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Blackboard Learn: December 2017 upgrade details

Blackboard Learn: December 2017 upgrade details

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Michelle Donaldson  

The December 20, 2017 Blackboard Learn upgrade will feature a number of improvements, including expanded drag-and-drop capabilities, a new assignment submission receipt feature, and a better Course Activity Overview reporting. The upgrade also will ensure that Inline Grading will continue to be available to the many instructors who use that feature.

Reason for the upgrade

Blackboard Learn currently includes an instructor tool called Inline Grading. This tool has become quite popular, with many instructors using it as their primary way of grading student assignments. Blackboard has notified the university that Inline Grading will stop working in our version of Blackboard Learn in January, 2018. To ensure that Inline Grading remains available, OIT will upgrade Blackboard Learn on December 20, 2017.

Timing and impact

Instructors and students should plan for Blackboard Learn and Panopto Lecture Capture to be unavailable between 6:00 pm Wednesday, 12/20/2017 and 6:00 pm Thursday, 12/21/2017. Given that Blackboard Learn is an essential academic service, OIT staff have committed to completing this upgrade as quickly as possible.

Benefits, improvements, and changes

This upgrade will not have any significant impact on Blackboard Learn’s look and feel. Instead, it will focus on incremental improvements and bug fixes.

Inline Grading

As noted above, this upgrade will ensure that Inline Grading will remain available. The upgrade also will expand Inline Grading's capabilities, making it possible to grade over 100 different file types, including most popular document, spreadsheet, presentation, audio, video, and multi-media files. This new version of Inline Grading will have a few cosmetic differences from the older version, like a menu item being in a different position within its menu, but overall the tool will work the same as the previous version.

Expanded Drag and Drop

Drag and Drop will work in more places than before:

  • Instructors will be able to drag and drop items when creating Content Items, Assignments, and Web Links.
  • Students will be able to use drag and drop to submit Assignments.

Assignment Submission Receipts

When a student submits an assignment, they will receive a confirmation receipt to verify that the item was received.

Course Activity Overview

This report will be more useful with large enrollments because it can be filtered and broken down by student activity in groups.


Instructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included.

Needs Grading/Grade Center

A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide attempts that won't be included in the grade calculation. Attempts that won't calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon.

Turning Point 5 clicker support ends

The new version of Blackboard Learn will no longer allow the Turning Point 5 integration to function. As a result, students will not be able to register their devices, and Turning Point 5 will be retired. Instructors who wish to use a student response system should consider Top Hat.

Related Links

Blackboard Learn support