What's New in Blackboard 9.1 SP 11

St. Edward's University  upgraded to Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 11 on July 4th and to a new theme (look and feel) on August 16th.  Please check the Known Issues page for possible issues including how to copy/paste into the new editor and how to view non-secure content that is linked from within Blackboard.

  1. Blackboard's new look and feel is part of a theme that was updated on August 16th.  The theme has a more modern, streamlined look.  

      -  Most functions are in the same location as the old theme
      -  Additional functions are revealed with you point to or hover over items
      -  Improved discussion forum display.  Issues with display of grading areas in discussions has been resolved.
    The video below goes over the changes to the theme.
    Blackboard Learn 2012 Theme

  2. The first time you log on after the upgrade, you will see an introductory screen.

    You can click "Close" to make this page go away.  The drop down to the right of your name is My Blackboard and the icon on the far right is the Log Off button.

  3. My Blackboard.  If you move your cursor to the top right of your screen and click on the little triangle to the right of your name, the My Blackboard pop-up will appear. You can navigate between open courses directly, without going back to the Courses page.  Just click on My Blackboard (the down triangle to the right of your name at the upper right) and you’ll see the last 5 courses you accessed at the top and the rest of the courses in which you are enrolled below.  From My Blackboard you can navigate to the Posts Button with two wavy lines button to see posts from all courses, the Updates Button with image of alarm clock  button to see update notifications from all courses and the My Grades button with a check mark and plus sign icon which shows you grades from all courses on one page. The number next to the drop down menu is the number of new posts, notifications or grades  available.  A short video intoduction to My Blackboard is available.

    My Blackboard with arrows pointing to Posts, Updates and Grades

  4. My Posts.  Within the My Blackboard menu you can see a list of recent posts to forums and blogs.  You can access the forum from this menu to view or reply to a post or to comment on a blog.
    My Posts with a list of current posts to forums and blogs

  5. My Updates. Within the My Blackboard menu you can see a list of updates about new content items added to classes, new assignments, new announcements and new quizzes.  You can click on the open link to the right of a specific item to go directly to the new assignment or content item.
    The update tab shows course updates with the most recent ones at the top of the list.

  6. My Grades. Within the My Blackboard menu you can see grades from all of your classes.  You can see the most recent grades at the top or sort by class.
    The grades tab allows a student to view grades with the most recent posted at the top of the list.

  7. New Text Editor. The content editor allows you to add and format text, insert equations and hyperlinks, tables, and attach different types of files to content. The editor appears throughout the system as the default editor. The legacy WebEQ equation editor has been replaced with a new mathML equation editor (WIRIS). Blackboard has extensive documentation on the new text editor.

    The simple mode contains a minimal set of the most used text formatting functions. Click the show more
    show me more button ) function—represented by two down pointing arrows—to access more editor functions. 
    Blackboard text editor in simple mode with Text, font and basic function buttons

  8. You may notice that the Paste from Word Mashup is gone.  This is because Blackboard now does a much better job of handling the HTML when you Paste from Word, so you can just go back to the normal Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V or Edit, Copy then Edit, Paste that you are used to when copying into the Visual Text Box.  Not everything will be copied brilliantly, because Blackboard is not MSWord, but if you save your Word document as an .rtf, you’ll get a pretty good idea of how it will look in Blackboard.

  9. Rubrics.  In addition to the No Rubric, Points, Points Range and Percentage option, there is now a Percentage Range option, providing more flexibility in grading using rubrics.

  10. Item analysis of test items.  Watch Blackboard's video explaining item analysis.