty with custom SSO solutions should file a support ticket on Behind the Blackboard.
Xythos ulimit update
To accommodate Xythos content tasks, administrators are encouraged to increase the parameter limit to 30000 in the bb-config.properties file. This increase will ensure a sufficient limit of the number of opened files. Root privileges are required to change this setting.
Update for Gradebook SOAP WSDL
The SOAP WSDL for Gradebook includes two new fields for Big Decimal. Partners and developers using SOAP web services for integration who leveraged the Gradebook services should recompile using the updated WSDL.
Branding and color configuration in the Learn 2016 Theme
This release includes additional options for users who wish to configure the Learn 2016 theme in all courses. In the Blackboard Learn 2016 theme, Course Menu and Theme color customization is now available through the entire interface.
Instructors and course designers can configure the course colors in the course control panel when using the Learn 2016 Theme. The course menu area appears in these colors in both desktop and mobile experiences. Extended menu areas such as the Control Panel for instructors and My Groups menu for students remain in the gray and white color scheme.
These enhancements apply to courses using the Learn 2016 theme in an Original experience environment.
Clear multiple choice selection
Students are now able to clear a selection from multiple-choice questions. This lets students avoid a penalty when they’ve made an initial selection and negative points are associated with answer choices.
Additional attempts in Anonymous Grading
Instructors can now grant an additional attempt for scenarios when the student needs one and the prior attempt can't be cleared because it is in an anonymous state.
LTI Names and Roles services
Integrated tools can retrieve course roster information to support assessment activities or provide better information about the class within the tool. This ability is formerly known as LTI Membership Service.