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What’s New in Blackboard


New Content Editor

The Content or Text Editor has been completely redesigned, with several improvements including easier workflow for inserting multimedia, better handling of text copied and pasted from Word, and an accessibility checker.  All features (including the all-important Plus button) are described in this section of the Instructors' Manual.

New Grading Interface for Assignments

Bb Annotate -- the new online grading interface for Assignments -- has a much improved set of commenting and markup tools which are now comparable to the Review tools in Word. Please visit this section of the Instructors' Manual for more details and an informative video.

Cloud Storage Integration

In addition to your local computer and the Content Collection, you can now add items to Blackboard from several cloud storage services (for example, Google Drive and OneDrive).  For more information, see this section in the Instructors' Manual.

Record Audio and Video Feedback

You can record audio/video feedback to students with one click from the Feedback to Learner tool bar, using your computer’s built-in camera and microphone.  For details, see this section in the Instructors’ Manual.

Attendance Tool

Blackboard now has a built-in native online attendance tool, which can integrate with the Grade Center. For details, see this section in the Instructors’ Manual.

More Customization Options

Don’t like the black-and-white theme? Color in the Course Menu is back!  Find this setting in Control Panel, Customization, Teaching Style, Select Menu Style. In addition, you will notice that the Blackboard frame now stretches to the entire width of your screen, no matter how big that is (and, of course, still optimizes down to tablets and phones).

Grade Center Improvements

The spreadsheet view of the Grade Center now has a Full Screen button (upper right corner), which will display the Grade Center across the entire width of your browser and screen, so that you can see more columns at once.

One-click Availability setting

You can now change your course from unavailable to available (or the reverse) just by clicking the “lock” icon, located at the top right of the home page in between the Edit icon and the Student Preview icon.

Delete multiple columns from the Grade Center

You can go to Manage/Column Organization, select multiple columns, and click the Delete button to quickly delete them all. You will see a large confirmation message to help you make sure that you are deleting the columns you intended to delete.  It's permanent!

Drag-and-drop files

You can now drag-and-drop files from your local computer to the “hotspot” area (indicated in dotted lines) in most areas where you see the “Browse to My Computer” button. Just select your file and drag it over; the color of the hotspot changes when the file moves over it and you will see the file listed below the box after it has uploaded.

Assignment Submission Receipts

Students now receive a confirmation email when they have successfully submitted an assignment. Instructors can review these receipts in the Grade Center — Reports — Submission Receipts page to confirm that students uploaded their submissions on time.

New mobile-responsive theme

This is probably the most immediately-noticeable change. The new interface is not only streamlined but also can be used on any device, from desktop to mobile phone. One important note is that clickable links may look just like other text, but try clicking on the text (or tapping on your phone) and that should load the next page or select the option.

New mobile apps

You may no longer need separate Blackboard apps for your phone (because the new theme works so well on smaller devices), but if you do, there are now new apps in the Apple and Google Play stores, called Blackboard (for students) and Blackboard Instructor.

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 upgrade, the Needs Grading page 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.

Self and Peer Assessments for Groups

Students who do not submit an assignment for peer review will not be included in the list of evaluators. By using Adaptive Release for groups, you can assign peer review submission to members of a group only.

Last updated: July 8, 2021

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