What's New For Faculty

Dear Faculty,

As the end of this semester approaches, our department is looking ahead to Spring 2018 and we are excited to announce that new and improved features are coming to Blackboard. These tools focus on creating an accessible environment, providing a streamlined look and feel, and improving the way you get support. Below you will find additional information on these tools. For the latest information on our upgrade, we invite you to join us for a What's New in Blackboard Learn training session or by visiting our Spring 2018 Blackboard Upgrade website. 


Blackboard Learn Theme

New Blackboard ThemeBy Spring 2018 Blackboard Learn will have a new look and feel. The new theme will address accessibility compliance as it follows WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines for structure, color contrast, and navigation. Accessibility is a primary concern for all online, hybrid and web-enhanced courses as online course materials must meet accessibility requirements regardless of having students with disabilities enrolled.

Other key features of the new theme:

  • Responsive for hand-held devices
  • Improved experience for mobile users
  • Streamlined look and feel
  • Drag-and-Drop Functionality

Note: Applying course themes is not available due to accessibility compliance. We will be working on creating new color palettes for the new theme.


Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally Download Accessible FileThis new integration will allow faculty to check the accessibility of files uploaded to Blackboard. This tool will also provide guidance to improve the accessibility of your files and generate alternative accessible formats for students. To learn more, visit our Blackboard Ally website.


New Support Center

New Support CenterTo better support our users, we have implemented a new support center within Blackboard that provides easy access to help articles, COLTT Resources, and the ability to submit a support case. Open Support Center on any Blackboard page and articles specifically for that tool will appear. To learn more, visit EesySoft Smart Application Support (1 minute).  


Additional Features:

We also have several other features coming this Spring Semester.
  • New Box View. Crocodoc inline grading will be replaced with New Box View. New Box View allows for additional file formats to be graded while still keeping the inline commenting feature. To learn more, watch Inline Grading in the Original Course View (1.5 minutes).
  • Send Reminders on missing coursework. Faculty will be able to easily send system-generated reminders for missing coursework in the Grade Center. To learn more, visit Blackboard Reminders. (45 seconds).
  • Fewer Needs Grading Items. When you allow multiple attempts, you may not need to grade all of them. The Needs Grading page automatically displays only the attempts that need grading based on which attempt you chose to grade. If you choose First or Last, the only attempt that will appear in needs grading will be that specified (instead of all attempts). To learn more visit Grading Multiple Attempts (website)
  • Additional Drag-and-Drop Locations. It is easier than ever to attach files in Blackboard. File drag-and-drop is now supported in the following areas: Content Collection, Blank Page, Blog, Journal, and Portfolio.
  • Student Assignment Receipt.  Students can receive a notification email for each assignment attempt with information about the submission including attached files. Students can also access receipts at any time on the My Grades page in the submissions filter area. To learn more, visit Student Assignment Receipt (4 minutes). Instructors can also see these receipts.
  • Blackboard Instructor App. Access courses on the go. To learn more, visit Introducing Blackboard Instructor (1 minute).
  • And more…