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Blackboard Help

What's New?

We're continually striving to improve Blackboard Connect 5 for your higher education and government communication needs. 

Check out these release notes to review the latest changes.


December 2016 Release (5.19)

This release improves the deactivation process and increases the SMS throughput, plus includes other enhancements to improve overall user experience.

Deactivation Updates

  • You now have the ability to view deactivated numbers and re-activate them on the Contacts page for individual contacts.
  • Enhancements have been made to deactivation processing.
  • There is a new report of Deactivated Numbers with contact information in the Reports tab.

SMS Improvements

  • Increases SMS capacity/speed from 1,000 SMS/sec to 1,500 SMS/sec.

TTS Improvements

  • Filter out asterisk (*) sign from text-to-speech messages (for NOAA Alerts).

Contact API Improvements

  • Ability to import latitude and longitude values for geographical addresses through Contact APIs.

UI Improvements

  • Removed fourth and fifth attempts from displaying on the UI.
  • Removed attendance subscription from Higher Ed and Government/Corporate accounts.

Discontinuation of XO Connect Page

  • Rerouting XO Connect Login page to Connect 5 Login page.

What's New in Review

Release Date What Was New
August 2016 Release (5.18)

This release includes product enhancements related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s July 2015 ruling. Visit the TCPA Resource Center for links to webinars, TCPA documents, and more information.

Also included are other enhancements to improve overall user experience.

TCPA Enhancements

  • Phone opt-out footers are included at the end of Outreach, Survey, and Connect for Teachers messages.
    • Touch-tone opt-out is available for Live Answer deliveries.
    • Opt-out hotline (855-502-7867) is available for Answering Machine deliveries.
  • SMS opt-out footers are included at the end of all SMS messages.
  • SMS message content is increased to 300 characters maximum (single-byte characters).
  • SMS Welcome messages will no longer be sent when new mobile numbers are loaded in K-12, but will continue to be sent for Higher Ed and Government/Corporation.
  • Opt-in status is now tracked for Direct Contacts.
  • Phone numbers that are in mobile carrier deactivation files are deactivated in Connect through an automated system process:
    • Deactivated numbers will still receive Emergency and Attendance phone and SMS messages.
    • Deactivated numbers will be included in the Export All Contact Points report in Manage Opt-Outs, and in other delivery and message history reports.
  • Manage Opt-Outs now includes settings to allow Emergency and/or Attendance messages to still be delivered while opted out of Outreach and Survey messages.
  • Warning text on Review Your Message and Create Template pages for Emergency messages.

General Enhancements

  • Summary Results email now contains an Email Survey link for users to provide feedback.
  • Email notifications are sent to users who subscribe, when attendance files are received.
  • Confirmation Welcome SMS message and SMS auto-replies available in French.
  • Additional French-Canadian translations available on MyConnect Portal.
  • Shorten SMS system auto-replies to 136 characters or less to support Community Engagement Solution.
  • Improve system performance to mitigate issues with Connect users not being able to log in.

Connect for Teachers Enhancements

  • Connect for Teachers messages include the opt-out footer at the end of each message:
    • Touch-tone opt-out is available for Live Answer deliveries.
    • Opt-out hotline (855-502-7867) is available for Answering Machine deliveries.
  • Connect for Teachers will no longer have the system option to hide the Opt-out tab.