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Bb Annotate release to international Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn 9.1

Bb Annotate will be released to international Test/Stage environments starting on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The release is staggered by Regional Data Centers. To find your specific date, consult the detailed release plan on Behind the Blackboard or the Community site.

To learn about Bb Annotate, visit the Bb Annotate Communication & Adoption Toolkit.

More on how to review instructor feedback in Bb Annotate for Students

More on Bb Annotate for Instructors











Authentication lockout

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

Too many failed attempts to log in to a user account could be a security risk. In this release, if Blackboard Learn is involved in the authentication process (default authentication type or LDAP), administrators can decide when Learn locks user accounts to protect them from unauthorized access.

By default, Learn will lock user accounts after 5 failed login attempts. Administrators can disable the feature or edit its limits in the Administrator Panel > Security > Account Lock Settings. Administrators can decide the maximum failed attempts allowed within a specified period. They can also choose how long accounts remain locked and whether accounts unlock automatically if users reset their passwords.

More on configuring Account Lock Settings

Student help with account lockout

Instructor help with account lockout

For security reasons, Blackboard recommends enabling Authentication Lockout any time the default authentication type is enabled since it is often used for fallback administrator accounts in scenarios where the authentication service isn’t available. Administrators can confirm enabled authentication types in the Administrator Panel > Integrations > Authentication.

More on authentication types


Open file upload warning for Edge browser users

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

Due to a known Microsoft Edge issue, some users who access Blackboard Learn through the Microsoft Edge browser have encountered problems attaching and submitting open Microsoft Office files. To help prevent file submission problems, Learn now warns Microsoft Edge users that they should close files before uploading them. The message only displays the first time the user encounters a file upload workflow in a Blackboard Learn session.


Course availability controls in more places

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

We first introduced a course availability indicator and toggle control for Blackboard Learn Original courses with the 9.1 Q4 2017 release. In 9.1 Q4 2019, the indicator and toggle now appears in additional tools and management pages, including the Discussion Board.

When an instructor, teaching assistant, or other entitled user has the privileges to edit course availability settings, they can select the padlock icon to toggle availability. If availability date settings need adjustment, the padlock icon will take the user to the Settings Management page.


Administrator tools list sorts alphabetically

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

To help administrators more easily find the tools they need, the Tools and Utilities list in the Administrator Panel now displays alphabetically.


Needs Grading filter selection is remembered

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

With this release, Blackboard Learn will remember instructors’ preferences for the Show attempts that don’t contribute to user’s grade filter on the Needs Grading page. By default, the checkbox is unselected and student attempts that don’t affect grades won’t show on the Needs Grading list. When an instructor changes the setting, Learn will remember the preference across that user’s sessions and courses.


Grade Center improvements on desktop for the Learn 2016 Theme

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

For the Learn 2016 Theme, we’ve decreased the cell padding in the Grade Center for desktop users so that more Grade Center data will display.


Grade Center improvements on mobile for the Learn 2016 Theme

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

When instructors view the Grade Center on a mobile web browser on smaller devices, they'll see more consistency in the grid view's behavior, display, and actions.


Usability improvements for the Learn 2016 Theme

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

We’ve made several improvements for the Learn 2016 Theme in this release, including:

  • When configured, course color menus also apply to the pop-out course menu
  • Contextual menus now display with dividers between sections
  • We’ve improved tab and sub-tab navigation for unauthenticated users who use Tab Page (Direct Access) as the start page. This can be configured in the Administrator Panel > Gateway Options.

Legacy authentication type removed

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

When Blackboard introduced the extensible authentication framework long ago, our main authentication moved to the Default type. We retained the previous framework as Legacy to support older custom authentication types, but have since deprecated it. With this release, we’ve removed the deprecated and unsupported Legacy authentication type from the Administrator Panel > Authentication. Custom authentications should use the extensible authentication framework instead.

Administrators should confirm that the legacy authentication type is disabled prior to upgrading so it can be removed by the installer. If it is enabled, the installer will stop and request legacy authentication type is disabled before restarting the installer.


Hostname configuration management

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

To improve security, all URLs allowed access to the application must be explicitly defined. This includes older URLs that institutions would still like to support because of historic links or bookmarks. Previously, hostname information was handled in the server-level bbconfig.properties file. This information can now be managed in the Administrator Panel > Security > Hostname Configuration.


LTI Advantage improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

If a tool implements the grading and submission state handling in the LTI Assignment and Grades service, instructors can see which students have submitted including in the Needs Grading workflow and whether grading has started. Students will have more accurate due and overdue notifications because their submissions will register with Blackboard Learn even if the submission requires grading before a score is sent to the grade book. An integrated tool must implement these capabilities of the standard in order to users to have the improved experience.

In prior releases, tools have been able to request a list of students in a class, if allowed, to create a better experience for users in the tool—this uses the Names and Roles Provisioning Service. In this release, tools can now also request group definition and group membership data through the extension to this service, the Context Membership Service. Tools can then use the existing group data in Learn to create group activities or list filters as appropriate for the tool without requiring instructors to set up their groups again.

Other enhancements:

  • Tool providers can now fully own their key set and issue them at a JWKS endpoint in the OAuth2 authorization workflow. If used, tool creators will add the tool’s JWKS endpoint URL when registering the security of an application in the Developer Portal. No action is required for Learn administrators adopting a tool.
  • When using LTI Advantage and LTI 1.3, administrators can now add custom parameters for an approved domain. This capability was available previously for LTI 1.1 tools; this release adds support for this capability when using LTI 1.3 and Advantage.
  • Disabled users are filtered automatically for tools when tools use the Names and Roles Provisioning Service.

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a standards specification defined and certified by the IMS Global organization. Blackboard participated in the development of the LTI Advantage specification.


New and updated REST APIs

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

This release includes new REST APIs and enhancements to previously-released web services, including:

  • Assignment (expanded, including Attempt Modified filter)
  • Content (expanded, including Created/Modified Date filter)
  • Oauth Token (expanded, including create, compare, modify)
  • Course Resources (new)
  • Content Review Status (new)
  • Course Categories (expanded, including filters)
  • Performance Dashboard (new)

More on REST APIs in the Developer Portal


Java 11 JDK and Building Blocks

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

As we have previously announced, Blackboard Learn 9.1’s Q4 2019 release uses a new version of Java, Java 11 JDK. Java are the libraries on which the Learn application runs and also the libraries that power Building Blocks, the add-on tools and features you may use in your environment. We’re implementing Java 11 to improve security and performance. Staying on recently updated libraries is crucial to staying ahead of those who may try to compromise your learning environment.

This important update can impact custom and third-party add-on tools using the Building Blocks (B2) integration framework, and we strongly encourage all clients and partners who use Building Blocks to test them with Java 11.

To help identify potential incompatibilities with third-party add-ons, we’ve developed a Building Block scanning tool. While the tool doesn’t replace functional testing, it can help developers understand what changes need to be made if issues are found with a Building Block. Because the tool can be resource-intensive, it should only be run on your staging or test environment.

For additional resources on Java 11 testing and details about the Building Block scanning tool, visit the Community site.


Guest Account can't be enrolled in courses

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

Previously, when an unauthenticated user accessed Blackboard Learn and the "Enable Guest" property was enabled they were associated with the "Guest" account. Instructors were able to enroll this "Guest" account in courses and organizations, circumventing application entitlement handling.

This account is a unique Blackboard System Level account that was never intended to be enrolled. Allowing this account to be enrolled meant possible data exposure to unauthenticated users as multiple un-authenticated users could be associated with the account.

Therefore, in this release we removed the ability for the "Guest" account to be enrolled in courses stopping potential data exposure concerns between unauthenticated users. Existing "Guest" account enrollments will remain and be visible to instructors and administrators so they can clean up these existing enrollments through the user interface.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

  • Course Copy performance has been improved. The time to create copies, exports, and archives are all improved.
  • Course Copy handling for links has been improved. Previously, if link URLs were manually copied from the details page for a resource in the Content Collection and added to the Content Editor, these links would break on course copy. The Course Copy procedure now attempts to identify common scenarios of bypassing the linking process with a URL cut-and-paste to allow access for users in the new course.
  • The 360 view for a resource in the Content Collection has been improved to more accurately display the various ways the resource can be used.
  • Empty searches in Content Collection are now restricted to prevent accidental long-running searches that have negative performance impact.
  • Numerous libraries have been updated to improve security and performance, including a number of Spring libraries.
  • Pearson MyLab and Mastering are now supported in Partner Cloud (Content Market). The Building Blocks can continue to be used for existing links but aren’t necessary for new uses. Visit Behind the Blackboard for more information on the Pearson MLM Partner Cloud integration and migration tool, including system requirements and admin guide.
  • Accessibility improvements
  • A cloud-based implementation of Grades Journey is enabled in this release—an enhancement through platform feature. This Grades Journey capability will allow more rapid response in the future to the continuously evolving and changing behaviors of student information systems (SIS). The existing Grades Journey capability can continue to be used as-is, even after the introduction of the cloud-based capabilities.
  • For users of Analytics for Learn, the standalone Building Block to enable Analytics for Learn is no longer necessary with this release.

 













New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.31 | Release to Production 18 June 2019
Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.31) contains improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.








Collaborate Attendance Integration with Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

Let Collaborate take attendance for you. In this Collaborate release, Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually.

Based on criteria you can set, Collaborate tracks if a student is present, late, or absent from a session. Collaborate then sends that information directly to the Attendance page in your Blackboard Learn course.

Attendance from the Collaborate session is counted in each student's average attendance in the course, which can also be used in calculating student grades.

More on Collaborate attendance reporting in Blackboard Learn 9.1


New Originality Report available for SafeAssign integration

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

We've updated the design of the SafeAssign Originality Report in Blackboard Learn 9.1 environments. The new Originality Report uses Blackboard's Ultra design philosophy and includes some new information about a submission's overall risk for being copied from another source. This new report interface is also more responsive for mobile devices and more accessible to screen readers than the old design; we will be seeking VPAT compliance for this new design soon!

This release also allows the SafeAssign team to be more iterative and provide updates to the new report design on a more regular basis and without requiring an update to the LMS platform. We'll still be communicating changes on the SafeAssign help pages, so make sure to follow those pages as well for new information!

Users can switch back to the old Originality Report design for a little while longer to help ease the transition.

More on how to read the new Originality Report


Course role for facilitators

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

Facilitation privileges have been long requested functionality in Blackboard Learn and we're pleased to include it in Q2 2019. For institutions that centrally manage course development and settings as distinct responsibilities from day-to-day teaching tasks, the course role permissions are more granular in this release. The privileges enable roles that can teach, engage, and grade, but not to modify materials or settings. There is also a new default course role called Facilitator. As with other default course roles, the specific permissions can be edited.

This course role contains a set of default privileges regarding course calendar, discussions, gradebook, announcements, materials, and groups. Course members can be granted this role to help maintain the pace of the course throughout the term or as needed.

Additionally, the privileges list shows when certain entitlements are inherited by other privileges. For example, the Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Material Availability privilege is automatically granted to a user who also has the Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Materials privilege. We’ve made this association clearer in the user interface.

More on the facilitator course role


Calendar items and due date notifications for additional content types

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

Instructors and students often use Blackboard Learn's calendars to keep track of events and due dates. The course calendar and modules are crucial to meeting deadlines and overall success. Increasing visibility into all required events and deadlines helps keep everyone on track.

The Calendar and To Do modules show the due dates of course items, but this was previously limited to activities and assessments using just Blackboard Learn tools. In this release, the capability is expanded so that other content types, including those from 3rd party solutions, are now incorporated into these areas when using a web browser.

Users see these due items in their Course Calendar or My Blackboard Calendar, and due date notifications appear in the To Do module and through other notification subscription channels.

All of the following create calendar items and due notifications:

  • Assessment items such as assignments and tests
  • Interactive tools including graded discussions, blogs, journals, and wikis
  • Grade Center columns created manually and not linked to content items such as an observation or offline assignment
  • SCORM packages
  • Content items generated from building blocks when a linked Grade Center column has a due date
  • LTI resource links when a linked Grade Center column has a due date

LTI 1.1 tools can't inform Blackboard Learn of a student’s submission status like Building Blocks can. If the tool doesn't return a student score right away, a student may still receive an overdue notification for submitted work. These notifications stop when the instructor grades the submission in the tool or manually enters a grade in the Grade Center.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

  • If your institution uses the Turn It In Building Block, students will no longer receive a Past Due notification when they have submitted an assignment on time.
  • Users who subscribe to email notifications will notice we’ve updated the message format. We’ve reduced Blackboard branding and optimized the format for better appearance on more devices and email clients.
  • We’ve updated the Global HTML filter to accept .txt files for student submissions.
  • Crocodoc references have been completely removed from Blackboard Learn.
  • This release includes a resolved issue where the Blackboard app and Blackboard Instructor app weren’t compatible with Session Fingerprint settings. With this release, session fingerprint settings to Create New Session When Fingerprint Changes are compatible with the mobile apps’ mBaaS architecture.
  • Custom spelling dictionaries remain in place after upgrades​.
  • We’ve updated the color key in the Course Coverage report to match the legend more accurately.
  • The Telemetry Building Block respects the bbconfig.cloud.lms.region parameter to better route event data through appropriate regional services in the future.
  • We've improved the Grades Journey extraction workflow when working with merged courses. Institutions using merged courses can now more readily use all of the capabilities of Grades Journey.
  • Blackboard is committed to protecting the privacy of all users and complying with changing regulations globally concerning use of data and privacy. This release contains improvements for user reporting required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Updates in this release include:
    • Attendance tool data now appears in the user report
    • Improved structure of user activity data

SAML updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

We’ve enhanced the logout process for SAML single-sign on sessions. When a user logs out of Blackboard Learn, a message appears and asks them to confirm log out for all associated apps in the session. Previously, the SSO session persisted until it expired. Users can choose to terminate their entire SSO session when they log out of Blackboard Learn to protect their security when using public or shared computers.

Additionally, administrators can now configure the SAML session age as unlimited for better compatibility with some Microsoft Azure configurations.

More on SAML authentication in Blackboard Learn


Content Collection updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

This release includes enhancements to improve the performance and usability of the Content Collection.

Files uploaded as part of a SCORM package are now saved in a Content Collection folder (/internal/courses/<courseID>/content/<contentID>) rather than the Local/Shared File System. When a client system upgrades to this release, server startup invokes a background migration task to move all existing SCORM files from Local/Shared File System to Content Collection. Several optimizations have been added to minimize the performance impact and memory usage for this task and it should be virtually transparent for users.

When versioned files are imported/restored as part of course import/restore, the version number (of the file in the source course) is appended at the end of the file name so that users can differentiate which version it is. For example, if version 1 and 2 of a file named "geography.html" are imported, the new files will be named "geography_v1.html" and "geography_v2.html", respectively.


Integrate tools using LTI Advantage

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

We're excited to share that Blackboard Learn is the first major LMS to be LTI Advantage certified and make LTI Advantage available in Production. LTI Advantage is the latest in interoperability standards for integrating tools into a learning environment. The capabilities of LTI Advantage are broader and allow for deeper and more secure integrations than with the previous versions of LTI.

LTI Advantage builds on the latest set of IMS standards and provides educational institutions and edtech suppliers with a set of extensions that allow deeper integration and enhanced interoperability between IMS certified tools and LMSs. LTI Advantage also leverages a robust security framework that offers more advanced protection of sensitive student data and adds features to support the delivery of innovative learning tools and applications necessary for digital transformation within an institution.

Learn more about LTI Advantage at the IMS Global site

Here are a few of the things our teams, partners, and clients are excited about with the new LTI Advantage capabilities:

  • Deployment simplification for tool developers: Open standards make it easier for developers to create their tool once and manage many integrations. With standards and REST APIs as our modern integration frameworks for our EdTech Platform, LTI Advantage is an important foundation for our partners and developers as they transition from the older, proprietary Building Blocks integration framework.  
  • Improvements in security over prior LTI implementations: Blackboard takes protecting learner information and securing institutional environments seriously, so the use of modern security practices in LTI Advantage is a welcomed addition and a major reason we immediately pursued the project.
  • Simpler user experience: With Blackboard Learn and tool providers supporting LTI Advantage, students and educators have a more consistent experience as they try out and use new tools in their teaching and learning.  
  • Better for admins too: Administrators can expect better peace of mind during upgrades, more confidence in their individual integrations, and worry-free change management.

More on LTI in Blackboard Learn


Support for IMS Global’s Questions and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

Instructors and instructional designers use various technologies to develop assessments and need to be able to move assessment items such as questions from one system to another easily. To ensure compatibility and easy re-use, IMS Global developed the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) standard so questions can be shared between learning management and assessment systems. In this release, instructors and course builders can add QTI packages to Blackboard Learn courses.

Learn more about QTI at the IMS Global site

Additional details:

  • Blackboard Learn handles QTI 2.1 packages as pools for import and export. If a QTI import package contains multiple assessment objects, multiple pools are created.
  • Blackboard Learn supports the following question types for import/export in QTI 2.1 format: true/false, multiple choice, multiple answer, fill-in-the-blank, and essay.
  • For embedded media, Blackboard Learn will import HTML5 and HTML Object tags. It will export HTML5.
  • In scenarios where there is a mismatch in question configuration options, Blackboard Learn will prioritize fidelity of the question and answer text over settings. For example, some exam systems allow differing partial credit allocations to be set per possible answer response whereas Blackboard Learn maintains a list of correct answers. In this case, all answer options will be imported as correct so they can be reviewed for continued applicability in Blackboard Learn.
  • Question metadata such as tags, categories, and alignments are not exported or imported at this time.
  • Questions using the optional QTI response processing are skipped and not imported.
  • Because different assessment tools have different features and varying media/HTML/equation handling capabilities, you should always review and test questions after transfer between solutions.

More on how to use QTI packages in a course


New REST APIs and enhancements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

This release includes new REST APIs and enhancements to previously-released web services, including:

  • Attendance
  • Course Categories
  • Course Group Users (updated)
  • File Attachments for Submission Attempts
  • Course Grade Attempts (updated)
  • Proctoring
  • Observers

More on REST APIs in the Developer Portal


Cross-origin resourcing tool for administrators

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

Administrators may need to allow an external script or third-party application to make direct calls to their Blackboard Learn instance’s REST API. Previously, these requests would be blocked at the browser level. In this release, we introduce a Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) tool to allow your institution to leverage cloud-based or third-party extensions more fully. Administrators can also use the CORS tool to strictly define the allowed domains within an access control list and headers allowed as part of those requests. This secure, scalable tool lets you explore more integration possibilities using REST APIs.

From the Administrator Panel, select Cross-Origin Resource Sharing in the Integrations menu. Select Create Integration to get started.

More on the Cross-Original Resource Sharing tool


Data Integration Logs storage load reduced

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

We’ve improved the way that data integration logs store information in the shared file system. Searches in SIS logs are limited to seven-day date ranges to improve performance and reduce system strain.

More on SIS integration logs







Collaborate Attendance Integration with Blackboard Learn

Continuous Delivery Collaborate February 2019 | Release to Production 6-7 February 2019
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
New features, Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Building Block

This will be available with the Collaborate February release scheduled 6-7 February 2019.

Let Collaborate take attendance for you. In this Collaborate release, Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually.

Based on criteria you can set, Collaborate tracks if a student is present, late, or absent from a session. Collaborate then sends that information directly to the Attendance page in your Blackboard Learn course.

Attendance from the Collaborate session is counted in each student's average attendance in the course, which can also be used in calculating student grades.

More on Collaborate attendance reporting in Blackboard Learn 9.1

More on Collaborate attendance reporting in Blackboard Learn SaaS 



Blackboard SOAP Web Services deprecation

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

With the release of Blackboard Learn Q2 2019, Blackboard is deprecating our SOAP APIs. We recommend that if you use Blackboard's SOAP APIs as an external application or as part of a Building Block, you should immediately refactor your integration using our Blackboard REST APIs.

Blackboard SOAP APIs will become unavailable with the release of Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2020.

Visit Behind the Blackboard for more information on SOAP web services deprecation and guidance on migrating to REST APIs.



Caliper 1.1 update for Blackboard Learn Telemetry Service

Blackboard Learn 9.1
Blackboard Learn SaaS | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard is pleased to announce updated support for the Caliper Analytics® standard in Blackboard Learn. Caliper is a specification from the IMS Global Learning Consortium® that defines a standard for the exchange of user activity information. Blackboard Learn supports this standard, giving institutions the option to emit near-real-time and batch user event data to an event store system for further analytics and reporting.

The centralized service that processes the Learn telemetry stream into Caliper events data currently uses the Caliper 1.0 specification. On January 3, 2019 this service will change to use the Caliper 1.1 specification.

For more information about how this update affects your Blackboard Learn environment, visit Behind the Blackboard

More on Caliper event configuration is available on the Developer Community



New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.23.1 | Release to Production 23 November 2018
New Features, Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.23.1) contains new features, bug fixes, and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.23 | Release to Production 14 November 2018
New Features, Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.23) contains new features, bug fixes, and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


LTI placement improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018

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. 

More on LTI placements


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018

  • 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

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018

This release includes new REST APIs and enhancements to previously-released web services, including:

  • Calendar​
  • Content​
  • Content File Attachments​
  • Course Grade Attempts​
  • Course Gradebook Categories​
  • Courses v2 incl. cross-listing​
  • Privacy

More on REST APIs in the Developer Portal


Xythos Diagnostic Tool

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018

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.

More on Command Line Tools


Expanded ability to reconcile grades in Delegated Grading

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Course View

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.

More on Delegated Grading in the Original Course View


Internet Explorer no longer supported

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

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.


New updates for Ally customers

Ally 1.19.3 | Release to Production 9 September 2018
Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.19.3) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Download annotated PDFs

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

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

Learn more about downloading annotated PDFs in New Box View


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) User Report

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

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.


New updates for Ally customers

Continuous Delivery Ally 1.17 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
New features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.17) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Mobile Web Services

Blackboard Learn 9.1
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Building Blocks

The Blackboard Mobile Web Services Building Block enables users to connect to their courses through Blackboard's mobile applications: Blackboard app and Blackboard Instructor. 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.

Mobile Web Services release notes for all versions


Cloud storage integration in the Original Course View

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
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.

Get started with the cloud storage integration


New updates for Ally customers

Continuous Delivery Ally 1.16.5 | Release to Production 2 July 2018
Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.16.5) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Improvements to User Privacy in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018 CU1 (3400.0.1), Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

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.

  1. On the login page, we've added links to access the Blackboard privacy and data use statement, the Blackboard terms of use, and an optional privacy and data use statement from the institution have been added to the login page. In the Original experience, the links also appear in the login module and the settings area of My Blackboard. In the Blackboard and Blackboard Instructor mobile apps, the links are found in Settings and in the Terms of Use shown at login. This way, users can access important information about the use of their data and their privacy both before and after authentication.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

More on the Security Management - Data Use and Privacy Disclosure Building Block


New updates for Ally customers

Continuous Delivery Ally 1.16.2 | Release to Production 23 May 2018
New features, Updated features

The latest release of Ally (v. 1.16.2) contains bug fixes and other improvements that may apply to your product. Visit the Ally 1.16.2 release notes to learn more. Don't have Ally? Learn more about Ally.


Cumulative Update1 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018

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. 

More information is available on Behind the Blackboard


NewBoxView is default service

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

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.


Configure static resources

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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. 

More on how instructors add content from cloud storage

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

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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:

  • Assignment 
  • Test 
  • 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. 

More on how instructors use the feedback recording tool

More on the Recording Creation tool in Blackboard Learn

 


Learn 2016 theme grade center enhancements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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.

More on the Learn 2016 Theme


Learn 2016 theme mobile optimization

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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.

More on the Learn 2016 Theme


Learn Tomcat Java JVM Code Cache Updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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:

  • bbconfig.jvm.options.codecache.reserved=240m
  • bbconfig.jvm.options.codecache.initial=128m

3.    Save the changes and run PushConfigUpdates.sh to apply the changes to your environment.


LTI System and Course tool updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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

More on REST APIs in the Developer Portal


Password reset enhancement

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

When SAML is implemented, users can’t reset their Blackboard Learn system password because the institution requires log in with an external account.


Record attendance in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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.

More about attendance in Blackboard Learn


Security fix

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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. A one-time nonce value has been added to the login form. This nonce must be passed back to the server with any POST to the login page. Third-party solutions which rely on posting usernames and passwords directly to /webapps/login/ will fail. This is by design. 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

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 

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.

More on bb-config.properties


Update for Gradebook SOAP WSDL

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018

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.



Outcomes roles based on Institutional Hierarchy

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

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.

More on Outcomes Assessment in Blackboard Learn SaaS




Branding and color configuration in the Learn 2016 Theme

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Original Course View

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.

More on the Learn 2016 Theme


Clear multiple choice selection

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Original Course View

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.

More on submitting a test attempt in Blackboard Learn


Additional attempts in Anonymous Grading

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Original Course View

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.

More on Anonymous Grading


LTI Names and Roles services

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

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.

More on Learning Tools Interoperability


Additional REST services

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017

New REST services have been added, including the addition of course copy to include a service to request progress status, the ability to create and manage LTI placements, three-legged OAuth, and content file attachments. In addition, the gradebook APIs have been enhanced to include grading schemas and gradebook notations. For more information, visit the developer portal.


Caliper for Self-hosted Environments

Blackboard Learn Q4 2017

Caliper events can be emitted to a third-party Caliper-compliant record store for self-hosted environments located in the United States. This capability was previously released for SaaS and Managed Hosting deployment models. Support for additional regions globally is planned. Caliper is a standard from IMS Global for exchanging activity data for analytics purposes. Solaris-based self-hosted environments aren’t supported.


Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) content item messages

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017

The Content Item Message specification is now supported, allowing improved integration for tool providers also supporting this standard. When used, instructors and course designers can create links to specific resources without knowing and specifying resource IDs. Instead, they can launch into the tool provider’s user experience, select one or more resources to add to their course, and the individual links are created in the correct place in the Blackboard Learn course. Students clicking the links will be taken directly to the specific resource rather than to a generic tool page for the tool provider.


Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017

LTI 2.0 tool registration 

Tool providers who use the LTI 2.0 specification can be registered using the proxy service standard. 

Improved launch experience

LTI links now open in a lightbox within the course, rather than directing users to a new window or tab. This loads tools within the same window from where they are launched, creating a more consistent and contained workflow for students. 


LTI improved course copy 

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017

Institutions often use courses as templates for future instruction. There is now a solution that keeps track of your placement so your content is not lost. The source course ID and content ID is tracked during course copy (and possibly archive/export) and the parameters are passed along with the launch in the respective history parameters. The tool provider is still required to handle these parameters and reconcile the link.


Improved grading with rubrics

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017

When grading with rubrics, the grader can now save feedback and the content will remain saved when changing the rubric's view from in-line to full screen. 


Tomcat update 

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017

Tomcat is updated to version 8.5.13 for additional security.


Additional Changes

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017

Portfolio: Administrators can share a portfolio on behalf of a user, allowing support personnel to assist students having portfolio access issues.

Enterprise Surveys: Reports always run as scheduled jobs rather than immediately to address issues with browsers timing out for large data sets.

Virtual Drive: When a new user is created recycling a previously-used username, the orphaned content associated with the prior user is deleted for greater security and privacy.


Chemistry notation support

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0 | Release to Production 13 October 2017
Original Course View

The math editor found in the Content Editor has been updated to a newer version of WIRIS. This version adds tools specific to chemistry including an embedded periodic table of elements.


Course availability status and update

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0 | Release to Production 13 October 2017
Original Course View

Instructors and other privileged course members can see the availability state of the course and change the state from the main course view. All privileged users in a course see an open or closed padlock representing the availability state of the course to students. This is in the course edit management areas with tools such as Student Preview and the Edit Mode toggle.


Crocodoc to New Box View update

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0 | Release to Production 13 October 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Instructors grading assignments can view documents in-line and annotate the document to provide feedback for students. In prior versions, this used a licensed technology called Crocodoc that will be discontinued on January 15, 2018. This release allows institutions to switch to a replacement service from Box entitled New Box View that offers similar capabilities. Prior documents with annotations will be automatically migrated without requiring action from administrators. Administrators only need to enable the New Box View service.

It is recommended administrators initiate the migration between periods of heavy assessment such as between terms; the migration to and adoption of New Box View doesn't have to occur at time of upgrade.

More on the Crocodoc transition to New Box View


Email tool recipient permissions

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0 | Release to Production 13 October 2017
Original Course View

Administrators can better define the extent to which users in courses can contact one another using the Email tool. Previously, instructors would choose which email recipient options were available in each course; for example, whether students could email each other. Administrators can now restrict the Email tool recipient options that will appear for use in courses.


Manage connected third-party applications using Three-Legged OAuth 2.0

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0| Release to Production 13 October 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Starting with this release, Blackboard Learn provides support for three-legged OAuth (3LO) 2.0 authorization. Developers can create applications using REST APIs that act on a user's behalf in a more secure way. When authorized using 3LO, applications can act on behalf of a user and therefore are restricted to the parts of Learn for which that user has permissions to access.

When users work in a third-party tool, the application may ask your permission to operate within Learn on your behalf. This process allows the application to submit assignments or tasks the user has completed to Blackboard Learn. Similar to syncing social media applications, the integration allows learning platforms to work together. Once a user allows access, they can manage the authorization from the Tools panel.

Previously, such applications could only work with Learn using generic credentials. Generic credentials had all permissions needed for the application, regardless of individual user's access levels. This method also didn't provide the ability to track individual user activities. Now, Learn supports either method: the use of generic credentials or user-specific credentials and permissions.

More on Three-legged OAuth and Blackboard Learn


Migrate message storage

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0 | Release to Production 13 October 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

The Administrator Panel now includes the option to migrate messages in courses and organizations to the Learn database. Older course and organization message were stored via flat files on a shared storage volume. New courses and organizations always store messages in the database.

You can find the migration option in Administrator Panel > Tools and Utilities > Course Messages.

During migration, the system skips a course or organization if it doesn’t exist, is disabled, or already uses database storage. You can check your system logs to confirm message migration is complete.

More on how to migrate Blackboard Learn message storage


SCORM engine update

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0 | Release to Production 13 October 2017
Original Experience

The integrated SCORM player has been updated to a newer version that improves playback of responsive content and better supports SCORM packages in right-to-left languages such as Arabic.


SMTP authentication and encryption for email

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.0.0 | Release to Production 13 October 2017
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

SMTP authentication is now supported to improve the security of outbound email. Mail server configuration is now handled in the Email configuration page of the Admin panel. Settings take effect upon submission. An entry in the registry is created the first time this configuration page is used.


Collaborate Ultra Building Block update

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.12.0 | Release to Production 19 September 2017
Original Course View, Building Blocks

Add Collaborate Ultra to your group tools.

Instructors can add Collaborate Ultra sessions to Groups pages in the Original Course View of Blackboard Learn. If instructors allow, students can share content and use the whiteboard, as well as create recordings. Institutions need a Collaborate license to use this in their courses.

More on course groups for instructors

 


Grade display standardization

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.10.0 | Release to Production 24 August 2017
Original Course View

This change standardizes areas of Blackboard Learn where users access grades. Now, all gradebook columns (online and downloads) and My Grades support up to five decimal points, aren't rounded, and are consistent for all display types (score, percentage, letter grade).


Additional ARIA landmarks in the Original Course View

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.8.0 | Release to Production 28 July 2017
Original Course View

We’ve incorporated ARIA landmarks in the course menu and the content area to better define the page structure and assist users with screen readers in navigating page elements.


More efficient Grade Center cleanup

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.8.0 | Release to Production 28 July 2017
Original Course View

Instructors can now more easily clean up their grade books by deleting multiple columns at once. Selected manual and calculated columns are removed completely. Selected columns associated with gradable items are cleared of attempt and grade data but remain in the Grade Center.


More responsive Blogs and Journals tools

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.8.0 | Release to Production 28 July 2017
Original Course View

Blogs and Journals have been better optimized for use on mobile devices. Posts and comments composed with responsive content will render on smaller devices. Options for filtering posts or navigating groups or users will appear below currently viewed posts.


Blackboard Instructor App available now

Blackboard Instructor is a mobile app that enables instructors to view course content, connect with students in discussions, and interact classes in Blackboard Collaborate. The app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

More on Blackboard Instructor


Mobile device navigation improvements for the Original experience

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.6.0 | Release to Production 23 June 2017
Original Experience

This release includes navigation improvements for the system and course menus in the Original experience. When users access Blackboard Learn through their mobile devices, the navigation has been moved to a hamburger menu for persistent access from screen to screen. Tabs and subtabs also appear in navigation choices. My Blackboard has been incorporated into the system menu for easier access. Within a course, the menu opens and closes more easily with fixed location action rather than tab.


Blackboard Open Content available in Content Market

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 and later
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.6.0 | Release to Production 23 June 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience, Building Blocks

Blackboard Open Content is now available as a content partner in the Content Market for both Original and Ultra experiences in Blackboard Learn.

With this release, instructors using Blackboard Learn can launch directly from the Content Market into Blackboard Open Content to create, share, and discover rich educational content from a global network of instructors and leading OER providers.

Additionally, instructors can launch directly from the Content Market into the partner channel for CK-12 and Curriculum Pathways to discover and add content to their courses.

More on the latest Open Content release


New Blackboard app download module

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.4.0 | Release to Production 2 June 2017
Original Experience

A new module called Download Blackboard's Student App Today has been added to help students discover and download the Blackboard app. The module includes Apple and Android download links.

While the module is available by default for users to add to personalized tabs, it is not added to any tabs automatically. Administrators can use standard tab and module configuration to present the module on appropriate student tabs or to restrict the module entirely.

More on the Blackboard app module


Discussion Board "Replies to Me"

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.4.0 | Release to Production 2 June 2017
Original Course View

Keeping up with large Discussion Board forums is easier by giving participants a count and filter to just look at new replies from others to posts made the participant.


Collaborate Building Block

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014, Q4 2015, Building Blocks| Release to Production 08 May 2017

We have updated the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block to address a number of issues regarding large enrollments, recording pullback, course room behavior, and more.

More on the Collaborate update


Blackboard Predict support

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017, Updated Features

Support for Blackboard Predict, an optional student analytics tool, is included in this release. Predict uses longitudinal analysis of Learn and Student Information System data with predictive analytic algorithms to help educators, advisors, coaches, and tutors to identify at-risk students and intervene. If licensed and configured, Blackboard Learn administrators can enable the tools in the admin panel tools management area; the options will appear in all environments.


Content Collection improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017

In this release, the Content Collection has been improved to remove spam vulnerabilities and enhance search indexing performance. These improvements were also included in prior-version maintenance releases.


Email configuration settings

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Updated Features

Administrators can edit email configuration settings in the user interface, rather than editing the settings in the bb-config.properties file. This method allows you to edit email configuration settings without having to restart your Blackboard Learn environment. The configuration settings are now located under System Configuration > Email Configuration. The Local Support Contact, which was previously under System Admin > Help, is now located under Email Configuration as well. 

More on managing email settings in Learn SaaS

More on managing email settings in Learn 9.1


Faster startup

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017

The startup sequence and restart times of application subsystems have been improved.


LTI improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017, Updated Features

LTI course links created by partners’ and institutionally-created solutions through Building Block APIs can now leverage LTI Outcomes 1.0 for grade/score return.


New bb-config.properties parameters

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017

Two new parameters were added to bb-config.properties to prevent unresolvable URLs from hanging. The parameters control the default timeouts for connections initiated by java in both core code and in B2s. The default values are 30 seconds now. Now it will timeout so it doesn’t cause a lag on the system.

More on bb-config.properties file


Red Hat Linux 5 no longer supported

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017

Red Hat Linux 5 is no longer supported. Affected Linux environments should upgrade to Red Hat Linux 6 when adopting this release.


Smaller, faster installer

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017

This update removes redundant libraries and procedures to reduce installer size and improve speed. Installation times will vary by environment dependent upon size and hardware.


Submission receipts enhancements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017, Updated Features

Students can receive a notification email for each assignment attempt with information about the submission including attached files. Students can also access receipts at any time on the My Grades page in the submissions filter area. Administrators can optionally disable the email notifications.


Blackboard Ally: A solution for better accessibility

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Original Experience

Ally is an additional, optional service for improving the accessibility of content and can now be integrated into Blackboard Learn. In this release, Ally improves accessibility within Blackboard Learn in the following ways.

  • Ally presents instructors and content authors with an accessibility score and coaches users in ways to improve the accessibility of materials.
  • Ally creates and presents students with automatically-generated alternative versions of uploaded files and creating accessible HTML, digital braille, and audio format files.
  • Ally allows administrators to see accessibility scores of materials across courses and track changes over time to plan, measure, and improve accessibility.

More on Blackboard Ally


Blackboard Store Building Block

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Building Blocks, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The Blackboard Store Building Block has been removed from this release.


Building block installation validation

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Original Experience

When installing a building block, the system checks the manifest for properly escaped characters in XML. Improperly formatted XML caused issues with some building blocks in some environments.


Learn 2016 Theme improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Original Course View

In courses using the Learn 2016 theme, the discussion board is responsive for hand-held devices if the contents of the posts themselves are responsive. Discussion participants can read, respond, and use other discussion features such as post rating from mobile devices.

Pages with tables, the course menu, and My Blackboard pages are better optimized for hand-held devices. Menus can be accessed on touch devices.

More on the Learn 2016 Theme


Outcomes Assessment: Sampling by demographic

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Original Experience

When collecting and sampling student submissions for a secondary program evaluation process, administrators can sample student work by student demographic information in addition to sampling by courses and terms. Sampling can be done by the education level field or institution roles. You can use boolean operators such as AND/OR when sampling institution roles. For example, you could sample graduating senior in a specific program for evaluation purposes.


SAML authentication provider enhancements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

To help troubleshoot SAML authentication issues, administrators now have the ability to regenerate certificates and change the responseSkew value in the user interface. SAML encryption certificates can periodically expire and should be regenerated regularly to maintain security. The responseSkew value may need to be edited if your Learn server is in a different time zone than the Identity Provider's server. The time difference can cause SAML assertions to expire before users are properly authenticated.

More on SAML authentication


SIS integration enhancements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Command line Snapshot tools have been removed. Flat, snapshot-formatted files can still be processed through the SIS Integration Framework. New REST web services have been added to retrieve job status and record processing errors. These allow administrators to implement real-time monitoring and issue resolution processes if desired.

To learn more about transitioning from Snapshot to the SIS Integration Framework, join us for a webinar on 24 May 2017.


Submission receipts via email

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.0.0 | Release to Production 31 March 2017
Original Course View

Starting with this release, students receive email confirmations for submitted coursework. The email receipt is another method for students to keep track of their submissions, in addition to the My Grades page.

More on accessing submission receipts from the My Grades page


Additional drag-and-drop locations

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017, Updated Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.6.0 | Release to Production 13 January 2017
Original Course View, Original Experience

File drag and drop are now supported in the following areas.

  • Content Collection – file upload page replacing Java-dependent interface
  • Content Editor – embed attachment
  • Blank Page content type
  • Blog – Create Entry
  • Journal – Create Entry
  • Portfolio – add Artifact

If the browser allows, users can drag a folder of files and the files will upload individually.


Responsive improvements for mobile devices

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.6.0 | Release to Production 13 January 2017
Original Course View, Original Experience

In this release, we've made a number of improvements for users on mobile devices.

  • Improved course menu collapse behavior
  • More responsive table handling in many interfaces including but not limited to:
    • Grade Center
    • Discussion forum list page
    • Admin interfaces
  • (Original Experience only) Responsive improvements for My Blackboard pages, including the ability to make a selection from the left panel and see content from the right panel. On mobile devices, the selected content will appear in an overlay that can be dismissed by selecting the close icon at the top.

Student view for submission receipts

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.6.0 | Release to Production 13 January 2017
Original Course View

Students can access their submission receipts at any time. The receipts can be found in My Grades or My Blackboard in the Submissions area. Like the instructor view, the receipts are always present even if an attempt or assignment has been deleted from the course.



Grades Journey

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 2 December 2016
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Flexible Deployment Q4 2016

This update improves handling for managing grade columns in or reading grade data from merged sections. Institutions using flat file or REST in addition to LIS integration types can now retrieve just the external grade column. And new column filtering and column mapping capabilities make it easier to integrate with various student information systems.

More on Grades Journey


Content Collection search improvement

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, Updated Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The Basic or Advanced Search feature in the Content Collection now requires a starting search directory for better performance. Admins can grant users a permission to still search across all directories. A new privilege has been added so administrators can permit or restrict users from searching top-level directories in Basic and Advanced Search.

More on how to search the Content Collection


Course activity reports

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, Updated Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The Course Activity Overview report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrollment courses. Instructors can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups.

More on course reports


Drag and drop files

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, New Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Course View

When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.

Drag and drop is not yet available in every area of Blackboard Learn where users can attach files.

More on how instructors create content items


Dropbox Education integration

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, New Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Course View

Users can attach files and submit assignments from their personal Dropbox accounts using this new cloud service integration.

More on how to install and enable Dropbox for Learn


Enterprise Surveys improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Experience

Changes to defaults and recipient count behavior help prevent admins from accidentally sending a survey to an overly-large recipient list.


Fewer Needs Grading items

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, Updated Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Course View

When multiple-attempt assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, there are potentially numerous other attempts that will never be used for the grade calculation. This can be particularly problematic in anonymous or delegated grading scenarios where it can be difficult to determine which attempts are associated with students and therefore require grading. A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide these attempts. Attempts that won't calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon.

More on grading multiple attempts on the Needs Grading page


Improved behavior for Self and Peer Assessments

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, Updated Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Course View

Non-participants during the submission period are excluded from the evaluation process. Submitters with partial or complete submissions will be distributed to peers for evaluations. By pairing an assessment with Adaptive Release, it's possible to configure Self and Peer Assessments for individual groups.


New icon set

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

In this release, there is a new icon set for use in courses and organizations, and cancel/submit buttons will always pin to the bottom of the page regardless of device.


Quality improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, Updated Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Experience

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 includes multiple new and enhanced features, improved workflows, and technology updates. Enhancements for this release generally fall into the following five categories:

  • Technology infrastructure improvement to improve performance and security
  • Improved experience for mobile users and updating the look-and-feel of the environment
  • Improvements to save time and effort including file drag-and-drop in key workflows
  • Assessment enhancements in the core teaching and learning tools
  • Reporting improvements

View the maintenance items


Reminders

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, New Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Course View

Instructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included.

Instructors can also send reminders for assignments with anonymous or delegated grading enabled. To protect anonymity, students' names and attempt statuses aren't revealed.

More on how to send reminders for missing coursework


REST APIs

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

REST APIs are no longer restricted to technical preview. Administrators and developers can create integrations using REST APIs and secured with OAuth. Please note that we strongly encourage anyone making use of these APIs to thoroughly test their functionality. Please see the following articles on the Community site for further details:


Submission receipts

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016, New Features
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016
Original Course View

Administrators and instructors can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. This feature provides evidence for academic disputes, giving students assurance about their work.

A receipt is generated for each group member when a student submits on behalf of the group, and the anonymous state of an assignment is respected. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission.

Submission receipts was a popular enhancement request from recent voting on the Community site. You need to be a member of the Blackboard Community and have access to the Ideas space to view this link.

More on submission confirmations


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block

This release is a maintenance release. In this release we focused on improving internationalization support and assorted bug fixes identified after the initial 1.0 release.


Collaborate Building Block

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014, Q4 2015, Building Blocks
Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3100.0.0 | Release to Production 18 November 2016

We have updated the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block to address a number of issues regarding large enrollments, recording pullback, course room behavior, and more.

More on the Collaborate update


Learn 2016 Theme for improved mobile experience

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016

This release includes a new theme that provides a more modern look and feel. Most importantly, the Bb Learn 2016 theme significantly increases the responsiveness of the interface for small devices. The theme also incorporates elements from the new Blackboard design language including color, fonts, and spacing, for greater consistency between Blackboard Learn, Collaborate Ultra, and the Blackboard app. This theme was also previously made available in Q2 2016 CU1.

More on the Learn 2016 theme


Removed modules and themes

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016

The following modules are not included in the Q4 2016 installer:

  • Astrology
  • Maps
  • Weather
  • Google Search
  • Zap2It

If you are upgrading to the Q4 2016 release from an earlier version of Blackboard Learn, these modules will still be present. However, the modules will not be present for new installations that use the Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 release.

The following themes are no longer supported:

  • Learn 2008
  • Schoolhouse
  • Brushed Metal

Upon upgrade to the Q4 2016 release of Blackboard Learn for all deployment types, these themes will be switched to custom themes and can be removed by administrators.






Learn 2016 Theme

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 Cumulative Update 1, Updated Features

This update includes a new theme that provides a more modern look and feel. Most importantly, the Bb Learn 2016 theme significantly increases the responsiveness of the interface for small devices. The theme also incorporates elements from the new Blackboard design language including color, fonts, and spacing, for greater consistency between Blackboard Learn, Collaborate Ultra, and the Blackboard app.

More on the Learn 2016 theme

More on Cumulative Update 1 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016


SafeAssign

Building Blocks

A number of updates have been released for SafeAssign. View the SafeAssign release notes to learn more.

SafeAssign version 4.0.17, released 6 June 2016

SafeAssign version 4.0.16, released 9 March 2016

SafeAssign version 4.0.15, released 13 January 2016


Accessibility

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016

The screen reader will not announce Quick Links modal when modal is closed, and Grading Journals will now work with a screen reader.


Email handling

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, New Features

Clients who have control over their user's email addresses and aren't susceptible to DMARC-based rejections now have the option to turn off DMARC handling. In the bb-config.properties file, the setting for bbconfig.email.use.dmarc.from.override can be change to False to disable DMARC handling.

More on email


Java 8 Update

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016

The Q2 2016 release now uses the latest version of Java from Oracle.

We strongly encourage anyone who has a Building Block to test it against Java 8 before installing the Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 release onto a production environment. Please see the following article for further details:

Preparing Building Blocks for the Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 Release and Java 8 Update - Article #41958

More on how Java 8 impacts your Learn environment

Minimum system requirements to run Java 8: 8GB per Learn application server, 32GB per Oracle server.


Localization

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, New Features

We’ve made updates to the Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean language packs to correct translation issues and grading workflows. Clients who use the Korean language pack can globally replace username with user ID.


MOSAIC and O*NET Standards

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016

For institutions who wish to evaluate student work or align their curriculum against either the Multipurpose Occupational Systems Analysis Inventory - Close-Ended (MOSAIC) or Occupational Information Network (O*NET) competencies, we have made these competencies available now for download on Behind the Blackboard.

View the standards documents on Behind the Blackboard


Quality improvements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, Updated Features

With this release, we are continuing our commitment to delivering strong product quality and providing a stable, reliable experience for educators and learners using Blackboard Learn today. We have continued to address the top customer-reported issues that are affecting the largest number of customers. The bug fixes and enhancements in this release are primarily focused on improvements to accessibility, language packs, assessments, grading, and Enterprise Surveys.

View the maintenance items


Record from Webcam

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, Deprecated Items

Since Google removed YouTube's Record from Webcam feature, the Content Editor has been updated with the following changes:

  • The YouTube icon image has been changed.
  • The alt text now reads Browse My YouTube Videos.
  • The Record tab has been removed and all users are now defaulted to the Browse tab to search existing videos.

More information can be found in the Browse My YouTube Videos release notes


REST APIs

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, New Features

The 9.1 Q2 2016 release supports limited REST APIs in a Technical Preview. Administrators and developers can create integrations using REST APIs and secured with OAuth. Please note that we strongly encourage anyone making use of these APIs to thoroughly test their functionality. Please see the following articles on the Community site for further details:


SAML 2.0 Authentication

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016

The SAML Building Block provides a way to authenticate, authorize, and use single sign-on (SSO) with the latest SAML 2.0 protocol, which focuses on improved security, improved end user experience, and easier IT administration. This building block provides Just-in-Time provisioning capabilities, a commitment made to the InCommon Net+ community as part of our certification process.

More on SAML Authentication


Security

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, New Features

The 9.1 Q2 2016 release resolves a set of security fixes to core features of Learn 9.1. After the issues are released through all supported 9.1 versions through a Cumulative Update or Building Block, a Security Bulletin will be released to provide details on the individual fixes.


Snapshot Client Tool

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, Deprecated Items

No new versions of the Snapshot Client Tool will be issued with this release. This is a standalone application used to process remote SOAP transactions and is different from the Snapshot Command Line Tool and Snapshot Controller. The Snapshot Command Line Tool will be included in releases until the Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 release. The Blackboard Consulting Snapshot Controller will continue to work because the Snapshot Command Line Tool is still included.

Behind the Blackboard: End of Support and Removal of Snapshot Tools for Blackboard Learn - Article #42089


VALUE rubrics

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, New Features

As part of the Association of American Colleges & Universities' (AAC&U’s) Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. Educational professionals from over 100 higher education institutions collaboratively developed 16 VALUE rubrics to use the most frequently identified characteristics for measuring success in key learning outcomes.

For Blackboard Learn users who are interested in using these rubrics, we are making them available for download and import. Each rubric has been built and formatted appropriately so it can be imported to your courses and used anywhere you can align and evaluate with rubrics today. The downloadable rubrics are available in US English only because this is how they were authored by AAC&U.

Behind the Blackboard: VALUE Rubrics for Learn 9.1 - Article #42113

Learn more about VALUE rubrics at the AACU website


Virtual Classroom, Chat

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016, Deprecated Items

Support for Virtual Classroom and Chat course tools will be ending with this release. Institutions using versions of Blackboard Learn that still have the Virtual Classroom and Chat course tools can continue to use them; they will continue to function beyond June 30, 2016. However, Blackboard Support will no longer accept reported issues with the tools and bugs beyond this date, and security issues will not be addressed. Please see the following article for further details:

Behind the Blackboard: End of Support for Virtual Classroom and Chat Course Tools in Blackboard Learn 9.1 - Article #41866


Analytics for Learn

Building Blocks, Released 26 March 2016

Version 4.3.2 is now available. This release focuses on bug fixes, rebranded sample Pyramid content, performance improvements to SSRS reporting, new look to sample SSRS reports, and a new Learn Attendance Exception Report. This release is recommended for all customers of Analytics for Learn.

More on this release


Learn, Analytics for Learn, and Building Block compatibility

Building Blocks, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3000.1.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2016

Users upgrading their Learn environment to Learn version Q2-2016 and above must use the new Analytics for Learn + Building Block combination to support integration: Analytics for Learn version 4.3 + and Building Block version 4.0 +. This requires an upgrade to the A4L warehouse, and must be scoped and scheduled in advance of the Learn upgrade to avoid interruption of service. Please contact your account representative if you have any questions about whether your A4L warehouse will be impacted by your Learn upgrade.

More on Analytics for Learn


Social Learning Tools

Building Blocks, March 2016

This version of the Social Learning Tools Building Block includes the ability to enable Enhanced Cloud profiles for your institution. This release also contains fixes for permissions issues and localization.

Social Learning Tools release notes, March 2016


Accessibility updates

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

Discussion Boards: Forum descriptions are read on the Create Thread page. This improves accessibility for users with screen reader technologies.

More on Accessibility

Assessments: When creating a hot spot question, an Image Alternate text box is now available. This improves accessibility for users.

Assessments for Instructors | Assessments for Students

Content Editor: The default heading size for all of the embedded headings has been increased so they are properly read in both the view and edit state in the Content Editor.

Content Editor for Administrators | Content Editor for Instructors | Content Editor for Students


Announcement Date Restriction Default

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.


Browser Support

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

Learn 9.1 now supports the Microsoft Edge browser. Some new browser releases no longer support NPAPI plugins. Without these plugins, some Learn features may not render correctly.

More on browser support



Escaping Special Characters

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

When a user uploads a file to Learn and the filename contains special characters (such as / \ : ? * " < > | ), the system replaces the special character with an underscore ( _ ).


Goal Performance Dashboard

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

A competency-based education Building Block to map goals to courses within Learn. The Goal Performance Dashboard evaluates evidence of competencies individually, allowing for true measurement of mastery.

More on Goal Performance Dashboard


Grades Journey

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

Grades Journey integrates your institution's Student Information System with Learn. Grades Journey allows you to exchange grade information between two separate systems.

More on Grades Journey


HTML5 Support

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

The Content Editor now supports HTML5 Audio and Video playback in Chrome and Edge browsers.


Language Packs

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

This release includes new language packs for Thai (th_TH) and Malay (ms_MY) languages.


PowerSchool SIS Integration

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

As part of the innovative classroom, SIS Central two-way integration is now available for PowerSchool customers who license Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 release or higher.

With this release, Blackboard’s SIS Central will provide bi-directional integration between all Blackboard Learn deployment options and the PowerSchool Student Information System. The Blackboard Learn PowerSchool Integration provides a hands-free, seamless synchronization of users, classes, enrollments, assignments, and grades between Blackboard Learn and PowerSchool.

More on SIS Central

Read the full SIS Central release notes for Q4 2015


WebEQ Conversion

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015

ANGEL and WebCT Vista packages will convert WebEQ match equations to WIRIS.


Blackboard Store

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014

Students can easily purchase required course materials at competitive prices via personalized shopping lists and quick access from within Blackboard Learn. Instructors can find, compare, and assign materials from the largest online catalog of commercial and open educational content.

Installs using the Learn 9.1 October 2014 prior to February 5, 2015 will see the Blackboard Store Building Block included and automatically available. However, installs using the Learn 9.1 October 2014 on or after February 5, 2015 will not see the Blackboard Store Building Block included. Those wanting to install the Blackboard Store Building Block should refer to the Blackboard Store details available here on Behind the Blackboard.


Calendar

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014

Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.

Users can also now choose the Hijri Islamic lunar calendar.

There is now a course list filter in the calendar.

More on Calendar for Administrators



Language Packs

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014

Translation change requests have been implemented to improve the quality and usability of the language packs for Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Spanish, Turkish, and Korean. Czech and Polish language packs have been added.

More on Language Packs for Administrators


Outcomes Assessment

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014

Users can now access report options to create a printable view to save the visualized report as a PDF or XLS. There are also additional data fields available to provide further insight needed for in-depth data analysis for quantitative and qualitative assessment.

More on Outcomes Assessment for Administrators


Portfolios

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014

User directory search now respects the privacy setting of the user. Portfolios can be shared with any user by entering the username. If the searcher does not know the username, he or she can search the User Directory. However, the search will return only users who have explicitly decided to make their profiles public.


Video Everywhere

Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014

Blackboard Learn has integrated with OAuth 2.0. With this update users are able to seamlessly use several video features within Learn without authentication issues.





eXplorance bluepulse

Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014

Bluepulse is an open social platform that directly ties student input to classroom improvement. It is bundled in the Learn 9.1 April 2014 release.

More on eXplorance bluepulse for Administrators



My Grades

Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014

The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. Students now view feedback by selecting View Feedback.

More on My Grades for Students



Profiles

Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014

Profiles will be integrated with MyEdu to deliver an Enhanced Cloud Profile. The Enhanced Cloud Profile provides users with their first professional profile, helping them demonstrate skills & competencies they have developed through their educational journey in a visual and uniquely compelling way.

More on Profiles for Administrators