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Blackboard Upgrades

Blackboard April 2014 Release Upgrade

City Colleges of Chicago is upgrading Blackboard Learn 9.1 to April 2014 Release on August 2, 2014. In this recorded webinar (16 minutes), you'll see highlights of the new features in Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014 Release and how it benefits educators.    

Student Preview

As an instructor, you want to be confident that your course is well designed and functions as intended—before your students see it. Use student preview to review the course content and validate the course behaviors, such as those that control the availability of course content or require a particular interaction from the student to be triggered. When available, the Enter Student Preview function appears in the top-right corner of your course pages, next to the Change Course Theme function.  


Date Management

With the new Date Management tool, faculty will be able to have the system automatically "shift" content and tool dates in a course, after performing a course copy. After specifying a start date for the shift, the faculty member is able to see all the dates in one place - due dates, adaptive release dates, and test dates - to validate and tweak dates.   

screenshot of date management page  



The Achievements tool makes it possible to add excitement and recognition to courses by offering badges and certificates for course progress. This new tool allows faculty and instructors to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both Badges and Certificates. Students can see which rewards they have earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards. Furthermore, students have the option to publish badges to the Mozilla Open Backpack, which lets them display and promote their learning outside of Blackboard. Faculty can easily see which students have reached learning milestones.  

screenshot of achievements  


Tests - Enhancement

The process of creating or editing a Test within Learn has improved. Faculty can now add a question in the middle of the test exactly where they want it to go. Plus, the Test Exceptions on the Test Options page allows faculty to select one or more groups or users to set exceptions to the delivery settings, such as number of attempts, timer, auto submit, availability dates, and force completion. Test feedback can be set up as events, so that students automatically see the correct feedback at the appropriate time.  

screenshot of test excpetions  


Groups Management - Enhancement

This update to Groups simplifies the process of creating and managing groups. Manage all course groups at once from the "All Groups" page, including deleting multiple groups at once, creating Grade Center Smart Views, and enabling or disabling Group Tools. Plus, on the Users page, group membership is now listed for each student.  

screenshot of group management page  


Inline Grading View - Enhancement

There are two updates to the Inline Grading view. For Assignments, a new full screen view minimizes the side bar to make it easier to focus on commenting and annotating. Second, the side bar design that is already available for Assignments is now available for Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion Boards, which creates a more consistent and user-friendly grading experience.  

screenshot of inline grading on the discussion board  


Grade Center - Enhancement

There are several small Grade Center enhancements that have a big impact. First, it will be possible to adjust the total points possible for a test, instead of being limited to the automatic total based on test questions. Second, grading schemas will now be able to interpret student grades higher than 100%. Finally, for tools that support multiple attempts (such as Assignments and Tests), the option for "Score Attempts Using" will be included on the options page when setting up a tool. For example, faculty will be prompted to determine which attempt to use for grading when creating an Assignemnt with multiple attempts, instead of changing this setting in the Grade Center after creating the Assignment. 

screenshot of updating test points for a grade center column  


My Grades - Enhancement

The My Grades page for students has been redesigned to include feedback in-line with grades, as well as to reduce text size and row spacing so that more information is displayed on the page at once. In addition, new ordering options will allow students to determine the order in which scores are presented - by last activity, due date, or the order established by their professor in the Grade Center. Filters will also allow students to narrow down the number of rows displayed according to whether items are "Graded", "Upcoming", or "Submitted".  

screenshot of my grades