This page contains features and updates currently on Learn SaaS Test/Stage and Production environments. Visit Archived SaaS Release Notes to see features and updates in older versions.

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Bb Annotate enhancements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery | Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

Starting on Tuesday, November 24th, PDF files will be flattened for the BbAnnotate preview when uploaded for an assignment. On PDFs, text comment annotations made prior to submission will appear as yellow boxes in the document and will not be movable or collapsible. Drawings, pictures, shapes, and other annotations that are not comments will appear normally and also won't be movable after flattening.

When the file is flattened, students can also see their drawable annotations made with iPad or Microsoft Surface pens on PDF preview before the professor grades it. Currently students cannot see annotations until after professor grades it, which can cause confusion about whether the file appears correctly.

This enhancement is an additional security layer in BbAnnotate to prevent forgeable re-submissions of professor annotations. It also resolves an issue where iPad annotations (APStreams) weren’t appearing on annotated PDFs.

This change only affects PDFs submitted in the future. Previously uploaded files (including files with iPad annotations) will render as they have been.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.57+59c5f28) to client Production servers during off-hours on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an instructor copied a journal from one Ultra course to another, all journals from the first course were copied to the second. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, some Collaborate sessions didn’t appear in the Join Session overflow menu. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, response feedback for the Grade Questions feature of the Grade Center was missing the new content editor, and text entered into the box there wouldn’t save. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Unannotated Box documents wouldn’t load in Bb Annotate. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • The download button for the Insight Report (Beta) for administrators wouldn’t respond or create a CSV. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When restoring a merged course from an archive, Learn only restored the parent course and not its child course(s). We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When a Redis connection failed, Learn didn't attempt to reconnect, so users had to manually retry their task. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.2.0: Update to client Test/Staging environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.2.0 (full release number 3900.2.0-rel.11+071cf8e) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an instructor copied a journal from one Ultra course to another, all journals from the first course were copied to the second. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Ultra Course View, some Collaborate sessions didn’t appear in the Join Session overflow menu. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, response feedback for the Grade Questions feature of the Grade Center was missing the new content editor, and text entered into the box there wouldn’t save. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Unannotated Box documents wouldn’t load in Blackboard Annotate. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Ally wouldn’t work in Learn when alternative domains were enabled. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When a Redis connection failed, Learn didn't attempt to reconnect, so users had to manually retry their task. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Final automatic archive files created after a course was deleted didn’t include enrolled user data. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • After an upgrade, some institutions had to manually uninstall and reinstall their Authentication Provider SAML building block because of a Postgres installation problem. We’ve fixed the issue.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Production environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View, Ultra Experience, Original Experience

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.46+e0d1a9b) to client Production servers during off-hours on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When an instructor copied a journal from one Ultra course to another, all journals from the first course were copied to the second. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Unannotated Box documents wouldn’t load in Bb Annotate. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • SAML logins intermittently failed on one app server at a time for a small number of institutions. We’ve fixed the issue.


Annotate comment enhancement

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.2.0 | Release to Production 3 December 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

Now, instructors can create multiple comments in Bb Annotate without needing to select the comment tool for every comment they add. 

The comment tool will get de-selected if an instructor scrolls through the document, but once they fit the document to the screen, the comment tool will stay selected.


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.42+47a7c9a) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • When D2L course content was imported into an Ultra course, document heading formatting was lost. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Some Ultra tests that use Respondus LockDown Browser added extra time permitted to the test time limit automatically, instead of presenting as two different time totals. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • If an Ultra test had a set time limit and then was set to require Respondus LockDown Browser, the time limit was removed. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When Ultra discussion boards were copied from a different course and Include only the forums, with no starter posts was selected, members of the destination course could only see the discussion name and couldn’t edit or reply to the discussion. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When an Original course was converted to Ultra Course View, unlinked journals were retained and slowed course content copying. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, if the Content Collection Availability was set to “No,” administrators couldn’t browse the Content Collection to restore a course from automatic archives. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • Institutions that use the Redis Cache Building Block couldn’t connect to the Redis service during high traffic periods. We’ve fixed the issue.


Blackboard Chatbot for Learn

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

We’re excited to announce the first availability of Blackboard Chatbot in Learn. Blackboard Chatbot is a free tool offered in Blackboard Learn that will be automatically available to SaaS clients in North America who have enabled the Ultra Base Navigation. It launches beginning on November 5, with the 3900.0.0 Learn SaaS production release. Some institutions may not see Chatbot in Learn until November 6.

Seamlessly integrated into Ultra Base Navigation and Ultra courses, Blackboard Chatbot provides always-on support. It returns answers to students' commonly asked Learn questions and issues directly from Blackboard Help. For this initial release, Blackboard Chatbot is available only in English.

To access Blackboard Chatbot, select the help icon in the bottom right. Then select Chat Support to open the Chatbot panel. Students can ask Blackboard Chatbot their questions or select from a pre-populated list. Chatbot uses machine learning to better serve your learners over time.

Blackboard Chatbot will be on by default, but administrators can manage its availability.

For more details about Blackboard Chatbot for Learn, visit the Community site


Learn SaaS release 3900.0.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.0.0 (full release number 3900.0.0-rel.28+4af3c58) to client Test/Stage servers during off-hours on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

Updates in this version include:

  • Based on user feedback, we’ve removed the blue background from course-related icons in the large icon update for Ultra Course View and base navigation.

  • In the Original Course View, some students could access private journal entries written by other students. Also, additional students couldn't post after the first student responded to the journal prompt. We’ve fixed the issue.

  • When Learn SaaS environments were updated, Original course and organization menus reverted to the default and customizations had to be reapplied. We’ve fixed the issue.


Content editor updates

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Course View, Original Experience

This release introduces big updates to the content editor in the Original Course View and the Original experience. We’ve made numerous simplifications and improvements, including:

  • A single menu to add content that automatically recognizes file types

  • Optimized experience for all devices and screen sizes

  • Better accessibility for both the editor and the content you create. Menus and icons have higher contrast, pop-ups are gone, and an accessibility checker lets you know about accessibility issues as you write

  • The ability to paste content from Word, Excel, and websites with basic formatting and easily remove extra HTML

  • The ability to paste a link in the editor and automatically embed videos and previews

  • The ability to display formatted computer code snippets

Institutions using custom language packs created for older versions of Learn have found they may need to update their language packs for the editor to work properly.

More on the Original content editor for students 

Visit the Community site for more details and guides you can use to share the changes at your institution


Blog performance

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Course View

In very large classes, performance is one of our top concerns. We’ve received feedback that including all students in the blog and journal view filter created slow loading times. To improve this performance, we’ve changed the view filter to display only those course members who have completed participation in the blog or journal activity. Non-participants are not displayed. For graded blogs or journals, instructors can display non-participants in the Grade Center.



Looking for older release notes?

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