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.

Filter the list of features to learn more.

More on Learn with the SaaS Deployment | Export the list of Known Issues | Access the latest API and database documentation | Blackboard Learn SaaS release notes archive

Looking for Blackboard Learn 9.1 release notes?

Follow this page to get email updates when we publish new release notes

View the SaaS release schedule


Highlight on bug fixes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an assignment was created with Anonymous Grading, some daily notifications and digest email received after submissions were made, contained the names of the students who have submitted them. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, in tests, some calculated numeric questions were wrongly marked as correct when the student introduced a combination of numeric values and letters in an answer that should be numerical only. We've fixed the issue and added a further explanation on the Help pages regarding supported types of input for scientific notation, units and constants.

  • In the Original Course View, when recipients were selected for an enterprise survey response period, there was no way to identify or exclude child sections of merged courses, which caused some students to receive two copies of each survey. We've fixed the issue.

You can view all 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 3900.10.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Proctoring Services Framework

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we are pleased to announce the delivery of a proctoring framework to allow proctoring providers to integrate their solutions with Learn Ultra. To support high stakes secured proctored examinations has become an important component of online learning provision. With the rapid shift to blended and fully online learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions have pivoted towards proctoring solutions to improve their capabilities to support online digital secured examinations. Thus, Blackboard has put together the necessary efforts and provide a mechanism to allow Proctoring solutions to be supported in the native Learn Ultra assessment flow.

With this release, Blackboard has developed a framework to allow proctoring providers to integrate their solutions into the native test settings of the Ultra Course View. By working closely with a number of key proctoring providers and the IMS Global Organization, Blackboard's Proctoring Framework has been built with a core focus on standards and interoperability in mind.

By leveraging and certifying against the very latest IMS LTI Proctoring standard and combining this open standards based approach with Blackboard’s own Premium APIs, we have been able to provide an extensible framework allowing partners and clients to build and deploy their integrations in Ultra. Alongside all Proctoring partners we are already working closely with, we expect to see many additional solutions and services within the assessment security realm aligning to this specification in the coming months.

Blackboard is the first and currently only LMS provider to be certified against this latest Proctoring specification.

The Proctoring Services Framework includes the following features to support instructor creation and student completion:

  • Configuration of proctoring provider: instructors can choose to configure a proctoring solution for a native Ultra test. Selecting the desired integration from the corresponding drop-down list will allow the proctoring integration to display their native settings inline.
  • New proctor secured detail and iconography: both instructors and students will see clear contextual detail and iconography in the assessment peak panel and also on the course outline indicating a test has been proctor secured.
  • Student launch: students who need to complete a proctor secured test in Ultra, will follow the same procedure for access as with a non-proctor secured test, but will include additional security settings as per the proctoring solution prior to assessment access.
  • Native Ultra assessment security: instructors can combine the flexibility of a proctor-secured test alongside the existing native Ultra access code functionality, supporting a more enhanced security flow for students taking an online test.
  • Native Ultra assessment setting support: instructors can continue to utilize the existing settings functionality with a proctor-secured assessment, including but not limited to class conversations, multiple attempts, grading categories, grading schema, automated feedback settings and additional tools depending on the selected question types used.

Proctor-secured assessments do not support group assignments


Dropping grades inside categories for overall grade calculation

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Experience and Ultra Course View, we are pleased to announce the delivery of dropping grades inside categories for overall grade calculations, as we understand flexibility is key in a LMS when we talk about managing final grades calculations for students, and there are different ways in which instructors and institutions would like to set what is considered in the overall grade calculations.

From this release on, instructors and other privileged roles will be able to decide if they want to add additional rules to how their overall grade is calculated when using calculation by categories. They'll be able to drop as many grades as they want (lowest/highest), as long as there are more items inside the category than dropped items, or to choose just the lowest or highest grade to be considered for that category. This feature serves a great variety of use cases, for instance, to help students at the end of the term or to remove outliers (highest/lowest) grades in order to get a better sense of students’ performance.

When rules are in place, students can gain access to their overall grade calculation details and see if some additional rules have been set by their instructors, which gives them clarity on how their grades are calculated and why their calculations might defer from the ones displayed in their gradebook.


Ultra messages: Unread message indication

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.13.0 | Release to Production 6 May 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We are pleased to announce the inclusion of Unread message indication for messages on the Ultra Base Navigation. This was a highly requested feature from our community, and we are excited to bring this capability to our clients. This solution will provide a clearly identifiable number count highlighting any new messages received for both Original and Ultra courses. When a user selects the Messages tool on the base navigation, the red number count will change to a red pill icon as to reduce distraction, but navigating away from this page will again show the unread message count. This capability will provide a greater level of transparency and engagement when new messages are sent and received for all users, and continues our commitment to enhancements for the Messages tool in Ultra.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 8 April 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.18+b85c058) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, we added a new guidance message to inform instructors about the new conditional release users & groups feature. The message was seen on documents by students as well, but it was only intended for users entitled to modify content availability. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when a student provided peer feedback that included an image, this attachment failed to download or wasn't even visible when the feedback was reviewed. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Delay for Continuous Delivery update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.18+b85c058) update to client Test/Staging servers, previously scheduled for Tuesday, March 30, 2021. We’ll update this note as soon as we’ve identified a new target date.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.17+81ba8fd) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra and Original Course Views, all course content pages displayed an error if the Blackboard Store B2 was installed and set to be available or unavailable. We've fixed the issue and removed the Blackboard Store B2 (which reached its end of life in 2016) with this upgrade.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.11+c24ca4f) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, when questions were imported from an Original unit, some of them got randomly and unnecessarily duplicated in the Ultra Question Banks. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, the Change Hostname option within the Admin authentication SAML settings returned the user to the Admin Panel page instead of changing the host name. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, when a Calculated Formula question was used in a test, if the answers used the exponential form (E-2, E-4, etc), with significant figures expressing the result, some right answers were marked as wrong, depending of the position of the decimal point. Also, the correct answer format field wasn't verified, students were able to answer a question with an incorrect format and the system would mark it as correct. We've fixed both issues.

Assignment with Peer Review for Qualitative Peer Assessment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we started to implement the developments we've projected to improve the Peer Review Assessments experience. This is a synthetized description of what we've prepared for this release.

Peer assessment is a practice becoming more common because it encourages development of students’ critical thinking abilities, gives them practice in critique of others in a professional manner, and allows for measurement of students’ analysis and communication skills. With this release, qualitative peer review can be enabled for an Assignment in the Ultra Course View. It’s simple for instructors and students to use, and has the following features:

  • Set different due dates for the initial assignment submission and the completion of peer review: Instructors can set how many reviews are expected from each student. Peers are assigned randomly and automatically.
  • Late submitters and reviewers remain part of the task and can continue to participate: Instructors can clearly see who was late. This is a huge improvement over the implementation in Original Course View and superior to implementations found it other learning management systems where students who are late on anything can no longer participate.
  • Tracking: Instructors can track students’ progress toward completion.
  • Rubrics: Students can see the rubric that will optionally be used for the grade. Instructors can grade using a rubric.
  • Complete, single view: When grading, the instructor can see all this information in a single view: the student’s submission, feedback provided by the students’ peers, and the feedback the current student gave to their peers.
  • Anonymous mode for students: The identities of peers are hidden from students but viewable by instructors.
  • Censoring: Instructors can hide reviews deemed inappropriate or harmful.

As this is a first release of the Peer Review option for Assignments, there are some relevant use cases that aren’t part of this development, but are planned as future improvements. Some of them include:

  • Quantitative peer reviews: While a peer can view a rubric for guidance on providing feedback, the rubric can’t be used by students to provide a score.
  • Non-anonymous mode for students: Names of peers are always hidden from students. If an instructor wants students to know who they evaluate, it is necessary to request students to add their names to their submissions. Hidden names from instructors are not supported in this release.
  • Groups: There is no direct group support yet. However, because the review period excludes non-submitters automatically, it’s possible to set up multiple assignments with Peer Review enabled and set Conditional Availability by group membership. This way, assigned peers will always be members within a student’s group. Group submissions aren’t supported in this release.
  • Multiple prompts with essay questions: In this release, only a single text prompt is supported for an Assignment with Peer Review. If there are multiple topics to which s student is to respond and receive feedback, those should all be outlined in a single prompt or broken up into several assignments.
  • Separate grades for students’ submissions and their reviews: In this release, there is a single grade and rubric for an assignment. If the instructor wishes to communicate different scores for those two parts of the process, those can be outlined in the feedback.

Conditional availability by users or groups

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we are pleased to announce the inclusion of a highly requested feature: conditional release by users and groups.

From this version on, Instructors and other roles with elevated rights, will be able to grant differentiated access to content based on their ultimate goals. As a new option to the conditional availability rules, already present in Ultra courses (date/time and performance-based rules), faculty can now allow certain students to have access to specific content while selecting one or both existing rules mentioned above.

This new feature will be an incredible addition to those who want to create remedial paths to certain students, give different content to undergraduate and postgraduate students in a course, among other use cases.


Disable notifications for users with high enrollments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

In both Original and Ultra Course Views, we've improved the timeliness and performance of notifications for all users (including emails, push notifications, Stream, and MyBlackboard) by no longer generating these notifications for users with more than 500 enrollments.

A user with this large volume of course enrollments will still have access to all course resources but won’t receive notifications regardless of their settings.

Typically, users enrolled in so many courses are support staff or instructional designers. We recommend administrators to configure these users to be node administrators instead, with privileges to enroll and unenroll themselves from any course in the appropriate Institutional Hierarchy nodes, and with access to all the courses they may need without enroll them. Enrollment availability or enablement states are not considered for a user to count as to have over 500 enrollment records.


Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Experience and Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.32+30fa709) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor is grading with a rubric a student's submission with a very long description in its content, the instructor needed to scroll down in order to see the submission and scroll up to see the rubric. We made this flow more comfortable, so the instructor can now see the submission and the rubric at the same time.
  • In the Original Course View and the Original Experience, within the Content Editor, a user won't be able to use copy and paste functionalities to transfer images from other sources. The user can include images with the Add Content workflow, as it used to be before version 3900.0. We've made this change to address performance problems that arose with certain large or numerous images. We’ll review whether it's possible to reintroduce this capability in the future.
  • In the Original Course View, when an XSS filter is applied to sanitize the content for different fields present in the plugin modules section, the fields are sanitized for both trusted and untrusted users as well. This behavior only occurred when a course tool was created via importing a package with the Import Package & Utilities  functionality. We fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.28+7eb0c69) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, in Assignments, Assessments and Journals, when a student inserted a math formula image it was replaced with a broken image and ALT text and the instructor couldn't see it properly in order to grade the submission. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when copied from an Original course, incompatible discussion board availability settings were retained, blocking access to current students. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when feedback was about to be recorded for an Assignment using Chrome, a misleading error message appeared instead of the expected recording controls and prevented the user to continue. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students were unable to view iframe content in the Notes area for Contacts, Tasks and Glossary posted by their instructor including YouTube and Kaltura uploaded content. We fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.22+d9cd600) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when an instructor entered grades in each category of rubric for an assignment with rubrics, the page reloaded and the focus was taken away from the comments and/or grade fields. We fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.8.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re applying an updated version of 3900.8.0 (full release number 3900.8.0-rel.19+5f99a51) to client Test/Stage servers on Friday, February 12, 2021

Updates in this version include:

  • Some Test/Stage environments encountered a deadlock during startup and couldn’t be upgraded. We’ve reverted the changes made while we gather the required diagnostic information to implement a permanent solution.
  • In the Ultra and Original Course Views, in Mobile, course messages had duplicated content in their push notifications and appeared encoded and unreadable to users. We’ve reverted the changes made while we verify a permanent solution.
  • In the Ultra Course View, in Mobile, course messages' push notifications were sent to sender users. We’ve fixed the issue (updated).
  • In the Original Course View, the Goal Performance Dashboard was failing on SaaS Servers for certain reports. We've fixed the issue.

Highlight on bug fixes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.8.0 | Release to Production 4 March 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, when a user created a TurnItIn assignment using the LTI 1.3 integration and clicked to access the LTI content on the Activity Stream, the peak panel was displayed empty. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, after a refractor process from SOAP to REST when grades were called from the Grade Centre, the REST public API was considerably slower. We managed to improve the response time and fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, where a calculated formula rounding was required, the number 5 was rounded down rather than rounded up for some values. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, after a performance improvement for the Blog View response times was made in the 3900.0 release, the workflow for grading non-participants was affected. When an instructor wanted to find non-participant users to grade them with zero, students were not visible in the blog or journal. We've reversed the related improvement changes until we find a permanent solution.

You can view all 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 3900.8.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Annotate information message

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

In the Original and Ultra Course Views, formatting space differences may be visible between the original uploaded document and the one rendered online for .docx, .doc, .ppt, and .pptx files. We've added an on-screen information message to let users know about this. The message appears anywhere where Bb Annotate is enabled, including the Mobile View. Instructors and students are able to download the original file as usual.



Looking for older release notes?

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