Looking for the latest release information? Check out the Blackboard Learn SaaS release notes feed.

More on Learn with the SaaS Deployment | How to enable the Ultra experience

Browse the list of features or view the maintenance items.

You can also see our instructions to create and export a list of Known Issues in Behind the Blackboard.

Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.54+54663c8) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 22, 2020.

Updates in this version include:


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.51+4456ac1) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We've integrated Xythos Service Packs 20 and 21, which introduce internal improvements to the content system.

  • The verbosity level of new log nodes reverted to the default initial value instead of matching the level set in Log Settings. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.42+e227a86) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Emailed course announcements in both the Original and Ultra Course Views now include both the course name and the title of the announcement in the email subject.

  • The calculated grade snapshot information didn't update correctly in courses that use the Telemetry B2. We've fixed the issue.

  • Learn environments ran out of memory when archiving courses with large volumes of activity accumulator records. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn’t navigate to the next course content item from a discussion board post if conditional availability was set. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, users who had system permission to create materials but were not enrolled in a course couldn’t add permanent files to a course. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.35+878ad8e) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn't join Collaborate sessions with their course links. We've fixed the issue.

  • Emailed course announcements in both the Original and Ultra Course Views now include both the course name and the title of the announcement in the email subject.

  • The calculated grade snapshot information didn't update correctly in courses that use the Telemetry B2. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Ultra Course View

The scheduled Production release of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.33+a603588) during off-hours on Thursday, October 1, 2020 includes an additional update.

  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn't join Collaborate sessions with their course links. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.32+99f4ccd) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We’ve added unique login counts for the previous 30, 90, and 180 days to the Learn Insight Report.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some replies weren’t visible in discussions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users’ discussion response and reply counts didn’t appear correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users’ profiles and activity in discussions appeared as though the users were unavailable. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, discussion forum links that were broken during a course copy couldn’t be removed from the new course. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When an instructor reverted a course back to the Original Course View from Ultra Course Preview, a lost association with the course data source key caused problems with SIS integration. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users at institutions that use SSO with the SAML Building Block had trouble logging in to their Learn environments. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.27+f09831f) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, emailed announcements didn't include the announcement title in the subject line. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students received an incorrect password error when a test used a password with certain character patterns. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.19.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.19.0 (full release number 3800.19.0-rel.24+879e1a1) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, emailed announcements didn't include the announcement title in the subject line. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students received an incorrect password error when a test used a password with certain character patterns. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View with Ally enabled, administrators couldn’t remove replaced files included in a course copy from the new course’s content collection. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn't view a course document after visiting an LTI link in a learning module that uses sequential availability. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn’t view a test submission when SafeAssign was enabled and Respondus LockDown browser was required. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t add LTI deep linked content to their courses if SameSite cookie support was enabled in their browser. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t access the users enrolled in their course through third-party applications that use the course membership REST API. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • At some institutions that use SIS integrations for notifications, a small number of user accounts were locked when notification traffic was heavy. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.23+292bc5b) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn't view a course document after visiting an LTI link in a learning module that uses sequential availability. We've fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t access the users enrolled in their course through third-party applications that use the course membership REST API. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, students couldn’t view a test submission when SafeAssign was enabled and Respondus LockDown browser was required. We’ve fixed the issue.

Changes to deleted file retention period

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

With this release, Blackboard will change the content collection system’s deleted file retention period from 45 days to 32 days on clients' Learn SaaS sites. This change will reduce the amount of storage used by client sites and bring our retention period in line with the Learn SaaS Service Level Agreements data retention period. The change will not impact course auto archives or active course data.


Expanded access to Ally in Ultra documents

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Ultra Course View

Now, in the Ultra Course View, instructors and students can download Ally alternative formats for course documents in the expanded view. With Ally enabled at their institutions, instructors and students see the Ally icon in the top menu, next to the conversations icon. They can choose the alternative format that best suits their needs.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.19.0 | Release to Production 1 October 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.19.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.21+0b17a13) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, some instructors intermittently encountered an undefined error in the Grade Center. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.17+ca99c4d) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • For some administrators, the Insight Report (Beta) displayed 0 for Auto-Archived Courses and Organizations and Days of logs available instead of the correct count. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, when an instructor quoted a post with embedded files, students couldn't access the files from the instructor's reply.  We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some environments encountered short periods of downtime after RDS maintenance. We've fixed the issue. 

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.32+577dd66) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, August 27, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when partner content was used in a course, some content provider options didn't display in the Content Market. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, Vimeo videos wouldn't embed in course content. We've fixed the issue.
  • For some administrators, the Insight Report (Beta) displayed 0 for Auto-Archived Courses and Organizations and Days of logs available instead of the correct count. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.14+16bd146) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, a variable name displayed instead of the Assessment security heading when users launched the LockDown Browser. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors couldn't close the Add Content menu for an empty folder with the X (close) icon on the Course Content page. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when partner content was used in a course, some content provider options didn't display in the Content Market. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, Vimeo videos wouldn't embed in course content. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.30+8445ff0) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, August 20, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some users couldn’t log in to their Learn environment when a SAML SSO provider was created as inactive and then was set to active. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, SAML logout pages displayed in the default language instead of a user's preferred language. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.17.0 (full release number 3800.17.0-rel.11+9b66d12) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, forgotten password emails for custom, secondary brand domains incorrectly sent users to the main brand domain. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, content added with LTI tools wouldn't open with learning module navigation. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users couldn’t log in to their Learn environment when a SAML SSO provider was created as inactive and then was set to active. We’ve fixed the issue. 

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.28+ba39496) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, August 13, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, forgotten password emails for custom, secondary brand domains incorrectly sent users to the main brand domain. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, content added with LTI tools wouldn't open with learning module navigation. We’ve fixed the issue.

Protect assessments with access codes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

Features that support academic integrity and assessment security remain at the top of our priority list because of consistent feedback from Ultra early adopters and institutions evaluating a move to Ultra courses. Over the last several months, these concerns have been dramatically amplified due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, we're happy to share that instructors can now add a system-generated access code for their assessments in the Ultra Course View. For the initial release, access codes can only be generated randomly and can't be customized. Instructors can also regenerate the access code when needed. Test facilitators can see the access code, but can't change it.

Students need to enter the access code each time they start or continue an assessment. Instructors or test facilitators need to provide the access code, and students won't have a way to discover the access code on their own. Students don't need the access code to access their grades and feedback.

More on the instructor workflow


API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to create, update, or delete institutional hierarchy node associations between courses and Institutional Hierarchy nodes.
  • We enhanced the public assignment APIs to support SafeAssign options, which aligns with the functionality offered in the user interface.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.


Automated test question feedback

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

Instructors rely on automated feedback in Original to provide focused feedback on individual test questions without needing to type feedback for each question on each submission. With this release, automated test question feedback is now available in Ultra courses. Instructors can enter feedback for correct and incorrect answers on auto-graded question types (such as True/False). Students will automatically receive the feedback when they submit the assessment.

For this initial release, feedback will be available at the question level only. While conversion of automated feedback from Original courses is supported, any images, files, or weblinks in the Original course’s feedback will not convert. Future work will add feedback for individual answer choices and manual feedback for test questions.


Enhancements to course archive and restore

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

This update makes the archive process more comprehensive. Now, archives gather data for users who may have dropped the course during the term, which provides a fuller picture of user activity in restored courses for records and reviews.

When an archive is restored, course and enrollment records are returned to the enablement state at the time of the archive creation. User records that match with existing accounts will be linked during the restore process, but the existing user’s enablement state will not change. As before, if records are disabled and locked, an administrator will need to enable records in Learn to review them.


H5P added to list of embedded media

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, H5P has been added to the list of supported embedded media in the text editor.

View the instructor workflow


Learn SaaS release 3800.17.0: Update to release notes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We prematurely announced that version 3800.17.0 would contain Assist, a student success hub for campus and online resources. We are still testing this feature, and it’s targeted for release in the near future. We apologize for the confusion.


Send course announcement by email

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

To be sure Ultra course announcements reach as many students as possible, we've added the ability to send course announcements by email. Emails about Ultra announcements are always sent and aren't controlled by the global notification settings. Instructors also receive a copy as the email is sent to all course members. In the email, embedded content appears as links. Students can select the links to view the content.

You can't send an email for an announcement that you schedule for a future date.

We also reformatted the subject line for announcement emails in the Original Course View. Now, they’re consistent with the Ultra Course View.

More on the instructor workflow


Student list view in the gradebook

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.17.0 | Release to Production 3 September 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, we've added a new view option in the gradebook for Ultra courses. The new view, called student list view, improves gradebook performance in courses with very large enrollment numbers. In the student list view tab, instructors can see rows for each student in addition to a tab with rows for gradebook items.

We listened to concerns that instructors have about the current gradebook and we incorporated these concerns into student list view. Items such as last access date, student, and user ID are included so instructors can easily get to the student record they want.

The initial release allows instructors to view all the gradebook items for a single student and grade and give feedback on just those submissions. The next improvement for this feature will include additional filtering and sorting options, messaging, and accommodation options within the student list view.

This view doesn't affect any current workflows that instructors use today. Student list view is an addition to the existing gradebook list view—the default view for Ultra courses.

More on the instructor view


Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.24+b25671a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We’ve improved system performance and stability for institutions with very large courses (many students and many content items).

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.22+7825384) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't access created tests. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.29+ffe3614) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some SIS feed files were blocked and couldn't update information in Learn. We've fixed the issue.
  • Courses with missing resources couldn’t be deleted because the archive process couldn’t complete. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.21+8a56e93) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some SIS feed files were blocked and couldn't update information in Learn. We've fixed the issue.
  • Courses with missing resources couldn’t be deleted because the archive process couldn’t complete. We’ve fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to Singapore Polymall environments shifted

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

The release of Bb Annotate to Singapore Polymall environments has been shifted by one week. It will be available in Test/Stage environments beginning on July 20, 2020, and in Production environments beginning July 27, 2020.

The detailed release plan on Behind the Blackboard and the Community site has been updated to reflect this change.

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


Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.26+bfd99e6) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some users still saw incorrect column headers and missing data in exported Outcomes Assessment reports. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Experience, only two lines of a course announcement displayed at a time. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.15.0 (full release number 3800.15.0-rel.15+49a56b1) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some users still saw incorrect column headers and missing data in exported Outcomes Assessment reports. We've fixed the issue.

Additional sources for embedded media in the text editor

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View

This release expands our list of embedded media sources in the text editor. The Insert/Edit Video from Web option is now called Insert/Edit Media from Web. Users can add media from these sites:

  • VidGrid
  • Panopto™
  • FlipGrid
  • SlideShare
  • Prezi
  • VoiceThread
  • KhanAcademy
  • Kaltura
  • Soundcloud
  • Spotify®
  • Genial.ly
  • NearPod
  • Quizlet
  • EdPuzzle
  • YouTube™
  • Vimeo®

API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to create, update, or delete institutional hierarchy nodes. We also added the ability to create child nodes for a specific NodeId, and delete and update institutional hierarchy nodes by NodeId.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.


Journal support for course copy and conversion

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, we've added support for Ultra journals in course copy and conversion. Now, Ultra journals are included in the list of content items to copy from one Ultra course to another. Users can also use the Administrator Panel or Copy Content to copy journals between courses. Journals can also be converted from an Original course to an Ultra course as part of the Ultra Course Preview and will be included in the course's export/archive ZIP file. Journal prompts and settings are included when an Original course is converted to the Ultra Course View. Comments and student entries aren’t included.

The conversion workflow for journals will have additional improvements in the future.

At this time, the Ultra journals grading view supports up to 50 users. Future development will expand this number.

We recommend that you use Ultra journals as you build new courses, but our guidance is to limit teaching and grading usage until additional work is completed.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.15.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


SOAP Web Services API removal

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Please note that in the August 2020 Learn release, as part of the removal of SOAP Web Services APIs from Learn, we are removing the following Java APIs which have been deprecated since 2015:

  • CourseCategoryMembershipLoader
  • CourseCategoryMembershipPersister
  • OrganizationCategoryLoader
  • OrganizationCategoryMembershipLoader
  • OrganizationCategoryMembershipPersister
  • OrganizationCategoryPersister

Text editor added to course announcements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Ultra Course View

Instructors rely on course announcements to deliver important, timely information to students. To make announcements easier to read and more visually appealing, many instructors enhance them by adding images, links, and text formatting. Now, instructors can use an enhanced text editor to add and display more types of content, links, embedded media, and file attachments in announcements in Ultra courses.

View the instructor workflow

In the next milestone, available in a future release, instructors will be able to send an email copy of a course announcement to recipients with an email address on record.


Learn SaaS release 3800.15.0: Delay for Continuous Delivery release to Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.15.0 | Release to Production 6 August 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3800.15.0 Continuous Delivery release to Test/Stage servers, previously scheduled for July 7, 2020, until Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The release schedule has been updated to reflect this change.


Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.23+f2b803a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some SIS integrations didn't process feed files. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, administrators couldn’t see the result categories in an enterprise survey results report. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, certain assessment settings (like rubrics, delegated grading, and peer review) were disabled when an instructor added presentation-only content. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.35+a142044) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, some students couldn’t access enterprise surveys. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.17+e9dcbb4) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, users couldn't access the date picker to edit a date. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, some grades entered as letters were incorrectly changed to the next highest letter grade. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, the exported Outcomes Assessment report had some incorrect column headers and was missing data. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, some students couldn’t access enterprise surveys. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • We enhanced logging for the SAML B2.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.34+e7b8bbb) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, when a Learn instance used custom brands or themes based on the 2012 theme, users couldn't see links under the Course Control Panel. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, some grades entered as letters were incorrectly changed to the next highest letter grade. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, the exported Outcomes Assessment report had some incorrect column headers and was missing data. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.13.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.13.0 (full release number 3800.13.0-rel.11+32b12c7) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, the Grade Center didn't load for users who use the Spanish language pack with a Chilean grading schema. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, when a Learn instance used custom brands or themes based on the 2012 theme, users couldn't see links under the Course Control Panel. We've fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to international Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Bb Annotate will be released to international Production environments starting on Monday, June 15, 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


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.26+6de5309) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, June 11, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, the Grade Center didn't load for users who use the Spanish language pack with a Chilean grading schema. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, recurring Collaborate Ultra sessions didn't appear under Join Session in the Details & Actions section after the first session. We've fixed the issue.

Administrator support panel

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Ultra Experience

We’ve made it easier for full system administrators to find self-help resources while in Learn with the Ultra experience. With this release, system administrators can access Blackboard Help, as well as Behind the Blackboard links for the knowledge base, support ticket submission, and support phone numbers. Select the help icon in the lower-right corner to open the new support panel.

More on the support panel


API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to provide public APIs to Read Institutional Hierarchy Nodes.
  • We added the ability to provide APIs to access and manage user avatars.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.


Course discussions improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, students currently can create their own discussion topics. This sometimes causes confusion in the student workflow when responding to discussions. With this release, instructors can decide if they want students to generate their own discussions or not. By default, students won't be able to create discussions. When students are allowed to create discussions, a label appears under discussion titles to show they were student-created.

Note that the plus sign and the menu now appear in the upper-right corner of the Discussions page along with the new settings icon.

More on the instructor view of discussions

We also made several styling changes and usability improvements to the course discussions workflow, which include:

  • The Grader role can't modify a discussion by default, but an administrator can grant that permission if it's needed.
  • Students can delete the discussions they created if no one else has responded.

Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.13.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


System permissions for brands

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.13.0 | Release to Production 2 July 2020
Ultra Experience

Some institutions want the ability to grant certain users limited Admin Panel access to allow them to view Ultra's brands and themes configuration. With this release, we've added two new system permissions to allow more granular access to certain areas of the Admin Panel. They are automatically granted to any role that has the Administrator Panel (Integrations) > Building Blocks > Installed Tools permission.

  • View Ultra Settings makes the Ultra admin module visible on the main Admin Panel screen, but doesn't confer any other permissions. Additional permissions will be needed to access specific configuration pages. For example, the Brands configuration page requires Administrator Panel > Brands > View Brands and Themes.
  • Change Ultra Settings controls access to the existing Ultra settings page, where you can configure Default Landing Page and link to Course and Organization Catalog settings. Any role with this permission will automatically have View Ultra Settings permission.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.23+7619f1a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • Files attached to discussion threads replaced existing discussion files when copied into existing courses. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, when an instructor created a test from a question set, they couldn't add more than one question. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators saw large numbers of assignment submission exceptions in their logs. We’ve added log information to help determine the sources of those exceptions.

Learn SaaS release 3800.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.11.0 (full release number 3800.11.0-rel.13+dc44ed6) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students with special characters in their name couldn't launch a test in Respondus LockDown Browser. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't enter maximum points for a graded discussion thread. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators still saw "New Box View" as their building block title after Bb Annotate was turned on. We've fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to U.S. Production environments and international Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Bb Annotate will be released to U.S. Production environments starting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

Bb Annotate will also 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


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.29+616af15) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, May 21, 2020. 

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students with special characters in their name couldn't launch a test in Respondus LockDown Browser. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.25+4afe1a1) to some client Production servers during off-hours beginning Tuesday, May 19, 2020. This update will be applied to clients in the following regions or time zones:

  • US Central
  • US Mountain
  • US Pacific
  • Asia and Oceania

Clients in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the US Eastern time zone have already received this updated version.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't view a survey's Attempts Statistics from the Grade Center. We've fixed the issue.

Discussions added to Copy Content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, Copy Content now supports discussions. Instructors can create a discussion in one Ultra Course View course and copy it to other Ultra courses they teach.


Journals in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

Journals are now available in the Ultra Course View. Instructors can create a journal assignment on the Course Content page, add them to learning modules, and use conditional release if they want. Journal assignments appear in the activity stream, and students and instructors can discuss the entry in comments. Instructors can make a journal assignment count for a grade and add a rubric so students know what they'll be graded on. The initial release includes a basic grading workflow, where instructors enter grades manually in the gradebook. Full grading functionality and support for course copy and conversion are expected later this year. Continued enhancements are also coming for the Participants panel.

The Ultra journals grading view currently supports up to 50 students. Future improvements will expand this number.

We recommend using Ultra journals as you build new courses, but our guidance is to limit teaching and grading usage until additional improvements are completed.

Visit the instructor topic


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Score per Question in Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

In the Original Course View, instructors use Score per Question feedback settings to control if students see the score they earned for each assessment question. With this release, in the Ultra Course View, instructors can deactivate the default and choose not to show Score per Question feedback in assessments.


Students can embed media from integrated tools in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.11.0 | Release to Production 4 June 2020
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, students can add links and embed media from integrated tools using the Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) standard. When using the content editor in tools such as Discussion Boards and Assignments, students will now also be able to access a list of integrated LTI Tools, choose resources, and include them in their authored content. This will allow students to add media and resources from tools such as Kaltura, among many others. Administrators must configure which tool placements are appropriate for student use and access. Both LTI Advantage and the older LTI 1.1 are supported for this workflow in the Ultra Course View. The placement configuration screen for administrators has also been improved for clarity in this release.


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.24+a58123a) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • We changed the title of a basic usage report for Learn administrators. It's now called Insight Report (Beta)Learn more about where to find the report and how to read it.
  • In the Original Course View, some tests got stuck in "In Progress" status, so instructors couldn't end attempts or grade them. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some Learn instances didn't receive grade events information from Caliper. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Custom SafeHTML filters reverted to the default policy with certain SaaS upgrades. We've fixed the issue.

Bb Annotate release to U.S. Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Bb Annotate will be released to U.S. Test and Stage environments starting on Monday, May 4, 2020. More information on the Bb Annotate release plan can be found on Behind the Blackboard and 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


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.17+0de27ea) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Administrators couldn't send SMS or text-to-voice notifications to users through Connect for Learn. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some Learn instances had performance issues related to mobile Notifications. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.9.0 (full release number 3800.9.0-rel.13+116516d) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • A basic usage report for Learn administrators on system usage and storage. Learn more about where to find the report and how to read it.
  • Improved dynamic flow control for better system resiliency and efficient database queries.
  • In the Original Course View, the Overall Summary of User Activity report only listed the Guest user in the Access/Date graphic. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, course content that used adaptive release with groups created an unwanted membership criterion that blocked student access to the content. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.18+ade3869) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, when grades were transferred with the Grade Journey B2, some grade columns were hidden from instructors in the Grade Center. We've fixed the issue.

API updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We've made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • We added the ability to search and sort on the timestamp when a course membership was modified. Developers can increase efficiencies in report generation, audit completion, and membership information display.
  • We redesigned the Groups API and separated Groups and GroupSets. Now, developers will have easier access to Groups in a GroupSet and behavior that better resembles how the Learn interface presents Groups.

Visit the Developer site for full REST API documentation.

 


Learn SaaS release 3800.9.0: Update to release notes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Ultra Course View

We prematurely announced that version 3800.9.0 contained the ability for students to embed media from integrated tools in the Ultra Course View. We are still testing this feature, and it’s targeted for release in the near future. We apologize for the confusion.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Performance improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.9.0 | Release to Production 7 May 2020
Ultra Experience

In this release, we improved the load times for the Calendar and when students and instructors expand folders on the course outline.


Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.16+f1c0e8e) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, some students' participation in gradable discussions didn't report correctly to the gradebook. We've fixed the issue.
  • Some fixes behind the scenes to keep your environments tidy.

Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.16+f1c0e8e) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Updates in this version include some fixes behind the scenes to keep your environments tidy.


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.6.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.6.0 (full release number 3800.6.0-rel.13+fa0f5ed) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, some students couldn’t see the group they were assigned to after they were randomly enrolled. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, if a course had a large number of enrolled students, instructors couldn't access the Grades and Participation view. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students couldn’t view completed assignment rubrics if their assignment was graded using delegated grading. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some instructors couldn’t create math equation assessment questions using the math editor. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Students who accessed Blackboard with Google Chrome couldn’t view a full PDF in their course. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some private APIs required permissions that didn’t work correctly with Java 11. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of the 3800.4.0 Ultra user interface (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.40+d78544e) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, if a course had a large number of enrolled students, instructors couldn't access the Grades and Participation view. We’ve fixed the issue.

Adjust first day of the week in the calendar

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Different global regions have different calendar conventions, including which day displays as the first day of the week. With this release, Blackboard calendars will display the most common convention for the first day of the week based on a user's selected language. Users will be able to see the change in the month and day views of both their overall and individual course calendars. The date picker display will also change in the Ultra Course View and for administrator notifications in the Ultra Experience.  

Users can change their language in the user profile. Administrators can customize the first day of the week for their language pack if they choose.


Auto-archive on course deletion

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

With this release, a complete archive package will now be created automatically when a course is deleted. The archive package is stored in the course's autoArchive folder like other automatic archives, but the filename is different:Course_ID_Course_PKID_Course_Title_currentTime_in_milliseconds_bb_permanent.zip. Once a course is archived and deleted, course resources will be automatically purged and won't be in the recycle bin so that disk space isn’t used by a deleted course.

Learn more on course deletion

Learn more on automatic archives


Course-level group self-enrollment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Ultra Course View

Previously, self-enrollment groups were limited to assignments and discussions in the Ultra Course View. With this release, instructors can create self-enrollment course groups that can apply to any graded content within a course. When they create a new course group set, instructors will see Self-enrollment in the Group students menu.

Instructors can add a description for the group set, specify the start and end times of an enrollment period, and set the maximum members per group. After the group set is created, a course announcement is automatically created to inform students of the enrollment period. When the enrollment period ends, students who haven't joined a group will be assigned to one automatically.

Student view


Global logout with SAML authentication providers

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Library upgrades in our SAML authentication provider B2 could affect the first logout attempt of any Learn user session created through a SAML authentication provider with Global Logout support. If a user's session was established before the library upgrade, they won't be able to log out of their SSO session through Learn the first time they try. On first logout, users will be presented with a page that informs them that their SSO session is still active.

Users can log out through the identity provider, or they can log in again, which will present them with the option to log out of their SSO session.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.6.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


New LTI Preview User role

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

Third-party integrated tools in a course using the LTI Advantage standard from IMS Global can now distinguish between student and student preview users. This allows integrated tools to choose if they want to handle instructors navigating the course as student preview users differently than standard student users. Per the LTI specification, the user is indicated as the type, “test user.” As an example, the Turnitin LTI Advantage integration uses this to filter student preview users from the student list in Turnitin.


Rich text editor improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.6.0 | Release to Production 2 April 2020
Ultra Course View

We made some improvements to the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View:

  • We moved the file attachment function to the top level so it's easier to access.
  • We added a strikethrough font style option.
  • We updated our function groupings so they're easier to read on smaller screens.
  • We allowed the browser to control the background of highlighted text to improve accessibility.

 


Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, the scheduled Production release of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.40+d78544e) during off-hours on Thursday, March 5, 2020 will include an additional update.

  • Some instructors couldn't import content using the Cengage Mindlinks B2. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.32+1b0447c) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an Original Course used two percentage range rubrics, the second rubric didn’t always have the correct total number of points. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • If a user changed their password through their SIS using encryption methods other than SSHA, they could be kicked out of their session after logging back in. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.26+312e74d) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some integrations using LTI 1.3 deep link couldn't launch a needed resource link. We've fixed the issue.
  • Column headers in the Ultra grade center were duplicated after an administrator customized the colors in their institutional brand. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users couldn't see their avatar thumbnails in the users and groups section of the Original Course View. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.25+95332d7) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, February 20, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some administrators encountered LDAP authentication problems because the TLS connection failed. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.4.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.4.0 (full release number 3800.4.0-rel.20+6b6dbf5) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors were informed that their institution had made messages read-only for students in English instead of their selected language. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators saw a both successful and a failed login for each sign-in attempt in their authentication logs. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some administrators encountered LDAP authentication problems because the TLS connection failed. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some users saw the upload icon buffering even though they could upload and download files. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some students couldn’t download files they added to essay questions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issue with grading in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some student submissions reordered randomly while an instructor was grading. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Original Course View:
    • Some users couldn’t upload files with % in the filename. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some users couldn’t download files attached to submissions that use Box view. We’ve fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.24+29cd420) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, February 13, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Experience, the last login date wasn’t updating accurately for users with cloud profiles. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn’t see images they added to the text editor until their content was posted or submitted. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some users saw the upload icon buffering even though they could upload and download files. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some users couldn’t download files they had previously uploaded if the filename contained a special character. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some students couldn’t download files they added to essay questions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with grading in the Ultra Course View:
    • Some student submissions reordered randomly while an instructor was grading. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some instructors encountered a blank screen after entering a grade for a student assignment that had multiple attempts. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some instructors didn’t see entered grades in the gradebook until they refreshed the page. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Issues with file uploads and downloads in the Original Course View:
    • Some users couldn’t upload files with % in the filename. We’ve fixed the issue.
    • Some users couldn’t download files attached to submissions that use Box view. We’ve fixed the issue.

Calculated Formula question type for Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

Calculated Formula question types are now available in assessments using the Ultra Course View. Calculated Formula questions require students to make a calculation and respond with a numeric answer. This feature has been highly requested, especially by institutions whose STEM disciplines rely on Learn. Now, instructors can convert Calculated Formula questions from their Original courses or add new ones within the Ultra Course View.

When creating a new assessment, select the plus sign to open the menu and then select Add Calculated Formula question. Begin by adding the question text and answer formula. In Ultra Course View only, instructors can choose whether to display the formula to students with the text. Instructors can then adjust the answer settings and verify the question.


Course ID displays with Course Name

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

In this release, a Course ID now appears with the Course Name in key areas when Ultra base navigation is enabled. Now, users can find their Course IDs on the Courses page of base navigation, in the Calendar, and when copying course content.


Create Item panel options open by default

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

Now, when instructors create new content on the Course Content page, all options in the Create Item panel will open by default. In previous versions, only the Course Content Items options opened by default. Instructors often missed the arrow to expand these menus, leading them to believe that fewer content items were available than there actually were. Loading these menus by default also makes the content creation workflow faster.


Edit course image option moved to overflow menu

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Experience

In this release, we moved the Edit course image option in the tile view on the Courses page. Now, it can be found in the overflow menu at the top-right corner of the course tile.


Improvements to Discussion conversion in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

We're improving the conversion of Discussions from Original to Ultra courses. Previously, the Discussion conversion workflow has caused confusion and manual work to complete. With this release, a graded discussion in an Original course that allows members to create threads will convert to a Graded Ultra discussion and all of its seed child threads and replies will be removed. A graded discussion in an Original course that doesn't allow members to create threads will keep the current behavior. Group boards, forums, and threads won't be converted.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.4.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Make Messages Read-only for Students

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

With this release, administrators can choose whether students are able to create and reply to messages in both Original and Ultra courses. Now Learn Course Messages can better adjust to institutions' different communication preferences and policies. To find this setting, go to Admin Panel > Tools and Utilities > Course Messages.

When you select this option, students also can't forward messages.

More on course messages options


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

  • We changed the way students are sorted in Ultra gradebook views for calculated columns and overall grade. Students now sort by last name throughout the gradebook.
  • We increased the length of the course name in tile view on the Courses page. Unless the course name is exceptionally long, users should see the full course name.
  • We increased the line spacing of discussion posts to make them easier to read.
  • We made some additional visual improvements to the Courses pages in Ultra base navigation, the Calendar, and the Copy Content workflow. Among the changes, we updated some text to a heavier weight as a result of the small icon update.
  • We updated some small icons in the text editor.

Right-to-left language support for Original Courses and Organizations

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Original Course View

In this release, we've added right-to-left language support in Courses and Organizations using the Original Course View with Ultra base navigation. This feature has been highly requested by users in the Middle East. Future enhancements will bring right-to-left language support to Ultra.


Students won't get notifications for submissions collected offline

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, students won't see overdue notifications for Ultra Assessments that use the Collect Submissions Offline setting. Because Learn relies on instructors to create the submissions for offline assessments, students were sometimes notified an assessment was overdue even if they turned it in on time. Now, these notifications won't appear.


Text editor word count

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, we added a word count to the text editor when instructors create Documents and students respond to Assessment essay questions in the Ultra Course View. This feature will help students meet minimum word count requirements their instructors may have communicated. Future enhancements will add the word count feature in other areas of Learn Ultra, including instructor grading workflows.


Text update for adding YouTube videos

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, we clarified a menu option in the text editor. Previously, users could select Insert Web Content in the text editor to embed a YouTube video. User feedback indicated that many users didn't understand that they could embed YouTube videos. To make options clearer, we changed the menu option to Insert YouTube Video.


Text update for Matching questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

In this release, we added text to the Matching question creation workflow. Now, Learn directs instructors to delete the default additional answer field before saving if it's not needed. User feedback indicated it wasn't intuitive to delete this additional option when creating matching questions.

We also removed the student-facing text that suggested answers may be used more than once. Client feedback requested that the direction be left to instructors.


Text update for Ultra base navigation workflow

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Experience

To increase confidence and clarity, we've added some text when administrators turn on the Ultra Experience. Now, when administrators activate Ultra base navigation, the message will include When you enable the Ultra experience, your existing courses aren’t affected. Your institution can choose to use the Original or Ultra Course View for new and existing courses.


Updates to the Ultra Extension Framework

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.4.0 | Release to Production 5 March 2020
Ultra Course View

Updates to the Ultra Extension Framework in this release add capabilities for banners, modals, and notifications. Partners can dynamically create banners within the Ultra-UI to display data to the user while the user is within a course. We also added the ability to notify users in a course through blocking modals, dynamic guidance messages, and notifications.


Cumulative Update 1 for FDO Q4 2019 (release 3800.0.1)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 1 for the Q4 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.20+2226729) to some client Production servers during off-hours beginning Thursday, February 6, 2020. This update will be applied to clients in the following regions or time zones:

  • Americas Central
  • Americas Mountain
  • Americas Pacific
  • Asia and Oceania
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, users couldn’t access pre-existing course glossaries. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn't view inline or download files attached to essay questions if the file names had certain special characters. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, some users couldn’t view inline or download files with New Box View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some assignments submitted through SafeAssign got stuck in In Progress status and the submission didn’t complete. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Users accessing Learn with the Google Chrome 80 beta release had trouble with SAML login authentication. We’ve fixed the issue.

Phased release schedule for 3800.2.0 Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

The 3800.2.0 Production release will be divided by region or time zone to ensure release quality. All upgrades will occur during off-hours in each region or time zone.

  • Asia, Oceania, Europe, Middle East, and Africa: By region.
  • Americas: By four major time zones, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.
    • If your institution lies outside one of these time zones, you'll be included with the nearest time zone. For example, clients in the Atlantic time zone will be upgraded with the Eastern time zone.
  • Americas Eastern time zone: In three groups.
    • These groups are alphabetical by the official name of your institution on file with Blackboard. If you want to confirm the name we have, please log in to Behind the Blackboard and select My Account > My Institution. Your institution name is displayed in the upper-left corner with your client ID number.
Date Group Local Start Time*
Monday, February 3, 2020
Americas Central
Americas Mountain
Americas Pacific
Early Morning
After 2 AM CST
After 2 AM MST
After 2 AM PST

Asia and Oceania
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Evening
After 17:00 SGT / 20:00 AEDT
After 17:00 CET
Thursday, February 6, 2020 Americas Eastern Group #1 (institution names A–G)
Americas Eastern Group #2 (institution names H–R)
Americas Eastern Group #3 (institution names S–Z)
Evening
After 5:00 PM EST
*For alerts or changes to timing on the day of the release, log in to Behind the Blackboard.

Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Known issue

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

We're currently investigating a known issue in Learn SaaS v3700.16.0:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when you associate multiple group discussions with the same course group set, responses made in one of the group discussions appear in all of the associated group discussions. While we resolve this issue, you can create new group sets for each group discussion.

We'll update this note with more details as they become available.

More information on group discussions


Learn SaaS release 3800.2.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3800.2.0 (full release number 3800.2.0-rel.14+94469ce) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students could change their self-enrollment group after they had been assigned a grade for a Discussion. We've fixed the issue.


Group self-enrollment enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Course View

We’ve enhanced self-enrollment for students and instructors in the Ultra Course View. Now, students can change self-enrollment groups themselves within the instructor-specified enrollment period. Before, once a student joined a group, they couldn’t change groups themselves.

We also replaced the Number of groups drop-down menu with a counter for instructors. The counter updates with the number of groups instructors create using the + option. Before, if an instructor picked a number of groups from the drop-down menu and then added or deleted a group, the Number of groups count didn't change. This enhancement streamlines the workflow and reduces confusion.

Learn more about group assignments


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.2.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.2.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.56+7b9695c) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors couldn’t upload more than one file at a time to the course outline. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, instructors couldn’t upload a folder containing multiple files to the course outline. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, when instructors changed a Content Collection file link using the Assignment text editor, the file was deleted. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, when instructors dragged files added from their Institution’s Content Collection in and out of folders, the files moved to a read only folder in the course’s Content Collection. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Original Course View, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.52+5c69d6d) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some administrators couldn’t export the student goal performance report from the Administrator panel. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, some instructors encountered error messages when they created calculated questions that use predefined calculus functions. We’ve fixed the issue.


Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q4 2019 (3800.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers is now available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3600.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

  • Links to Blackboard’s Privacy statement and Terms of Use now appear at the bottom of the global navigation bar in the Ultra Experience.
  • Previously, disabled students were included in the Participants list for a discussion in the Ultra Course View. This was confusing for instructors since these students don't display in assessment submission lists or in the gradebook. This update removes disabled students from the Participants list in discussions, so this view is now consistent with assessments and the gradebook.
  • 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 in the Original Course View. 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.

Ally updates in Ultra courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Course View

With this release, we’ve expanded Ally support for accessible content in Ultra courses. Now, students and instructors can access Ally’s alternative formats and accessibility indication for content directly in the Ultra course outline.

Ally’s accessibility indication is also now available in Ultra Assessments for content embedded in the rich text editor.


API assessment attempts filter

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience

With this update, API users can view and filter a list of assessment attempts based on when the attempt was created, modified, or submitted.


Java 11 JDK and Building Blocks

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As we have previously announced, Blackboard Learn’s 3800.0.0 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. We’ve extended the time 3800.0.0 will stay on Test/Staging servers to allow more time to test Building Blocks (see the Learn SaaS CD Release Schedule).

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 Developer portal.

Learn more about Java 11


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3800.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Pearson's MyLab and Mastering (MLM) Partner Cloud integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3800.0.0 | Release to Production February 2020
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

After much anticipation, Pearson’s popular MyLab and Mastering (MLM) courseware can now be used in Blackboard Learn Ultra courses thanks to the new Pearson MyLab and Mastering Partner Cloud integration. Set-up and configuration of the integration is easily managed through the Learn Administrator Panel, and once made available, instructors can efficiently access and add Pearson MLM content into their Ultra courses through the familiar Content Market.

Major features of the Pearson MLM Building Block are available with the new Partner Cloud integration, including single sign-on, deep content linking, and manual grade synchronization. Not using Ultra courses quite yet? This integration works with Blackboard Learn Original courses too. This is especially helpful for schools who may be piloting or fully using the Ultra experience with dual course mode enabled. By implementing the Pearson MLM Partner Cloud integration, administrators can rest assured that instructors can add Pearson MLM content regardless of which course view they choose.

In addition, admins can choose to utilize our migration tool which migrates existing courses and content using the MLM Building Block to Partner Cloud. While migrating to Partner Cloud gives users more flexibility in terms of which course view they can use, the Pearson MLM Building Block will still be supported for institutions who decide to keep their current configuration.

Visit Behind the Blackboard for more information on the Pearson MLM Partner Cloud integration and migration tool, including system requirements and admin guide.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Partial delay for Continuous Delivery release to Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3700.16.0 Continuous Delivery release to client Production servers for US East customers, previously scheduled for December 5, 2019. All Continuous Delivery client Production servers will receive an updated version of the 3700.16.0 release during off-hours on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.

More information on the delay available on Behind the Blackboard

Updates in this version include:

  • Students and instructors using the Ultra Course View couldn’t download file submissions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some instructors couldn’t access Message attachments in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor graded one assignment and moved on to the next, the first assignment displayed again instead of the next one. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors couldn’t copy more than 50 questions into a new test in the Ultra Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • The Rustici fix for Chrome was included in 2017.1.67.  This version was applied to 3700.16, 3700.0.5, 3500.0.9, 3400.0.14 versions of the Learn product.  Customers that upgrade to these versions won't be impacted by the future Chrome release.

Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Addition to client Production release

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, the scheduled Production release of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.33+fdffbe0) during off-hours on Thursday, December 5, 2019 will include an additional update.

  • Users of some LTI tools couldn’t create LTI content or use services because the tools weren’t properly validated. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.27+2787f87) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • The Content Editor didn't load correctly for some users. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the mobile apps, users couldn’t access offline content in courses converted from Original to Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.16.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.16.0 (full release number 3700.16.0-rel.25+b897566) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some users got an error message when they downloaded student submissions in certain file formats. We've fixed the issue.

  • Some LTI 1.3 workflows didn't launch from Partner Cloud Settings. We've fixed the issue.


Course-level group sets

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

To further support effective teaching and learning, we’ve enhanced the functionality of the Groups workspace for the Ultra Course View. With this release, instructors can create course-level group sets and align them to discussions, tests, and assignments. Within an Ultra course, select Course Groups from the Details & Actions menu. Create a new group set and save. In the settings panel of a discussion, test, or assignment, select Assign to groups. Then select your group set from the Group students menu.


Grade pill color

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, the color of the grade pill visually communicates grades/marks to students and instructors. While effective in many instances, we’ve received feedback from some Ultra early adopters that grade color can have an adverse effect on student well-being. We first introduced the ability to turn off grade pill color in the Blackboard App, and with this release we’re bringing this functionality and flexibility to Learn.

Administrators can visit Course Settings > Grade Pill Colors in the Administrator Panel to disable grade pill colors.

Learn more about disabling grade pill colors


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.16.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Text update for Multiple Answer questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.16.0 | Release to Production 5 December 2019
Ultra Course View

In previous versions, the prompt for Multiple Choice questions differed from that of Multiple Answer questions. This difference offered an unintentional clue to students when a question had more than one correct answer. Based on feedback from the community, including St. Mary's College, we've made the prompt consistent across Multiple Choice and Multiple Answer question types.


Cumulative Update 5 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.5)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 5 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3700.14.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.14.0 (full release number 3700.14.0-rel.9+dce67da) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some internal CSS files were processing incorrectly. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.19+09cd901) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 31, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.14.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.14.0 (full release number 3700.14.0-rel.8+884e842) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.17+dca4b12) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When instructors reused a question pool in the Ultra Course View, answers to Multiple Choice questions didn't randomize correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.14.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.14.0 (full release number 3700.14.0-rel.3+e156b1f) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When instructors reused a question pool in the Ultra Course View, answers to Multiple Choice questions didn't randomize correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • The X icon didn't display correctly in some Ultra Course View panels. We’ve fixed the issue.


Account lockout

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

In this release, by default Learn will lock user accounts after 5 failed login attempts. Administrators can disable the feature or edit its limits by selecting Account Lock Settings in the Administrator panel. 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


Ally updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

In this release, we've improved the Ally experience in Ultra courses. Now students can download alternative formats of files and images attached to documents. Just select the download option next to a file and choose the format you want.

Accessibility scores for instructors are also available with attachments in document and tests. The scores appear next to the files they are scoring. This makes it easier for instructors to see how their content scores and fix any issues. 

Accessibility scores and alternative format icons are only available with attached files. They aren't available with files and images added in the content editor.


Assessment Settings panel button update

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

In a continued effort to make Learn Ultra as consistent as possible, we updated the previous Done button to match the rest of the system. We've found that instructors prefer the Save and Cancel options, so we updated the Assessment Settings to align with that preference.


Batch Edit moved into overflow menu

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

When we first introduced Batch Edit, we wanted to make sure that users saw this new capability. We gave it a level of prominence that, over time, was too strong given the standard usage of the tool. We moved it into the overflow menu to better align with how it's used.

More on Batch Edit in Ultra


Description field for Ultra documents

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors want to be able to give an overview to students so they have a clear understanding of what's expected of them. While instructors generally had the ability to give this overview in the Ultra Course View, we didn't offer this ability when instructors created an Ultra document. With this enhancement, instructors can provide high-level details about what the Ultra documents contain. This reduces unnecessary clicks for students and improves their overall experiences. Instructors can open the Document Settings panel in an existing document to add a description. Students can see descriptions on the Course Content page.


Empty learning modules removed

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

As an education company, it's sometimes important to display a sense of preference in the system's pedagogical approach. While learning modules are a powerful tool, we understand that displaying one all the time can cause some unintended stress to instructors. Listening to our community is important, so we've removed the learning module when you first log in to an empty template as well as the empty module that appeared on the page.


Error messages when deleting assessments with externally-referenced questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View

To help instructors understand why they can't delete some items, we've added three detailed messages. Instructors can't delete question banks, folders, or assessments that contain questions used in question pools in other assessments.


Guest Account can't be enrolled in courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

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.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.14.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


New icons

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Course View, Ultra Experience

Iconography is incredibly important in Learn Ultra. The icon set we currently use was created when we first brought Ultra to the market. We've done a lot of research with our clients regarding what they liked and didn't like about the iconography in the system. Because of that feedback, we've made some adjustments to the icon set. Most notably, the new icons are darker and appear more prominently now.


System administration notification settings

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.14.0 | Release to Production 7 November 2019
Ultra Experience

Learn Ultra has always been designed with the end user in mind, and that includes flexibility and personalization of Notifications. Feedback from the wider Blackboard Community outlined that although this is positive, offering levels of control for an institution to support and manage notifications is an important. Blackboard listened to this client feedback, and we're pleased to outline our support for System Administration Notification Settings in Ultra.

Ultra administrators can change notifications at the system level, configure digest functionality, and set up default notification settings. In the Administrator Panel, select Notification Settings. For every available notification type and source, administrators can select whether notifications are on or off by default. Administrators can also decide whether users can change the default setting in their individual preferences.

More on Notification Types


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.13+1c185dd) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, correct and credited answers to matching questions displayed as Incorrect to some students. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying UI updates to 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.11+6b1d246) on client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • The question pools panel sometimes closed unexpectedly on launch in the Ultra Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.11.0 (full release number 3700.11.0-rel.10+be2cf60) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Blackboard Learn’s September 4 update introduced an issue with the LTI Advantage version of the Cengage integration for some institutions. The Blackboard gradebook didn’t always synchronize with graded student activities that used Cengage links created prior to the release. The Blackboard Learn September 17 update resolved the issue, and LTI Advantage with the Cengage integration functions as intended.


Additional updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • Partners appearing in the Content Market can now leverage LTI Advantage for their association, even if a previous LTI 1.3 domain was registered through core Blackboard Learn.

Attendance and course copy, archive/restore, and export/import

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

As a first step in improving how attendance data is handled during course copies and exports, we’ve made these improvements:

  • Attendance data isn’t included in a course export or when you copy a course into a new or existing course. The attendance option is removed from the copy and export options.
  • Attendance data is included in an archive/restore and in an exact course copy.
  • Export/import creates an attendance column in the Ultra gradebook and the Original Grade Center that you can’t delete, but no attendance data is added.

More about attendance and course copy


Bulk download submissions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

When assignments require students to submit files in Learn, it's time-consuming for instructors to download each individual submission to grade it, especially in large courses. With this release, instructors can now download multiple student assignment submissions at once as a ZIP file from the Ultra gradebook.

Instructors can download files from the Ultra gradebook or from the submissions list page with the Download all option. Instructors can then choose whether to download all or select specific submissions. Instructors receive an email and a course message when the ZIP file is ready to download to their computers.

Courses with 5,000 or more students may see page load times of up to 30 seconds. We’ll address the limitation in the near future.

More on bulk download in Learn Ultra


Decimal point values for assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

To balance the total points possible in their courses, instructors need the flexibility to assign fractional possible points to test questions and assessments. With this update, instructors can now enter decimal values in the Points field for individual questions and in the Maximum points field for assessments that don't contain individually graded questions.

When creating a question in an assessment, instructors can enter values with up to two numbers after the decimal in the Points field. For assessments with no individual questions, the Maximum points field will accept values with up to two numbers after the decimal.


Delete copied course attendance data

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

When instructors prepare a course for an upcoming term, they commonly copy all content, including the gradebook, from the last term’s course. For courses that used the attendance tool, the copied attendance gradebook column was difficult to remove. With this release, instructors can delete attendance gradebook columns added during a course copy from the destination course’s gradebook.

Instructors can delete copied attendance columns from the gradebook menu. The attendance column that is correctly associated with the course can be deleted if all students’ attendance records are removed first.

In the Ultra Course View's gradebook list or grid view, open the menu for the extra attendance column from a course copy and select Delete.

In the Original Course View's Grade Center, open the menu for the extra attendance column and select Delete Column.

 

More on attendance 


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Regrade questions in question pools

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

This release allows instructors to regrade individual questions within a question pool in Ultra. Questions within pools can be regraded from a student’s submission using the same options available for questions not within a pool. Instructors can also regrade from the assessment panel after selecting View questions in a question pool. When regrading, a message informs the instructor if a question is used in other course assessments. Question updates made while regrading affect all instances of that question in the course.


Select all and clear all questions for question pools

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.11.0 | Release to Production 3 October 2019
Ultra Course View

When adding questions to a question pool, instructors need to be able to select large groups of questions quickly and efficiently. As instructors create question pools for their Ultra assessments, the options to Select all and Clear all question choices now appear on the Add Question Pool page.


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.9.0 (full release number 3700.9.0-rel.24+374338b) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Blackboard Learn’s September 4 update introduced an issue with the LTI Advantage version of the Cengage integration for some institutions. The Blackboard gradebook didn’t always synchronize with graded student activities that used Cengage links created prior to the release. The Blackboard Learn September 12 update resolved the issue, and LTI Advantage with the Cengage integration functions as intended.


UPDATE: Upcoming changes to Open JDK and impact to Building Blocks in Learn SaaS deployments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

To address recent changes in Oracle’s Java support model, Blackboard Learn is transitioning to adopt a more recent version of Java, Java 11 JDK. Our new target for adopting Java 11 is 3800.0.0. Please confirm release dates with the SaaS release schedule.

We strongly encourage all clients and partners who use Building Blocks to test them with Java 11. Partners and clients can access early builds of Learn with Java 11 by requesting to join the Learn SaaS Technical Preview program

As part of this change, we are transitioning from the Oracle-supported version of Java 11 to the AWS-supported version of Java 11 called Corretto. This does not impact SaaS or Managed Hosting clients. Operational changes for self-hosted clients are minimal.

For further details on Java 11 Technical Preview testing with Building Blocks and Corretto changes for self-hosted clients, see the following articles:

View the Behind the Blackboard announcement

Join the conversation on Blackboard Community

We previously announced this change to Java 11 to be part of Blackboard Learn release 3600.0, scheduled for April 2019. Later, we'd communicated a new target of June 2019 followed by September 2019. Based on the results of testing with Technical Preview participants and our partners, we concluded that Java 11 adoption should be delayed further.

Previous announcements:

To address recent changes in Oracle’s Java support model, Blackboard Learn is transitioning to adopt the latest version of OpenJDK as it’s released. We previously announced this change with the introduction of OpenJDK 11 as part of Blackboard Learn release 3600.0, and later announced a new target of June 2019. Based on the results of initial testing with Technical Preview participants and our partners, we concluded that Java 11 adoption should be removed from those target releases due to compatibility issues with extensions. The delay allowed for continued testing to uphold the user experience and minimize disruptions.

For developers, partners, and institutions, testing Building Blocks for compatibility is highly recommended because libraries may have changed. For developers, recompiling Building Blocks using the updated Java libraries is also a best practice and should be performed for Java 11.

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We’re changing the way we adopt Java updates in Blackboard Learn. These changes start with Blackboard Learn SaaS release 3600.0 with the adoption of Open JDK 11.

While we expect that building blocks will continue to work as is, Blackboard is aware that some fundamental library changes could affect compatibility. To help ensure that you’re able to thoroughly test for these upcoming changes, we’re introducing a Learn SaaS Technical Preview program.

Partners in the Blackboard Developers’ Network (BbDN) should enter a support case requesting to participate in the program.


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.9.0 (full release number 3700.9.0-rel.23+e0c105e) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some mobile users saw an error message in the Activity Stream. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Some users couldn't customize their default brand in the Ultra Experience. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Users couldn't create new accounts on Open Education. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Some users had trouble logging out in the Original Experience. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.9.0 (full release number 3700.9.0-rel.16+4fb2947) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Users encountered an error message when saving changes to their default brand in the Ultra Experience. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Open Education pages returned errors site-wide. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Assessments took longer than usual to load in the Ultra Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • For users preparing to migrate to a SaaS deployment, the Move Legacy Content tool caused problems with Turnitin feedback. We’ve fixed the issue.


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

  • In an Original course, if instructors delete a content folder in a content area that contains graded items with no attempts, the corresponding columns are also deleted from the Grade Center.
  • We've made these refinements to question pools in Ultra Course View:
    • A more accessible button structure
    • Clearer error and confirmation modal messages

Collaborate Ultra in private mode

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Course View

Create Collaborate sessions in your course before making it live. Now instructors can pre-schedule Collaborate sessions in their Ultra courses any time. Even when the course isn't available to students.


Filter students by grading status

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Course View

Grading student work is one of the most important, yet time consuming tasks in the management of a course. Often, an instructor knows which course and assignment needs to be graded, but it can be difficult to identify which students have made submissions. In order to help instructors locate submissions and begin grading more quickly, we have added a Needs Grading filter to the submissions list for individual assessments.

On an item's Submissions page in the Ultra gradebook, instructors can use the new Filter menu to display only those submissions that need grading. At this time, instructors can filter by All statuses and Needs grading.

The Filter menu doesn't appear for group and discussion items.


Group self-enrollment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors can create self-enrollment groups for students to join to complete group assignments and discussions. Instructors choose the number of groups, can set the maximum members per group, and may allow students to view other members of the groups before they choose a group.

Instructors may set an enrollment period that students see on the Course Content page and with the group items. Instructors see Self-enroll on the Course Content page and with group assignments and discussions.

More on the instructor workflow

More on the student workflow


Integrations with LTI Advantage

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For both Original and Ultra courses, tools integrated with LTI Advantage that report submission and grading status show this information in the Original Grade Center or the Ultra gradebook. Upcoming due date or overdue notifications for students are dismissed if the tool indicates the student submitted the assignment.

In Ultra Course View, tools integrated with LTI Advantage behave more like standard Learn assignments. Reported grades aren’t displayed to students until they are posted by the instructor.


Learn SaaS release 3700.9.0: Delay for Continuous Delivery release to Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3700.9.0 Continuous Delivery release to client Test/Stage servers, previously scheduled for August 13, 2019. The new release date is August 15, 2019, two days later than previously announced. The release schedule has been updated to reflect this change.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.9.0 | Release to Production 5 September 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.31+c948a62) to client Production servers during off-hours on Friday, August 30, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Users couldn't create new accounts on Open Education. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Open Education pages returned errors site-wide. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

UPDATE: We have resolved the AWS resource issue affecting EU clients. All Learn SaaS Production instances should now have received the updated 3700.7.0 version.

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.27+ce363ca) to client Production servers during off-hours on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Users experienced extremely slow response times during the upgrade. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • The banner thumbnail image caused a large number of temporary files to fill the root file structure. We’ve fixed the issue.


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • When students open an assessment in the Ultra Course View, the Submit button is disabled until they add content or answer at least one question.
  • When a student or instructor uses Box View in an assignment, it opens by default and displays using more screen space.
  • We've added a display warning to help administrators identify when they are enabling a feature that may send data outside the specified compliance boundary. This allows administrators to make more informed decisions about the features they enable.
  • We've changed the height of the Institution Page banner image to 160 pixels. Because screen size width varies on wider screens, the banner image crops the top and bottom of the image as the content area gets wider.

Create question pools

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Course View

To help build assessments quickly and encourage academic integrity, instructors can now create question pools in the Ultra Course View. With question pools, students receive different sets of questions to answer. Instructors can add questions from all existing tests, assignments, and question banks in their courses.

In the Ultra Course View, question pools replace the Original Course View's random blocks and question sets. Instructors can create as many question pools as they want and add, edit, and remove questions in the pools. Edits appear anywhere questions are used. 

More on creating question pools


Create Ultra Organizations

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, we've brought Ultra Organizations to life. Administrators can now create Ultra Organizations, which have the same functionality and workflow as Ultra courses. Administrators can choose to create Original Organizations, Ultra Organizations, or let users choose. Administrators can import and export existing courses and organizations.

Create Ultra Organizations using the same workflow as Ultra Courses. You can create groups, make the organization private or visible to students, and create content within the organization.

More on creating Ultra Organizations


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.20+09250fe) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • What's New blog notifications didn't display correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Details on files uploaded to essay questions didn't display correctly. We've fixed the issue.

  • The Redis cache building block didn't display status and statistics correctly in the Administrator panel. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.7.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.7.0 (full release number 3700.7.0-rel.9+7230020) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some users received an error message when opening the Grade Center. We’ve fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

  • Instructors weren't able to edit anonymous Discussion Topics in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.

  • Some custom Building Blocks weren’t reachable using the HttpAuthModule class. We’ve fixed the issue.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.7.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Show answers option in Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Course View

In Ultra assessments, instructors can decide if students see the answers to questions that were answered incorrectly. For example, instructors may want students to see which questions they missed on a multiple attempt assessment, but don’t want to show the correct answers. Instructors may also hide answers until all students complete their submissions.

In the assessment settings panel, a new option appears: Show correct answers. The option isn’t selected by default, so correct answers are hidden from students. Instructors need to return to the assessment settings and select Show correct answers so students can review them with the assessment content.

More on the Show correct answers option


Updates to branding

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.7.0 | Release to Production 12 August 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, we've included the ability to filter brands by roles or host names from the brands listing page and view which brands were just created. We included a notification if a custom login is specified but won't be visible to users based on brand associations. Administrators can choose to allow the navigation logo area to be filled with a theme color, like the base navigation area.

In the Brands listing page, an Administrator can now view the Host and Role Associations assigned to any specific brand and search those brands by clicking the Find a Brand function to filter the list based on the Brand Name or Host Association.

More on institution branding

Screenshot of a Brands notification

Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.5.0 (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.17+4d20a83) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Some custom Building Blocks weren’t reachable using the HttpAuthModule class. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we're applying an updated version of the 3700.5.0 Ultra user interface (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.14+eacb9cf) to client Production servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

Updates in this version relate only to the Ultra Course View and include:

  • Instructors weren't able to edit anonymous Discussion Topics in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.5.0 (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.14+eacb9cf) to client Test/Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • The Discussion Board post count displayed inaccurately. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.5.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.5.0 (full release number 3700.5.0-rel.12+64e9d47) to client Test and Staging servers during off-hours on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • We’ve removed the Learn Legacy Authentication Provider type, which represented the authentication framework deployed on versions prior to 9.1 SP8.

  • Instructors received error messages when they created a folder or downloaded a file with special characters in the filename with SafeAssign. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When a student submitted a file with spaces in the filename, the instructor couldn’t preview or download it in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

  • A few improvements for Mobile users:

    • Students using the Blackboard App received errors when starting an assignment attempt in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.

    • Students using the Blackboard App on an Android device couldn’t see what they were typing in an assignment because the keyboard was hiding the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3700.3.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.3.0 (full release number 3700.3.0-rel.9+2a83306) to client Production servers during off-hours on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When a student submitted a file with spaces in the filename, the instructor couldn’t preview or download it in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

  • A few improvements for Mobile users:

    • Students using the Blackboard App received errors when starting an assignment attempt in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.

    • Students using the Blackboard App on an Android device couldn’t see what they were typing in an assignment because the keyboard was hiding the rich text editor in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience

  • To ensure privacy, only instructor names—not instructor usernames—appear to students throughout the Ultra experience.
  • Building on the URL and role branding feature released earlier, administrators can see a brand’s host and role associations from the Brands page.

Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.5.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Office 365/G Suite Integration: Individual authentication

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.5.0 | Release to Production 11 July 2019
Ultra Experience

The ability to support institutionally managed access to cloud storage alongside personal storage is an important major request we hear from our clients. This release provides the ability for institutions and schools who leverage Microsoft or Google to select their preferred solution and allow users to access their institutional cloud storage account from within their profile or directly upload content in the Ultra Course View.

Allow your instructors and students to access Office365 or Google accounts from Blackboard Learn. Users can access cloud storage from their Ultra courses, profile, and the Tools page. Multiple entry points make it easier to get to the files they want when they want it. Administrators must configure the institution account to turn on instructor and student access. On the Administrator panel, go to Institution Cloud Storage to set up the integration.


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


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.


Learn SaaS release 3500.0.5: Update to FDO client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Note: Does not apply to Blackboard Learn SaaS FDO on Learn SaaS Q2 2019 (3700.0.0)
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3500.0.5 (full release number 3500.0.5-rel.49+4a09578) to Flexible Deployment Option client Production servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00PM EST on May 20, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.3.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.3.0 (full release number 3700.3.0-rel.7+29b16e7) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00AM EST on May 31, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • When a student submitted multiple attempts on a test in quick succession, the system's responsiveness would slow or stop. We've fixed the issue.
  • On the Courses page in the Ultra experience, longer course names were appearing with unexpected symbols. We've fixed the issue.
  • A few improvements for custom themes in the Ultra experience:
    • We've improved how custom themes are created and updated on the backend in the Ultra experience to improve performance.
    • Deleted custom brands weren't being removed from the database properly, leading to unexpected behavior. We've fixed the issue.
    • When an administrator uploaded a custom navigation logo, the custom login logo was cleared. We've fixed the issue.
    • Some users reported losing the ability to upload a logo to the Institution Page. We've fixed the issue.
    • The Institution Page associated with a custom brand wasn't available for administrators if modules weren't visible. We've fixed the issue.

Add external calendars in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience

Instructors and students often use calendars to organize and keep track of events. Access to a course calendar is crucial to meeting deadlines and overall success. Having access to all events—both personal and academic—in one place helps keep everyone on track. In this release, users can synchronize external calendars with Blackboard Learn, building on the previously released capabilities.

On the Calendar page in the base navigation, open Calendar Settings and select Add Calendar. Drag and drop or click to upload your calendar file in ICS format. When you connect your external calendar to Blackboard Learn, all course events appear one year in the past and into the future.

More on how to add calendar files in Learn


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • Previously, the Courses page in the Ultra experience listed a user's oldest courses first. The order has been flipped and now the newest courses are listed first. If a user designates any courses as favorites, those courses still appear first in the list.
  • To improve performance for system tasks, we’ve introduced new retention settings. You can configure how long your system retains information on asynchronous system tasks, including “complete,” “error,” and “incomplete” tasks. Find these options in Administrator Panel > Logs > System Tasks Status > Retention Settings.
  • We’ve updated file behavior for Portfolios to improve performance. When a user downloads a portfolio, the assets will reference assets stored on Blackboard's content delivery network (CDN). File names will use https://learn.blackboardcdn.com/. Related updates are described on Behind the Blackboard.

Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.3.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Office 365/G Suite integration for Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Course View

Learning institutions all over the world are adopting Office 365 and G Suite. With the many benefits they offer, these cloud suites are a compelling solution for education. In this release, we’re pleased to introduce the Office 365 and G Suite integration with Blackboard Learn. Instructors and students can now add files from their institution cloud storage account directly into their courses. Before this release, they could only add files from their personal cloud accounts.

Administrators need to allow and set up the integration with the institution's suite account. The service provider and domain name are needed to complete institution account configuration. After configuration, authenticated institution cloud accounts are associated with Blackboard Learn accounts. This means that users don't need to authenticate more than once. The institution accounts display in their course no matter what device or browser they use.

Users must use a login ID that matches the domain configured for institution accounts to display.

Under Integrations in the Administrator Panel, select Institution Cloud Storage to set up the integration.

More on Institution Cloud Storage


Parallel grading in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Course View

For higher stakes assessments, a double marking process is sometimes used in which each student’s submission is evaluated by two graders and a final grader reviews those evaluations to make the final decision on a student’s grade. This approach intends to reduce bias and is often paired with student anonymity. When setting up an assignment in the Ultra Course View, instructors can enable parallel grading and select non-student course members to act as graders and reconcilers. Instructors can also hide student names to prevent unintended bias.

More on parallel grading in Learn Ultra


Update to the Organizations and Courses pages in the Ultra experience

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, we've updated the Courses and Organizations pages in the Ultra base navigation.

We've brought the Ultra design language to the Organizations base page. Courses and organizations also now include the ability to add images. You can also view the Courses and Organizations pages as either a list or a grid, where banner images are on display. The Organizations page contains the same functions and workflows as the Courses page.

More on Ultra organizations

More on how instructors access the Courses page


URL and role branding for the Ultra experience

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.3.0 | Release to Production 6 June 2019
Ultra Experience

Institutions want to be able to express their own brand and identity within the learning management system, and this often extends to specific branding for their faculties or affiliations. With the introduction of URL and role branding in the Ultra experience, institutions can now create their own domain and role specific Ultra brands, providing a sense of personalization for instructors and students.

Create a new brand from the Brands link on the Administrator Panel. You can customize the login logo, navigation and login icon, color selection, and Institution Page for a brand. Associate the brand to a new host/domain name and/or institution role in the Ultra experience.

More on custom brands in Ultra


Cumulative Update 1 for FDO Q2 2019 (release 3700.0.1)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 1 for the Q2 2019 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to FDO client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.23+4c6d4de) to Flexible Deployment Option client Test/Stage servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00AM EST on May 15, 2019.


Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to Ultra Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of the 3700.0.0 Ultra user interface (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.23+4c6d4de) to client Production servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 1:00 PM EST on May 13, 2019.

Updates in this version relate only to the Ultra Course View and include:

  • Instructors weren't able to use rubrics on graded group discussions in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.
  • Students saw an error message when opening a rubric applied to a graded group assignment submission in the Ultra Course View. We've fixed the issue.

After your environment is updated, users will need to refresh their browser or log out and log in again to see the updates.


Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to client Test/Stage and Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.23+4c6d4de) to client Test/Stage and Production servers.

Your Production instance may be updated starting on May 9, 2019. Your Test/Stage instance may be updated starting on May 10, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • An issue introduced with the 3700.0 release caused Learn Ultra to frequently query the entire content management resource link. This caused extreme garbage collection and out-of-memory issues across application servers leading to system instability and eventual outage. We've fixed the issue, restoring environment stabilization and operations. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.14+b5a694ef) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 1:00AM EST on April 30, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • A bug was introduced related to discussions in the Ultra Course View. Discussion settings weren't retained when an Ultra course was duplicated. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3700.0.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3700.0.0 (full release number 3700.0.0-rel.10+745b49a) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 5:00AM EST on April 15, 2019.

Updates in this version include:


Gradebook improvements: Filter based on merged courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

Grading tasks and workflows vary widely from instructor to instructor. To support these specific workflows in Ultra, we’re building features to help ease the administrative burden of working in the grade book. In this release, instructors can filter their gradebook view based on child courses that have been merged. Instructors who manage merged courses can filter the gradebook view to show only students in a specific child course.

Learn how to filter your view in the gradebook


Individual feedback for group assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors often use group-based assessments as part of their curriculums. There are times when instructors want to provide specific feedback for individuals in a group, in addition to group feedback overall. In this release, we introduce the ability to provide feedback for an entire group as well as individual members.

For group assessments, instructors can add individual feedback for each student within a group. Previously, each student in a group received the same feedback and only differentiated grades were supported. Now group members can see feedback for the group and their individual feedback if provided.

More on how to give individual feedback on group assessments


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3700.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Preview course as a student

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

This feature was previously announced as part of 3600.0.0. We found an issue with this feature that would impact the user experience. After carefully reviewing the issue and to ensure release quality, we concluded that we should remove Student Preview from that release for quality concerns.

This feature is now confirmed as part of 3700.0.0.

Instructors want to be confident that their courses are well-designed and function as intended—before their students see them. Instructors can use student preview to review the course content. They can also validate the course behaviors, such as those that control course content availability or require a particular interaction from the students to be triggered. With student preview, instructors can experience their courses exactly as their students do. 

Start student preview from the Details & Actions menu within your Ultra course. The preview creates user in your course that you can use to view everything as a student would.

Get started with student preview in the Ultra Course View


Question Banks in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Course View

With this release, instructors can now directly import question banks, including question pools that have been exported from Original courses and packages of questions that have been purchased from a publisher. These questions are then available for use and reuse across the assessments in that course. Imported question banks display in the same area of the question reuse search and filter panel as pools that were converted from Original courses. As with any conversion from Original to Ultra, question types that are not yet supported are dropped during the processing of the imported file.

Instructors can import question banks to use in their assessments. Access to question banks now appears on the Course Content page in the Details & Actions panel.

Learn more about question banks


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3700.0.0 | Release to Production 3 May 2019
Ultra Experience

  • On the Details & Action panel of the Ultra Course View, the Collaborate link has been updated to say Blackboard Collaborate. It previously said Course Room. We've also updated the link text in this menu.
  • Previously, assessment descriptions weren’t properly converted to plain text when a course was converted to the Ultra Course View. Assessment descriptions are now converted to plain text like other content descriptions in Ultra.

Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q2 2019 (3700.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers is now available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3500.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule


Learn SaaS release 3600.0.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3600.0.0 (full release number 3600.0.0-rel.11+318243c) to client Production servers. Your instance may be updated starting in the early evening hours on April 13, 2019 based on your region and timezone.

Updates in this version include:


Cumulative Update 5 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.5)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 5 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Learn SaaS release 3600.0.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3600.0.0 (full release number 3600.0.0-rel.9+22b493d) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 6:00AM EST on April 1, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • Instructors and students were unable to view portfolio submissions after a recent upgrade. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.
  • In the Original Course View, the breadcrumb navigation bar at the top of the browser window appeared twice. We've fixed the issue. More information on Behind the Blackboard.
  • In the Ultra Course View, we've removed the new Student Preview feature to address quality concerns. It will be included in an upcoming release.

Course role for facilitators

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Facilitation privileges have been long requested functionality in Blackboard Learn's Original Experience. We’re excited to bring this ability to both the Original and Ultra Experiences.

3600.0.0 marks the culmination of previous content lockdown releases with the introduction of the Facilitator role. 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.

This release includes two new privileges to grant a user the ability to create or delete a discussion in the Ultra Course View.

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.

If your environment already contains a custom course role with FACILITATOR as the Role ID, you may notice errors after the 3600.0.0 update. We're working on addressing this issue before the release reaches Production servers. To troubleshoot, copy your custom role, rename it to eliminate FACILITATOR, apply it to the appropriate users, and remove the old custom role.

More on the facilitator role


Improvements for auto-archived courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

This release includes improvements to automatically archived courses to provide clients with greater flexibility and customization. You can access these settings through the Course Settings area of the Administrator Panel. Administrators can choose the length of time to keep a course archive on their system and whether course archives should include content that lives outside of the course’s directory.

More on automatic course archives


Improvements to how the Activity Stream shows external content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Ultra Experience

The Activity Stream is the go-to place for instructors and students to understand what’s happening in a course. We’ve improved reporting behavior so third-party content due dates appear in the Activity Stream in a more dynamic way.  

Previously, instructors and students could see an upcoming due date for this type of content. When the due date passed or the content status changed, the notification in the Activity Stream wouldn’t update. With this release, the Activity Stream more accurately reports on third-party content to keep everyone more up to date. Specifically, LTI and manual grade column notifications will update in the Activity Stream when: 

  • The item transitions from due to overdue 
  • The item’s due date is updated 
  • The item is deleted 
  • The item is graded 
  • The item’s visibility is changed 

More on how students navigate the Activity Stream


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3600.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Self-service log download and removal of Kibana Building Block

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

We’ve added support for server log storage and access from within the Blackboard Learn user interface. Select Manage Content in the Administrator Panel to access logs.

Server logs are created once every hour and stored in the internal > logs folder. Logs are grouped by year, month, day, and hour. Logs are generated in the same format as those you’re used to viewing in Kibana as a JSON file.

The hour folder uses the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) hour. Logs are transferred to the local file system once per hour, but on a four-hour delay. For example, if the current hour is 4 then during this hour logs from hour 0 will be transferred.

As part of the 3600.0.0 release, we will remove the Kibana Building Block and stop sending logs to Kibana. All logs will need to be accessed via the new workflow in the user interface.

More on how to download and reformat system logs in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Share calendar with external services

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Ultra Experience

Instructors and students often use calendars to organize and keep track of events. Access to a course calendar is crucial to meeting deadlines and overall success. Having access to all events—both personal and academic—in one place helps keep everyone on track. In this release, users can synchronize their Blackboard Learn Ultra calendars to external calendars.

Generate a URL to share course calendar details with an external service. Share the URL only with trusted sources. When you connect your Blackboard Learn calendar to an external calendar, all course events appear one year in the past and into the future.

More on how to share a Blackboard Learn calendar


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

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Course View

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 in the Original Course View.

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


Additional updates in the user interface

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3600.0.0 | Release to Production 4 April 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • 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.
  • We’re building more and more content capabilities into the Ultra Course View. In this release, you’ll notice a redesigned menu to accommodate additional options in course content, gradebook, discussions, and documents.
  • 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
  • Push notifications in the Ultra experience support Ultra course discussions. Students can receive notifications when someone responds to their discussion, someone replies to their posts, an instructor creates a new discussion, or when participation deadlines are approaching. Instructors can receive notifications for replies to discussion threads or posts they authored.

Learn SaaS release 3500.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3500.11.0 (full release number 3500.11.0-rel.10+071f567) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 6:00AM EST on March 4, 2019.

Updates in this version include:


Learn SaaS release 3500.11.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3500.11.0 (full release version 3500.11.0-rel.9+0b3fe2f) to client Test/Staging servers. Your instance may be updated starting at 6:00AM EST on February 22, 2019.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, students with accommodations and assessment exceptions can be granted additional time in timed assessments.
  • Users can access SCORM content in a copied course. More information on Behind the Blackboard.

 


Blackboard Learn achieves LTI Advantage certification

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is an initiative managed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium to seamlessly integrate learning applications used by instructors into their courses. It includes a standard protocol for establishing a trusted relationship between the tool provider and the Learning Management System (LMS), so that students and teachers can have a seamless, integrated experience of using the tool within the context of their course.

Blackboard Learn is now LTI Advantage certified. Blackboard is among the first edtech companies to meet the rigorous IMS certification requirements for all components of LTI Advantage. 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.

More on LTI in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Content lockdown: Expanded user privileges for course announcements control

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

3500.11.0 contains enhancements for granular entitlements in Original and Ultra course roles in support of the formalized facilitator role. Facilitation privileges have been long requested functionality in Blackboard Learn's Original Experience. We’re excited to bring this ability to both the Original and Ultra Experiences.

The set of privileges contained in this release relate to course announcements. Individuals with these privileges can create course announcements in both course views. Additional entitlements allow users to view draft announcements in addition to posted announcements.

More on announcement privileges


Cross-origin resourcing tool for administrators

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

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 CORS tool for SaaS administrators


Enhanced discussion analysis metrics

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

To better inform grading and provide additional insight in to the level of engagement in graded discussions, we've added three new metrics to the Discussion Analysis area of the Ultra Course View. Now, in addition to sentence complexity, critical thinking, and counts of responses and replies, graders can view statistics for the number of substantive posts, lexical classification (counts of content and functional words), and the percentage of word variation in a student’s posts for a given discussion. These market-leading analytics provide instructors a holistic overview of the level at which students are writing and may better inform differentiation in grading discussions.

Find discussion analytics on the Grades & Participation page for a discussion. Select a student’s name to view their responses and replies. Discussion Analysis appears next to the student’s discussion activity to give you an overview of their engagement.

What do the metrics mean?


Grant students exceptions in specific assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

This feature is included in the 3500.11.0 release, but wasn't enabled in time for the push to client Test servers. It will be available when the release reaches client Production servers.

There are times when unforeseen circumstances lead an instructor to grant a student extended access or additional attempts for a specific assessment. With the introduction of assessment exceptions, instructors are no longer forced to create copies of an assessment for individual students, create and remove accommodations, or use other cumbersome workarounds.

Instructors can grant individual students additional time to access an assessment, even if it is hidden to other students. Additional attempts may also be configured, again for an individual student on an individual assessment. In the future, we hope to introduce due date exceptions so that students who are granted extended access will not be marked late for submissions made after the original due date.

On the Submissions page, you can add an exception for an individual student. You can adjust the number of attempts or the assessment’s availability.

More on per-assessment exceptions


Granular Activity Stream settings

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Experience

In this release, Activity Stream notification settings are more granular for students and instructors, giving them the option to choose which information they wish to receive.

Settings have been reformatted so users can select to receive all notifications at a high level, like notifications for new discussions. Users can also choose to see updates about specific events or activity in their Activity Streams. For example, an instructor can choose to be notified when a blog entry is edited.

Existing settings are carried over and saved in the new format. Visual cues display if all, some, or none of the notification types are selected.

More on notification settings for instructors


Kaltura integration in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

This feature was previously announced as part of 3500.5.0

Instructors can now use Kaltura in the Ultra Course View. Specifically, instructors can use Kaltura in these ways when configured in Blackboard Learn:

  • Add a link to the Kaltura My Media (personal video storage repository) and the Kaltura Media Gallery (course shared media repository). An instructor can add these links to their Course Content page from within Books & Tools and Content Market
  • Embed video content directly from Kaltura into the editor using the Insert/Edit LTI Item option. This allows instructors to embed videos in documents, assessments, discussions, conversations, and messages.

Administrators can leverage LTI tools and placements to create these access points for instructors.

More on managing Kaltura


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3500.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • Instructors at institutions based in the EU/UK will be able to use the recording feature in assessment feedback. This feature will be enabled in the eu-central-1 region when this release reaches Production servers. More on recording creation for administrators.
  • A word count appears when drafting responses and replies in discussions in the Ultra Course View.
  • The Messages page in the Ultra Course View wasn’t responsive for users on mobile devices. We’ve made it responsive.
  • Instructors can now rename an LTI link from the gradebook in the Ultra Course View.
  • Users enrolled in a demo environment may have noticed their SMS notifications were overwritten when upgrading to the 3500.9.0 release. We fixed this issue before the release reached Production servers.
  • In a previous release, some institutions may have noticed the CAS authentication provider threw errors. We fixed the issue.
  • When an administrator sought to delete all users not enrolled in a course, the system didn’t correctly list the number of users it would remove in the operation. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When copying an Ultra course using SIS, the new course duration was overwritten by the source course. We’ve fixed the issue by excluding a duration on the course copy.
  • Users may have received an error message when attempting to connect to OneDrive for Business through Blackboard Learn. The vendor has fixed the issue.
  • Group submissions in the Ultra Course View weren’t appearing consistently in the gradebook. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Instructors may have received an error message when saving course reports to the Content Collection. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • A synchronization issue caused unexpected behavior in custom language packs. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Course messages with attachments sometimes resulted in an error message asking the user to contact their system administrator. We fixed the issue.
  • SafeAssign Originality Reports weren’t loading correctly for users with Korean language packs enabled. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • SafeAssign Originality Reports weren’t loading for users after a system update to the 3500.7.0 release. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Unenrolled users can view announcements in unavailable courses.

Regrade questions in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.11.0 | Release to Production 7 March 2019
Ultra Course View

Without the ability to edit and regrade test questions after they have been delivered to students, instructors were forced to open each student’s submission and update scores one-by-one. With this release, test questions can be edited in one place. These edits, along with any score adjustments, are automatically performed for all submissions that contain the updated question.

In some cases, a question may be beyond repair and it is more appropriate to give all students full credit for the question, regardless of their answers. To support this scenario, full credit can be given to all students for a specific question. Instructors can trigger question regrading from the assessment canvas or from any student’s submission – the result is the same. When an instructor edits a question, the update appears in all submissions for that assessment and students’ grades adjust automatically based on the new correct answer or selection of the Give full credit for question option.

To edit or regrade a question, go to the assessment. Point to the question's menu and select Edit/Regrade to modify the question.

More on regrading questions


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


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 


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Content lockdown: Expanded user privileges for course calendar control

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

3500.9.0 marks the third release containing enhancements for granular entitlements in Original and Ultra course roles. Our next and final release of this feature will include the formalized facilitator role. Facilitation privileges have been long requested functionality in Blackboard Learn's Original Experience. We’re excited to bring this ability to both the Original and Ultra Experiences.

The set of privileges contained in this release relate to course calendar events. Individuals with these privileges can add, edit, and delete course calendar events in both course views. In the Ultra Course View, individuals with these privileges can also add, edit, and delete office hours and course schedules.

More on course facilitator privileges


Gradebook improvements: Search gradebook columns and categories

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Course View

There are times when an instructor needs to check on the status for a single gradebook column or create a simple, filtered view of a specific gradebook category across all students. Building on the student search we built for the gradebook grid view in an earlier release, instructors can search using column and category criteria. These additional search options reduce the scrolling and visual scanning required to quickly verify or filter.

Begin typing the title of a column or category in to the gradebook grid view search field. Search results include any columns, categories, or even students who match the search term or phrase. We've included a label within the search results to help distinguish among these three types of results.


Maintenance items

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

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3500.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates 

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

  • To improve performance times and user experience, course messages no longer appear in the activity stream.
  • Instructors are now prompted to name content they create in the Ultra Course View.
  • We’ve made several AX improvements in Ultra:
    • Improved the color contrast ratio for reorder and move icons on the Course Content page.
    • Added a stroke around the panel close button to comply with color contrast ratios. 
    • Improved the hover and keyboard states for active elements to be more visually significant. 
  • We’ve updated gradebook entitlements to address security concerns. Visit Behind the Blackboard for more information and guidance. The solution listed in the article will be included in 3500.9 when it reaches Production servers.
  • In the Original Course View, we’ve updated the color key in the Course Coverage report to match the legend more accurately.
  • When an instructor attached a file as feedback on a graded discussion, students encountered errors trying to download it. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When an unread discussion post appeared as a link in the What’s New module, users encountered errors when opening it. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Calculated questions using exponents in answers in the Original Course View were marked incorrect when students input an acceptable answer. We’ve fixed the issue. 
  • Instructors encountered an error when trying to use anonymous grading for attempts still in progress. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • We’ve improved the logic for grading multiple choice questions when a student selects both correct and incorrect answers in the Ultra Course View. 
  • We’ve removed the ability for students to edit graded group discussion forum titles and descriptions.
  • We’ve fixed a CSS error that caused text tagged with <em> HTML to appear on separate lines. 
  • We’ve improved the course import feature to preserve the content package’s folder structure.

Proctoring service using Respondus Lockdown Browser

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Course View

Respondus LockDown Browser is the top choice of educators for securing online exams in classrooms or proctored environments. The LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard Learn, which means that students are unable to copy, print, access other applications, or visit other websites during an online exam. It works seamlessly with Blackboard Learn and is built in to the assessment settings. When instructors configure an assessment to require the LockDown Browser, students will only be able to begin their attempts if they access the assessment with the LockDown Browser.

Secure assessments are delivered using tools provided by Respondus. If this integration is available at your institution, you can access the Respondus Dashboard in the Settings area of both assignments and tests in the Ultra Course View. On the dashboard, choose to deliver the assessment using Respondus LockDown Browser alone, or include the Webcam.

More on Respondus integration with Blackboard Learn SaaS


Push notifications to Blackboard App

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Experience

Many students use push notifications on their devices to check and engage with content. Push notifications for Learn Ultra will allow students to gain direct insight via this notification modal. Notifications may help students stay on top of new content added to their courses, new grades and feedback that have been created for assessed items, and due date reminders for upcoming assessments that need to be completed and submitted. 

Push notifications further the integration between the Blackboard Learn Ultra experience and the Blackboard mobile app for students. In this release, users on the Ultra experience can select which push notifications they’d like to receive. In the app, they’ll see notifications for due date reminders and new grades and feedback. Push notifications for new content will be available in the app in the coming months.


SCORM advanced settings and reporting

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Course View

Over the past year, Blackboard has been focusing development attention on incorporating SCORM functionality into the Ultra Course View. This release includes the advanced settings functionality as well as reporting analytics for instructors.

Advanced settings options appear for instructors when they add a SCORM package to their course. After students submit SCORM attempts, instructors can view detailed reporting on time spent, average score, and attempts completed.

This marks the final milestone for SCORM’s foundation. Our next focus will be on xAPI and partnering with a Learner Record Store to use the deeper reporting functionality of the xAPI format. 

More on SCORM analytics


Select theme colors

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.9.0 | Release to Production 31 January 2019
Ultra Experience

Institution branding is an easy way for institutions to differentiate their learning management system and adds an element of personalization at an institution level. Many institutions have requested to move away from the default purple in Ultra to express institution colors as part of their user experience. This functionality covers three highly used areas but will be expanded to further the institution’s color schema to more locations over time.

To customize the theme color, go to the Institution Page. Select the gear icon to open the settings panel. Enter a hex code to find your precise color or use the color picker. A preview appears to show you how the new color would look to all users. Don’t like what you see? You can revert your choice back to the default.

More on how to select a theme color


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.


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q4 2018 (release 3500.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q4 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


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


Gradebook improvements: Search submission list and pagination

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Ultra Course View

There are times when an instructor needs to find a specific submission or submission status for a specific student. To address this need, we’ve expanded gradebook search capabilities. Previously, we added the ability to search for students in the grade book grid view. This release brings that capability to the submission list view.

An instructor can go to the submission list and quickly locate a particular student to check the status of submissions or access the submission itself. Additionally, we’ve added pagination to the submission list. The default view is for 25 students, but instructors may also set the page to display 50 or 100 users. This setting is sticky, so a selection of 50 or 100 is retained when instructors leave the submission list and return later.

More on searching the submission list


Learning modules supported in conversion from Original to Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Ultra Course View

In an earlier release, we brought the learning modules capability to the Ultra Course View. Starting with this release, learning modules are preserved in course copy, export, import, and restore operations.

When converting a learning module from the Original Course View to the Ultra Course View, the force sequence requirement is unchecked by default. Additionally, the file and folder structure may be flattened because the Course Content page only supports nested content two folders deep.

Student activity in a learning module is removed when converting to Ultra. However, instructors and administrators can choose to keep student progress in learning modules when exporting and copying an Ultra course.

More on the Ultra Course Preview

More on adding a SCORM package in Ultra
 


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3500.7.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.
 


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • This release resolves an issue where the Blackboard app and Blackboard Instructor app weren’t compatible with Session Fingerprint settings. Session fingerprint settings to Create New Session When Fingerprint Changes are now compatible with the mobile apps’ mBaaS architecture.
  • When you access individual students' attendance record in the Ultra Course View, the date column has been renamed Meeting and now appears first. 
  • An updated version of the Vital Source Building Block (v3.101.2018040483) is bundled with this release.
  • To accommodate Microsoft Azure SAML requirements, we’ve added the option to keep the SAML session age unlimited.
  • When viewing assessments that were graded using a rubric more than a year ago, users may have noticed a discrepancy between rubric totals and the grade displayed in the Grade Center. Raw data was not affected. We fixed the issue.
  • Grade Journey wasn’t consistently displaying optional data when the extraction was initiated from merged courses. We fixed the issue.
  • Users may have encountered an error when attempting to download a file package in the Content Collection. We fixed the issue.
  • When a student submission was deleted, attached files were orphaned and retained in storage, sometimes unnecessarily. We fixed the issue. 
  • When an Ultra assessment was set to assign automatic zeros, the system wouldn’t log a zero score in the gradebook when a student had saved a draft but not submitted work. We fixed the issue.
  • Importing a Canvas course to the Ultra Course View resulted in missing content. We fixed the issue.

New Originality Report available for SafeAssign integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We've updated the design of the SafeAssign Originality Report in Blackboard Learn SaaS 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. Blackboard Learn 9.1 users should expect to receive the new Originality Report design with the Q2 2019 release next year.

More on how to read the new Originality Report


Question analysis and report download

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.7.0 | Release to Production 3 January 2019
Ultra Course View

Instructors who make use of Item Analysis in Original courses recognize the benefit this report provides, specifically for reviewing the quality of assessment questions and improving assessments from one term to the next. However, many instructors are either unaware that this report is available or are not familiar with the term “item analysis” and don’t open the report. 

In the Ultra Course View, we’ve updated the title to Question Analysis as a way to raise awareness of this powerful report and encourage its use. We’ve also made the help content more accessible and added helpful explanatory text to help instructors understand the statistics within the report. 

Question analysis provides statistics on overall performance, assessment quality, and individual questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. Question analysis is for assessments with questions. You can also download the report with raw question data to analyze it or keep it for future uses.
 
Instructors can use question analysis in these ways:

  • Improve questions for future assessment administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts
  • Discuss assessment results with your class
  • Provide a basis for remedial work
  • Improve classroom instruction

Explore question analysis in the Ultra Course View


Batch edit due dates in course content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Ultra Course View

Building on the previous feature to batch edit visibility of course content, we’ve added the ability to adjust due dates in bulk.

Instructors often teach the same courses and curriculum each semester or year. When these courses use the same material, it can be challenging to update due dates for each item to reflect the new course calendar. In the Original Course View, this was achieved with Date Management. In this release, we bring that ability to Ultra.

With Batch Edit, you can update selected course content using a new course start date. Enter the new course start date and the existing start date. The tool calculates the difference between the two dates and uses the number of days to shift dates in all selected course content at once. You don’t have to spend time opening course content and determining new dates. Alternatively, you can shift all due dates backward or forward based on a chosen number of days.

Content without due dates isn't affected by batch editing dates.

Learn more about batch editing dates in the Ultra Course View


Content lockdown: Expanded user privileges for gradebook control

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

As part of an earlier release, we added entitlements for course roles so administrators can grant additional permissions for users that allow them to view course content but not modify it. In this release, we expand on those entitlements with respect to gradebook access and control.

Grading within a course is multi-faceted. Assigning a grade is only one piece of the process, which can also include grade maintenance, data download and upload, and release of grades. Institution administrators can grant some or all of these permissions to trusted facilitators to help ease the grading responsibility in larger courses.

Explore use cases for the facilitator role and privileges


Course Groups

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors often need to organize students into groups. Previously, instructors created groups of students only in the context of assessments and discussions. This ability is useful and important, but it didn’t account for many other reasons why an instructor would want to create groups independent of assessments.

In this release, instructors can create groups and group sets at the course level, outside of assessments. Group sets help identify students who are paired together based on specific attributes or purposes.

In a future release, instructors will have the ability to apply course groups to graded content.

More on creating course groups in Ultra


Learning modules and forced content sequence 

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Ultra Course View

This feature was initially expected to be part of 3500.5.0 and is now confirmed as part of 3500.5.0. In an earlier update, we incorrectly stated the feature had been delayed to a later release. We apologize for the confusion.

Learning modules are a valuable way to organize and present content in the Original Course View. Modules let content creators require students to access learning materials in a specified order, walking learners through a guided path. In this release, we bring the power of learning modules to the Ultra Course View.

Use learning modules to organize content for an immersive learning experience. Students can work on content in sequence without needing to close and open content items. Instructors can also enforce a content sequence so students access and complete content in the sequence specified.

Learning modules are available in new courses only. Courses created in a Learn environment prior to this release won’t have access to learning modules.

More on creating learning modules in Ultra


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3500.5.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates 

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.5.0 | Release to Production 6 December 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • The Consulting Central Building Block is bundled with this release. Learn more about Consulting Central on Behind the Blackboard.
  • The French language pack previously used an incorrect phrase to label new discussions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Users saw an error when downloading an annotated PDF with comments. We’ve fixed the issue so the downloads now include a summary list of comments.
  • To avoid permissions and grading issues, all LTI tools are excluded from the Copy Content option in the Ultra Course View.
  • When a student attempted to access an unavailable course in the Ultra experience, the date was recorded in the Performance Dashboard under “Last Course Access.” We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When a user attempted to access Organizations in the Ultra experience while using a touchscreen device, the page would display an error. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When the Attendance tool was set to unavailable or inactive at the system level, instructors may have encountered error messages in the gradebook. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Optional data wasn’t consistently included in Grade Journey extractions using REST. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When an administrator attempted to move a user from one child course to another, the user enrollment wouldn’t change successfully. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Students may have had trouble accessing the activity stream due to conflicting backend logic regarding grade columns and due dates. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Special characters in custom Ultra locales weren’t displaying correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Course reports weren’t enforcing the date format for the system’s chosen language pack. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some devices displayed misaligned numbers for options in multiple choice, either/or, and true/false questions. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • The words points and score were sometimes used interchangeably in the Ultra Course View. We've updated the user interface to use points where it's more accurate.
  • Based on user feedback, we’ve updated the activity stream messages regarding student achievement and activity in courses. The new messages aim to reduce confusion and be more encouraging.
  • The Availability Override option didn’t work as expected when a start date wasn’t specified. We’ve fixed the issue so students with this privilege can access courses with or without a specified start date.
  • The service that connected cloud storage to Learn environments used a case-sensitive check to verify domain security. When domains used a mix of upper and lower case letters, the service couldn’t complete the request and resulted in incomplete attachments. We’ve fixed the issue.

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.


Additional search criteria in Reuse Questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

On the Reuse Questions page, instructors can filter questions by more criteria. In addition to assessments and question banks that come over from the Original Course View, you can also filter by question types and Original Course View tags, such as categories. You can also search for keywords to find questions. The active filter area changes automatically as you select or clear criteria.

More on how to reuse questions in Ultra assessments


Advanced settings in SCORM

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

SCORM is a content standard that is used by some institutions, instructors, and instructional designers to author and present online learning materials and assessments to students.

In this release, we’ve added a number of enhancements to SCORM in the Ultra Course View:

  • Instructors can assign a grade category to SCORM packages.
  • Instructors can upload SCORM packages from the Content Collection.
  • SCORM due dates appear on the calendar and in the activity stream.
  • SCORM packages are supported in Ultra Course Preview and conversion from the Original Course View.

More on SCORM in the Ultra Course View


Ally integration available for the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

Starting with this release, Blackboard Ally integrates with the Ultra Course View. Ally provides detailed accessibility reports for content uploaded to Blackboard Learn. The integration is available to institutions who license Ally. 

In the Ultra Course View, instructors have access to Ally’s accessibility scores and feedback, including tutorials on how to make common file types more accessible to learners of all abilities. Students can view and download course content in alternative accessible formats. 

In a future release, we’ll show the file’s accessibility score on the Course Content page so instructors can quickly prioritize items to edit. 

Get started with Blackboard Ally


Batch edit visibility of course content

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors often reuse courses and content from one term to the next without major changes. At the start of a new term, instructors need a way to make these changes en masse. In this release, we introduce a new Batch Edit option on the Course Content page. Here, an instructor can select multiple pieces of content and edit visibility for each selected piece at the same time.

Along with this feature, instructors and course builders will notice that the Books & Tools link has moved to the Details & Actions menu. In a future release, instructors will also have the ability to adjust dates in course content using Batch Edit.

Learn how to use Batch Edit in a course


Calendar items and due date notifications for additional content types

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience

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 Original Experience 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

Create percentage-based grading rubrics

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors give very specific rubric scores with feedback when grading student submissions. A simple rubric with wide gaps between levels of achievement are insufficient for providing the granularity these institutions require. For example, two students may both meet the criteria for Sufficient for a given rubric row, but one student barely met the criteria while another almost did enough to be marked with the next highest level of achievement. With a normal rubric, these students would receive the same score. Instructors working under these requirements need to be able to mark both students as Sufficient, but provide more granular scoring within the range of scores associated with this rubric row.

In this release, we’ve expanded rubric criteria to include more granular levels of achievement, measured with percentages.

How to create rubrics with percentage ranges


Data Integration Logs storage load reduced

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

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.


Maintenance items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3500.3.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • 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.
  • A permissions issue in the Mobile Web Services building block caused tests to be inaccessible when first opened through the app. We fixed the issue.
  • An updated version of the Partner Cloud Building Block is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Wiley Plus Building Block is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Cengage Mindlinks Learning Building Block is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Vital Source Building Block is bundled with this release. Grade syncing in the VitalSource Building Block is disabled by default in this release to prevent issues on the vendor's side.
  • 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 is upgraded to this release, a background migration task is invoked upon server startup 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.
  • Counts in the Ultra gradebook were confusing when some students were denied access in the course after participating in discussions or submitting assessments. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, users designated as Observers were unable to view files added to the course through the Build Content > Add File workflow. We fixed the issue.
  • Attachments to course messages in the Original Course View resulted in the Tomcat temp directory disappearing, which led to other areas of Learn malfunctioning. We fixed the issue.
  • When an instructor attempted to grade a group assignment using a rubric and the language pack used commas to designate decimal places, the grade would display inconsistently. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, pattern matching questions with incorrectly formatted regular expressions in the answer were marked wrong. We fixed the issue.
  • As part of an earlier improvement for content delivery in the Content Collection, we added the ability to disable certain MIME types in Learn. We expanded the list of default allowed MIME types.
  • Instructors encountered errors when grading a group discussion with a rubric. We fixed the issue.
  • We’ve fixed some issues in reports: All User Activity Inside Content Areas and Course Performance Report.
  • Clients using the Australian English language pack in Ultra encountered problems when creating calendar items. We fixed the issue.
  • Conversations on course content in the Ultra Course View were capped to the previous 10 replies, with no way to view earlier parts of the conversation. In this release, students and instructors can access earlier parts of the conversation.

SAML updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2019
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

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.


Upload gradebook data in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.3.0 | Release to Production 1 November 2018
Ultra Course View

In an earlier release, we introduced the ability for instructors to download gradebook data in the Ultra Course View. The counterpart to downloading grades is the ability to upload them, which is useful for instructors who prefer to work in an application like Excel and load student grade data into the LMS. In this release, instructors have the option to upload course gradebook data in Ultra.

Offline grading is a valuable and important enhancement. Instructors may prefer, or even require, that they are able to download the files students have submitted for an assessment. Limited WiFi access on a train, for example, shouldn’t impact the instructor’s ability to grade student submissions. In this scenario, the instructor can download the gradebook, enter the grades for the assessment, and then upload the grade data at a later time.

Learn how to upload grade data


Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q4 2018 (3500.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers will soon be available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3400.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule


Cumulative Update 4 for FDO Q2 2018 (release 3400.0.4)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 4 for the Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


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.


Maintenance Items

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

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3500.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

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

  • When a course was converted from Original to Ultra, instructors found they weren’t able to edit point values for assessments and questions that used decimal points in the number of possible points. We’ve fixed the issue by rounding point values down to the nearest whole number. This change is listed as an exception during the Ultra Course Preview.
  • Some users were unable to save drafts in discussion forum threads when using a language pack other than English. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Placeholder text in the Ultra login page would sometimes obscure the username and password when the user input this information. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Discussion descriptions in courses using the Learn 2016 theme were sometimes obscured or displayed with a limited width. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • Some users were unable to create criteria for Self and Peer Assessments when accessing the feature on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When the Ultra experience is enabled, the Exit button overlapped the Add button in the Original Course View. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • We’ve rewritten an error message in Ultra to make acceptable date formats clearer.
  • When an instructor reversed the decision to ignore an attempt in the Original Course View, the message displayed on the screen was unclear and didn’t indicate the workflow. We’ve updated it to say Attempt marked as Not Ignored.
  • When users attempted to select all text in an Ultra assessment attempt, the browser didn’t select the text included in the attempt. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • When a user edited a test question in the Original Course View, some options in the text editor didn’t display correctly. We’ve fixed the issue.

Search the Ultra gradebook

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3500.0.0 | Release to Production 4 October 2018
Ultra Course View

Today’s courses, both online and mixed mode, can have large enrollments and volumes of course work. Instructors and other course facilitators may find it difficult to browse a gradebook in this type of course. In this release, we’ve introduced a search function in the Ultra gradebook to help users locate specific students when the list may be too long to browse.

To search for a student, open the Ultra gradebook in grid view. You can type the student’s name or student ID. Matching names appear below the search box. Select a student to filter your gradebook view and see their attempts and grades. In the future, we’ll continue development on this feature to include the ability to search for gradebook columns and categories.

Learn how to search for students in the Ultra gradebook


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.


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.11.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • Download annotated PDFs
  • Anonymous grading in Ultra Course View
  • Unsubmitted work counts as zero

Learner engagement

  • Download annotated PDFs
  • Improvements for course messages

Anonymous grading

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors need a way to ensure the anonymity of students (hiding personally identifying information) to avoid bias when grading. Some regions mandate anonymity for high-stakes assessment.

To support this, we developed an enforceable means to anonymize student information to instructors and other reviewers. After grading is complete, the information can be revealed. Student identities remain hidden until all grades are posted, at which point names are revealed.

Learn more about anonymous grading in Ultra


Content delivery improvements

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

Multimedia is essential in many mixed-mode and online courses, and poor performance can lead to a frustrating user experience. To help speed the delivery of online media, such as video, we’ve added configuration options for administrators to control content delivery through signed URLs. Signed URLs allow content to be delivered directly and securely from cloud storage, which provides faster transfers and requires fewer resources to run on the system. A signed URL is equivalent to the actual file after it’s delivered to the browser.

Find the settings on Administrator Panel > Content Management Settings > Cloud Signed URL Settings.

Learn more about content delivery improvements


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.


Improvements for course messages

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Experience

We’ve updated the global and course messages pages for more intuitive and easy navigation. You’ll notice the following changes:

  • On the global Messages page in the base navigation, courses are grouped according to term, similar to the way they are grouped on the Courses page. Your current courses appear first when you open the Messages page. You can use the arrows to navigate through the groups.
  • The number of messages you've received in each course is displayed with a course card. Select the course card to jump to all of your messages.
  • In your course, you can select the number of messages that appear per page.
  • When you select a course message to view, you can use arrows to browse through messages in order.

Learn more about improvements to course messages


Maintenance Items

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

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3400.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

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

  • In the Original experience, administrators had no option in the user interface to remove images they had added to a default brand. This issue was fixed.
  • Some institutions who customized the default landing page in the Ultra experience noticed some inconsistent behavior for the destination when users logged in. This issue was fixed.
  • Some custom administrator roles were unable to access courses delivered in the Ultra Course View. This issue was fixed.
  • Attachments to course messages caused unnecessary file backups that could lead to system performance issues. This issue was fixed.
  • In the Ultra experience, default course view settings would sometimes reset on system restart or upgrade. This issue has been fixed.
  • Some instructors who used percentage-based rubrics to grade assignments noticed that mid-range values would revert on save. This issue was fixed.
  • For environments with automatic course archive enabled, some files older than 45 days weren’t included in course backup files. This issue was fixed.
  • We’ve updated the text shown to administrators who choose to use the Ultra experience on Test environments. The message now states more clearly that the environment will need to be completely rebuilt and all data will be lost to convert back to the Original experience.
  • We’ve updated the text shown to users when content controlled with conditional release is unavailable. When a student hovers on the content after access is over, the message now reads: You can't access this content after MM/DD/YYYY, 00:00AM. Previously, the message only stated when the content became available, not when access ended.

Unsubmitted work counts as zero

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors may want to set up the gradebook so that unsubmitted, past-due work is automatically marked as zero. For larger courses, it can be burdensome and time-consuming to grade these missing submissions as zeros manually.

This release includes a global gradebook setting to allow instructors to assign automatic zeros to missing work past the due date. Instructors can save the time it takes to go through the gradebook to manually enter zeros for this work. Students can still submit work after an automatic zero is assigned and instructors can grade as normal.

The Automatic Zero option is enabled by default in all new Ultra courses.

Learn more about automatic zeros for unsubmitted work in Ultra


Upload an image to the Institution Page

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.11.0 | Release to Production 6 September 2018
Ultra Experience

On the Institution Page, administrators can upload a picture hosted in the Content Collection. Previously, images used for the institution logo or banner were added with a URL. Institutions who host the images with other institution content needed to take an additional step to locate the file path. Starting with the release, administrators can open and browse the Content Collection to use these images on the Institution Page.

Images can also be added to the Helpful Links module in this way. When the administrator adds an image from the Content Collection, the permissions for the image file update to include any user who’s able to view the module.

Learn more about uploading images to the Institution Page


Cumulative Update 3 for FDO Q2 2018 (release 3400.0.3)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 3 for the Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.9.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • SCORM support in Ultra
  • Download gradebook
  • Custom locales in Ultra

Learner engagement

  • Group creation & grading enhancements
  • Course list optimization
  • Conversation improvements
  • Add LTI links to the Institution Page

Add LTI links to the Institution Page

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience

In this release, we bring the LTI standard to the Institution Page. Schools can now surface LTI tools outside of the course context for all their users or a select subset of users based on institution role.

To add an LTI item to the Institution Page, create a Custom Content module. Select Insert/Edit LTI Item in the editor and browse for system tools available in the system. LTI tools appear in the editor with the provider’s icon, but you can change the display text.

More on the Institution Page


Conversation improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

Conversations on course content items have been improved in the following ways:

  • The Conversations panel has been increased to full-width.
  • Students can now respond and reply to each other in conversations the same as they do in discussions.
  • We’ve added activity indicators for new conversation posts.
  • A student or instructor can see all conversation participants.
  • A student or instructor can search all conversation participants.

More on conversations regarding Ultra course content


Course list optimization

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience

In an earlier release, we improved the Courses page in the Ultra experience to better course terms and let institutions display courses in a way that aligns to the student journey. With this release, we will continue to refine the page as we allow for more user choice and improve the layout of the page overall. These changes include:

  • Addition of a quick drop down for quick past-term navigation
  • Original Course View label added to all Original courses
  • Original courses descriptions are now available from the expanded course card view
  • Term sub-listings are now displayed on the current courses page to let users scan quickly

More on how terms affect the Courses page in the Ultra experience


Custom locales in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience

Previously, Learn Ultra supported predetermined language packs without the ability to customize. This release introduces custom locale capabilities that will allow an institution to change specific words or phrases within their site and not have it break with each monthly update.

With multitudes of dialects comprising the world’s many languages, Blackboard understands how many varieties and nuances of languages exist. The adjustments you make to your locale end up making a huge difference in the lives of educators and learners and it is one less barrier to overcome when digesting the material being taught.

Ultra locales only contain strings in the Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View user interfaces. To edit strings that appear in the Original Experience or Original Course View, see Create and Edit Language Packs for the Original Experience

More on custom locales in Ultra


Download gradebook

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors sometimes find the gradebook insufficient for doing statistical analysis or other ad hoc computational work with student grades. These instructors prefer to download the raw student and grade data and manipulate it in an application like Microsoft Excel.

In this release, instructors can download grade data within their Ultra courses. Instructors can select to download the entire gradebook or select columns, choose to export in a .CSV or .XLS format, and save it to the device or the Content Collection for future access. Uploading gradebook data is not yet available but in development for future release.

More on how to download gradebook data in Ultra


Group creation & grading improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors may require the ability to edit groups after they’ve released a group discussion, assignment, or test for students. Previously, instructors didn’t have the option to modify groups at all after students started drafting submissions. However, the ability to make small changes is sometimes necessary to provide minimal disruption for all course members.

To help support instructors in these situations, we’ve added the following enhancements to group assessments:

  • New empty state page lets instructors create as few or as many groups as they’d like from the beginning.
  • Instructors can edit group names after students begin attempts.
  • New Unassign All option appears when creating groups.
  • Instructors can edit group membership if a given group hasn’t started working or existing attempts are removed.

More on how instructors create an Ultra group assignment


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3400.9.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • We've updated text regarding external submissions in the Ultra Course View. The assessment setting now says Collect submissions offline, and students see a message that says Offline submission when accessing assessments of this type.
  • Instructors encountered an error in graded discussion boards converted from the Original Course View to the Ultra Course View. The error appeared when the instructor tried to change the grade schema. This issue was fixed.
  • Recipients were unable to download message attachments that contained special characters in the file name. This issue was fixed.
  • Instructors may have encountered an error when attempting to delete submissions that contained attachments. This issue was fixed.
  • Course members may have experienced issues opening and viewing discussion boards where a deactivated user had once participated. This issue was fixed.
  • Messages in the Ultra Course View sometimes showed the incorrect sender and recipient names. This issue was fixed.
  • Administrators may have seen an error regarding permissions when attempting to download an attachment on a student submission. This issue was fixed.
  • Users who change their language setting can see system announcements that were posted before changing the setting.
  • In the Original Course View, some users had to refresh the page to see their reply to a discussion forum. This issue was fixed.
  • In the Original Course View, some users were unable to remove file attachments in draft discussion posts. This issue was fixed.
  • Instructors may have observed unexpected characters in the Due Date column of the Ultra gradebook when the assignment had no due date assigned. This issue was fixed.

SCORM support in Ultra

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.9.0 | Release to Production 2 August 2018
Ultra Course View

SCORM is a content standard that is used by some institutions, instructors, and instructional designers to author and present online learning materials and assessments to students. In this release, we’re adding support for selecting, adding, presenting, and using SCORM content in Ultra courses.

Instructors can import SCORM packages into an Ultra course and select grading options for the package as a whole or each content item individually.

More on SCORM in Ultra


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


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.7.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • Reuse questions
  • Matching questions

Learner engagement

  • Matching questions
  • Course announcements

Announcements in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors often want to post information for students in a certain course. Rather than sending a message that can easily be dismissed or left unread, instructors may prefer to post an announcement that every course member sees when opening the course. Instructors can draft, schedule, and post course announcements in the Ultra Course View in this release.

Announcements are a high-profile way to communicate a message as it relates to the course environment. Instructors can communicate schedule changes, upcoming exams, or anything else the students should pay attention to. Students can access the announcement archive to double-check any of the information you’ve posted. You can also schedule announcements for the future.

More on how instructors can create a course announcement in Ultra


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


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3400.7.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Matching questions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors need flexibility in how they evaluate a student's mastery of a concept. Matching is a common question type instructors use in assessments where students are shown two sets of options and asked to associate options from the first set with the correct option in the second set. Matching questions are a popular question type in the Original Course View. In this release, we’ve brought the same capability to the Ultra Course View.

Instructors have many options when creating a matching question in Ultra. There can be more answers than prompts to prevent students from answering by a process of elimination. Additionally, instructors can grade matching questions with partial credit, all or nothing, subtract points for incorrect answers, and even allow negative scoring to discourage guessing.

More on matching questions in the Ultra Course View


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • In the Ultra Course View, the Add Content icon is now a darker shade and heavier weight to provide greater contrast with the surrounding elements in the user interface.
  • When setting up SMS notifications in Ultra, users now see a message reminding them that their cellular carrier may charge a fee for these messages.
  • The SafeAssign Originality Report is disabled for assessments set to collect external submissions.
  • An updated version of the Cengage Building Block (v1.101.20182347) is bundled with this release.
  • Some students may have had trouble accessing a group assignment if a group member was disabled from accessing the course. This issue has been resolved.
  • Lengthy videos displayed through the New Box View service were stopping before reaching the end of playback. The vendor has fixed this issue.

Localization updates

  • The German translation for Open to Students in the Ultra Course View has been improved.
  • The word “goals” was inconsistently translated in the Spanish language pack for the Ultra experience. This issue has been resolved.

Reuse questions in an Ultra assessment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.7.0 | Release to Production 5 July 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors invest a lot of time and effort crafting questions for assessments. A test or assignment may be created for a specific purpose, but the questions within may be repurposed for a unit test or a final exam. To support instructors who create assessments in this way, we’re introducing the ability to reuse questions in a course.

In this release, instructors can reuse questions from any other assessment within an Ultra course. Select Reuse questions within an assignment or test to get started. Filter questions by assessment or view all available questions to copy. When browsing questions to reuse, instructors can quickly view what type of question it is, as well as the content.

Selected questions are copied into the assessment, so any edits to the original question won’t carry over to other places it appears.

More on how to reuse questions in Ultra


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.


Educator Preview is now the new CourseSites!

Release to Production 27 June 2018

Educator Preview is now the new CourseSites. The learning environment will still serve as the premier place to test drive the Ultra experience, with the added bonus of having a course delivery option for you to teach live courses using either the Ultra Course View or the Original Course View. Check out the new CourseSites and visit the CourseSites Community for more information.


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018

We are developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.5.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

  • Discussion Analysis
  • External submissions
  • Additional cloud storage providers

Learner engagement

  • Improvements to user privacy
  • Announcements on the Ultra login page
  • Insert recordings using the editor in assessment feedback

Announcements on the Ultra login page

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Experience

Institutions sometimes want to communicate messages to users in a prominent place, possibly even before users log in to the system. Prior to this release, announcements could be placed on the login page only in the Original experience. Now, we bring the same functionality to Ultra.

Administrators can create and place announcements on the login page the same way for both experiences. Go to Admin Panel > Announcements > Create Announcement to get started. Set Show at Login to Yes to have your announcement appear to unauthenticated users.

More on announcements


Collect submissions offline and grade with rubrics 

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Sometimes an instructor wants to create a rubric to assess a student's performance in an offline or non-Ultra course context. For example, if a student is being assessed for a public speaking project, the instructor may want to convey instructions or the rubric preview to the student to prepare them for this offline assessment but won't expect to collect the submissions through the course. 

In this release, we're introducing a new assessment setting to allow users to track offline submissions and use a rubric to grade. This feature helps bridge the gap for hybrid courses that meet in person and conduct course activities online. Instructors can keep track of all relevant coursework within Ultra and eliminate the need to transcribe grades from items or activities that took place physically. 

More on collecting submissions offline in Ultra


Configure static resources

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Starting with this release, 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.

More on system configuration in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Connect additional cloud storage services

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Using cloud storage in the Ultra Course View, instructors and students can instantly connect to multiple web apps where you 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.

In this release, we're expanding the cloud services you can connect to in your course. Add content directly from your OneDrive for Business, Dropbox, or Google Drive accounts to your Ultra course. In an earlier release, we included the ability to connect to Box and personal OneDrive accounts.

We added the ability to add files from cloud storage for the Original Course View in Blackboard Learn SaaS release v3400.7.0.

More on how instructors add content from cloud storage


Speed up grading with Discussion Analysis

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors use graded discussions to encourage thoughtful and relevant conversation related to a given topic. The act of grading is already a time-consuming process that can be exaggerated in the context of discussions. A student's discussion participation grade can be based on many qualitative factors that aren't easy or quick to evaluate but deserve in-depth analysis.

We're happy to announce a new feature in graded discussions to help assist instructors determine complexity and engagement for each student. The new Discussion Analysis feature displays key metrics such as critical thinking, sentence complexity, responses, replies, and average word count. The critical thinking metric is analyzed using a Blackboard-developed algorithm, while sentence complexity uses Flesch-Kincaid readability benchmarks.

More on Discussion Analysis


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


Insert recordings using the editor in assessment feedback

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors providing students with feedback, whether for in-person or distance education, is a critical aspect of the pedagogical process. It is also challenging to engage learners in non-face-to-face settings, thus increasing the importance of audio communication media. The ability to embed video/audio communication into a course provides a simple way for users to provide feedback.

Instructors can record video and audio using the editor in assessment feedback. When paired with text-based feedback, video and audio messages can help provide students with useful, actionable, and more personal feedback regarding their submissions.

This feature is controlled by a service that is independent of Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery releases. The feature became available on June 12th for Continuous Delivery environments in the United States (additional regional available will be added over time).


Maintenance Items

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3400.5.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.5.0 | Release to Production 31 May 2018
Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View

  • We've updated the scoring options for multiple choice questions so they are shorter and easy to scan:
    • All or nothing: All correct answers must be selected to receive full credit
    • Partial credit: Give credit for correct answers with no penalty for incorrect answers
    • Subtract points for incorrect answers: Give credit for correct answers, but subtract points for incorrect answers. The question score can total less than 0.
  • When accessing the course catalog as a guest in Ultra, the user wasn't always able to return to the login page from within a course. This issue has been resolved.
  • The Maximum Score field in Ultra assessments now displays an error message when a user attempts to input a negative number
  • We fixed a bug that incorrectly displayed the number of students with accommodations in a discussion
  • When more than one instructor was enrolled in a course, these users were assigned to groups in group discussions in the Ultra Course View. This issue has been resolved.
  • Students may have seen an error message when attempting to view grades in a course where a graded discussion was available at a certain date and time. This issue has been resolved.
  • The Ultra course roster was including disabled enrollments in the overall count of course members. This issue has been resolved.
  • The link to chat with Support in Educator Preview was updated to a new destination

Original Experience and Original Course View

  • We've fixed an error that appeared when an instructor attempted to create an assignment using a Portfolio template in the Original Course View
  • The number of points possible for an assessment in the Original Course View was inconsistent when a rubric was applied. This issue has been resolved.
  • When students uploaded multiple attachments to Self and Peer Assessments, only the first attachment was displayed. This issue has been resolved.
  • On the Goal Performance page, the overall progress for a goal was incorrectly aggregating the performance on aligned course items. This issue has been resolved.

General

  • Some institution announcements may have disappeared after upgrading from Managed Hosting to SaaS. This issue has been resolved.
  • SafeAssign sporadically failed to generate Originality Reports for assignments. This issue has been resolved.
  • An error occurred when attempting to create a new system role in Blackboard Learn. This issue has been resolved.

Localization updates

  • Placeholder text in fill in the blank questions wasn't properly localized. This issue has been resolved.
  • Fields in the attendance report for instructors weren't properly localized. This issue has been resolved.
  • Users who selected Swedish as their default language in Ultra saw untranslated strings when viewing events on the base calendar. This issue has been resolved.

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 Update 1 for FDO Q2 2018 (release 3400.0.1)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 1 for the Q2 2018 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


Accommodations for timed assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Accommodations allow instructors to mark certain students exempt from high pressure aspects of a course, such as due dates. Accommodations can help students complete coursework and succeed where they might otherwise be at a disadvantage.

In this release, we're introducing the ability to accommodate students for timed assessments. From the roster, an instructor can allow chosen students extra time on a timed test or assignment or exempt them from the time limit completely. A student with the Unlimited Time accommodation never sees the time limit for the assessment, reducing the pressure or anxiety that comes with coursework.

More on accommodations


Activity indicators for active Collaborate rooms

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Distance courses hold virtual meetings to foster communication and reinforce engagement among course members. Without a pre-established meeting time, a student or other course member may not know when others are engaged in the Collaborate session. With this release, we’ve made it easy to see when virtual meetings—for the entire course or among assessment groups—are taking place.

When a course Collaborate room is in session, an indicator appears on the Course Content page to let others know the room is in use. The same icon appears in group assessments when the instructor has enabled conversations and another group member is in the room.

This feature is a subtle but impactful enhancement around user presence in a course.

More on joining a Collaborate session from Blackboard Learn


Add web content in the editor

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Today, in the Original experience, content creators can add links and embedded content from a variety of external content sources from the Rich Text Editor. Instructors need to be able to discover any content from the spot where they’d like to place it. Instructors often use content from outside sources in courses rather than building all of their course materials from scratch.

To support these instructors, we've introduced the ability to add web content directly in the editor. This ability was previously restricted to direct links to videos or images. In the first phase of the Insert Web Content feature, we've added the ability to browse and search YouTube for videos. Instructors don't have to leave their course to find a relevant video. We're adding more content providers in this menu over the forthcoming releases.

More on how to add web content in the editor


Auto-archive courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard is introducing a new feature that automatically archives active courses on Blackboard Learn SaaS client sites. Auto-archive is an automated process that archives any course that has had activity since the last time the process ran. Archives are stored in the Content Collection where administrators can view, restore, and download the archives as needed. Blackboard Learn keeps the latest archive of a course indefinitely, but deletes older archives after 30 days.

Using this tool, an administrator can restore an archive of an existing course if the owner has damaged the course. Administrators can also restore previous versions of a course (within 30 days) if the owner needs to compare the current version to an earlier version of the course.

This feature is being introduced to client sites incrementally, so you may not see it available on your system even though the 3400.3.0 release is available.

Learn more about archiving courses in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Cloud storage integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Blackboard is pleased to announce additional cloud storage integration providers available in the Ultra Course View. With this release, instructors and students have access to an aggregated cloud service that lets users connect to their preferred cloud storage accounts and place content directly into their course. In the Ultra Course View, instructors and students can instantly connect to multiple web apps where you store files.

This integration is happening from a few different places in Ultra:

  • Within ‘add content’ workflows in the Course Content page,
  • In assessment creation and submission workflows, and
  • In the editor

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 service is being introduced over multiple releases and won’t be available in all regions simultaneously.

  • In 3400.3.0, the first services available are Box and OneDrive (personal accounts only)
  • Remaining services, such as Google Drive, will be introduced in 3400.5.0
  • Regional availability begins with the United States
  • Additional regions will be added over time and may be independent of release cadence
  • Availability in the Original Experience and Original Course View is forthcoming

Cloud storage integration is available in Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery environments, but 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 in these environments.

Get started with the cloud storage integration


Content lockdown

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

Many institutions use Subject Matter Experts to create content for a course. This content is used across all sections of a course and is facilitated by multiple faculty. To ensure that the content in each course section remains consistent, we’ve added new entitlements for course roles so administrators can grant additional permissions for users that will allow them to view the content but they will not be able to modify the content.

In the coming releases, we’ll introduce even more granular entitlements like these with the goal of ultimately providing a formal Facilitator role that you can enable and designate for chosen users. You’ll find the following permissions are now available:

  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Adaptive Release > Create Date-Based Criteria
  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Adaptive Release > Delete Date-Based Criteria
  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Adaptive Release > Edit Date-Based Criteria
  • Course/Organization (Content Areas) > Edit Material Availability
  • Course/Organization Control Panel (Grade Center) > Change Due Date of Grade Center Items

More on course roles in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Course list optimization

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Experience

The Courses page in Ultra is a simple, quick way to access all of your courses, including those in the past or in the future. But is it really that simple if you're enrolled in a lot of courses?

In this release, we've enhanced the Courses page to work for instructors and students who are enrolled in a small or large number of courses. Improvements include:

  • A new search bar lets a user quickly find one key course without scrolling through all of their courses.
  • Course cards now occupy the full width of the list so you can easily read the full course name, instructors, and other key information.
  • The Courses page now include pagination for longer lists to improve load speeds and prevent information overload.
  • Users can now add courses to a Favorites list for quick access. Favorite courses appear at the top of the course list.
  • Courses in the Original Course View appear with a grey course card. Ultra course cards contain colors.

Explore the courses page from the instructor perspective


Discussion Forum Insights for group discussions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors want to understand the contribution, or lack of contribution, of students in a group discussion to encourage participation. To support this need, we’re pleased to share that discussion forum insights is now available for group discussions.

With discussion forum insight for group discussions, instructors can determine how effective their discussion was in soliciting class participation and engagement, the top student contributors, as well as the overall class activity. Reports clearly show the number of participants, the percentage of students who have participated so far, the average number of comments per student, the average word count of student comments, and the average grade for the class if it's a graded discussion. Discussion insights also highlights the top five participants in the discussion and allows you to drill down into their comments and replies for more context.

Instructors can view information for both the overall discussion and each assigned group. Insights include how many students have opened the discussion, how many students have posted, and the average number of posts for each group member.

More on discussion analytics


Institution Page – Role-based modules

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Institutions publish and share lots of information for different audiences. While all users may need access to the help desk, for example, the contact information for students and faculty may be different.

Modules on the Institution Page can now be displayed to selected user groups. By reducing the amount of information that doesn't affect a user, administrators can help maximize the available real estate on the Institution Page and help prevent confusion for all users.

More on the Institution Page


Learn Data Pipeline Upgrade

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Blackboard is upgrading the data management process for Blackboard Learn clients with Direct Data Access (DDA). This change applies to Blackboard Learn SaaS Advantage customer institutions using DDA. Blackboard is migrating SaaS reporting data to a new state-of-the-art Snowflake database. After the migration is complete, clients will have access to a new data microservice for Blackboard Learn. You can get the same data that supports Learn's built-in reporting using the new microservice.

This change is being introduced to client sites incrementally, so you may not see it available on your system even though the 3400.3.0 release is available. Full documentation, including credential requests, user interface access, and affected Building Blocks, will be available soon.


Maintenance Items

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

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3400.3.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

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

  • We've updated a message in the mobile view of the Ultra Course Preview to be more consistent with the experience on desktop. Both platforms now show the user the following message:
    If you like the preview, you can permanently convert your course and save any changes you've made during the Ultra Course Preview. If you switch back to Original Course View, changes made during preview are lost.
  • We've updated text for students beginning assessments without time limits in the Ultra Course View. When a student opens an assignment or a test without a time limit, the button says View assessment instead of Start attempt. This language more clearly communicates that the student is not compelled to submit the attempt after opening it if it isn't timed.
  • We've improved the user experience in the new editor. Previously, when a user wanted to remove a hyperlink from a piece of text, they would need to delete the text entirely. Now, a user can simply remove the hyperlink without affecting their content.
  • In both Ultra and Original courses, when instructors first access the attendance feature, they’re able to select Add Attendance and add an attendance column after attendance records are generated. In the Ultra Course View gradebook, instructors can delete attendance if no attendance records exist.
  • Administrator preview for a system notification in the Ultra experience previously cut off long pieces of text. The preview now wraps text and this issues has been resolved.
  • The SafeHTML filter now applies to additional files types in Blackboard Learn.
  • Course content wasn't appearing as expected when a course bound to a term was archived and restored in a system that did not have the equivalent term. This issue has been resolved.
  • Instructions on how to set up shared locations and web folders in the Content Collection previously displayed natively in Blackboard Learn. In this release, these instructions now lead to help.blackboard.com so the content can be kept up to date.
  • Some users received a past due notification for assessments, even when they had already submitted ahead of the due date. This issue has been resolved.
  • In-product help links now appear for all users on the Institution Page.

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.


Randomize question answers (multiple choice/multiple answer)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Sometimes instructors want to change the display order of question and answer options for individual students to support practice/drilling, as well as to avoid academic dishonesty. Unpredictable order of answers can help reduce the risk of students memorizing material from study guides without truly absorbing the information.

In this release, instructors can now randomize the order of answers in multiple choice and multiple answer questions in the Ultra Course View. Combined with randomized questions, this new option puts more control in the instructor's hands to have assignments and tests appear differently for each student.

More on how to randomize answers in Ultra assessments


Rearrange gradebook with drag and drop

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors may not create graded course content in the exact sequence students will complete them. In a course where there is a weekly quiz, weekly discussion, and monthly written assignment, the order of these items in the gradebook may not match the order on the Course Content page. This can be frustrating for instructors and students. Further, students may be confused if they refer to the gradebook as a guide to what they should be working on next, or if they look for their grade on a specific item but can't find it because items appear to be "out of order" in the gradebook.

This release includes the ability for instructors to rearrange gradebook entries in the Ultra Course View. Instructors can drag and drop items in the gradebook so the list appears in an order that makes sense to instructors and students alike. This improvement can save time, confusion, and frustration for users who prefer to browse course content from multiple entry points in a course.

Drag and drop isn't yet available in the gradebook grid view.

More on organizing grade data in the Ultra Course View


Ultra access to the Course Catalog

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.3.0 | Release to Production 4 May 2018
Ultra Experience

Large institutions offer many courses as part of different curricula or degree programs. To help students learn more about the course options and expectations, administrators may want to allow visibility into the current or upcoming courses for those who aren’t yet enrolled. The Course Catalog has been available in the Original Experience. With this release, we bring Course Catalog access to Ultra.

Students and instructors can access the Course Catalog directly from the Courses page. The Catalog contains the same search and browse functions as it had in the Original Experience, allowing users to find courses by course name, ID, description, term, or instructor. If the administrator created categories within the catalog or uses terms to group courses, users can also browse the catalog with this information.

Administrators can make the Course Catalog in Ultra available for all logged in users and for guests by placing a link on the Login page.


Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2018

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q2 2018 (3400.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers will soon be available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3300.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule

More information on the FDO Q2 2018 on Behind the Blackboard


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018

As we move into 2018, we are thinking about and developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3400.1.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list into groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

Learner engagement


Fill in the Blank questions now available in Ultra Course View assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors want to construct context-based questions where the student responds with text as part of a longer text prompt. The system can automatically assess the student response, matching the characters entered compared to the correct answer.

With this release, instructors can craft fill in the blank questions to assess student understanding in tests and assignments. Fill in the Blank questions are graded automatically. Answers are scored based on if student answers match the correct answers the instructor provides. Instructors choose the evaluation method for answers:

  • Exact match
  • Contains part of the correct answer
  • Matches a specified pattern

More on Fill in the Blank questions in the Ultra Course View


Improvements to course conversion process

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Experience

The Blackboard Learn course conversion experience can be intimidating for instructors, as many features don’t function in Ultra the same way they did in Original. This often causes unexpected course behavior or appearance and can be seen a barrier for Ultra adoption. While many of these changes are minor, there is a need for instructors to know and understand the implications before fully adopting the Ultra Course View.

With this release, we’ve improved the conversion experience so instructors have more insight into what’s changing. Exceptions are now categorized into groups based on priority and potential impact. Instructors can explore their courses and view the exceptions to better understand how students will experience the Ultra Course View.

More on the Ultra Course Preview


Institution Page enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Experience

This release includes customization features in the Institution Page. In the existing Helpful Links module, you can now:

  • Move the module image to the right side or remove the module image
  • Associate the module image with a hyperlink in the list

More on the Institution Page


LTI placement improvements

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

A number of enhancements have been made 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.

More on LTI placements


Maintenance items for 3400.1.0

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

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3400.1.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

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

  • Instructors can sort the roster by student last name in the Ultra Course View.
  • Attendance in the Original Experience now supports Internet Explorer 11.
  • File attachments in the Ultra editor were not displaying as expected due to copy/paste behavior. A message has been added to the editor prompting the user to reinsert any pasted attachments to ensure they display correctly for other course members.
  • Content items in the Original Course View were unexpectedly moving their position in a list after being edited. This issue has been resolved.
  • Some students who had been removed from an Original course were receiving notifications regarding group activity in the course. This issue has been resolved.
  • When upgrading Blackboard Learn, the Mobile Building Block’s environment setting was reset and caused issues for users searching for courses via mobile apps. This issue has been resolved.
  • After an upgrade, the scrollbar in the Grade Center appeared on the left side of the screen and obscured information. This issue has been resolved.

New editor available in multiple areas

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Course View

We've enhanced the content editor to use more intuitive iconography and organization. Use the options in the menu to format text and paragraphs. You can also insert links and images using a simplified workflow.

Starting with this release, the editor appears for instructors creating assessments questions and for students drafting freeform responses in assessments, including essays.

More on the Ultra editor


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


User interface changes in Ultra assessments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3400.1.0 | Release to Production 6 April 2018
Ultra Course View

We’ve upgraded the technology that powers assessments in the Ultra Course View. Instructors will notice that the Add Question button no longer opens a panel of options. Now, an instructor can add any type of content to the test or assignment, such as questions, text, and files, using one simple menu in the assessment body. We’ve applied these updates to your existing assessments as well, so you can enjoy this improved experience whether you are creating new assessments or working on existing content.

More on creating assignments in Ultra


Cumulative Update 2 for FDO Q4 2017 (release 3300.0.2)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2017 (v3300.0.0)
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 2 for the Q4 2017 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.

More information available on Behind the Blackboard


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018

As we move into 2018, we are thinking about and developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3300.11.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list in to groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Academic effectiveness

Learner engagement

Education insight


Additional course activity indicators

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Ultra Course View, Learner Engagement

When an instructor or student opens an assessment peek panel, an icon appears to notify them of any unread conversation messages. The icon also appears in assessments and documents, as well as on the Course Content page. The submissions list now also includes the activity icon when new conversation messages are unread.

In an earlier release, the icon first appeared only on the Course Content page. Now, the icon appears at additional entry points so the user is notified of activity no matter how they open the content. This enhancement is in direct response to client feedback on Ultra's usability.


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


Conditional release enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Ultra Course View, Academic Effectiveness

In this release, you'll notice some changes to the visibility menu for course content items in Ultra. The Show/Hide On Date option has been moved to the Conditional Availability panel so instructors can create access rules based on Date/Time.

Additionally, instructors and course builders can choose whether to make the content visible to students before access conditions have been met. For example, if an instructor wants students to know that an exam is part of the curriculum, but not yet available, the instructor can choose conditional availability rules and make the content visible to students before they're able to access it.


Course view option support in SIS integration

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Ultra Experience

After an institution has moved to the SaaS deployment and enabled the Ultra experience, administrators can manage their courses via bulk operations using Snapshot Flat Files as part of the SIS Integration framework. The new field header name is course_view. This release introduces the ability to specify course view (Original, Ultra, or Instructor Choice) during initial course creation, copying from a master template, and copying from term to term.

More on the Snapshot Flat File data format in Learn SaaS


Maintenance items for 3300.11.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3300.11.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • Instructors can now embed a YouTube or Vimeo video in grade feedback in the Ultra Course View.
  • Help text on the LTI Placements page in the Administrator Panel has been updated.
  • An updated version of the Cengage Building Block (v1.101.201704346) is bundled with this release.
  • A new message appears in the Copy Content panel in the Ultra Course View: You can’t copy content from other courses when you’re in the Ultra Course Preview.
  • When an instructor creates an availability condition for content in an Ultra course, the custom range previously referred to points when the schema was set to percentage. This issue has been resolved.
  • Text on the Ally integration page in the Original experience has been updated for readability.
  • We've made indexing improvements to help speed up the migration from Crocodoc to New Box View.
  • Previously, instructors using the Swedish language pack in the Original Course View were unable to edit text questions. This issue has been fixed.
  • In the Original Experience, date selectors broke when a user accessed Blackboard Learn using a browser set to Swedish, Danish, or Spanish. This issue has been fixed.
  • We’ve improved the LTI launch behavior when the tool is configured to launch automatically.
  • In the Ultra Experience, when a user saved content in the editor that included multiple breaks to create white space, the editor automatically removed some space. This issue has been resolved.

Outcomes Assessment in the Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Ultra Course View, Academic Effectiveness, Education Insight

Institutions use Outcomes Assessment to collect evidence of student work. Previously, the lack of Outcomes Assessment in the Ultra Course View may have prevented these institutions from enabling the Ultra experience. With this release, institutions can use Outcomes Assessment to collect evidence from assessments in both Original and Ultra courses. This release reduces the barrier to Ultra adoption for institutions that use Outcomes Assessment.

Outcomes Assessment can be used in Ultra assessments that don't use individually graded questions.


Rubrics now available in graded discussions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.11.0 | Release to Production 9 March 2018
Ultra Course View, Academic Effectiveness, Learner Engagement

In many distance learning or online-heavy courses, discussions are the primary source of a class participation grade. Instructors often want to use a rubric when assessing student contributions in a graded discussion to standardize grading. Rubrics help consistently and transparently assess the learner based on well-defined criteria and levels of achievement that can be used as the basis for a numerical grade. Students can view the rubric as they craft their responses and see the scored rubric once their contributions have been graded.

In Ultra courses, we currently have discussions and grading rubrics for assessments. With this release, we're combining the two and allowing instructors to assign existing rubrics or create new rubrics for graded discussions.


A special note from Product Management

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018

As we move into 2018, we are thinking about and developing our teaching and learning products toward the greater good of a holistic, next generation digital learning environment through the lens of three critical, unifying product themes: academic effectiveness, learner engagement, and education insight. By focusing on these themes, we will unify the development of our products to empower excellence in teaching and learning, inspire genuine interest, attention, and interaction in the learning process, and enable continuous improvement through accurate and deep understanding of the teaching and learning process.

In the Learn SaaS 3300.8.0 release, we focused our development and design on academic effectiveness and learner engagement. You’ll see below that we’ve also aligned our feature list in to groups based on value and benefit to you and your users.

Institutional success

Engaging course design

Specialized assessment

Learner engagement


Add Content Collections items to Ultra courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Course View

Institutions and instructors have invested time and effort to put content into the Content Collection content management system. With this release, there's now an easy way to browse, select, and add that content into an Ultra course. Previously, instructors could access items in the Content Collection in a separate Tools area of the Ultra experience, but the workflow to add the items to a course wasn't streamlined. We've added the option to add Content Collection files to the Course Content page using browse ability.

More on adding Content Collection files to an Ultra course


Allow students to work past assessment time limit

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Course View

Instructors often need flexibility with how timed tests and assignments are delivered to students for a variety of circumstances. A student temporarily losing internet connection, needing to restart their computer, or a test simply being too long to complete within the given time are just a few possibilities. For these reasons and others, instructors need the option to allow students to continue working on a timed test or assignment after the set time expires.

When an instructor enables this feature, the system indicates which questions were answered after time expired. This helps instructors identify how many questions they may need to remove or when a specific question may be too complex for students to answer within the time limit.

More on how to create timed tests


Communication improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Course View

We've added the following improvements in course communication based on feedback from our clients.

  • Instructors can now send a message to groups of students from the Create Groups page in assignments, tests, and discussions.
  • When a student submits an attempt on behalf of their group, a message appears to confirm that no group member will be able to edit after submission.
  • We've added new icons and guidance moments for class conversations and group conversations on assessments, when enabled. Previously, a user selected which conversation to view from a drop-down menu.
  • Students and instructors can use a Refresh icon to load any new conversation or discussion posts since they've opened the page.
  • We've added the ability to contact users through their profile card in more places.

Configure course list for availability exceptions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Experience

Students may need extended time to access a course due to illness or late registration. This feature allows administrators to open a course for a single student instead of the entire class as an exception to the normal course structure. The course that is re-opened to the student will appear in the course list for the term the course was held, such as Summer 2017.

More on customizing course availability


Configure default landing page on login

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Experience

Currently, users are brought to their Activity Stream after they log in to the Ultra experience. The Activity Stream contains some important information, but administrators may prefer that users see the Institution Page or the Courses page upon login. A different landing page can be useful for the beginning of the semester or any other occasion where the Activity Stream may not be the institution's top focus.

To support this administrator preference, we've added the ability to change the page a user is brought to when logging into Blackboard Learn Ultra. You can find the Default Landing Page settings on the Administrator Panel in the The Ultra experience is here! section.

More on changing the Ultra landing page


Grade group discussions

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Experience

To support instructors who design assessments using groups, we've added the ability to assign grades for group discussions. Instructors may want to use discussion groups to help students feel more comfortable conversing in a course because fewer people are involved. Group discussions can also help students feel freer to speak their minds or encourage students with opposing viewpoints to respectfully make their points.

Instructors can now assign grades to group members in a discussion. Assign grades to individual students to assess their contribution in the context of the group discussion.

More on how to grade a group discussion


Icons to indicate new activity

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Course View

Students and instructors want a high-level view of what's happened in their course since they last visited. Are there new discussion posts? Has someone posted a message in the assignment conversation? Rather than having to open each item to see this information, users can now identify items with new activity directly on the Course Content page.

Course activity indicators are being introduced on multiple items in the next few releases. This enhancement is in direct response to client feedback on Ultra's usability.


Maintenance items for 3300.8.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3300.8.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

  • 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.
  • An updated version of the Blackboard Partner Cloud Building Block (1.7.2017021408) is bundled with this release.
  • When a student received a 0 score for a graded item, it appeared as negative on the My Grades page in the Original Course View. This issue has been resolved.
  • In both experiences, users who requested a new password weren't obligated to enter a new password when navigating to Learn using the recovery link emailed to them. This issue has been resolved.
  • When exporting a course from the Ultra experience, some course IDs weren't appearing in Firefox. This issue has been resolved.
  • After upgrading to the 3300.0.0 release, the Default Course View option was reset to Original Course View. This issue has been fixed.
  • We’ve improved the LTI launch behavior when the tool is configured to launch automatically.
  • The following Crocodoc to New Box View issues have been addressed:
    • Inline comments were appearing as HTML. 
    • Students replying to instructor comments received an error message regarding session expiration. The vendor has addressed this issue.

Save draft discussion posts

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Course View

When formulating a discussion response, each student has a preferred way of collecting thoughts. Similarly, instructors may want to save their initial reactions and have the chance to revise a draft before saving it for all course members to read.

In this release, we've added the ability to save a draft discussion post to support students and instructors who write drafts before they contribute to a discussion. The Save Draft option can be particularly useful for students participating in a graded discussion.

More on how to save a draft response


Users can receive notifications via SMS text message

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.8.0 | Release to Production 2 February 2018
Ultra Experience

Ultra users are notified of various events and activities in courses from the Activity Stream. However, users must log in to see this information, and they may want to be made aware of these notifications when not logged into Learn. To support this, we have added capabilities to send notifications through SMS text messages.

You and your users can choose which notifications to receive and how often from the Activity Stream and Profile. Along with the Activity Stream and email notifications, SMS notifications is part of Blackboard’s solution for providing notification modality to all users based on their preferences.

More on how to enable SMS notifications in Blackboard Learn SaaS


Add and view feedback in a peek panel

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

Starting with this release, instructors can add feedback in a peek panel in assessments and graded discussions. Previously, the feedback editor appeared at the top of the page, which made it a challenge for instructors and graders to refer to parts of the submission that appeared further down on the page. Now, the feedback panel persists on the side of the screen, so the user can scroll through the assignment and add overall feedback. When the grade and feedback are posted, students can view the feedback in a peek panel as well.

Instructors will also notice that the feedback area now uses the new editor.


Add feedback to multiple attempts quickly

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

This release includes optimizations to the grading workflow to help save instructors time. To help instructors grade multiple attempts more quickly and provide specific feedback to students, we've added another access point on the Submissions panel. The Add Feedback icon appears next to each attempt listed in the Submissions panel, shortening the workflow when instructors add feedback.


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


Analytics for Learn reports available in Ultra

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

If your institution has the A4L Building Block, instructors can access reports in the Analytics area of the Ultra Course View.

This feature allows instructors to access A4L analytics reports in Ultra just as they did in Original courses. These reports allow users to see how their course is performing compared to other students or courses within their department. The A4L reporting engine is a separate tool with its own database. The reports that are generated pull from Blackboard Learn data as well as institutional sources.

More on how instructors can access Analytics for Learn reports in the Ultra Course View

A4L code will now be bundled into releases for SaaS Continuous Delivery deployments. Clients will be required to update the version information to match the Analytics for Learn Extraction Data Version within the settings page for the building block. Affected clients will be notified directly by Client Support.


Conditional release of course content based on student performance

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

Instructors and instructional designers may want to release content to students incrementally, rather than all at once, to achieve a more tailored and personalized pedagogical experience. To support this, we have introduced functionality to Ultra courses to define rules that control the release of content to students based on performance.

An instructor can set conditional availability for a content item or folder in the Ultra Course View and choose the minimum score a student must achieve on a graded item before being able to access the new item. Access rules can be based on graded items or gradebook columns. Additional types of access rules will be released in the future.

More on how instructors release content based on rules


Embed videos in the new content editor

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Ultra Experience

The Ultra experience includes a new content editor, which is being introduced to certain areas of the application with each new release. Starting with this release, you can use the Insert Video option to insert an embedded video directly into the updated content editor. Simply paste the video source, add alternative text, and save – the editor automatically embeds the video so it appears alongside the other content you include. Students can watch the video within the same window, without having to navigate to the video's host site.


Grade calculations

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

A previous release improved consistency of grade rounding and presentation across pages including Grade Center, gradebook download, and My Grades. This is further improved by updating those pages along with APIs (Building Blocks and REST) to all use Java BigDecimal for calculations, increasing consistency in edge cases where different Java methods may have rounded or calculated differently.


Improved LTI user experience

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

Course tools designated as “student tools” are now located in the student Tools area to improve the user experience and align the location of LTI tools with Building Block tools. Instructors can show/hide the tool in the student Tools area and create links to the tool in Content Areas.


Institution Page

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Ultra Experience

An institution’s staff members, such as administrators, often want to use Blackboard Learn to communicate with instructors and students and to make resources easily accessible and available to the learning community. The Institution Page supports the administrator’s ability to make information available to many users.

In conjunction with Targeted Notifications, the introduction of the Institution Page is a key component in bringing the Tabs and Modules functionality currently available in the Original experience to Ultra. The Institution Page provides users static information that they may find useful, such as help desk links, library resources, advisor info, and any other bit of text/hyperlinking that they need to be aware of. Over time additional modules will be added as well as the ability to convey 3rd party tools/content. 

More on how to get started with the Institution Page

The Institution Page is on in the base navigation by default. To hide the Institution Page from users other than administrators, hide all modules from users. Administrators always have access to the Institution Page in the base navigation.

Availability

The Institution Page feature is being introduced to Blackboard Learn Ultra gradually based on the client’s data region. Currently, Institution Pages are available in North America. We’ll introduce the feature in additional regions according to the tentative schedule below:

  • North America: Currently available
  • Europe and Sydney: Currently available
  • Singapore: Targeted for Q1 2018
  • GovCloud: TBD

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


Maintenance items for 3300.6.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3300.6.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • In some environments, when attempting a test or assignment with math equation images, students were unable to view the image. This error was due to the image not being stored in the appropriate permanent storage location and has been resolved.
  • When changing course availability in the Ultra experience, the padlock icon was difficult to visually distinguish as open or closed. The padlock icon has been updated to more clearly show the open or closed state.
  • Some error messages have been updated to provide more context for users. For example, empty title or message fields in Targeted Notifications say Please type a title or Please type a message respectively, instead of simply Required.
  • In the Original Course View, users who connected to and browsed content from McGraw-Hill and returned to Blackboard Learn were unable to exit the course. This issue has been fixed with the improvements made to LTI launch return behavior.
  • When viewing an Ultra graded discussion on a mobile device, students who viewed the settings saw a blank page. This issue has been fixed.
  • Group assessment grades in the Ultra Course View were not consistently saving when instructors graded and posted from the Submissions view. This issue has been fixed.

New content editor in discussions, conversations, documents, feedback, and assessment questions

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

We've enhanced the content editor to use more intuitive iconography and organization. Use the options in the menu to format text and paragraphs. You can also insert links and images using a simplified workflow. This new editor will be introduced to other areas of the application over the next few releases.


New text editor in targeted notifications

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Ultra Experience

We've enhanced the content editor to use more intuitive iconography and organization. Use the options in the menu to format text and paragraphs. You can also insert links and images using a simplified workflow. This new editor will be introduced to other areas of the application over the next few releases.

More on targeted notifications in the Ultra experience


Password reset improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

Requests using Blackboard Learn's native password reset feature now expire after 15 minutes, improving security of the reset link.


Post all grades at once

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

This release includes optimizations to the grading workflow to help save instructors time. Instructors now have the option of posting all grades for an item at once rather than for individual students. Instructors can release a student's grade and feedback when they finish grading each attempt, but some prefer to grade multiple items in succession. To help facilitate this grading preference, we've added an option for instructors to post all of those grades at one time, rather than one-by-one.

More on how instructors assign, edit, and post grades 


Record attendance in Blackboard Learn

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

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 Ultra 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 on attendance for administrators

More on how instructors can set up and record attendance


Students enter group Collaborate rooms with presenter privileges

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

Within a group assignment or test, group members may want to communicate with each other about the questions, division of labor, or to review each others’ contributions. For institutions who use Collaborate, groups can use a standing Collaborate session to interact in real-time if the instructor has allowed conversations on the item. Now, when students enter the group Collaborate room, they each have presenter privileges to let them take advantage of more features, such as white boards and application sharing.

More on presenting in a Collaborate session


Support for large monitors

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.6.0 | Release to Production 12 January 2018
Ultra Experience

To improve the user experience on larger screens, the Ultra interface now spans the entire browser window. Previously, the Ultra interface was restricted to a maximum width to ensure consistent appearance and behavior. Now, users can increase the amount of screen real estate the Ultra experience occupies, if they prefer.


Re-release of 3300.2 (Continuous Delivery hotfix)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 22 December 2017
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

To ensure quality, we've worked to resolve a number of issues identified in Blackboard Learn SaaS 3300.2.0 continuous delivery release.

More information is available on Behind the Blackboard


Cumulative Update 1 for FDO Q4 2017 (release 3300.0.1)

Blackboard Learn SaaS Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2017 (v3300.0.0)
Original Experience

Cumulative Update (CU) 1 for the Q4 2017 Flexible Deployment Option (FDO) release of Blackboard Learn SaaS is available.


Copy content between Ultra courses

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 10 November 2017
Ultra Course View

Courses are designed by instructors or instructional designers to include various content (files, assessments, etc.) and there is often a need to easily find and re-use this content between their separate courses. In this release, instructors can now copy content between Ultra courses they teach.

This capability lets an instructor copy content from one course to another in a granular way. Often times an instructor wants to reuse only parts of a previous course they have taught. Our new content copy functionality allows an instructor to dive into any courses they teach and pick and choose the content they want to bring into a new Ultra course.

More on how to copy content from other Ultra courses


Instructors can send messages with an email copy

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 10 November 2017
Ultra Course View

Instructors want the option to ensure message communications within Learn Ultra courses are also sent to users' email inboxes. Sending an email copy to a student increases the likelihood that students see, read, and act on important announcements and course messages.

To send an email copy, the instructor simply checks a box on the New Message panel.


Maintenance items for 3300.2.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 10 November 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3300.2.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 10 November 2017
Ultra Experience

  • Users may have encountered an error when editing more than one setting for their Activity Stream at a time. This issue has been resolved.
  • Instructors sometimes encountered a permissions error when accessing attachments on student submissions. This issue has been resolved.
  • A calendar event error message was improperly translated in the Korean language pack. The message has been properly translated for users viewing Learn Ultra in Korean.
  • Users viewing Blackboard on IE11 would be prompted to log in to MS Office when opening an Office 2016 file. This issue has been resolved.

New content editor in Messages

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 10 November 2017
Ultra Experience

We've enhanced the content editor to use more intuitive iconography and organization. Use the options in the menu to format text and paragraphs. You can also insert links and images using a simplified workflow. This new editor will be introduced to other areas of the application over the next few releases.


SafeAssign now available in Ultra Course View

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 10 November 2017
Ultra Course View

Instructors want to educate students about best practices in writing and teach the importance of academic citations. SafeAssign is a powerful, automated way to provide real-time originality results for both students and instructors. SafeAssign has long been an established tool available within the Learn Original Experience; with this release, we bring the capabilities of SafeAssign to Ultra courses, starting with Assignment and Test submissions.

Instructors can enable SafeAssign in the settings area of both tests and assignments. As students submit their work, their text answers and any attachments are scanned for potential matches with academic sources and other online publications. An Originality Report is created to show the instructor how much of the student's submission may have been plagiarized material. Instructors can also let students view the Originality Report following their submissions.

More on how instructors enable SafeAssign in Ultra assignments


Users can receive notifications via email

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3300.2.0 | Release to Production 10 November 2017
Ultra Experience

Ultra users are notified of various events and activities in courses from the Activity Stream. However, users must log in to see this information, and they may want to be made aware of these notifications when not logged into Learn. To support this, we have added capabilities to send notifications through email.

You and your users can choose which notifications to receive and how often from the Activity Stream and Profile.

More on how to set up email notifications

More on how notifications map between the Original and Ultra experiences


Flexible Deployment Option Q4 2017

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q4 2017 (3300.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers will soon be available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3200.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule

More information on the FDO Q4 2017 on Behind the Blackboard


Additional UX refinements based on client feedback

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

We are continually refining the user experience based on feedback from clients using Ultra. The following changes are introduced with this release:

  • Instructors can edit student discussion posts – Instructors need the ability to edit student posts for a variety of reasons. Previously, this capability was available directly within the discussion interface, which created a scenario that could lead to inadvertent editing. In this release, the workflow for instructors to edit student posts has been moved to an overflow menu and is part of a deliberate workflow.
  • Group discussion visual treatment – Group discussions now include a visual indicator to help instructors understand and access group information for a discussion. The Course Content page now includes the groups icon and text indicating how many groups are associated with the item (for example: 2 groups).

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.


Embed Content Market files in the content editor

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

The Content Market allows instructors to add links to tools, materials, publishers, and open educational resources to their courses. Instructors and course designers authoring in the Content Editor can access the Content Market to add links to various tools and resources in the context of other materials. This will provide more pedagogical flexibility and a better student experience.

Initially, we will work with existing partners and vendors to deliver text editor content discovery via the Content Market or configured LTI tools. Later, we will work with select media partners (e.g. Kaltura) to offer additional content sources. This capability complements existing LTI-based media partners already configured in the Content Market via the ability to add LTI placements within the course outline.

More on how instructors add external content in the editor


Maintenance items for 3300.0.0

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

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3300.0.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


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


Miscellaneous updates

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

  • New column sub-heading for total points: For each column in the grid view of the gradebook, you can view the total points for each item or calculation and easily see the grade each student earned.
  • Instructors no longer see intermittent permissions errors when attempting to view attachments on student submissions
  • An updated version of the Respondus LockDown Browser Building Block (3.5.0) is bundled with this release.
  • The SAML Building Block now supports SNI
  • An issue with editing content items has been resolved
  • An issue with embedded media files not playing in assessment questions has been fixed
  • Email settings are preserved when copying materials into an existing course
  • Students whose course access has been disabled no longer appear in group membership lists
  • Timed assessments sometimes automatically submitted student work prior to the time limit. This issue has been resolved.
  • Instructors using the Brazilian Portuguese language pack no longer have trouble overriding grades using decimals (,)
  • The Rubric type dropdown list appears in courses when the Learn 2016 theme is enabled for the environment
  • In the Original Course View, due date settings and rubric associations are retained when an entire forum is copied
  • Usernames are required when creating new accounts via the LIS 2.0 SIS Framework
  • When creating a content item in the Original Course View, images attached using the content editor would break if the filename contained the word 'portfolio.' This issue has been fixed.
  • In the Original Course View, unavailable graded forums with due dates no longer appear in the To Do module

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.


Support for IMS Global's LTI Content-Item Message Standard: Add teaching tools via LTI from provider's site

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

Content-Item message 1.0 is an LTI specification for exchanging content between LTI tools and Blackboard Learn. Many types of content can be shared, such as static links, embedded images or other media types and files, extending the LTI toolbox and streamlining the process of setting up an LTI tool link. Content-Item message enables external (LTI) tools to appear in the same way that internal tools do.

This enhancement provides another time savings for instructors and course builders: you can now add third-party content from a trusted provider's website directly, without having to navigate back to Learn. Additionally, instructors can add multiple pieces of content at once. Select and import the pieces of content to add to your Learn course, rather than adding each piece of content individually. These abilities depend on how the provider's content is configured.

More on LTI Content-Item message at the IMS Global website


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

 


Maintenance items for 3200.12.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.12.0 | Release to Production 19 September 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3200.12.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.12.0 | Release to Production 19 September 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • When uploading a file through the content editor, the error message has been replaced to provide better guidance.
  • Course visibility confirmation messages have been updated to explain how availability is tied to academic terms. Instructors and course builders have different options for course availability when the course is associated with an academic term:
    • When a course is associated with an active term, it can be completed but not made private.
    • When a course is associated with a past or future term, it can’t be made available.
  • After a course is converted from the Original Course View to the Ultra Course View, users can download and open content attachments missing file extensions/MIME types without needing to choose the appropriate program.
  • Gradebook grid view has been refactored to improve performance and reduce bugs.
  • An updated version of the Partner Cloud Building Block (v1.7.2017021367) is bundled with this release.
  • The Sharp Building Block (v. 1.1.51) has been unbundled from this release.

Timestamp revealed on hover

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.12.0 | Release to Production 19 September 2017
Ultra Course View

Instructors want greater visibility into when students submit their assignment and test attempts. The submission time is even more important when students submit past the due date.

With this release, instructors can point to a submission timestamp to view more information. Timestamps appear on students' submission pages. If an instructor allowed multiple attempts, they can point to the timestamp on a student's attempts panel to view the date and time of submission, if the submission is late, and when the instructor posted a grade.

More on timestamps in assignments


Add a custom institution logo

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.10.0 | Release to Production 24 August 2017
Ultra Experience

Institutions often want to promote their brand through their online properties, including their teaching and learning platform. In this release, administrators can add an institution logo to the Learn Ultra login page as well as the base navigation in the Ultra experience.

More on institution branding in the Ultra experience


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).


Gradebook improvements

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

We’ve improved the gradebook list to provide more information for students regarding graded items with multiple attempts. Now students can easily see whether they have opened the assessment, if they’ve started an attempt, and whether or not they’ve submitted attempts on time. The gradebook list also shows the number of attempts possible for a given item.

More on how students view grades


Maintenance items for 3200.10.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.10.0 | Release to Production 24 August 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3200.10.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.10.0 | Release to Production 24 August 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • Instructor feedback on manually created gradebook items now displays for students as expected.
  • In the Original Course View, instructors are shown updated help text on the Email Settings page. The instructions now indicate that some settings may be restricted by the institution administrator.
  • We’ve fixed LTI links in the Ultra Course View to launch properly in mobile browsers and Blackboard apps.
  • We’ve fixed an issue with loading longer lists of content folders on the Course Content page in the Ultra Course View.
  • We’ve fixed an issue in the administrator Grade Center reports. Previously, grade columns were not appearing for courses using the Original Course View.
  • We’ve fixed an issue that created a new session for users who login to Learn using SAML or CAS authentication. This release resolves any conflicts arising from ceasing an existing session, including problems with assessments that used force completion.
  • An updated version of the McGraw-Hill Connect and Create Building Block (v2.4.2017020074) is bundled with this release.
  • Message text has been updated for course builders who remove a member from a course:
    • Remove Member?
      When you remove members from your course, all of their grades, activity logs, and data are deleted. Are you sure you want to remove this member?
  • We’ve rewritten error messages on the calendar to be more useful. When a user types an invalid date or time, the error message describes the required format:
    • Please type a date in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY.
    • Please type a time in the following format: 00:00 AM.

Original Course View messages appear in base navigation

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.10.0 | Release to Production 24 August 2017
Ultra Experience

With the Ultra experience enabled at the system level, an institution can decide whether to use the Ultra or Original Course Views for their courses. Institutions can also use a dual course view approach, with some courses using Ultra and others using Original.

In this release, messages in Original courses now appear in the Messages section of the Ultra base navigation, allowing students and instructors to read, delete, or reply to their messages across all courses, regardless of which course view those courses use.

More on how students use messages

More on how instructors use messages


Quicker access for assessment details

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

During assignment or test creation, instructors often need quick access to details and settings, such as grading schemas, rubrics, or groups. Students may also need to view this information while they draft a submission. In this release, details and settings are linked so that instructors and students can click on the details and quickly see more about the item’s settings. These improvements are the result of client feedback during an Ultra pilot period.


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.


Discussion Forum Insights enhancements

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

Several enhancements have been made to Discussions Forum Insights in the Ultra Course View. Panels have been rearranged to highlight important insights, and new calculations have been added, such as total number of participants who opened the discussion without replying. When an instructor sends a message to non-participating students within Learn, a message appears: Each recipient receives your message as a blind carbon copy to ensure privacy.

More on viewing discussion statistics


LTI improvements

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

In the Original Course View, LTI links now open in a lightbox within the course, rather than directing users to a new window or tab. Now, LTI links load within the same window from where they are launched, creating a consistent and contained workflow for students. When launching an LTI tool from an Ultra course, a new message appears to confirm success or failure:

  • Success!
    We launched your selected LTI tool.
  • Oops, something went wrong. 
    We couldn't launch your selected LTI tool.

Maintenance items for 3200.8.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.8.0 | Release to Production 28 July 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3200.8.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.8.0 | Release to Production 28 July 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

  • Internet Explorer 11 is supported for the Ultra login page.
  • Overdue notifications no longer appear in the activity stream for students who have submitted at least one attempt on time for a multiple-attempt assessment.
  • Performance improvements have been made to address memory leaks. Performance began to suffer during longer sessions in which the user navigated to multiple areas of Ultra. This release addresses those issues.
  • The text editor's save and cancel behavior has been improved.
  • The instructor view of attachments on individual attempts in a multiple-attempt assessment has been fixed.
  • Submission receipts have been localized into the user's chosen language.
  • Inserting HTML into the text editor no longer locks the browser.
  • Visibility settings are inherited when a whole course's content is copied into a new Ultra course.
  • To help differentiate course members with identical names, the username has been added to the user card in the Ultra course roster and other areas such as Messages.
  • Instructors can delete feedback on a graded item.
  • When a course in the Ultra Course Preview is set as available to students from the Courses page, a new message appears: Finalizing conversion…
  • An updated version of the Pearson MyLabs Mastering Building Block (v3.201.2017020601) is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the VitalSource Building Block (v3.101.201702475) is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Partner Cloud Building Block (v1.7.2017021354) is bundled with this release.
  • Text in Discussions in the Ultra Course View has been updated for consistency:
    • Delete Response?
      Are you sure you want to permanently delete this response from the discussion? Replies to this response remain unless you choose to delete them.
    • Delete Reply?
      Are you sure you want to permanently delete this reply to remove it from the discussion?
    • Make an initial post to start a discussion.
  • Text in conversations on course content items in the Ultra Course View has been updated:
    • Delete Response?
      You can delete this response to remove it from the conversation.
  • A message that appears for students working on timed assessments has been updated:
    • Timer is still active
      The timer will continue to count down when you close your draft. Your work is automatically saved and submitted when time is up.

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.


Require students to post first in discussions

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

Instructors want to promote originality of thought in course discussions. Now, instructors can require students to post their own responses before seeing other students' posts. Instructors can choose this option when they create new discussions or edit existing discussions (as long as there are no student responses or replies). With the setting enabled, students only see the instructor's initial post. This allows them to reply with their own thoughts and ideas, unbiased by their peers' contributions. After the student submits their response, the rest of the responses and replies in the discussion are revealed to them.

More on discussion settings

The Post First option isn't available in group discussions at this time, but will be included in a future release.


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


LTI links open within an Ultra course

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.6.0 | Release to Production 23 June 2017
Ultra Course View

Previously, when a user clicked an LTI link in the course outline, the link opened in a new window with no connection back to the Ultra course. Additional windows can create a disorienting user experience, and can be problematic for institutions that rely heavily on LTI tools to provide content for courses. Now, LTI links load within the same window from where they are launched, creating a consistent and contained workflow for students.

More on how to set up and configure LTI in Learn SaaS


Maintenance items for 3200.6.0

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

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3200.6.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

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

  • Blackboard Learn SaaS is officially certified in the LTI 2.0 standard.
  • Course copy via SIS integration behavior has changed. To maintain server speed and prevent unnecessary database job queues, only two course copy jobs can run concurrently in the cluster.
  • Improvements have been made to notifications regarding late or overdue activity in the Ultra experience. The activity stream exhibited confusing behavior regarding due dates in restored courses, or when due dates had been changed.
  • For auto-graded assessments that have been submitted past the due date, instructors now can overwrite the grade in the grade pill where the grade is automatically calculated.
  • SAML sign on failures now include a unique identifier, allowing administrators to trace what went wrong with a user's specific login attempt.
  • Content visibility settings are preserved when exporting and importing courses using the Ultra Course View.
  • An updated version of the Partner Cloud Building Block (v1.7.2017021340) is bundled with this release.
  • An updated version of the Qwickly Building Block (v.3.7.3) is bundled with this release.
  • Text has been changed in assessments with multiple allowed attempts. When a user opens an assessment that is past due, a message now states: Past due. This attempt will be marked late. This helps to clarify that any additional attempts submitted after the due date will be marked late, but the attempts submitted prior to the due date satisfy the deadline.
  • Text has changed in the Profile area of the Ultra experience. When a user selects their privacy settings,
    • The options for students now include:
      • Only instructors
      • Anyone in my courses
      • Administrators and anyone in my courses
    • Instructors and Administrators see the following options:
      • Administrators and other instructors
      • Anyone in my courses
      • Administrator and anyone in my courses

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.


Performance improvements

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

A number of performance enhancements have been made throughout the Ultra experience to increase page loads times and overall speed. Ultra has also been tuned to retain better performance over longer periods of use. Noticeable performance gains can be enjoyed in the following areas:

  • Login page
  • Administrator Console loading within the Ultra base navigation
  • Text editing
  • Discussions loading
  • Assessments loading
  • Course list

Additional areas will be addressed in upcoming releases.


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


Accessibility update to the first-time user experience

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

When a user first logged in to Blackboard Learn with the Original experience, an overlay appeared on the screen to highlight key navigation elements. The overlay caused a frustrating user experience for those using assistive technologies and has been removed to improve overall accessibility.


Accessibility update to the login screen

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

The login screen for Blackboard Learn with the Ultra experience has been updated to improve accessibility. Instead of the username and password labels disappearing when a user inputs text in these fields, the labels now jump above the field and persist. Most institutions don’t need to do anything to see this change, but those with custom login pages should update their page with a line of JavaScript to enable animations:

<bbNG:jsFile href=“/ui-ultra/js/login-page.js” />


Ally: Support for files attached with Content Editor

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

Ally, an optional solution for improving accessibility of course materials, now supports files attached in the Content Editor. Presently this support is limited to certain content types such as “Item.” Instructors see accessibility scores for these attachments, students can download more accessible alternative versions of those files, and administrators will be able to report on the collective accessibility of these additional files.


Assessment randomization

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

To support practice/drilling activities, as well as helping to avoid academic dishonesty, instructors have the option to change the order in which questions are displayed to individual students. This capability will permit this randomization of the order of questions within a test or assignment. In a future release, we will provide an option to randomize the order of question answers as well.

More on how to randomize questions in a test


Attachments in discussions, questions, feedback, and comments

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

Faculty and students want the ability to include images, files, and other content when creating assignments and interacting within discussions, questions, feedback, and conversations. Inserting multimedia allows students and faculty to engage in richer communication and expression within Ultra.

Users can now upload files and images using the text editor in these areas of an Ultra course. A status indicator shows the upload's progress. Users can include a link to the uploaded content or show it inline alongside the text.

More on attaching files in the Ultra Course View


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


Course copy improvements

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

Institutions often use courses as templates for future instruction. Previously, when a course contained an LTI link to a specific piece of content, such as a chapter within an eBook, the link would break in a copied course, causing frustration and confusion. This issue is resolved in this release.

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.


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.


Discussion forum insights

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

Instructors want to understand the contribution—or sometimes lack of contribution!—of students in a discussion to encourage participation and help assess student contribution for a grade. The discussion forum insights provide a top-down window into the activity happening within a discussion. Information available includes word count, top participating students, top activity, and average grade (if a graded discussion).

More on how to view discussion analytics


Guest access to the Course Catalog

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3200.4.0 | Release to Production 2 June 2017
Ultra Experience, Original Course View

Some institutions would like to use their LMS to support self-enrollment in courses, with or without e-commerce, to allow students to browse and join courses on-the-fly. We’ve added a new API attribute that will allow direct guest access to preview Original courses in the Ultra experience.


LTI 2.0 Technical Preview

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

Partners, customers, and Blackboard can use the LTI 2.0 specification to create solution integrations that are accessible from various access points in both the Ultra and Original experiences. Specifically, the LTI 2.0 registration (tool proxy) services are supported along with the results service for returning scores to the gradebook. Other LTI services and specifications including Content Item messages and Gradebook services (formerly Rich Outcomes) are not supported at this time.


Maintenance items for 3200.4.0

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

You can now view maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3200.4.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Miscellaneous updates

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

  • SAML Building Block now supports the SHA-256 algorithm
  • Improvements to fix visual bugs in Ultra language packs
  • Comment icons have been updated for consistency
  • Icons throughout the system have been replaced to use SVG files
  • Ally Integration Reports no longer open in a pop up window
  • Users can upload PDF files to Educator Preview environments
  • Auto-save behavior has been removed from individual questions when creating an assessment in the Ultra Course View. Instructors are now prompted to manually save individual questions as they create assessments.
  • Updated versions of the Mobile Web Services Building Block (v3200.4.0), McGraw-Hill Higher Education Building Block (v2.3.2017020076) and WileyPlus Building Block (v2.1.201604543) are bundled with this release
  • The text dividing assessment and submission content has been changed for questionless tests as follows:
    • Assessments without questions: Student content appears at the end of each submission
    • Assessments with questions: If students add additional content, it appears at the end of each submission
  • Assessment load times have improved to support a greater number of students and questions

Profile redesign

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

Students and instructors need a way to access and update their information quickly and easily. In this release, we've redesigned the profile in the Ultra experience to do that. Now users can edit their personal information, contact information, and system settings in one place. The new design reduces the number of clicks and screens a user had to navigate to edit their profile.

More on the Ultra profile


Time zone visibility

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

Institutions that deliver education across the globe need clear visibility of times and time zones within Ultra from the perspective of each instructor and student. This enhancement brings transparency to displayed times, showing the time zone information relative to the user viewing that time within critical areas such as assessments and student submissions.

Time zone behavior in Ultra remains unchanged, recording all times in UTC time and then normalizing that time relative to the end user’s time zone.


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


Flexible Deployment Option Q2 2017

The Blackboard Learn SaaS Q2 2017 (3200.0.0) release for Flexible Deployment Option customers is available. Contact Blackboard Support to schedule your upgrade for the time and date that works best for you.

This release includes features released as part of continuous delivery releases since 3100.0.0. Use the category filter to narrow down the list of features in this latest release.

More on the FDO release schedule

More information on the FDO Q2 2017 on Behind the Blackboard


Blackboard Learn SaaS: Q1 2017 Summary

In the early months of 2017, Blackboard released multiple new features, enhancements, and maintenance items to customers on the Learn SaaS continuous delivery deployment.

Here is a snapshot of that work, representing four Production environment releases in Q1 2017:

  • 13 new features released, including localized user interface, integration with Blackboard Ally, LTI improvements, enhancements to discussions and assessments in the Ultra Course View, and more
  • 7 long-term performance and scalability initiatives achieved
  • 600+ maintenance items fixed on the backend and frontend, including both Original and Ultra experiences and course views

Thank you for helping us build this momentum. We’re eager to share more of these achievements as the year progresses. Refer to the full release notes to learn more about the details and cadence of Blackboard Learn SaaS releases.


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.


Discussion enhancements

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

When a user opens a discussion, unread comments are highlighted for simpler navigation. An additional level of replies is also available to keep the discussion going.


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


Locale selection

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

Administrators now have the ability to choose the default system and course language for the Blackboard Learn SaaS user interface. Additional locales are available for languages other than English. When enabled by the administrator, users can choose their default locale from their Profile. Instructors can not set course languages.

Right-to-left languages, such as Arabic, are not yet available in Blackboard Learn SaaS. Custom language packs are not supported at this time.


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.