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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, 3 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.16+0d93045 to Test/Stage servers on 21 January 2022.

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

 


The February 2022 - 3900.32.0 release includes several new features. Users may now add text guidance for name pronunciation. Users may also add a short audio clip. Granular course copy in an Ultra course now includes content from Original courses. Institutions using domain branding will now have branded URLs in scheduled notification emails. This release also includes three other improvements, an API update, and several bug fixes.


Icon that indicates the release note is a new feature

Prohibit late submissions and new attempts after due date - 3900.32.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Impact: Instructors, Students

Instructors may set both a due date and a time limit on an assessment. The Ultra experience accepts and marks "late" submissions received after the due date. But depending on the situation, instructors may want to enforce a due date and/or a time limit on an assessment. In some cases, the due date is not a strict deadline, but the time limit is. In other cases, the time limit is less of a concern, but the student must complete the assessment by a specific date. There may be times when enforcement of both the due date and time limit is important.

Robust assessment settings are necessary to support a range of different scenarios. These settings are also important for academic integrity and honesty in courses. Two new assessment settings are now available. These settings give instructors more control over due dates and time limits.

New Settings for Tests and Assignments:

  1. "Prohibit late submissions" - Select this setting to enforce a hard deadline and disallow a late submission. In-progress and saved attempts will auto-submit at the due date. Students will receive a submission receipt via email. Specified accommodations are still honored.
  2. "Prohibit new attempts after due date" - Select this setting to prevent students from beginning a new attempt after the due date.

Note that selecting "Prohibit late submissions" auto-enables "Prohibit new attempts after due date." But an instructor can enable the "Prohibit new attempts after due date" option on its own. This supports a scenario when students should have the full amount of time available on a timed test. In this scenario, we assume that the due date is of less importance. A student can resume any attempt saved before the due date passes. This supports a scenario where the student experiences a disruption during the assessment. Students who submit an attempt after the due date will have their submission marked as late.

If an instructor enables the due date and/or time limit, students see these details. These details appear in the Details & Information section for the assessment.

 

Scenario examples – 1-hour timed test due today at 6:00 PM

Scenario 1 – "Prohibit late submissions" enabled:

Instructor settings:

Instructor detail view of Prohibit late submissions and new attempts after due date settings

Student view:

Student view of Prohibit late submissions and new attempts after due date settings

When starting a 1-hour timed test less than 1-hour before the due date:

Student view of a warning message when there is less than one hour to complete a test
Student view of Prohibit late submissions and new attempts after due date when there's less than one hour left
Student view of the timer running when there is less than one hour to complete a test
  • Students starting an attempt before 5:00 PM today will have the full 1-hour time limit available.
  • Students starting an attempt after 5:00 PM today will not have the full 1-hour time limit available to them. For example, a student who starts the test at 5:15 PM will only have 45 minutes available.
  • Attempts not submitted before the 6:00 PM deadline will auto-submit at the due date.
  • No new attempts can begin after the 6:00 PM deadline.
  • Students with accommodations can continue working past the due date. Their attempt will not be auto-submitted.

Scenario 2 - "Prohibit new attempts after due date" enabled on its own:

Instructor settings:

Instructor detail view of Prohibit late submissions and new attempts after due date settings

Student view if the due date has passed:

Student view of Prohibit late submissions and new attempts after due date when due date has passed
  • Students starting an attempt before 5:59 PM today will have the full 1-hour time limit available.
  • Students who submit an attempt after 6:00 PM today will have their submission marked as late.
  • No new attempts can begin after the 6:00 PM.
  • Students with accommodations can continue working past the due date. Their attempt will not be auto-submitted.

 

Limitations:

"Prohibit late submissions" does not work in combination with:

  • Peer review
  • Group submissions
  • Offline submissions

"Prohibit new attempts after due date" setting enabled on its own does not work with:

  • Peer review
  • Offline submissions

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.


Granular Course Copy - Copy from Original - 3900.32.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Impact: Instructors

Instructors now have the option to copy content from Original courses to an Ultra course. This enhancement to course copy provides efficiencies and greater flexibility for reusing content. This will save time and reduce frustration when building a course.

The course copy procedure and process remain the same. The Copy Content menu now includes both Original and Ultra courses. Instructors may choose to copy all or select content. If the system encounters a problem with content copy an error report will appear. The details will provide more information about why the content failed to copy.

Supported content types are as follows:

  • folders
  • documents
  • tests, including group tests
  • assignments, including group assignments
  • links to websites
  • SCORM packages
  • discussions and journals

More detailed information on supported content types is available.

Granular content copy from Original now allows selection of individual files

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.


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

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


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.


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.36+30ff7b6 to Production servers on 14 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.


Looking for older release notes?

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