New Global Navigation Menu
The entry point to My Blackboard is the Global Navigation Menu. This menu is available all the time in the top right corner of the Blackboard Learn interface and provides users with one-click access to their Courses, Organizations, Settings, Blackboard Help, and the My Blackboard tools.
My Blackboard was designed in response to feedback from students and staff who told us that they don’t want to go to multiple places to stay up-to-date on what’s going on across all their Courses, Organizations, and Social Learning interactions in Blackboard Learn. Now, the critical information users need to know from across all of Blackboard Learn is consolidated in a simple, modern, easily consumable way. The My Blackboard features include: Home, Profile, People, Posts, Updates, Calendar, My Grades, Messages, and Spaces.
There is some functionality of My Blackboard that requires the Community Engagement license.
This information includes their picture, area of study or focus, an “about me” description, a Profile Wall for communication, the ability to follow and message other users, and the ability to make the Profile visible to the Blackboard Learn cross-institution global learning network.
Once the Profile is complete, the user’s Profile picture will appear in multiple places throughout the Blackboard Learn platform where his/her name appears. When hovering over a user’s Profile picture, a Profile card automatically pops up, displaying the user’s Profile information so others may learn more about that user. With Profiles in Blackboard Learn, the online learning experience is much more social.
My Blackboard: People
The People tool enables users to discover others in their global learning network and learn more about them from their Profile Card and Profile Wall. This is where users can see who everyone is in each of their Courses and Organizations across their entire institution, as well as across the global network of Blackboard Learn institutions. Users can also build and manage their learning network through the People tool by following / networking with others.
People requires the Community Engagement license.
My Blackboard: Posts
The Posts tool in My Blackboard makes it easy for users to stay up- to-date and engaged with all the conversations going on across Blackboard Learn. The Posts tool consolidates posts from all of their Courses and Organizations, including posts from Discussion Boards, Journals, Wikis, and Blogs, as well as the comments and replies to those posts. With the different filters, users can look at all posts, just those posts that directly involve them, or they can choose to only look at posts from one particular Course or Organization.
There is some functionality of Posts that requires the Community Engagement license.
My Blackboard: Updates
The Updates tool in My Blackboard consolidates all Notifications from across all Courses and Organizations, so users never miss a thing. This tool updates users on course announcements, when new content or assignments are added to a course, when an assignment or assessment is due, and much more. Users can also change their Notification preferences and select exactly what they want to show up in this tool.
There is some functionality of Updates that requires the Community Engagement license.
My Blackboard: My Grades
The My Grades tool consolidates all grades for a student from across all his/her courses into one view. There’s no need for the student to navigate in and out of all his/her courses to check grades. When the student clicks on a grade in the stream, (s)he will see additional details like Instructor feedback and more.
Text & Text-to-Voice Notification
Users can now opt in to receive automated course notifications and system-wide announcements through texts and/or text-to-voice calls. From course announcements to an assignment that is due, users can stay updated anytime, anywhere from their mobile device.
New Content Editor
The new and improved Content Editor enables simple content creation through an easy to use interface. The Content Editor reads, writes, and renders modern HTML. It also provides the ability for users to perform common tasks such as the resizing of images and conducting find/replace. In addition, it includes simple icons in the toolbar for everyday tasks. Users can easily create rich content by adding mashups from YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, and more. The Content Editor also can be expanded for full- frame editing, giving users a lot more screen real estate to build rich content. Additionally, there is a new Math Editor in Blackboard Learn that supports saving and the copy/paste of equations using MathML.
The Item Analysis feature helps Instructors easily refine tests and quizzes by evaluating the quality and validity of each question and that question’s ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Ineffective questions can easily be identified and quickly corrected with the Assessment Regrade feature.
Fill in the Blank Question Enhancement
Instructors can now take advantage of using “contains” and “pattern match” logic when grading Fill in the Blank questions. That means they no longer have to rely upon an exact match for Blackboard Learn to automatically grade these questions. So, they no longer have to enter multiple answer choices when creating a Fill in the Blank question in order for Blackboard Learn to grade the question for them.
Integrating External Tools
Blackboard Learn allows institutions to integrate third-party tools into courses. These tools use the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) standard to connect Blackboard Learn to the tool. Service Pack 10 allows these Tool Providers to post grades directly to the Blackboard Learn Grade Center, making management of assignments much easier for Instructors.
File Picker Enhancement
The new File Picker is an enhancement in the Content Management license, and it is available everywhere users attach files. The goal with Service Pack 10 was to de-clutter the page, remove unnecessary functionality, and make the primary action of choosing a file as easy and simple as possible. The new File Picker is available for both direct file attaching, as in Assignments, or attaching files via the Content Editor.
Enterprise Survey and Course Evaluations
Service Pack 10 enables institutions to deliver and analyze institutional surveys. The Enterprise Survey and Course Evaluation Tool, formerly found in the Outcomes Assessment module, has been updated and is now included in the core product. Institutions may now conduct surveys as needed at the course, department, institution, and general public levels.
With the release of Service Pack 10, Blackboard launched a new strategy where some new features will be built in the cloud. This means there are new settings that control the connection of an individual Blackboard Learn instance to the new cloud services. These settings are found on the Administrator Panel in the new “Cloud Management” module.
Software Updates Module Used to Deploy New Features
Service Pack 10 uses Software Updates to notify System Administrators of new Blackboard Learn functionality delivered via Building Blocks and available for installation. Using the Software Updates module, System Administrators can install and deploy new or updated features like the Calendar when they want to, allowing System Administrators more flexibility to adopt new functionality when it is best for their user community.