Ohio University

Upcoming Changes: Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn receives regular updates, feature enhancements, and bug fixes. Highlights of upcoming changes are listed below under the date when we expect to see those changes.

Upcoming Changes

December 2019

This month's Blackboard update contains only bug fixes and behind the scenes improvements.

Previous Changes

October 2019

The October Blackboard update contains only bug fixes and behind the scenes improvements.

May 21, 2019

New logout process

On May 21, we will make a minor change to the way Blackboard Learn handles logouts. This update will not require an outage and will not affect the login page’s look and feel. The only noticeable change will be a new prompt that asks you to verify that you wish to end your session. Doing so will log you out of all OHIO online services that use the standard login page:

Screen shot: Blackboard Learn logout

April 4, 2019

Facilitator Role

This course role contains a set of default privileges regarding course calendar, discussions, gradebook, announcements, materials, and groups. Course members can be granted this role to help maintain the pace of the course throughout the term or as needed.

Email Notifications Update

Users who subscribe to email notifications will notice an updated message format. Blackboard has reduced their corporate branding and optimized the format for better appearance on more devices and email clients.

December 2018

From 12:01 pm on December 19 through 12:01 am on December 25, OIT will take Blackboard Learn offline for what should be the last extended maintenance outage of its kind.  This upgrade represents a major service improvement because it will change the way Blackboard applies future updates. Instead of one big upgrade every six months, Blackboard will start releasing small updates every month, and those updates will happen on the fly with no service interruptions. 

The December update will not affect Blackboard Learn's look and feel.

New Features for Everyone

  • No more upgrade outages - Future updates will happen on the fly, with no service interruptions needed.

  • Discussion board “replies to me” – Keeping up with large discussion board forums is easier for you and your students with this new count and filter that enables you to quickly identify unread replies to your own posts.  

  • Grade display standardization – To provide greater consistency, all gradebook columns and My Grades now support up to five decimal points, are not rounded, and are consistent for all display types.

  • Cloud storage support - Import files from popular cloud storage services directly into Blackboard Learn when authoring a Content Item (instructors) or when submitting an assignment (students). Supported services include OneDrive for Business, Google Drive, DropBox, Box, and the consumer version of OneDrive.

  • Downloadable Annotations - Inline Grading now allows instructors and students to export the annotated version of DOC, DOCX, and PDF assignments. 

New Features for Instructors

  • Course Availability Status– You can now easily see the availability of your course to students and quickly change the availability from the main course view. 

  • Attendance Tracking – For each class meeting, you can mark whether a student is present, late, absent, or excused. The attendance record for each student appears in a single column next to other grades in the gradebook.

  • Record feedback for students – Make your feedback more personalized and engaging by creating an audio or video recording. Simply click on the microphone icon in the Content Editor. Students will access it by clicking the recording icon which immediately launches the streamed content without the need of a browser plug-in.  

  • Grade center enhancements – You will now be able to view full titles of Grade Center columns making it easier to distinguish between similarly-titled items. You can also view as many columns as the size of your browser window will allow, and enter Grade Center full-screen mode to make the most of your desktop experience.  

  • Additional attempts in anonymous grading -- You can grant additional Assignment attempts to students as needed, while still maintaining the full anonymity of the process.  

  • Delete multiple gradebook columns -You can now delete multiple gradebook columns at once.

  • Improved grading with rubrics – You can now save feedback and the content will remain saved when changing the rubric view from in-line to full screen. 

  • Delegated grading - When delegating grading responsibilities to other individuals in a course, the instructor now can specify who is allowed to reconcile multiple grade submissions. Previously, this required contacting the Service Desk.

  • Mobile App Grading - The Instructor mobile app now supports grading assignments. Instructors can see all assignments that need to be graded, identify which students have/have not provided submissions, and review, add comments, inline annotations, and grade with rubrics. 

New Features for Students

  • Clear multiple-choice selection – Students are now able to clear a selection from multiple-choice questions (leaving it blank) when negative points are associated with incorrect answer choices.