Authentication lockout

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

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

Students: What to do when you're locked out | Instructors: What to do when you're locked out | Administrators: Configure Account Lock Settings

Open file upload warning for Edge browser users

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

Students: Browser support | Instructors: Browser support | Administrators: Browser support

Course availability controls

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

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

Instructors: Set course availability

Needs Grading filter selection is remembered

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

Instructors: Grade multiple attempts

Legacy authentication type removed

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

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

Administrators: Authentication framework

Java 11

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

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

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

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

Administrators: Java 11 FAQs