Blackboard New Features and Updates June 2018

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Instructor Blackboard Documentation

Student Blackboard Documentation

Detailed Release Notes


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Blackboard Learn for Instructors

Blackboard Learn for Students

New Features and Changes

Better Usability on Hand-Held Touch Devices

Pages with tables, the course menu, and My Blackboard pages are better optimized for hand-held devices. Menus can be accessed on touch devices.

The discussion board is responsive for hand-held devices if the contents of the posts themselves are responsive. Discussion participants can read, respond, and use other discussion features such as post rating from mobile devices.

Blogs and Journals have been better optimized for use on mobile devices. Posts and comments composed with responsive content will render on smaller devices. Options for filtering posts or navigating groups or users will appear below currently viewed posts.

Course Availability Status and Update

Instructors can see the availability state of the course and change the state from the main course view. All privileged users in a course see an open or closed padlock representing the availability state of the course to students. This is in the course edit management areas with tools such as Student Preview and the Edit Mode toggle.

Add Collaborate Ultra to Your Group Tools

Instructors can add Collaborate Ultra sessions to Groups pages in Blackboard Learn. If instructors allow, students can share content and use the whiteboard, as well as create recordings.


Instructors want to track attendance for various purposes, including at-risk detection, and to support instructor pedagogical preference where being present is a component of a course grade.

Attendance is a new tool that can be enabled using the Tool Availability option in courses.  Once enabled it will appear in the list of Course Tools for that course.

Grade Display Standardization

This change standardizes areas of Blackboard Learn where users access grades. Now, all gradebook columns (online and downloads) and My Grades support up to five decimal points, aren’t rounded, and are consistent for all display types (score, percentage, letter grade).

More Efficient Grade Centre Cleanup

Instructors can now more easily clean up their grade books by deleting multiple columns at once. Selected manual and calculated columns are removed completely. Selected columns associated with gradable items are cleared of attempt and grade data but remain in the Grade Centre.  This is consistent with previous versions of Blackboard with the exception of being able to delete multiple columns at the same time.

Submission Receipts via Email

Students receive email confirmations for submitted coursework. The email receipt is another method for students to keep track of their submissions, in addition to the My Grades page.

Additional Drag-and-Drop Locations

File drag and drop are now supported in the following areas.

  • Content Editor – Embed Attachment
  • Blank Page Content Type
  • Blog – Create Entry
  • Journal – Create Entry
  • Portfolio – Add Artifact

If the browser allows, users can drag a folder of files and the files will upload individually.

Discussion Board “Replies to Me”

Keeping up with large Discussion Board forums is easier by giving participants a count and filter to just look at new replies from others to posts made the participant.

Chemistry notation support

The math editor found in the Content Editor has been updated to a newer version. This version adds tools specific to chemistry including an embedded periodic table of elements.