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Blackboard Learn May 2018 upgrade details
Reducing Textbook Costs
OBI Reporting to require multi-factor authentication starting Jan 19, 2018

Blackboard Learn May 2018 upgrade details

Friday, March 23, 2018
from staff reports  

This semester's Blackboard Learn upgrade will take place from 5 pm on May 9 to 5 pm on May 10, 2018. The updated version will provide new features and enhancements that simplify many of your everyday tasks, offer a better mobile experience, and improve accessibility, assessment and grading. As part of this work, we also will apply a new system theme that provides a more consistent and accessible look and feel.

Highlights of the New Version

Efficiency and ease of use

  • Course availability status - You can now easily see the availability of the course to students and quickly change the availability from the main course view.
  • Discussion board “replies to me” -  Keeping up with large discussion board forums is easier with a new count and filter to quickly identify unread replies to your own posts.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) deep linking - You will have a more seamless experience when linking or integrating with tool providers who also support this standard. You can now create links to specific resources without knowing and specifying resource IDs. Instead, you simply launch into the tool provider’s user experience, select resources to add to your course, and the individual links are created in the correct place in your course. Students clicking the links will be taken directly to the specific resource rather than to a generic tool page for the tool provider

User Experience (Mobility & Accessibility)

  • Improved mobile experience - Each release further expands the areas of Learn optimized for use on mobile devices, providing a much improved and more enjoyable mobile experience. Most recently, system and course level navigation, blogs, and journals were optimized for mobile devices.
  • Chemistry notation support - Chemistry tools, like an embedded periodic table of elements, are now included in the math editor found in the Content Editor.
  • Accessibility enhancements - To improve accessibility, ARIA landmarks have been incorporated in the course menu and the content area to better define the page structure and assist users with screen readers in navigating page elements.

Assessment & Grading

  • Delete multiple gradebook columns - The #1 requested feature voted by clients on the Community Site, you can now delete multiple gradebook columns at once making managing the gradebook even easier.
  • Missing coursework reminders - You can now send email reminders directly from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework.
  • Grade Center improvements - When multiple-attempt assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, a new filter is available both in the Needs Grading workflow and the Grade Center to show or hide other non-counted attempts.

New System Theme

  • Modern look and feel: With updated colors, fonts, and spacing, you’ll notice a more modern and visually appealing look and feel.  
  • Consistency across devices: Expect a more uniform experience across all your devices, making it easier for you to switch from your laptop or computer to your phone or tablet. 
  • Accessibility improvements: The new system theme follows WCAG 2.0 principles and accessibility guidelines for structure, color contrast, and navigation. Fully visible keyboard focus has been built directly into this theme as well as best practices for the definition of buttons and menus used for navigation. 
  • Course Themes no longer supported: To further enhance accessibility and to provide a consistent experience across devices, course themes are disabled in the new version. If you currently use a course theme or custom colors in a course, those will revert to the default with the upgrade. This change will not affect your course layout or custom buttons, just background colors and patterns. 

Related Links

Blackboard Learn support