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New Features Coming to Blackboard

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

On May 20, 2018, we will be upgrading our Blackboard system. This upgrade will include new enhancements and features that we believe both instructors and students will find to be helpful. Some of these new enhancements and features include:

Improved mobile experience

The new version of Blackboard will make it much easier to navigate the Blackboard system and course menus from mobile devices. When you access Blackboard through mobile devices, you'll notice that the navigation has been moved to a hamburger menu  that remains there when you move from screen to screen. Within a course, the menu opens and closes more easily, improving the overall experience, plus many Blackboard tools are now mobile friendly. 

Screenshot of accessing Blackboard from a mobile device.

Submission receipts for assignments

When a student submits an assignment, a submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. This feature gives students assurance about their work and provides evidence in case of an academic dispute. Students will receive a notification email for each assignment attempt with information about the submission, including attached files. Students can also access receipts at any time on the My Grades page in the submissions filter area. Instructors can keep track of all student submission, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. 

Screenshot that shows an example submission receipt for a student assignment submission in Blackboard.

Drag and drop files

 When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can now 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 and within blogs and journals. 

Discussion board "replies to me"

Keeping up with large discussion board forums is made easier with the additions of a "Replies to me" count and filter so unread replies to your own posts can be easily identified and read. 

Screenshot of Discussion Board in Blackboard showing the new "Replies to Me" column

Instructors Only

Ability for Instructors to delete multiple Grade Center columns at once

Instructors can now delete multiple Grade Center columns at once from the Column Organization page in the Full Grade Center making gradebook management even easier. When deleted, manual and calculated columns are removed completely; columns associated with gradeable items (such as Assignments, Tests, Discussion Forums, etc.) are cleared of attempt and grade data, but remain in the Grade Center. 

Screenshot of Column Organization in the Grade Center, where instructors can select columns and choose the "Delete" button to delete multiple columns at once.

Missing coursework reminders

Instructors can send email reminders from a Grade Center column 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.

Screenshot of grade column menu where an instructor can choose to send a reminder to all students who do not have a grade or submission for a selected grade column


If you have any additional questions about these new enhancements and features, please contact the KU IT Educational Technologists at 785-864-2600 or itedtech@ku.edu or visit us in Budig 4 on the Lawrence campus. On the Edwards campus, contact us at 913-897-8443 or kuec_edtech@ku.edu, or visit us in RC 120C.

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