Blackboard Learn, the course management system used by Kendall College faculty, staff, and students, continues to be an important platform for facilitating teaching at learning at Kendall College. Over the past several years, there have been significant upgrades implemented to the system which have added many new features as well as an improved overall user experience.

We currently use version 9.1.2017.Q2. We upgraded from version 9.1.2014.Q2 on Monday, October 16, 2017.  

In order to ensure that our inline grading tool (currently called "Crocodoc") continues to work, Laureate needs to apply an additional update and install a new inline grading tool called "Box View". During this time, Blackboard will be UNAVAILABLE.

Blackboard Outage to Complete Upgrade
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START: Wednesday, December 27, 12:00 am CT
END: Wednesday, December 27, 12:00 pm CT
 

NEW FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS

After our upgrade to version 9.1.2017.Q2 on Monday, October 16, 2017, we have set the stage for many new features and enhancements, some of which are already available. Here is an on overview of those new features and enhancements:

 

Mobile-Responsive Theme

UPDATE:
[9/26/2017] The Laureate Bb team reported that they may wait until soon after the upgrade to apply the mobile-responsive theme. This means that the interface would look the same after the upgrade as it did before the upgrade. Once they know the upgrade was successful, they would finish testing and apply the mobile-responsive theme.

The new look of Blackboard is specifically designed to be mobile-friendly. It resizes based on screen size for use on smaller devices like smartphones, and the Submit button is always at the bottom of the screen instead of the bottom of the page (so there is less scrolling). The new design also includes new icons for most content and assessments, to match the new look. For a consistent student experience between Blackboard on a desktop/laptop and on a smartphone, however, course menu items can no longer be changed from text links to buttons. 

Currently, students are NOT able to use the Blackboard app (i.e., the app available on Google Play at http://bit.ly/1Rhvlf0 or iTunes at http://apple.co/2xuUaQ8) because currently students are required to access Blackboard by way of the Student Portal using portal credentials. By logging in to the Student Portal, they are automatically signed in to Blackboard, which means they do not have to remember portal credentials AND Blackboard credentials. If asked about Kendall College having a Blackboard app, please tell them that Laureate Blackboard is working on a "work around" that enables Kendall College students to use the app to access Blackboard by way of the Student Portal.

  Course Home Page  (desktop or laptop). The layout of the side menu and the main content areas (e.g., Announcements) is similar to the previous version of Blackboard when viewed on a desktop or laptop. For a consistent student experience between Blackboard on a desktop/laptop and on a smartphone, however, course menu items can no longer be changed from text links to buttons. The arrows also shows that the Cancel/Submit buttons always on the screen, which means there is no need to scroll to the bottom of the page when ready to submit.

Course Home Page (desktop or laptop). The layout of the side menu and the main content areas (e.g., Announcements) is similar to the previous version of Blackboard when viewed on a desktop or laptop. For a consistent student experience between Blackboard on a desktop/laptop and on a smartphone, however, course menu items can no longer be changed from text links to buttons. The arrows also shows that the Cancel/Submit buttons always on the screen, which means there is no need to scroll to the bottom of the page when ready to submit.

 
  Course Home Page  (smartphone). Notice that when the same page is viewed on a smartphone, the page automatically resizes to fit the size of the phone. The arrow points to a menu that you can expand or collapse ( see next screenshot ).

Course Home Page (smartphone). Notice that when the same page is viewed on a smartphone, the page automatically resizes to fit the size of the phone. The arrow points to a menu that you can expand or collapse (see next screenshot).

  Course Home Page  (smartphone). When you enter a course on a mobile device, the menu is collapsed. Click the arrow button to expand the menu again.

Course Home Page (smartphone). When you enter a course on a mobile device, the menu is collapsed. Click the arrow button to expand the menu again.

 

Assignment Submission Receipts

Faculty and students will be able to better track whether Assignments were submit successfully with submission receipts. When students submit Assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page will include a banner and confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submission and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students will receive a different number for each submission. For group attempts, each student will receive a separate confirmation number.

  For students.  When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page appears with information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission. If your institution has enabled email notifications for submission receipts, students will also receive an email with a confirmation number and other details for each submission.

For students. When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page appears with information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission. If your institution has enabled email notifications for submission receipts, students will also receive an email with a confirmation number and other details for each submission.

 
  For faculty.  Faculty can access all of their students' confirmation numbers from the Grade Center. Click "Reports", and then click "Submission Receipts".

For faculty. Faculty can access all of their students' confirmation numbers from the Grade Center. Click "Reports", and then click "Submission Receipts".

 

Assignment Reminders

Faculty will be able to easily send system-generated reminders for missing coursework in the Grade Center to students and members of groups who have not submitted work. Students will receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date (if included).

  For faculty:  In the Grade Center, faculty can choose "Send Reminder" from the drop-down box for a column to send an automated e-mail reminder to all students who have not submitted the assignment.

For faculty: In the Grade Center, faculty can choose "Send Reminder" from the drop-down box for a column to send an automated e-mail reminder to all students who have not submitted the assignment.

 

Box View Replaces Crocodoc (Inline Grading)

Box View will completely replace the Crocodoc feature in your courses starting on Friday, January 12, 2018, with the same general workflows and interface elements. You'll see some slight differences in the interface, primarily more streamlined buttons and options.

Box View supports over 100 file types, including text-based documents, presentations, images, audio and video files, flash/mobile video files, and 3D files. You can annotate on student's work with a highlighter and comments. (The drawing annotation in Crocodoc is not available in Box View.) Users can download and print a copy of the student’s file, but annotations will not appear.

  For faculty.  Faculty can preview student's assignments and highlight text and leave comments (or annotations) directly on the assignment.

For faculty. Faculty can preview student's assignments and highlight text and leave comments (or annotations) directly on the assignment.

What happens to the Crocodoc annotations?
All annotations created in Crocodoc will be converted to drawings and “burned” into a PDF. The PDF will be available to download in the new Box View. If desired, additional annotations can be made using the new annotation features of Box View.

 

ENHANCEMENTS

Drag and Drop

It is easier than ever to attach files in Blackboard. Faculty can now add files to Items and Assignments by dragging files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.

 Instead of only being able to attach files using the "Browse My Computer" button, faculty and students can drag files from their computer to the "hot spot" outlined with a dashed line (available on desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone).

Instead of only being able to attach files using the "Browse My Computer" button, faculty and students can drag files from their computer to the "hot spot" outlined with a dashed line (available on desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone).

 

Fewer Needs Grading Items

When you allow multiple attempts on an Assignment or Test, you may not need to grade all of them. With this update, the Needs Gradingpage will automatically be filtered to only display the attempts that need grading. When you set up the assessment, you can specify whether the grade is based on the first attempt or the last attempt, and now the Needs Grading page will only display one attempt per student based on that choice. You can still display all of the attempts, if you want to see the others.

  For faculty.  Attempts that you do not need to grade will also now display with a special icon to indicate they do not need to be graded, in the  Needs Grading  view and in the Inline Grading display.

For faculty. Attempts that you do not need to grade will also now display with a special icon to indicate they do not need to be graded, in the Needs Grading view and in the Inline Grading display.

 

Announcements

When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.

  For faculty:  When you create a new announcement, "Not Dated Restricted" is set as the default Web Announcement Option. Previously, "Date Restricted" was the default, and you were unable to submit the announcement withouth specifiying the display dates.

For faculty: When you create a new announcement, "Not Dated Restricted" is set as the default Web Announcement Option. Previously, "Date Restricted" was the default, and you were unable to submit the announcement withouth specifiying the display dates.

Discussion Board Thread Navigation

You can now navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page.

  For faculty and students:  Instead of having to navigate back to the main page of a Discussion Board forum, you can now move from one thread to another using the arrow buttons (outlined in read above). You will also see how many posts are included in a thread and how many of those posts are unread.

For faculty and students: Instead of having to navigate back to the main page of a Discussion Board forum, you can now move from one thread to another using the arrow buttons (outlined in read above). You will also see how many posts are included in a thread and how many of those posts are unread.