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July 2013

Blackboard has introduced several compelling new and enhanced features with the release of the latest Service Packs.  The new feature set is designed to offer a media-rich and interactive online learning environment focused on ease of use, interoperability between tools, and social engagement.  Keep an eye on our Workshops Schedule (link above) for additional sessions focusing on the new Blackboard features.

Watch this video for a glimpse of what's in the new Blackboard.

Feature Showcase – Browse all of Blackboard's new features by category.  Note, not all features shown here are available in UAlbany's Blackboard system.

The following features will be available to support online teaching and learning beginning this fall semester. 

Click items below for more details:

 Content Editor - [IMPROVED] a completely new editor

The newly designed content editor vastly improves the user experience for adding text and other forms of digital content to Blackboard Learn.   It allows you to add and format text, insert equations and hyperlinks, tables, and attach different types of files to content.  The new math equation editor functions on all platforms and supports editing and display of LaTeX formulas.

 Inline Grading for Assignments [NEW] open and mark-up student submission directly in Bb

Instructors can view student-submitted files “inline,” meaning in the web browser, without requiring any plug-ins, applets, or client-side applications. Additionally, annotations tools are available as part of the inline viewer, enabling Instructors to provide feedback – comments, highlights, and even drawing/annotation – directly on the inline view of the document.

 Video Everywhere [NEW] add video directly within Bb

A new button is added to the content editor toolbar that activates your webcam, allowing you to record video and upload it directly to your YouTube™ channel. Users must have a Google® account that is registered on YouTube. A YouTube channel is required to process and save the webcam videos.  You can record a video on the fly using a webcam and have it seamlessly embedded in course materials, interactions, and feedback through the content editor.  You can reuse previously recorded videos by choosing from one’s own “library” of videos.

 Discussions [IMPROVED] new threaded page layout

The thread detail page has been thoroughly redesigned while maintaining all of its current functionality.  Instructors now can require students to first post to a forum before they can see other students’ posts.

 Assessment Item Analysis [NEW] faculty, test thyself

Item analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. You can use this information to improve questions for future test administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts.

 Global Navigation & My Blackboard [NEW] aggregated info in one location

Everything you need for your Blackboard experience is in one convenient location. My Blackboard provides you with quick and easy access to critical and timely information regarding your school, courses, and fellow classmates. From My Blackboard you can view how you are doing in each of the courses you are enrolled in, see grades, be reminded of assignments that are due, and much more.

 Calendar [IMPROVED] MUCH more user friendly

The new Calendar displays a consolidated view of all of your institution, course, organization, and personal calendar events. Calendar events are color coded by course.  supports due dates, if set, for gradable items. Clicking on calendar items allows an instructor to view or edit the item, or grade attempts on the associated item.

 Retention Center [NEW] course-based analytics tool to track student progress

Instructor-only tool that enables teachers to give focused attention to students who need it. Communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement.

 Test Availability Exceptions [NEW] - flexibility for student needs

Allow instructors to select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings. Exceptions can be used to provide an accommodation to a disabled student, provide accommodations for technology and language differences, or resolve re-take situations.

Need more help? Submit an ITS Service Desk Request.