New Features in Blackboard

Arrived August 23rd!

Blackboard was upgraded August 23rd, 2014 to include the following enhancements:

Grading Improvements

My Grades page for students

Now students can control the presentation of scores – by last activity, due date or Grade Center alignment. Other improvements make this view easy on the eyes and easy to comprehend including:

  • New “Order By” option in the top-right
  • The “All,” “Graded,” “Upcoming,” and “Submitted” filters allow the student to narrow down the number of rows they see 
  • The text size and row spacing have been reduced, resulting in more information being displayed on the page at once
  • Feedback is included right in-line, so the student doesn’t need to click on anything to view it – it just shows up on the page

Inline Grading

Base on user feedback, two enhancements have been added to the inline grading tool. The first adds a full screen view, allowing you to slide the sidebar out of the way and maximize the converted document, so you'll have plenty of room for commenting and annotating.

Second, we’ve taken the new assignment grading sidebar design that we introduced and added it to all the other tools where we support inline grading (Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion Boards). This creates a more consistent and user-friendly grading experience for you.

Learn more about enhancements to Inline Grading

Grade Center

  • Test total points adjustment: You have more control over Grade Center fields that are auto-summed from test. Instructors can adjust the total points possible while maintaining the integrity of the exam.
  • Grading Schemas greater than 100% : Previously, the grading schema in the Grade Center had a maximum value of 100%.  In Service Pack 14, this is no longer the case and percentages can be greater than 100%.
  • Define “Score Attempts Using” setting from the “Options” page: This is a basic workflow improvement to ensure that instructors know about and can easily find this setting for tools 

Student View Building Block

We’ve installed the Student View Building block to allow instructors to see and interact with their sites as a student. Now, by the click of a button, instructors can see their course site exactly as their students see it. No more guessing!

Date Management

Date Management is a new utility that allows instructors to have the system automatically “shift” content and tool dates in a course in a highly efficient way.  After the system makes this shift, the instructor is able to see all the dates in one place – due dates, adaptive release dates, test dates – they’re all pre-populated based on your previous course setup. And of course you’ll be able to validate and tweak dates using a single user interface.

Learn more about Date Management

Group Management

Group experiences are critical for fostering a more personal and engaging student experience in courses and organizations. Whether you have a large number of groups with many students or just a few small groups, creating and managing those groups in Blackboard Learn is easier than ever.

The “All Groups” management page is a one-stop-shop for managing your groups. It provides bulk actions for deleting groups and creating Grade Center Smart Views, quick actions on individual groups, and sortable columns. You can also view and manage tool availability for each group right from this page.

Learn more about Group Management


The Achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both Badges and Certificates. Students can see which rewards they’ve earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies. Students are able to publish badges to the Mozilla Open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside the LMS. Instructors can easily see which students have reached learning milestones.

In this release, three Achievement types are supported:

  • Course Completion – The Certificate reward is required; an additional Badge is optional.
  • Milestone – The reward can only be a Badge.
  • Custom – Badges, Certificates, or both are allowed.

Learn more about Achievements

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