Administrators: Don't forget to read the Release Notes and check out the Communication and Adoption Toolkits for your release to help you drive awareness and adoption of these new features and updates at your institution.

Some of these resources are available in English only.

The following tables will help you to get familiar with the features available with the most recent updates to Blackboard Learn 9.1.

You can also check out BlackboardTV, the Blackboard YouTube channel, to view dozens of Blackboard Learn video tutorials. (These resources are available in English only.)

Learn 9.1 3900.0 changes

Feature Description To Learn More
Inline assignment grading Bb Annotate has successfully been released to all clients who were previously using New Box View and is included in this release. Student
Instructor
Enhanced content editor This release introduces big changes to the Content Editor in the Original Course View including numerous simplifications and improvements:
  • One easy menu for adding content from your computer, cloud storage, or integrated tool
  • The editor is better suited for all devices—small screen or big .
  • The editor is more accessible, and a new accessibility checker helps authors make content more accessible
  • When pasting content from Word, Excel, and websites, you can choose to remove extra HTML but retain basic formatting
  • When pasting links to websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion, the videos are automatically embedded for inline playback
  • Authors can now share formatted computer code snippets
  • Wrap text next to images by selecting an image and choosing left or right justification
Student
Instructor
To do module - Due week segmentation With this release, calendars will not only display based on their local calendar convention as it has previously, but week segmentation is handled in the To Do module. Upcoming due dates are properly categorized into today, tomorrow, this week, and the future beyond this week based on the user's locale.  
Read-only messages for students Administrators can now choose whether students are able to create and reply to messages or simply make them read-only. Messages can thus be used for one-way communications only.  
Updated email announcements Course email announcements have been updated to include the title and course name in the email subject making it easier to setup rules to organize class emails.  
Discussion forum manager icon The manager icon for course and system level Discussion has been updated.  Users will now see a new green rosette icon symbolizing the manager status of the forum. This replaces a badge icon that was used previously. Clients on previous releases can update to the new icon as well.  
Link tab handling for authenticated sites For a more seamless experience, this release now supports the ability for admins in a Link Tab to force the rendering of web pages in an iframe. If there’s a webpage whose x-frame-options will only send a DENY if the user isn’t authenticated but will allow an authenticated user to view in an iframe, admins can configure a tab link to enforce that behavior and create a more integrated experience for their users.  
Warning when grading with complex schemas When grading schemas are complex and use smaller points possible values that aren’t whole, results can be unexpected since numbers are not rounded and explicitly use 5 decimals. The warning message is meant to help users understand they should review the results.  
Passes in Content Collection 360-View Users can more easily see all passes, permissions and expiries, as well as see the pass creators' usernames. When looking at the 360 view, not only will passes be listed under the passes header, but the permissions box will clearly outline existing passes and who created them.  
Global Logout with SAML Authentication Providers The experience has been improved for users when the institution is using SAML for federated authentication. The messages helps to clarify when the user is only logged out of Blackboard Learn and clarifies their options. Users can log out through their identity provider or they can login again presenting them with the option to log out of their SSO session.  
Updated Achievements Text-on-Page The text on page has been updated within the Achievements tool and within the Admin Panel to indicate badge publishing now uses Badgr Backpack.  
Archive and Restore Improvements The archive and restore process has been enhanced to include user data for dropped (disabled) students. This allows for a more comprehensive picture of user activity in restored courses for permanent records and future reviews.  
Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)
  • LTI tools can now be limited by Institutional Hierarchy Nodes.
  • The setup workflows for LTI Advantage and LTI 1.3 tools have been improved.
  • The LTI configuration page has been improved to better distinguish between the LTI 1.1 and 1.3 setup.
  • LTI launches from Student Preview users indicate pass new LTI role of Test User.
 
New or Updated APIs
  • List and filter assessment attempts based on when the attempt was created, modified, or submitted
  • Search and sort on course membership modification timestamp
  • Redesigned Groups API, including separated Groups and GroupSets
  • Access and manage user avatars
  • Institutional Hierarchy management and associations
  • Assignment APIs support SafeAssign options
  • Course Copy APIs
  • Read active user sessions through APIs
  • Gradebook API Improvements
  • Institutions and partners can now provide students direct, deep links to specific Learn course content from their own portal or tool
 
Performance Improvements
  • Institutions with very large courses will see improved system performance and stability.
  • Under LDAP Advanced Settings, a configurable Read Timeout setting has been added. The timeout limit will terminate requests that take too long getting a response from the LDAP server.
  • When deleting courses, the system now uses a queued task and provides an indicator in the Admin Panel Course list during the process. 
  • To improve notification performance, users who have over 100 unread discussion forum messages will now see 100+ unread messages listed in the What's New module.
 
Blogs and Journals 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.  
SAML Authentication Logging capabilities have been enhanced with the SAML Building Block and the logging now maintains its verbosity level in new deployed nodes.  
Other improvements and changes
  • The YouTube logo has been updated
  • Security improvements:
  • Search for Textbook has been removed from the Textbook Building Block
  • The Visualization and Admin Console Building Blocks have been removed in this release
 

Learn 9.1 Q4 2019 changes

Feature Description To Learn More
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.

Student
Instructor
Administrator

Edge browser warning 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. Student
Instructor
Administrator
Course availability controls

In 9.1 Q4 2019, the course availability indicator and toggle now appears in additional tools and management pages in Blackboard Learn Original courses, 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.

Instructor

Needs Grading filter selection 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. Instructor
Legacy authentication type removed With this release, we’ve removed the deprecated and unsupported Legacy authentication type from Administrator Panel > Authentication. Custom authentications should use the extensible authentication framework instead.

Administrator

Java 11 As we have previously announced, Blackboard Learn’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.

Administrator

Learn 9.1 Q2 2019 changes

Learn 9.1 Q4 2018 Changes
Feature Description To Learn More
Collaborate Attendance integration Let Collaborate take attendance for you. In this release, Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually. Based on criteria you 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.

Student
Instructor
Administrator

New SafeAssign Originality Report We've updated the design of the SafeAssign Originality Report in Blackboard Learn 9.1 environments. The new Originality Report uses Blackboard's Ultra design philosophy and includes some new information about a submission's overall risk for being copied from another source. This new report interface is also more responsive for mobile devices and more accessible to screen readers than the old design. Student
Instructor
Administrator
Course role for facilitators

For institutions that centrally manage course development and settings as distinct responsibilities from day-to-day teaching tasks, the course role permissions are more granular in this release. The privileges enable roles that can teach, engage, and grade, but not to modify materials or settings. There is also a new default course role called Facilitator. As with other default course roles, the specific permissions can be edited.

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

Administrator
SAML updates

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

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

Administrator
Integrate tools using LTI Advantage We're excited to share that Blackboard Learn is the first major LMS to be LTI Advantage certified and make LTI Advantage available in Production. LTI Advantage is the latest in interoperability standards for integrating tools into a learning environment. The capabilities of LTI Advantage are broader and allow for deeper and more secure integrations than with the previous versions of LTI. Instructor
Administrator
QTI specification support To ensure compatibility and easy re-use, IMS Global developed the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) standard so questions can be shared between learning management and assessment systems. In this release, instructors and course builders can add QTI packages to Blackboard Learn courses. Instructor
Cross-origin resourcing tool 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. Administrator
Data Integration Logs storage load reduced 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. Administrator
Blackboard SOAP Web Services deprecation

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.

Administrator

Learn 9.1 Q4 2018 changes

Learn 9.1 Q4 2018 Changes
Feature Description To Learn More
Cloud storage integration 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. Instructor
Student
LTI placement improvements A new placement type allows administrators to place a tool on Tools panel in the My Institution or other module tab. When creating a new placement for an approved LTI domain, a new option appears, System Tool. This feature allows you to integrate tools accessed outside of the course context, such as a library system or a media management tool. In this release, there are no restrictions to the users who will see this link. There are no limits by Institution Role or by Node. Any restrictions on access will need to be handled by the tool provider based on the user information sent at launch.

This release also includes improved placements for instructor and student tools in a course.

Administrator
Instructor
Outcomes roles based on Institutional Hierarchy We've 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. Administrator
Norwegian language pack This release includes a language pack with full user interface translation in Norwegian (nn_NO). Administrator
Download annotated PDFs New Box View is 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.

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.

Administrator
Instructor
Student
Delegated grading: Grant reconcile privileges When an instructor uses delegated grading, they can reconcile grades and settle on final scores after the graders have completed their assigned submissions. 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. Instructor
Grade assignments with the mobile app If your institution uses Mobile Web Services, instructors can grade assignments using the Blackboard Instructor app. Instructor

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