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.

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Chatbot enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 and v3900.17.0 | Release to Test/Stage and Production 17 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View and Base Navigation

On June 17, Blackboard Student Success updated Blackboard Chatbot. Chatbot is included in Blackboard Learn at no additional cost, so the Learn experience is also improved:

  • Search Blackboard Learn Help documentation for Instructors as well as Students.
  • In addition to asking the chatbot questions, users can now also navigate a category hierarchy to discover common topics.
  • Resulting help information is now previewed directly in the chat interaction. Users can click to open the full documentation from the Help site.
    • The default Help articles reference the Ultra Course View to better support users transitioning to our latest interface and may need more assistance. However, users can easily switch to the Original Course View versions of Help articles as needed.
  • Institutions can upgrade to the premium version of Blackboard Chatbot that now supports adding institutional-specific help resources and defining a unique, branded chatbot persona.

Blackboard Chatbot currently supports English language North American SaaS environments using Base Navigation. The June 17 update applies to all production and test/stage environments.


Learn SaaS release 3900.17.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Original Experience and Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.17.0 (full release number 3900.17.0-rel.24+35b8869) to client Test/Stage servers on Friday, June 18, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some building blocks didn’t launch correctly after a libraries' update. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, student preview users couldn’t access journals. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn’t access assessments with system-generated access codes, as they contained leading zeros or unnecessary commas within. Now the codes are properly generated. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS releases 3900.15.0 and 3900.17.0: Update on release to client Production and Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021

Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re updating the information available regarding the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.15.0 release to client Production servers, previously scheduled for Thursday, June 3, 2021:

  • The release remains on hold for clients in the US-East-1 region while continuing to work with Rustici on the SCORM issue. We do not have a target release date yet.
  • For institutions that have already received Learn SaaS 3900.15: there will be no further  production upgrades until the SCORM issue has been resolved.
  • For institutions that are still using Learn SaaS 3900.13: production upgrade to 3900.15 will not be performed until the SCORM issue has been resolved.

Two issues were identified during the 3900.17.0 release to test/stage on Tuesday. For the benefit of our clients, we're working on a test/stage update, scheduled for Friday, June 18.

We’ll provide new updates as soon as we have more information.


API updates - 3900.17.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Ability to manage Tool-to-node associations: We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • Institutional Hierarchy is used by large Blackboard Learn Clients to enable increased administrator management distribution for campus courses and tool availability. Now APIs users have the ability to manage Tool- to-node associations.

For more information about our Rest Public APIs, please refer to: https://developer.blackboard.com/portal/displayApi


Highlight on bug fixes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, manual grade columns were lacking a Post All grades button on the Submissions page. A Post All button is now present there for instructors to use. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Experience, Ultra Courses, Organizations, and Grades pages went blank on Safari, when the zoom was below 100%. Now, the pages display the courses the user is enrolled in. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Experience, the Content Editor wasn't loading randomly. Now, the Content Editor loads in all use cases. We've fixed the issue.

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 3900.17.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Course Role Mapping to LTI Context Roles

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View, Original Experience and Original Course View

Some third-party integrated tools function better when users’ course roles are more specific to the responsibilities they have in their courses. Before, all privileged course users were sent to LTI tools with the context role instructor. Administrators can now edit course roles and choose from a list of LTI Context Roles that may be more appropriate for each.

Default and custom course roles, Original and Ultra courses, and older LTI 1.1 and newer LTI Advantage/1.3 tools are all supported.

To prevent possible disruption for current users, the old default role behavior wasn't changed. Administrators may wish to review all course role configurations after this release, and choose LTI context roles. Any given LTI context role mapping is specific to a course role and will apply to all LTI tools.


Overall grade prompt custom removal

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Ultra Experience

In Grading, there is a prompt composed of an image and text that ask users if they want to add an overall grade. This prompt appears always, whether instructors intend to use it or not. This new feature allows users to dismiss the prompt permanently for a course, if they never intend to use an overall grade for it.

Additionally, if instructors dismiss the prompt, they'll still be able to setup the overall grade from the gradebook settings. If the overall grade is already set up, they'll be able to access the overall settings from the gradebook settings.


Percentage option for overall grade

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Ultra Experience

This enhancement allows instructors to show the overall grade in a way that best aligns to the method in which they currently teach the class. Instructors can select now between Letter (grade schema) and Percentage. The selection will apply to instructors and students in the overall grade.


Gradebook column grading on/off for attendance

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Ultra Experience

With this new feature, instructors can control the visibility of the Attendance columns for students and instructors in the gradebook view, grid and list. They can choose wether they want to use attendance as a grade or not.

While some instructors want or need to track attendance, they don't always need it represented in the gradebook. They can remove attendance columns from the gradebook without affecting the attendance itself.

If instructors want to remove attendance, now they can do so from the attendance settings. Before this enhancement, the option was only available in the gradebook grid.


Group assignment page improvement

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Ultra Experience

In the Ultra experience, we've redesigned the group set configuration page to improve UI performance and allow large courses to be more stable.

  • A new functionality allows instructors to paginate through students who aren't currently assigned to a group.
  • The avatar is hidden, to help people with vision impairment to navigate through cards more efficiently.
  • A search bar now makes easy a specific student lookup or helps filter the display of unassigned students by search criteria. The bar shows predicted results and only unassigned students will be displayed.
  • Another new functionality allows users to move to the top of the page when there are enough students shown on the screen.

 


Performance tuning: 1M stack size increment for all SaaS sites

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

SH/MH customers may improve Learn thread’s capabilities, memory wise, by updating the bbconfig.max.stacksize.tomcat property value, within the bb-config.properties file to “1M”. This change will take effect when the instance is restarted and in case threads need the extra piece of memory that is being provided, they will have access to it.


Learn SaaS releases 3900.15.0 and 3900.17.0: Update on release to client Production and Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 1 July 2021

Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re updating the information available regarding the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.15.0 release to client Production servers, previously scheduled for Thursday, June 3, 2021:

  • The outstanding SCORM upgrade issue is still unresolved. We are working hard alongside Rustici in order to fix it as quickly as possible, and we don't have a target date for resolution yet.
  • For institutions that have already received Learn SaaS 3900.15: there will be no further  production upgrades until the SCORM issue has been resolved.
  • For institutions that are still using Learn SaaS 3900.13: production upgrade to 3900.15 will not be performed until the SCORM issue has been resolved.

We will also move forward with the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.17.0 release to client Test/Stage servers, previously scheduled for Tuesday, June 8, 2021, to Tuesday, June 15, 2021. This new release date aligns with our usual pattern, minimizing its delay as much as possible. Based on institutional feedback we also aim to provide institutions with sufficient time for testing.

The release schedule has been updated to reflect this latter change.


Learn SaaS release 3900.17.0: Delay for release to client Testing environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.17.0 | Release to Production 8 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.17.0 release to client Testing servers, previously scheduled for Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

We’ll provide more updates as soon as we’ve identified a new target date.


Highlight on bug fixes - 3900.15.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, when Ultra Stream Notifications were sent to a specific, targeted role, the system announcement was sent correctly to the specific users with that institution role, but the Admin Announcement UI indicated the notification was sent to everyone. causing confusion for admins. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Experience, in tests, the student's browser needed to be refreshed manually in order to show them tests hidden by conditional availability, even after these conditions were met. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra and Original Experiences, there were software updates related to server performance causing customer email alerts: Administrators were receiving Failed to Phone Home emails for software updates on SaaS environments. They will no longer see those emails. Also, as part of this change, the Update Status column has been removed from the Installed Tools page for Building Blocks. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Experience, after a Learn user had disabled their profile image from view, other users were still able to see it as it remained publicly available. We've fixed the issue.

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 3900.13.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Support for Right to Left

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

Blackboard is pleased to introduce full Right to Left language support in Learn Ultra and to bring this capability to our Arabic and Hebrew speaking markets.

We've included in this release:

  • Full Right to Left flipped user interface across Ultra including base navigation, Ultra Course View and System Admin. 
  • Enhancements for the Ultra Rich Text Editor  that allow our users who write in Right to Left languages to adjust the text direction display.
  • System level Arabic and Hebrew language support and Ultra Course View  language enforcement.

Feedback by criterion

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Course View, Blackboard App

Rubrics are an essential tool when thinking about grading workflows. With this addition, rubrics inside Ultra courses are more useful to instructors. Segmented feedback provides more flexibility and detail to messages sent from instructors to students when grading an assignment. Students can have a better understanding of the why behind their grade, as per their instructor or grader prerogative.

Feedback by criterion is available wherever rubrics appear, like discussions, anonymous assignments, single and multiple attempts assignments, among others.

When using the parallel grading workflow, the option will be available to all graders, but the only feedback by criterion students will see, is the one given by the reconciler. The workflow remains around rubrics, and thus, feedback inside rubrics for the delegated workflow will remain the same.

This new feature is a step forward in our commitment to keep improving the rubrics roadmap.


A/V Recordings option in announcements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

With this new option, instructors can now insert audio and video recordings in their course announcements.


Peer Assessment: Peer Notifications

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience

This feature aims to expand previous releases of the Peer Assessment functionality. Students and instructors can learn about relevant changes in submissions via the Activity Stream. Instructors get notifications when new reviews arrive, and students get them when their reviews are graded.


Peer Assessment: Batch edit

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Ultra Experience

This feature aims to expand previous releases of the Peer Assessment functionality. Instructors can edit peer review items in batches. They can adjust the due date of separate items at the same time by delaying or advancing the date in a given batch.


Reset Signed URL configuration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 Jun 2021
Original Experience

This feature improves content delivery, accessibility and performance for China users, serving all files via our CDN Servers. The server will auto-configure and set up the user’s session to use or not to use signed URLs during login. Administrators can manually adjust exceptions by contacting Blackboard Support.


Course Auto-Archive performance and efficiency improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.15.0 | Release to Production 3 June 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

This improvement fixes known issues causing archive-related instability and implements a safety-net to stop archiving courses that repeatedly fail. It also improves efficiency of auto-archives by adding more sources that the system can store as a reference instead of copying them as file data. Last but not least, it ensures that auto-archives are enabled for all sites as part of each release.



Looking for older release notes?

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