What’s new in Blackboard?

You may have noticed that there are some new features and subtle (as well as not so subtle) revisions in the recent Blackboard upgrade. We present some of the changes here and encourage you to contribute to this list.

Early Warning System is now called the Retention Center. The Retention Center retains all of the data and rules from the Early Warning System.
Detailed instructions: Using the Retention Center

Global Navigation Menu You can access all of your courses from the Global Navigation Menu. To open the menu, click on the arrow next to your user name.

Screenshot of Global Navigation Menu

The Global Navigation Menu also provides quick access to

Posts where you’ll receive notifications of posts in blogs and discussion boards (although you can’t respond from here.)
Updates You’ll receive reminders of content items that need to be graded.
Retention Center
This is not brand new, but you can now drag and drop events to other dates and create recurring events. You can access the Calendar from external calendars, such as Google or iCal. Click on Get External Calendar Link (under the list of your calendars) and copy the url from the resulting pop-up menu.

Screenshot of Blackboard Calendar showing where to add events, how to get external link.


Video Everywhere. If you have a YouTube account, you can create videos right in Blackboard.
Detailed instructions: Video Everywhere.
Additional Content Editor guides: Using the Content Editor

Create a content item and click on the “Record from webcam” icon in the text editor tool menu.

Screenshot of Record from Webcam tool in Blackboard Content Item

Inline grading. You can now grade and comment directly on blogs, discussion boards, and wikis, without downloading the files. Here’s an example of inline grading and feedback on a blog post:

Screenshot of inline Grading Rubric Panel

You’ll find additional guides at Inline Grading

Test Availability Exceptions. Some new settings in the Tests/Survey Options page allow you to create exceptions for number of attempts and availability of tests (start and end dates) to accommodate students with disabilities or technology or language differences.

The test or survey must be added to a content area first.

For a detailed guide, see Test and Survey Options

Item Analysis lets you quickly measure the effectiveness of test questions. It can be accessed in:

Tests in the Content Area
Test Page
Grade Center Column

For a detailed tutorial: http://youtu.be/_ZeyX2yJfFU


What features have you discovered in the new version of Blackboard? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Jean Kelly
    Thank you, Greet. Glad it's useful.
  2. Greet Van Belle
    Great quick-and-to-the-point info about Bb updates! Thanks!

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