Fall 2012

On November 17 & 18 Blackboard Learn was updated to SP9.


Note: All links are set to open in a new window


With this update, comes new enhancements and features, including a new cleaner look to Blackboard. To learn more about the changes view Course Structures, Course Themes, and Quick Setup Guide sections below.

To ensure you’re your current fall course look and feel is consistent until the conclusion of the semester. Course Themes will NOT be activated when Blackboard is updated, in November which means Blackboard will look the same when you log in after the update. On Tuesday, December 18 (after grades are entered) we will activate the Blackboard 2012 Theme.


Automatic Regrading Tests

Instructors can now fix problematic questions by simply editing the invalid question directly and having all necessary updates flow automatically to the Grade Center. For any given question, Blackboard now allows instructors to drop, give full credit, change point value, or change the correct answer. After the question has been updated, Blackboard recalculates the score of all submitted assessments that included the updated question, reflects the updates in the Grade Center, and provides notification to both the instructor and optionally to the student for all impacted submissions.
Note: Instructors have the option of saving as new when editing a question in a pool.
♦ Watch the Blackboard On Demand Video: Automatic Regrading (2 min 58 sec)
♦ Review the Blackboard On Demand Getting Started Guide: Automatic Regrading (PDF)

Awarding Negative Points on Test Questions

Negative marking allows instructors to apply negative point values for wrong answers on test questions. This allows them to prevent (by penalty) guessing or the selection of egregiously wrong answers.
♦ Watch the Blackboard On Demand Video: Negative Marking (4 min 13 sec)

New View Grade History Option

A new View Grade History option appears in the contextual menu for a column in the Grade Center where users can choose a time period for the history that is shown. 
♦ View the new Grade History Option (link, University of Northern Iowa)

Rubrics Update

Rubrics have been updated to include Percentage Range along with Points Range. The Percentage Range allows a single rubric to work with any assignment because scores are calculated as a percentage.
♦ Watch the Blackboard On Demand Videos: Creating a Rubric (video: 3 min 10 sec)
♦ Watch the Blackboard On Demand Videos: Associating a Rubric (video: 3 min 11 sec)
♦ Watch the Blackboard On Demand Videos: Grading with Rubrics (video: 3 min 17 sec)

Activity Reports

The Student Overview for Single Course report displays an individual student's activity within a course, sorted by date. Data includes the total overall time the student spent in the course as well as detailed information about the student's activity, such as which items and Content Areas the student accessed and the time spent on each. This is accessed as a Course Report by the instructor and at the system level by the Administrator. The Course Activity Overview displays overall activity within a single course, sorted by student and date. Data includes the total and average time spent per user and the total amount of activity the user had in the course. This is accessed as a Course Report by the instructor and at the system level by the Administrator.
♦ Review the Blackboard Help Guide: Generating Course Reports (link)


Enable Terms View in My Courses Module

The My Courses Module shows all the courses you are enrolled in either as an instructor, teaching assistant, or student. After a few semesters the listing may become difficult to navigate. Not only can you hide and reorder courses, you can now organize them by semesters.
♦ View the new Enabling Terms View in My Courses Module (link, University of Arkansas)

Course to Course Navigation 

In a course – click the action link next to the course title to jump from course to course access the same page/tool. Students can jump from one course’s announcements page to another. 
♦ Watch the Blackboard On Demand Video: Course to Course Navigation (video: 1 min 31 sec) 

Course Structures

Blackboard offers Course Structures instructors can use as a launching pad to create a course, organize content, share knowledge, and build communities. Course Structures contain course areas, optional sample content, pedagogical information, and instructions to help instructors design their course. Course Structure content and Course Menu links are added to the course’s existing content if you elect to add a structure.
♦ Review the Blackboard Help Guide: Using Course Structures (link)

Course Themes (available December 18*)

Within a course, instructors can apply a Course Theme to match their design preferences and teaching methods. Course Themes add a background image to the course display and change the color of the user interface, including the Course Menu, buttons, and controls. Applying a theme does not affect course content, and users can change the theme again at any time.
♦ Watch the Blackboard On Demand Video: Blackboard 2012 Theme (2 min 50 sec)


Quick Setup Guide

When instructors enter a course initially, a Quick Setup Guide screen appears helping instructors set up a new course. Instructors are initially asked update the name and description of their course and then to apply any changes. Instructors can go on to step two and design their course menu by applying a course structure from over 30 different pedagogically based selections. At this point, instructors can also decide whether to add sample content to the course. Finally, there are links to additional resources to help instructors learn more about building their courses. The Quick Setup Guide will appear every time an instructor enters their course unless it is turned off. When turned off, the Quick Setup Guide can be accessed from the Control Panel under Customizations.
♦ Watch a YouTube Video: Quick Setup Guide (4 min 14 sec)

Action Bar Functions in Content Area Have Been Renamed

Build Content remains the same, but the others are renamed to Assessments, Tools, and Publisher Content. This resulted from moving adding tool links to the Tools drop-down list and making the naming more generic.
♦ View the new Content Area Action Bar (image)

Users Can Choose to Create Link to Course Tool

Instead of adding tool links from the Build Content function in a course area, adding tool links is now moved to the newly renamed Tools drop-down list and more tools are available in the list.
♦ View the new Create Link to Course Tool (image)

Add Menu Item Redesigned

The Add Menu Item option list for the Course Menu has a new look. The option names are shorter.
♦ View the new Add Menu Redesign (image)

Customization Menu Renamed

The Customization menu item Style has been renamed Quick Setup Guide and a new menu item Teaching Style has been added.
♦ View the new Customization Menu (image)