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We made a number of enhancements to LTI Tool Provider setup and placements:
- Administrators can now access LTI Tool Providers directly from the Administrator Panel in the Integrations menu.
- There are new naming and capabilities in the placement options for an LTI tool.
- Under Type, the student tool has been renamed to Course tool, with availability options for students and non-students. Student Course tools appear in the Student Tools area and no longer require instructor action for students to use the tool. Non-student Course tools appear in the Control Panel for instructors and other course users with access to the Control Panel.
- The Content Item Message tool type is now the Supports deep linking option within the Course content tool to reflect a name change by the IMS Global organization.
- There is a new Administrator tool placement type, which lets administrators place LTI tools in the Tools and Utilities menu on the Administrator Panel.
- A new System tool placement type allows a tool to be added to the Tools panel that can appear in the My Institution or other module tab. This allows integrating tools that might be accessed outside of the course context such as a library system or a media management tool.
- If your institution uses Mobile Web Services, Instructors can grade assignments using the Blackboard Instructor app.
- Full user interface translation is available in a new Norwegian (nn_NO) language pack.
- Skip links, which make it easier for users of assistive technologies to navigate the structure of pages, now work more consistently across tool areas in the system.
- This release includes a number of performance improvements in areas such as content management (Xythos) and the Purge Accumulator. Several areas of logging have been improved to reduce log volumes.
New REST APIs and enhancements
This release includes new REST APIs and enhancements to previously-released web services, including:
- Content File Attachments
- Course Grade Attempts
- Course Gradebook Categories
- Courses v2 incl. cross-listing
Xythos Diagnostic Tool
This release includes a Xythos Diagnostic tool that administrators can run in the command line. In ~/blackboard/tools/admin, run the XythosDiagnosticsTool.bat|.sh command to generate a zipped report with statistics about Xythos servers deployed in your current Blackboard Learn environment. The output is stored in ~/blackboard/logs.
Expanded ability to reconcile grades in Delegated Grading
Delegated grading lets an instructor share grading responsibilities by assigning course members to grade sets of submissions. Grading and feedback from more than one grader can promote reliability, improve consistency, and remove bias. The instructor can reconcile grades and settle on final scores after the graders have completed their assigned submissions.
The ability to reconcile grades was previously limited to instructors and users who were granted the permission by an administrator. In this release, instructors can grant this permission to graders. The Can reconcile grades option appears when the instructor delegates grading. Instructors can choose to grant the permission to any or all graders who are delegated submissions.
Internet Explorer no longer supported
Support for Internet Explorer ends with Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018 and SaaS 3500.0.0. Older releases may still work using this browser. Microsoft ended active development for Internet Explorer in January 2016. Some newer features in Learn may not work, including Attendance and Create Recording. Reported issues isolated to Internet Explorer won't be resolved by Product Support. We recommend using another browser.
Download annotated PDFs
This feature was also available for Self- and Managed-Hosting environments as a Cumulative Update for Blackboard Learn 9.1.
Users were accustomed to downloading annotated files when Crocodoc handled inline file rendering. With the switch to New Box View, this capability wasn’t available and highly requested. Blackboard listened and developed the ability to download annotated files using the New Box View.
In this release, both instructors and students can download certain file types (DOC, DOCX, PDF) with annotations as an annotated PDF. Students can download the annotated file after their submission has been graded.
Visit Inline Grading and New Box View Update on the Blackboard Community for more information and a video demonstration
Check out the October 2018 Inline Grading and New Box View Update for an update about comment summaries in annotated PDFs
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) User Report
One of the requirements of the European Union (EU) GDPR is to allow users to receive human-readable reports of personal information that has been collected about them. Clients receiving user requests may submit a case on Behind the Blackboard, including the user’s ID, to request the exported report package. The report is a ZIP file that contains CSV files with site- and course-level information about user activity, tool interactions, uploaded content, or submitted work within Blackboard Learn. Any grade data in the report are raw values and don’t include any calculations or weighting the instructor may have applied in the Grade Center. The report won’t contain information about other users in the system, content created by the institution or other users, or information from deleted courses.
Flexible Deployment Option customers: In Q4 2018 CU1 (3500.0.1), the GDPR User Report includes Activity Log and Attendance data.
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.
Cloud storage integration in the Original Course View
Blackboard is pleased to announce cloud storage integration in the Original Course View. Instructors and students can access an aggregated cloud service that lets users connect to their preferred cloud storage accounts and place content directly into their course. Instructors and students can instantly connect to multiple web apps where they store files.
Your files are stored on secure, online servers where they're protected from accidents and viruses. If something happens to your computer or phone, you don't have to worry about file loss. You can access your files in the cloud any time you're connected to the internet, on any of your devices.
This feature was also made available with Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 CU4.
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 Protection Regulation (GDPR), this release includes updates that impact user experience. Administrators should evaluate the impact this may have for their users.
- The Security Management: Cookie Disclosure Building Block, originally intended to address regulations in the European Privacy Data Directive, has been replaced by the Security Management: Data Use and Privacy Disclosure Building Block. This Building Block is part of the core system and can't be disabled or removed.
- For institutions that don't have users who would fall under regulations requiring this acceptance, the terms acceptance interface can be disabled in the Security Management: Data Use and Privacy Disclosure settings page. However, we recommend institutions keep the acceptance interface enabled because some users might access from another location with such regulations.
- The Security Management: Data Use and Privacy Disclosure settings page allows an administrator to define a web link to institutional statements about data use and privacy. An administrator could also store such a statement in the Content Collection as a public file and link to it.
NewBoxView is default service
Starting with the 3400.3.0 release, New Box View will be the default service (instead of Crocodoc) for all new Blackboard Learn installations. If your institution decided not to transition to New Box View and is upgrading to a more recent version of Blackboard Learn, this change won't affect you unless you are starting with a fresh install for the new target instance.
Outcomes roles based on Institutional Hierarchy
When the centralized Assessment team demonstrates the simplicity and time-saving power of Outcomes Assessment, other departments and programs across the institution often want to take advantage of the solution and move their Assessment practices to Outcomes. Historically, though, institutions have been hesitant to roll it out to individual departments because adding Outcomes roles for users outside of the central office would grant full access to the entire institution’s evidence collections, evaluations, and reports.
With this update, we have enhanced Outcomes to respect the access limitations you’ve put in place by configuring Institutional Hierarchy. You can now assign Outcomes roles to key stakeholders within each department and these users will only be able to create evidence collections, manage evaluations, and view reports for courses within their node of the Institutional Hierarchy.