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.

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Learn SaaS release 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.54.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 8 November 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 1 December 2022
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.54.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.54.0-rel.17+4649745 to Test/Stage servers to take place on 29 November 2022.

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

 


Learn SaaS release 3900.52.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.52.0
Release to Test/Stage: Wednesday, 12 October 2022 | Release to Production: Thursday, 3 November 2022
Original Experience
Ultra Experience

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.52.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.52.0-rel.22+0f5d4f9 to Production servers to take place on 3 November 2022.

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

 


December 2022 – 3900.54 Release

The December 2022 - 3900.54 release is complete with features in seven areas:

  • assessment and grading;
  • richer course and content design;
  • data and analytics;
  • integration, extension, and management;
  • course upgrading;
  • security; and
  • usability.

These improvements primarily impact instructors and students. Some features do require administrative action.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

All users:

Administrators:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Icon that indicates the release note is a new feature

Security change in release 3900.54 may be incompatible with some Building Blocks

 

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students, Administrators

Anthology constantly works to improve the security stance of Blackboard Learn and proactively reacts to vulnerabilities identified in third-party and open source libraries used in the application. Recently, security experts published a vulnerability for an open source library used in the Learn application. This vulnerability is now addressed in the 3900.54 release.

Depending on whether third-party providers also use this library and how they manage it in their Building Blocks, some Building Blocks and versions of Building Blocks may be incompatible with 3900.54. The impact is specific to third-party (add-on) Building Blocks only. This change doesn't affect Building Blocks that are part of the Learn core application, and doesn't affect integrations using Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), REST APIs, or Ultra Extension Framework (UEF).

For administrators: We encourage administrators to test third-party (add-on) Building Blocks as soon as possible, to prepare for the 3900.54 release. If you provide a Building Block that’s affected, contact Anthology product support for remediation details.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Assessment and Grading

Question Banks Descriptions & Search – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors, Course Builders

Instructors often use question banks to organize assessment questions. Reusing these questions creates efficiency and ensures consistency. Instructors can now add descriptions to question banks. These descriptions are useful for noting the topics or objectives the questions cover. The question bank description is displayed with the question bank title on the Question Banks page.

Image 1. Description for a question bank

Description for a question bank

Instructors sometimes have many question banks in their courses. To help instructors search for and locate a specific bank in the course, we added a search bar. The search functionality queries both the bank title and description.

Image 2. Search field for Question Banks; descriptions appear beneath the Question Bank name

Search field for Question Banks; descriptions appear beneath the Question Bank name

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Needs grading for first and last attempts – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors, Graders

Instructors need to know what grading work remains for them to complete. When assessments have multiple attempts, the instructor may elect how to grade those attempts:

  • average of all attempts
  • first attempt with a grade
  • attempt with highest grade
  • last attempt with a grade
  • attempt with lowest grade

When the instructor selects “first attempt with a grade” or “last attempt with a grade” sometimes the "needs grading" count was inaccurate or confusing.

We have updated the way that the "needs grading" count increments when more than one attempt is allowed. The "grade attempts" selection is honored for the following:

  • last attempt with a grade - when the instructor grades the last attempt, previous attempts do not increase the "needs grading" count
  • last attempt with a grade - if the student makes a new attempt after the instructor grades, that attempt does increase the "needs grading" count
  • first attempt with a grade - when the instructor grades the first attempt, attempts that follow do not increase the "needs grading" count

Image 1. The assessment is set to grade using “last attempt with a grade.” The needs grading count does not include earlier attempts from this student.

The assessment is set to grade using “last attempt with a grade.” The needs grading count does not include earlier attempts from this student.

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Richer Course and Content Design

Drag-and-drop improvements – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors, Course Builders

This feature may not be immediately available when the 3900.54 release is applied to test/stage sites. Please prepare for this feature to appear automatically up to 1or 2 days after your site is updated.

Instructors organize and sequence their course materials when authoring. Contents are arranged by dragging and dropping them. In this release, drag-and-drop has been greatly improved, increasing efficiency. Instructors can grab items more quickly. When moving an item, it’s clearer to instructors where it will go when dropped.

Instructors can also use keyboard commands to reorder the content:

  • tab to navigate to an item
  • enter to select an item
  • up/down arrows to move an item
  • enter to drop the item

Image 1. Drag and drop functionality in Course Content

Drag and drop functionality in Course Content

Image 2. Drag and drop utilizing keyboard commands

Drag and drop utilizing keyboard commands

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed at the administrator level.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Course Links – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

This feature may not be immediately available when the 3900.54 release is applied to test/stage sites. Please prepare for this feature to appear automatically up to 1or 2 days after your site is updated.

Instructors may need to reference information contained in other sections of the course. For example, an instructor may want students to revisit an earlier activity to reinforce their learning. Course links provide access to content without excessive scrolling and reduce clicking. This new feature allows instructors to:

  • Insert a link at the desired location on the Course Content page
  • Browse the elements of a course to select an item
  • Rename the link that will appear on the Course Content page
  • Move a link on the Course Content page independent of the target item

To add a course link, select create from the plus option on the Course Content page. Select the Link option from the Course Content Items section. There are now two tabs:

  • Create Web Link (the options on this page are unchanged)
  • Create Course Link

Select the Create Course Link tab. Enter a keyword and/or select categories to locate the target content. Click search to view the search results. Select the desired content. Edit the Display Name as desired. Course links inherit the description of their targets, if one is included. Instructors may edit the description. Instructors can change the visibility and release conditions by editing the Course Link or the target content. A change made to one applies to the other. Instructors can use Batch Edit to modify linked items, but not associated Course Links.

Linking Exceptions

Instructors can create course links for most course materials and activities. There are exceptions:

  • In this release, an instructor cannot create course links using the Content Editor.
  • In this release, an instructor cannot create Course Links for Folders, Learning Modules, Discussions, and Web Links.
  • We do not support Course Links with Learning Modules where force sequence is enabled. This is because links could allow users access to something they should not yet access. If a Course Link exists in a Learning Module, it will not be possible to enable forced sequence.

Copying Content

When a course is copied into a new course, Course Links are updated to link within the new course. There are exceptions:

  • In this release, instructors cannot copy Course Links for Documents and third-party content (LTI).
  • When copying or converting from an Original course, the copy process will exclude Course Links for Folders, Learning Modules, and Web Links.

Image 1. Adding a new course link to an Ultra document

Adding a new course link to an Ultra document

Image 2. Course Link created on the Course Content page

Course Link created on the Course Content page

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed at the administrator level.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Data & Analytics

Single student progress report - 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors often desire insight into the progress students are making in their course. This information helps instructors to engage early with students or adjust the course content. We have created a new single student progress report. This report focuses on the path each student is taking on the course. In this new report instructors can view:

  • The content they have created for their students
  • The progress the student has made with relevant date/time stamps
  • The current visibility status of each item

Instructors can access this new report:

  • By selecting a single student from the Student Progress report on a content item
  • By selecting a single student from the gradebook list view, Students tab, Student Progress tab
  • By selecting a single student from the gradebook grid view, Student Progress tab

Image 1. Student progress report

Student progress report

When grading anonymously, the student progress status is hidden until the instructor posts grades. This ensures the student’s identity remains anonymous during the grading process.

Image 2. Anonymous test progress information hidden

Anonymous test progress information hidden

This report is only available when progress tracking is turned on in the course.

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed. 

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Integration, Extension, and Management

REST APIs to Read Rubrics and Goals – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

Rubrics are a valuable tool for instructor-to-student communication about performance expectations. Rubrics also help instructors with consistent and unbiased grading. Rubrics may also enable students to self-assess their performance on an assessment. Some rubrics may also be aligned to Goals. In a recent release, we included an option for REST API to read rubrics. Now we are happy to make available a new public Goals API.

This new API provides a suite of GET endpoints that allow users to read:

  • Goals
  • Goal Sets
  • Goal Set Types
  • Goal Categories

This allows developers to read matrices of criteria that enable measurements of student performance.

For administrators: The REST integration user must have the privilege “Administrator Panel (Tools and Utilities) > Goals.”

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Icon Display and Synchronization for Third-Party App Content (LTI) – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students

Content from third-party apps are a significant portion of materials and activities in many courses. Generic icons for these materials made it difficult for users to understand their purpose. Now unique icons can be displayed for each third-party content type. These icons can be set by the tool provider or by the institution administrator. When an icon is not set, third-party contents show a generic icon.

The updated icons apply to contents that are selected or created in the third-party app. Adding a simple link to a tool that can be accessed in Books and Tools (Ultra) or Course Tools (Original) do not display the custom icon at this time.

Image 1. A third-party app icon in the Course Outline of Ultra Course View

A third-party app icon in the Course Outline of Ultra Course View

Image 2. A third-party app icon in a Content Area of Original Course View

A third-party app icon in a Content Area of Original Course View

For administrators: We recommend Administrators review LTI placement configurations after this release because icons will now display to users in more places. Icons set for the placement type Deep Linking Content Tools will display in the Course Outline and Content Areas. Other placement types will continue to display generic icons. Tool providers may also set the icons. An administrator can retrieve icons set by tool providers using the “Synchronize placements” action. When the provider sets icons, they will replace and override institutional icon choices because they are the owner of their branding.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Security

Password policies and logging when users change their passwords – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

Most institutions use an identity provider (e.g. Azure Active Directory) to manage and authenticate users. Sometimes, some users are created in Learn. These users may be allowed to set their own passwords in Learn. Now, administrators can determine length and complexity requirements for these passwords. This can improve the security stance of Learn environments when the default authentication provider is used.

The administrator can set a password length requirement between 8 and 32 characters. The default is 12 characters. The administrator can individually set whether upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters are required.

The authentication logs now capture password change events. This only applies to Learn password changes, not to password changes in an identity provider. There are three event types:

  • A user changed their own password.
  • An administrator or other privileged user changed another user’s password. The event details will show who changed the password.
  • A user reset their password using the forgotten password feature in Learn.

Image 1. A user changes their password in Original Experience.

A user changes their password in Original Experience

Image 2. A user changes their password when Base Navigation is enabled.

A user changes their password when Base Navigation is enabled

For administrators: We recommend administrators review this configuration when users see the password reset option in Learn. The settings appear in the Administrator Panel on a new Password Settings page. Only a full System Administrator can access the configuration page. The default settings enforce the following policies: a minimum of one numeric and one special character, and the minimum length is set to 12. Administrators may also wish to review that system roles are configured correctly so users don’t see Learn’s password reset option when an identity provider is used (single sign-on). In this release, policies are enforced when a user is changing their own password. This includes when using the password reset tool. Password policies aren’t enforced when a support user changes the password of another user. Password policies aren’t enforced when using SIS Framework, Building Blocks, or REST APIs to change passwords.

Image 3. An administrator configures the password length and complexity policies.

An administrator configures the password length and complexity policies

Image 4. Authentication logs include Password Change events.

Authentication logs include Password Change events

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Course Upgrading

Improvements for copying content – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

When building and managing courses, course content reuse provides an important efficiency. We continue to make the copy process for courses and organizations simpler and more effective. In this release, we have changed the following:

  • A larger item selection page shows selected items and items that can be selected at the same time. In the past, instructors would need to switch between two views.
  • Tabs now separate courses and organizations. This makes it easier for instructors to find the correct source location.
  • Breadcrumbs make navigation easier. Using breadcrumb links, instructors can return to a higher level of the course or organization structure. This prevents instructors from having to start again from the top level.
  • The course and organization lists are displayed in alphabetical order. This makes it easier for instructors to find the correct one.

Image 1. Previously, copy actions were managed in a small panel.

Previously, copy actions were managed in a small panel

Image 2. Copy actions are now more efficient in a larger panel.

Copy actions are now more efficient in a larger panel.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed at the administrator level.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Readability/accessibility improvements copying or converting Original content into Ultra Course View – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

In Original Course View users can choose any color for text. Content could be hard to read or not accessible—for example, yellow text on white background. The Ultra Course View has a curated selection of font colors to ensure readability. Users choose from black, gray, purple, blue, and green font colors. We now remove any unsupported font colors during a content copy or course conversion from an Original course.

This release focuses on announcements, discussions, assignments, and documents (not file attachments). We plan to remove unsupported font colors for tests, journals, and other item types in a later release.

Image 1. The last paragraph of light gray text is difficult to read when viewing in Original Course View.

The last paragraph of light gray text is difficult to read when viewing in Original Course View

Image 2. When copied, the light gray text is changed to improve readability and accessibility.

When copied, the light gray text is changed to improve readability and accessibility

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed at the administrator level.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


Usability

Simpler Exit Actions for Student Preview – 3900.54.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Student Preview helps instructors experience their course contents and settings. Saving the preview user on exit retains the user in the Roster and Gradebook. Discarding the preview user on exit removes this user from the course. Previously, the two options were displayed with a default selection and a confirmation action. This was confusing. Now when exiting Student Preview, only the two choices are displayed as actions.

Image 1. Student Preview - Exit function

Student Preview - Exit function

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to December 2022 – 3900.54 Release description


November 2022 – 3900.52 Release

The November 2022 - 3900.52 release is complete with features in five areas:

  • assessment and grading;
  • richer course and content design;
  • data and analytics;
  • integration, extension, and management; and
  • course upgrading.

These improvements primarily impact instructors and students. Some features do require administrative action.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

All users:

Administrators:

Return to top of the Release Notes page


Assessment & Grading

Hotspot Question – 3900.52.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors may want to assess a student’s knowledge of visual content. The hotspot question type is popular for this type of assessment. This question type is also good for reducing the potential of cueing or guessing.

Common examples across diverse disciplines include:

  • identifying as specific state or province on a map,
  • pinpointing a particular bone on a skeleton, and 
  • locating a discrete part of a cell.

Hotspot questions present an image without any answer options for students to choose. Students must mark a certain area of the image that is within the area the instructor defined as correct.

Image 1. Instructor view - Add Hotspot question type for assignments and tests

Add Hotspot question type for assignments and tests

Image 2. Instructor view - Add one or more hotspots to an image

Add one or more hotspots to an image

Image 3. Student view – students may add a pin to the image to mark their selection

Students may add a pin to the image to mark their selection

In the Original course view instructors can only create hotspot questions using a mouse. Now, in the Ultra course experience, instructors can create the hotspot question using a keyboard. Similarly, students may answer hotspot questions via the keyboard. Hotspot questions do not provide full support for assistive technologies. Hotspot questions are not an acceptable question type for instructors and students who use screen readers. 

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Page Breaks in Tests and Assignments – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students

Assessment design is an important aspect of course design. Page breaks are helpful in assessments for a few reasons. Page breaks allow for easy creation of sections within an assessment. Page breaks also make it easy to group related questions.

Students can easily navigate from page to page. If the instructor activates ‘Display one question at a time’ or ‘Question randomization’ all pages will be merged.

Image 1. Page breaks are inserted through the same drop-down as any other assessment component

Page breaks are inserted through the same drop-down as any other assessment component

Image 2. Page breaks are shown to instructors as a black line in the test; select the individual break to remove it

Page breaks are shown to instructors as a black line in the test (you can remove individual breaks by selecting them)

Image 3. Instructors receive a warning message if a configuration they want to use turns page breaks off (e.g. activating randomization)

Instructors receive a warning message if a configuration they want to use turns page breaks off (such as activating randomization)

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Auto save enhancements for lost connections – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Students

Disruptions to internet connectivity can maximize test anxiety. To help, we are further improving how we inform students about connectivity issues. We designed assessments in Ultra to detect if a connection is lost. If this happens, we warn students.

Image 1. Connection lost warning

Connection lost warning

After 20 seconds, the warning disappears. If the connection is not restored, another warning informs the student that their most recent progress is not saved.

Image 2. Connection lost and progress not saved warning

Connection lost and progress not saved warning

When the connection is restored, the system alerts the student and confirms that progress is saved.

Image 3. Connection restored and progress saved alert

Connection restored and progress saved alert

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Grade History Improvements – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Grading records are important for instructors and academic leaders. The records are useful for addressing academic disputes or addressing students' questions. In an earlier release, we added Grade History to the Ultra Course View. In this release, we are including a new user interface where users will be able to:

  • Select which gradebook items to include in the download,
  • Include deleted items, and
  • Select timeframes to optimize the amount of information downloaded.

The download file report will include additional information:

  • Student username
  • Grade category
  • Submission receipt: The submission receipt number
  • Submission attempt: The number of the submitted attempt

These changes make it easier to access and search the log of changes to student grades.

Image 1. New options for Grade History

New user interface for Grade History in Grade Download options

The additional columns in the downloadable file will also be present for users of the Original Course View.

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Gradebook view saved – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors tend to have a preferred view between the Grid View and the Gradable Items list view. The Gradebook will now save the last selected view from the instructor, saving time and a click.

Image 1. Course Gradebook on Gradable Items list view as preferred view 

Course Gradebook on Gradable Items list view as preferred view 

Image 2. Course Gradebook on Grid view as preferred view

Course Gradebook on Grid view as preferred view

Image 3. Organization Gradebook on Gradable Items list view as preferred view 

Organization Gradebook on Gradable Items list view as preferred view 

Image 4. Organization Gradebook on Grid view as preferred view

Organization Gradebook on Grid view as preferred view

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Enhanced Student Grades Overview – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors often want to view the assessments and performance of an individual student. This is a common task, so it should be easy and accessible from the gradebook. In a previous release, we added this option to the grid view to provide consistency with the Gradable Items list view.

Now we have enhanced the Student Grades Overview by:

  • surfacing the last access, username, and accommodations;
  • adding the Student Activity report; and 
  • surfacing accommodations.

Image 1. Student Grades Overview with student information on the header

Student Grades Overview with student information on the header

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Richer Student feedback options for manually added columns – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students

Student feedback is a crucially important part of instruction. To better support instructors we have expanded the content editor options for manually added columns. Now instructors can give robust feedback that includes formatted text, lists, links, attachments, and media.

Image 1. Content editor options for a manually created column

Content editor options for a manually created column

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Gradebook Icon tooltips – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Tooltips are helpful for providing guidance and information right when users need it. In the Gradebook we have added tool tips for the following icons:

  • Search by submission receipt number,
  • Upload gradebook,
  • Download gradebook, and
  • Settings.

To improve keyboard navigation, we also modified the focus order for these icons.

Image 1. Tool tip for Submission Receipt number

Tool tip for Submission Receipt number

Image 2. Tool tip for Upload Gradebook

Tool tip for Upload Gradebook

Image 3. Tool tip for Download Gradebook

Tool tip for Download Gradebook

Image 4. Tool tip for Settings

Tool tip for Settings

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Richer Course and Content Design:

Content Collection in Ultra Documents - 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Many faculty enjoy using the Content Collection so that they can easily reuse content across courses. In the past, instructors could only add content from the Content Collection on the Course Content page. Now instructors may include content from the Content Collection in Ultra Documents.

Image 1. “Browse Content Collection” option in Ultra documents

“Browse Content Collection” option in Ultra documents

Image 2. “Browse Content Collection” option in content editor for Ultra Documents

“Browse Content Collection” option in content editor for Ultra Documents

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Grading navigation improvements in Journals – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

When an instructor applies the "needs grading" filter on the Grades & Participation page for a Journal, student to student navigation may not work as expected. We have corrected the navigation. Now an instructor can navigate student journals student by student as expected.

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Data & Analytics

Course Activity Report under the Analytics tab – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors identify struggling students based off their performance and engagement within a course. Sometimes the information was hard to find, or instructors had to look in many places.

Instructors now have easier access to the course activity page. The page is now located under the analytics tab in courses.

The course activity page allows instructors to:

  • Identify struggling students based on their grade and hours spent in the course. This data is a snapshot taken weekly that allows instructors to compare.
  • Act by messaging students who have a low grade and/or have not logged in recently.
  • Focus on a student to see how their engagement and performance has changed each week.
  • Receive alerts when a student has not accessed their course in a while or if their grade has dropped.
  • Notify students when their course activity or grade in the course is below average.

Image 1. Course activity report under the analytics tab – chart view

Course activity report under the analytics tab – chart view

Image 2. Course activity report under the analytics tab – table view

Course activity report under the analytics tab – table view

Image 3. Course activity report access via Grades Base Navigation

Course activity report access via Grades Base Navigation

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed at the administrator level.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Integration, Extension, and Management:

Ultra Course Content and Original Content Areas display LTI tool icon – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students

Inclusion of learning tools is important to some instructors. These tools help provide diverse and engaging course content. In the past, the icons for LTI tools were not meaningful for students and instructors. Now administrators can link LTI tools to appropriate icons. This provides users with greater confidence as they engage with LTI tools in the course.

Image 1. Administrators can add LTI tool icon of choice

Administrators can add LTI tool icon of choice

Image 2. Instructors may add LTI tools to their course

Instructors may add LTI tools to their course

Image 3. Student view of the LTI content

Student view of the LTI content

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. To add the icon, navigate to Administrator Tools | LTI Tool Providers | Placement Information.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Unread Messages indicator for Courses and Organizations – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students

In the past it was difficult for users to know which courses and organizations contained unread messages. Now there is an unread messages indicator for courses and organizations on the Messages tab in the Ultra Base Navigation. This indicator helps users know where to direct their attention.

Image 1. Unread messages indicator for Messages tab in the Ultra Base Navigation

Unread messages indicator for Messages tab in the Ultra Base Navigation

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Messages tab shows only to enrolled users – 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: All users

In the past, a user with a limited system role could access a course messaging tool but received an error. When attempting to close the error, the page froze. We have corrected this error. If a user is not enrolled in the course, the messages tab does not appear.

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


REST APIs to Utilize/Reference Content Collection Items - 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View,Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

The Content Collection is a helpful file storage tool. Some users store files for courses. Users may also store files for sharing across the institution or with external users. In the 3900.41 release, we enabled REST APIs to read all files in all Content Collection. Now developers can use REST APIs to reference Content Collection files from other Public APIs and features. The following can be referenced:

  • File attachments in Original and Ultra Courses
  • BbML embedded files
  • User Avatars
  • Student Attempts
  • Course Content Files

An administrator must allow this access for a third-party app. This improvement is part of ongoing work to expand the capabilities of the Content Collection REST APIs.

For administrators: Access the Administrator panel -> System roles to assign the "Read-only access to the content system file system" permission to the API user.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description


Course Upgrading:

Preserve Course Image setting– 3900.52

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

In the past, when upgrading a course, the course image was retained but turned off in the Ultra course. Instructors did not realize that the course image was turned off. With this update, course images are now visible by default.

Image 1. Course image in Ultra Course View

Course image in Ultra Course View

Image 2. Course Image setting is on

Course Image setting is on

For administrators:This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to November 2022 – 3900.52 Release description



Looking for older release notes?

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

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