Blackboard Upgrade 2014

Saturday, July 5th 2014

Blackboard will be upgraded to Blackboard version April 2014 Release.

New Features

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.

Anonymous & Delegated Grading

Instructors can hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous grading as well as being able to delegate grading to specific users.

Student Preview

Date Management

After you have copied a course, speed up the transition of old dates to new one relevant for the new course using Date Management. From Date Management you can adjust availability dates, due dates, and adaptive release dates within a course.

You can choose to update the dates automatically or manually from one convenient location. Please note “TERMS” are used at Aston’s Blackboard but they denote classification by Year or Type, NOT period or term.

Find out more

Grade Centre Improvements

Blackboard has made several improvements to grading and Grade Center

Find out more

Restrict Tests by Location

As increasing numbers of institutions are delivering high-stakes tests using Blackboard Learn, there is an increased desire on the part of course facilitators, instructors, and administrators to prevent students from cheating. High-stakes tests are often delivered to students in proctored lab environments to ensure that students can be identified—using an ID—and monitored while taking a test. However, if students can access the test from any location during the testing window, students could conspire to have someone else take the test on their behalf, compromising the security of the testing environment.

Find out more

Significant Figures

In calculated formula questions, instructors can select the number of decimals or significant figures for the correct answers generated by the system.


The achievements tool allows instructors 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.

Groups Management

The Groups Management Building Block provides the ability to:

  • Easily see which students are in which groups, including which students are not in any groups.
  • Easily see and modify group memberships. Avatars are now available to distinguish among users.
  • Choose and manage membership for groups sets with an improved workflow.
  • Import and export groups and group memberships.
  • Sort columns, perform bulk actions for deleting groups, and create Grade Center smart views for one or more groups on the All Groups page.
  • Optionally, manage tool availability for all groups on the All Groups page.

Find out more

Blackboard Collaborate

Some significant updates that enable for more flexibility in the way that sessions are scheduled and accessed.

Find out more

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