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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.


February 2017 Release (iOS Sender App Version 1.28)

This release fixed all the remaining iOS bugs and HTML email issues.

  • Fixed app layout when switching from portrait to landscape orientation.
  • Fixed issue where user received a Login Failed message when the device was set to a non-US time zone.
  • Fixed an issue where the username and password was empty even after user selected the Remember me option.
  • Fixed an issue where permissions did not transfer over to the app correctly when a user had only emergency-type permissions in the Connect interface.
  • Fixed the issue where the Saved Message template within the app did not fully load.
  • Fixed an issue with the template displaying the HTML code for email content.

What's New in Review

Release Date What Was New
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

  • Increased 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.

User Interface 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

  • Rerouted XO Connect Login page to Connect 5 Login page.
September 2016 Release (5.18.1) This release included the following additions to our TCPA product changes and an additional enhancement widely requested from our customers.

TCPA Enhancements

  • Removed opt-out footer from Emergency SMS: Removed the SMS opt-out footer for Emergency messages as emergency calls are exempt from TCPA.
  • Deactivated phone status for teachers: When a phone number for a teacher is deactivated, Connect will now display Deactivated as opposed to Opted-Out.

General Enhancements

  • Survey recording for answering machines: You can now separate recordings for messages that go to recipients' answering machines.
August 2016 Release (5.18)

This release included 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.