What's New For Faculty

Dear Faculty,

As the end of this semester approaches, our department is looking ahead to Spring 2019 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 2019 Blackboard Upgrade website.


AttendanceMany instructors use attendance data as part of their students' overall grades. Also, some institutions and programs have attendance policies that require instructors to track the number of class meetings students have missed.

For each class meeting, instructors can mark whether a student is present, late, absent, or excused. The attendance records for each student appear in a single column next to other grades. On the Attendance page, profile pictures appear so instructors can easily identify students.

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Cloud Services Integration

Instructors can copy files from their favorite cloud storage solutions when authoring Content Items or creating Assignments. Students can submit assignments from their favorite cloud storage solutions. Cloud storage that is supported includes OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Google Drive including G suite accounts, Dropbox, and Box.

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Create Recording Feedback

FeedbackAn instructor or grader can create personalized feedback recordings for individual assessment attempts or manual gradebook items.

Each recording can be up to 5 minutes long and can be both video and audio. The option appears in the third row of the Content Editor as a microphone icon.

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Additional Attempts in Anonymous Grading

Instructors can now grant an additional attempt for scenarios when the student needs one and the prior attempt can't be cleared because it is in an anonymous state.

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Blackboard Learn Theme Enhancements

New Blackboard ThemeThe Bb Learn theme now has an improved grade center.

Instructors will now be able to:

  • View full titles of Grade Center columns, making it easier to distinguish between similarly-titled items.
  • View as many columns as the size of their window will allow.
  • Enter into Grade Center full-screen mode to make the most of their desktop experience.
  • Tests and the learning modules tool are now optimized for web on mobile devices.
  • In tests, additional question types have been optimized for use on mobile devices.

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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.

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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.

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Additional Features:

  • 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).
  • 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 and review, annotate and grade student submissions. To learn more, visit Grading in Blackboard Instructor (3 minutes).
  • Download annotated PDF’s – Instructors and students can download certain file types (DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX) with annotations as an annotated PDF. Students can download the annotated file after their submission has been graded.
  • Bb Collaborate Groups – Add Collaborate Ultra sessions to Groups pages in the Original Course View of Blackboard Learn.
  • Bb Collaborate Captioning – Upload a SRT caption file to add or replace captions in recordings. From Recordings, find the recording you want, open the Recording options menu, and select Add caption source. To learn more visit Support for Captioning.