Thursday, February 28, 2013

New version of Blackboard in June

It's a pleasure to announce that we will be upgrading Blackboard on June 7th and 8th to version 9.1 Service Pack 11 (SP11). We are currently on 9.1 Service Pack 5 (SP5). We haven't upgraded in two years, so this new version will give us some exciting new features. I have listed some of the major improvements below.

New Features:

  • Interactive rubrics - grade by clicking directly in the rubric
  • Needs grading tool enhancements - option to choose how many interactions will place the item in Needs Grading status
  • Timed assessments enhancements - auto submit at time expiration, auto save answers
  • New user interface - clean and more modern interface
  • Automatic test re-grading - change an answer or throw out a question then Blackboard handles re-grading
  • Redesigned discussion boards
    • Force first - students have to post before being able to read other posts
    • all messages for a forum on one page
  • New calendar - vastly improved
  • New content editor
    • No extra steps to safely paste from Word
    • video everywhere – record from your webcam to your YouTube account and embed
    • It actually inserts a blank line when you press return
  • Course Evaluations & Enterprise Survey Tool built in to core product
  • Inline grader for assignments - no more downloading files
  • Improved item analysis for assessments

We should have the new version installed on our test server sometime next week. You can also get access to the test server to try it out yourself. Just send me an email requesting access.

You can check out Blackboard's official information about this upgrade at I'll provide in-depth articles about these new features throughout the rest of this semester. I will also give workshops. Stay tuned to this blog for more information and have your colleagues sign up if they haven't already done so.

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