We’ve updated Blackboard from Service Pack 8 to Service Pack 11. This update brings a number of new features and enhancements.
Please also see the Blackboard article What’s New in Blackboard Learn. Note Not all features detailed in the Blackboard article are available on Aston’s Blackboard.
A completely new, modern user experience in Blackboard Learn that consolidates critical information from all your Courses as well as your learning network. The new tools in My Blackboard – Profile, Posts, Updates, My Grades, and People – were developed to meet the needs of today’s active learner, and educators benefit too. Please see My Blackboard.
The Retention Center is an instructor-only tool that enables you to give focused attention to students who need it. It replaces the Early Warning System feature with easy workflows, while retaining all existing Early Warning System data and rules. From the Retention Center, you can communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement. Please see Using the Retention Center.
The new Content Editor vastly improves the user experience for entering text, pasting content from Microsoft Word, and adding content to all areas of Blackboard Learn. Simply bring your course materials to life. Please see Using the Content Editor.
Video Everywhere is a feature of the content editor. Once installed and activated, you will see a new icon in the content editor that accesses your web cam. The feature provides the ability for instructors and students to:
- Record a video on the fly using a web cam and have it seamlessly embedded in course materials, interactions, and feedback through the content editor.
- Reuse previously recorded videos by choosing from one’s own “library” of videos.
Inline Assignment Grading
When an Instructor views a document submitted through an Assignment, that document is converted to a format that is viewable inside the web browser. Supported document types that can be converted are Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF (PDF). The converted document is displayed in a viewer on the Grade Assignment page. Formatting and embedded images of the original document are preserved in the conversion. Please see Inline Grading for Assignments.
The Calendar in Blackboard Learn has been significantly enhanced:
- When accessed from My Blackboard or the Tools menu on the My Institution tab, the calendar displays a consolidated view of all institution, course, organization, and personal calendar events for a user. Calendar events are color coded by course.
- When accessed from a course, instructors and students see the course calendar from the course menu on the Tools page. Instructors can use the calendar course tool as a primary way of managing and communicating the schedule of events and assignments in the course. Calendar supports due dates, if set, for gradable items. Clicking on calendar items allows an instructor to view or edit the item, or grade attempts on the associated item.
- Students can use filtering options to selectively view only course level items. They can then click on an item to view item details, and if supported, create an attempt against the item.
The Thread Detail page is thoroughly redesigned yet maintains all of its existing functions. Please see Discussion Board Updates.
Educators can now easily refine their assessments by evaluating the quality of each question and that question’s ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Ineffective questions can be easily identified and then quickly corrected with the Automatic Regrade feature. Please see Running Item Analysis on a Test.