Blackboard What Is New – 9.1 Q2 2017

We upgraded to Blackboard Learn™ 9.1 Q2 2017 on 12/26/2017.

In addition, there are changes to some features coming in 2018:

  • Inline Grading
    Blackboard’s current service for the implementation of inline grading is through the Crocodoc API, and Box Inc. has decided to discontinue it. The end-of-life date for the Crocodoc API is January 15, 2018.As a result, Blackboard will be updating their inline grading capability to leverage the New Box View API. New Box View offers several improvements over Crocodoc, including improved rendering fidelity and expanded support for new file types. Inline grading will continue to work in your courses after January 15th, 2018.
  • VoiceThread transitioning from requiring Flash to HTML5
    VoiceThread is now Flash free! You can move to the HTML5 version any time between August 1 and December 31 of 2017.Individuals can try the HTML5 version now (link TBD).However, as of January 1, 2018, everyone will be moved to the HTML5 version of VoiceThread automatically.

Release Highlights

Q2 2017 is primarily a maintenance release. The bug fixes and enhancements in this release are primarily focused on improvements to accessibility, language packs, assessments, grading, and Enterprise Surveys.

Drag and drop files (Q4 2016)

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.

Assignment drag and drop area, with Browse My Computer and Browse Content Collection buttons

Additional Drag-and-Drop Locations (Q2 2017)

File drag and drop are now supported in the following areas.

  • Content Collection – file upload page replacing Java-dependent interface
  • Content Editor – embed attachment
  • Blank Page content type
  • Blog – Create Entry
  • Journal – Create Entry
  • Portfolio – add Artifact

If the browser allows, users can drag a folder of files and the files will upload individually.

Submission receipts (Q4 2016)

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 via email (Q2 2017)

Starting with this release, students receive email confirmations for submitted coursework. The email receipt is another method for students to keep track of their submissions, in addition to the My Grades page.


Your work was received! 
You successfully submitted your coursework. Each time you submit coursework, you receive a unique confirmation ID to verify when your submission was received. You can view your submission receipts on your My Grades page.
Submission details:
Submission confirmation ID: 91ce8992351a44a69072cae3511cfbe4
Title of course: Q2_2017...
Course ID: Q2_2017...
Title of coursework: Assignment 1
Date/time of submission: Nov 2, 2017 5:15 PM
Size of written submission: 0bytes
Size and name of files received: sample.txt (11bytes)
Unique Item ID (for administrator use only): _1_1

Student view for submission receipts (Q2 2017)

Students can access their submission receipts at any time. The receipts can be found in My Grades or My Blackboard in the Submissions area. Like the instructor view, the receipts are always present even if an attempt or assignment has been deleted from the course.

Reminders (Q4 2016)

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 (Q4 2016)

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 (Q4 2016)

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 (Q4 2016)

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.

Content Collection improvements (Q2 2017)

In this release, the Content Collection has been improved to remove spam vulnerabilities and enhance search indexing performance. These improvements were also included in prior-version maintenance releases.

LTI improvements (Q2 2017)

LTI course links created by partners’ and institutionally-created solutions through Building Block APIs can now leverage LTI Outcomes 1.0 for grade/score return.

Deprecated Items

The following modules are no longer updated:

  • Astrology
  • Maps
  • Weather
  • Google Search
  • Zap2It