Additional Release Information
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Cumulative Update 6 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014
Cumulative Update 6 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 release is now available.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Building Block
This release is a maintenance release. In this release we focused on improving internationalization support and assorted bug fixes identified after the initial 1.0 release.
Blackboard Collaborate Building Block
We have updated the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block to address a number of issues regarding large enrollments, recording pullback, course room behavior, and more.
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 includes multiple new and enhanced features, improved workflows, and technology updates. Enhancements for this release generally fall into the following five categories:
- Technology infrastructure improvement to improve performance and security
- Improved experience for mobile users and updating the look-and-feel of the environment
- Improvements to save time and effort including file drag-and-drop in key workflows
- Assessment enhancements in the core teaching and learning tools
- Reporting improvements
REST APIs are no longer restricted to technical preview. Administrators and developers can create integrations using REST APIs and secured with OAuth. Please note that we strongly encourage anyone making use of these APIs to thoroughly test their functionality. Please see the following articles on the Community site for further details:
Learn 2016 Theme for improved mobile experience
This release includes a new theme that provides a more modern look and feel. Most importantly, the Bb Learn 2016 theme significantly increases the responsiveness of the interface for small devices. The theme also incorporates elements from the new Blackboard design language including color, fonts, and spacing, for greater consistency between Blackboard Learn, Collaborate Ultra, and the Bb Student app. This theme was also previously made available in Q2 2016 CU1.
New icon set
In this release, there is a new icon set for use in courses and organizations, and cancel/submit buttons will always pin to the bottom of the page regardless of device.
Drag and drop files
When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.
If the browser allows, users can drag a folder of files and the files will upload individually.
Drag and drop is not yet available in every area of Blackboard Learn where users can attach files.
Dropbox Education integration
Users can attach files and submit assignments from their personal Dropbox accounts using this new cloud service integration.
Administrators and instructors can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. This feature provides evidence for academic disputes, giving students assurance about their work.
A receipt is generated for each group member when a student submits on behalf of the group, and the anonymous state of an assignment is respected. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission.
Submission receipts was a popular enhancement request from recent voting on the Community site. You need to be a member of the Blackboard Community and have access to the Ideas space to view this link.
Instructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included.
Instructors can also send reminders for assignments with anonymous or delegated grading enabled. To protect anonymity, students' names and attempt statuses aren't revealed.
Fewer Needs Grading items
When multiple-attempt assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, there are potentially numerous other attempts that will never be used for the grade calculation. This can be particularly problematic in anonymous or delegated grading scenarios where it can be difficult to determine which attempts are associated with students and therefore require grading. A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide these attempts. Attempts that won't calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon.
Improved behavior for Self and Peer Assessments
Non-participants during the submission period are excluded from the evaluation process. Submitters with partial or complete submissions will be distributed to peers for evaluations. By pairing an assessment with Adaptive Release, it's possible to configure Self and Peer Assessments for individual groups.
Course activity reports
The Course Activity Overview report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrollment courses. Instructors can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups.
This update improves handling for managing grade columns in or reading grade data from merged sections. Institutions using flat file or REST in addition to LIS integration types can now retrieve just the external grade column. And new column filtering and column mapping capabilities make it easier to integrate with various student information systems.
Enterprise Surveys improvements
Changes to defaults and recipient count behavior help prevent admins from accidentally sending a survey to an overly-large recipient list.
Content Collection search improvement
The Basic or Advanced Search feature in the Content Collection now requires a starting search directory for better performance. Admins can grant users a permission to still search across all directories. A new privilege has been added so administrators can permit or restrict users from searching top-level directories in Basic and Advanced Search.
- BIRT Engine update to v4.5.0
- Only SQL Server 2014 is supported with this release. Microsoft is discontinuing support for SQL Server 2012 in Q2 2017
- Tomcat 8 update
Removed modules and themes
The following modules are not included in the Q4 2016 installer:
- Google Search
If you are upgrading to the Q4 2016 release from an earlier version of Blackboard Learn, these modules will still be present. However, the modules will not be present for new installations that use the Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 release.
The following themes are no longer supported:
- Learn 2008
- Brushed Metal
Upon upgrade to the Q4 2016 release of Blackboard Learn for all deployment types, these themes will be switched to custom themes and can be removed by administrators.
Mobile Web Services
Version 94.9.2 improves performance and stability of the Mobile Web Services Building Block. This update is currently only available in Cumulative Update 2 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016.
Cumulative Update 2 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016
Cumulative Update 2 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 release is now available.
Cumulative Update 2 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015
Cumulative Update 2 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015 release is now available.
Cumulative Update 5 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014
Cumulative Update 5 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 release is now available.
Mobile Web Services
The latest update for the Mobile Web Services Building Block includes multiple improvements. Users can embed images in HTML for in-line display. Additionally, this release includes bug fixes related to authentication, due dates in languages other than English, incorrectly displayed grades, and more.
Learn 2016 Theme
This update includes a new theme that provides a more modern look and feel. Most importantly, the Bb Learn 2016 theme significantly increases the responsiveness of the interface for small devices. The theme also incorporates elements from the new Blackboard design language including color, fonts, and spacing, for greater consistency between Blackboard Learn, Collaborate Ultra, and the Bb Student app.
MOSAIC and O*NET Standards
For institutions who wish to evaluate student work or align their curriculum against either the Multipurpose Occupational Systems Analysis Inventory - Close-Ended (MOSAIC) or Occupational Information Network (O*NET) competencies, we have made these competencies available now for download on Behind the Blackboard.
With this release, we are continuing our commitment to delivering strong product quality and providing a stable, reliable experience for educators and learners using Blackboard Learn today. We have continued to address the top customer-reported issues that are affecting the largest number of customers. The bug fixes and enhancements in this release are primarily focused on improvements to accessibility, language packs, assessments, grading, and Enterprise Surveys.
The 9.1 Q2 2016 release supports limited REST APIs in a Technical Preview. Administrators and developers can create integrations using REST APIs and secured with OAuth. Please note that we strongly encourage anyone making use of these APIs to thoroughly test their functionality. Please see the following articles on the Community site for further details:
Java 8 Update
The Q2 2016 release now uses the latest version of Java from Oracle.
We strongly encourage anyone who has a Building Block to test it against Java 8 before installing the Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 release onto a production environment. Please see the following article for further details:
Minimum system requirements to run Java 8: 8GB per Learn application server, 32GB per Oracle server.
SAML 2.0 Authentication
The SAML Building Block provides a way to authenticate, authorize, and use single sign-on (SSO) with the latest SAML 2.0 protocol, which focuses on improved security, improved end user experience, and easier IT administration. This building block provides Just-in-Time provisioning capabilities, a commitment made to the InCommon Net+ community as part of our certification process.
As part of the Association of American Colleges & Universities' (AAC&U’s) Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. Educational professionals from over 100 higher education institutions collaboratively developed 16 VALUE rubrics to use the most frequently identified characteristics for measuring success in key learning outcomes.
For Blackboard Learn users who are interested in using these rubrics, we are making them available for download and import. Each rubric has been built and formatted appropriately so it can be imported to your courses and used anywhere you can align and evaluate with rubrics today. The downloadable rubrics are available in US English only because this is how they were authored by AAC&U.
The screen reader will not announce Quick Links modal when modal is closed, and Grading Journals will now work with a screen reader.
Clients who have control over their user's email addresses and aren't susceptible to DMARC-based rejections now have the option to turn off DMARC handling. In the bb-config.properties file, the setting for bbconfig.email.use.dmarc.from.override can be changed to False to disable DMARC handling.
We’ve made updates to the Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean language packs to correct translation issues and grading workflows. Clients who use the Korean language pack can globally replace username with user ID.
The 9.1 Q2 2016 release resolves a set of security fixes to core features of Learn 9.1. After the issues are released through all supported 9.1 versions through a Cumulative Update or Building Block, a Security Bulletin will be released to provide details on the individual fixes.
Analytics for Learn
Version 4.3.2 is now available. This release focuses on bug fixes, rebranded sample Pyramid content, performance improvements to SSRS reporting, new look to sample SSRS reports, and a new Learn Attendance Exception Report. This release is recommended for all customers of Analytics for Learn.
A number of updates have been released for SafeAssign. Choose a release to learn more.
Social Learning Tools
This version of the Social Learning Tools Building Block includes the ability to enable Enhanced Cloud profiles for your institution. This release also contains fixes for permissions issues and localization.
Virtual Classroom, Chat
Support for Virtual Classroom and Chat course tools will be ending with this release. Institutions using versions of Blackboard Learn that still have the Virtual Classroom and Chat course tools can continue to use them; they will continue to function beyond June 30, 2016. However, Blackboard Support will no longer accept reported issues with the tools and bugs beyond this date, and security issues will not be addressed. Please see the following article for further details:
Snapshot Client Tool
No new versions of the Snapshot Client Tool will be issued with this release. This is a standalone application used to process remote SOAP transactions and is different from the Snapshot Command Line Tool and Snapshot Controller. The Snapshot Command Line Tool will be included in releases until the Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 release. The Blackboard Consulting Snapshot Controller will continue to work because the Snapshot Command Line Tool is still included.
Record from Webcam
Since Google removed YouTube's Record from Webcam feature, the Content Editor has been updated with the following changes:
- The YouTube icon image has been changed.
- The alt text now reads Browse My YouTube Videos.
- The Record tab has been removed and all users are now defaulted to the Browse tab to search existing videos.
Goal Performance Dashboard
A competency-based education Building Block to map goals to courses within Learn. The Goal Performance Dashboard evaluates evidence of competencies individually, allowing for true measurement of mastery.
Grades Journey integrates your institution's Student Information System with Learn. Grades Journey allows you to exchange grade information between two separate systems.
PowerSchool SIS Integration
As part of the innovative classroom, SIS Central two-way integration is now available for PowerSchool customers who license Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 release or higher.
With this release, Blackboard’s SIS Central will provide bi-directional integration between all Blackboard Learn deployment options and the PowerSchool Student Information System. The Blackboard Learn PowerSchool Integration provides a hands-free, seamless synchronization of users, classes, enrollments, assignments, and grades between Blackboard Learn and PowerSchool.
Announcement Date Restriction Default
When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.
Escaping Special Characters
When a user uploads a file to Learn and the filename contains special characters (such as / \ : ? * " < > | ), the system replaces the special character with an underscore ( _ ).
Learn 9.1 now supports the Microsoft Edge browser. Some new browser releases no longer support NPAPI plugins. Without these plugins, some Learn features may not render correctly.
The Content Editor now supports HTML5 Audio and Video playback in Chrome and Edge browsers.
ANGEL and WebCT Vista packages will convert WebEQ match equations to WIRIS.
This release includes new language packs for Thai (th_TH) and Malay (ms_MY) languages.
Discussion Boards: Forum descriptions are read on the Create Thread page. This improves accessibility for users with screen reader technologies.
Assessments: When creating a hot spot question, an Image Alternate text box is now available. This improves accessibility for users.
Content Editor: The default heading size for all of the embedded headings has been increased so they are properly read in both the view and edit state in the Content Editor.
Students can easily purchase required course materials at competitive prices via personalized shopping lists and quick access from within Blackboard Learn. Instructors can find, compare, and assign materials from the largest online catalog of commercial and open educational content.
Installs using the Learn 9.1 October 2014 prior to February 5, 2015 will see the Blackboard Store Building Block included and automatically available. However, installs using the Learn 9.1 October 2014 on or after February 5, 2015 will not see the Blackboard Store Building Block included. Those wanting to install the Blackboard Store Building Block should refer to the Blackboard Store details available here on Behind the Blackboard.
Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.
Users can also now choose the Hijri Islamic lunar calendar.
There is now a course list filter in the calendar.
The Content Editor spell check option is now ON by default.
Translation change requests have been implemented to improve the quality and usability of the language packs for Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Spanish, Turkish, and Korean. Czech and Polish language packs have been added.
Users can now access report options to create a printable view to save the visualized report as a PDF or XLS. There are also additional data fields available to provide further insight needed for in-depth data analysis for quantitative and qualitative assessment.
Blackboard Learn has integrated with OAuth 2.0. With this update users are able to seamlessly use several video features within Learn without authentication issues.
User directory search now respects the privacy setting of the user. Portfolios can be shared with any user by entering the username. If the searcher does not know the username, he or she can search the User Directory. However, the search will return only users who have explicitly decided to make their profiles public.
Anonymous and Delegated Grading
Instructors can hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous grading. Instructors can delegate grading to specific users.
Significant figures have been added in calculated formula test questions, such as leading zeros.
Bluepulse is an open social platform that directly ties student input to classroom improvement. It is bundled in the Learn 9.1 April 2014 release.
Financial Aid Reporting
Generate reports of student academic contribution within a single or multiple courses in Blackboard Learn 9.1.
The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. Students now view feedback by selecting View Feedback.
Portfolios are now accessed from the global navigation menu and have a new authoring canvas.
Profiles will be integrated with MyEdu to deliver an Enhanced Cloud Profile. The Enhanced Cloud Profile provides users with their first professional profile; helping them demonstrate skills & competencies they have developed through their educational journey in a visual and uniquely compelling way.
Redis Cache is bundled in Learn 9.1 April 2014.
SafeAssign is integrated into regular Learn assignments.
Instructors can view their course exactly as a student does by using a student account the system generates for them.