Notas de la versión de Learn SaaS

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Learn SaaS release 3900.76.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.76.0
Release to Test/Stage: Tuesday, 12 September 2023 | Release to Production: Thursday, 5 October 2023
Original Experience, Ultra Experience
Original Course View, Ultra Course View

For full feature details please review the corresponding notes for the Learn 3900.76.0 version included below on this page. Details can also be found on Behind the Blackboard.

Latest release: 3900.76.0-rel.17+f95a1cd to Test/Stage servers to take place on 26 September 2023.

For more information on updates and bug fixes, please visit Behind the Blackboard.

 


October 2023 – 3900.76 Release

The October 2023 - 3900.76 release is robust with features in eight (8) areas:

  • Assignments and tests;
  • Communication and collaboration;
  • Gradebook;
  • Learner progression and personalized experience;
  • Integrations;
  • Learn core and security;
  • Mobile; and
  • Upgrade to Ultra

These improvements impact instructors, students, and administrators. Some features do require administrative action.

Instructors:

Instructors and students:

Students:

All users:

Administrators:


Assignments & Tests

 

SafeAssign Direct Submit – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Direct Submit allows instructors to submit items to SafeAssign outside of the assessment context. Now, instructors can use the Direct Submit option in Ultra courses. SafeAssign appears as an instructor tool in Books & Tools.

Upon opening the Books & Tools section, SafeAssign is in the Instructor tools section. If it is missing, this means your administrator has not turned on SafeAssign for your institution.

Image 1. Access SafeAssign Direct Submit from Books & Course Tools

Access SafeAssign Direct Submit from Books & Course Tools

Using SafeAssign Direct Submit

There are two document submission methods:

  • Upload File: Select this option to drag or upload files via a pop-up window. The standard SafeAssign document processing rules apply:
    • Maximum support file size is 10 MB
    • Supported file types: .zip, .doc, .docx, .docm, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .txt, .pdf, .rtf, and .html.
  • Copy/Paste Text: Select this option to enter a title for the submission and paste the text.

Image 2. Options to upload or copy/paste text

Options to upload or copy/paste text

Image 3. Upload file options

Upload options

Image 4. Copy/paste text options

Copy/paste text options

Submission Options

As part of the submission process, instructors will have a few processing options:

  • Check for Plagiarism (on by default):
    • If on, SafeAssign processes the submission and generates an Originality Report.
    • If off, SafeAssign does not produce an Originality Report. The submission is processed.
    • Use case: The instructor uploads scripts or materials they suspect students might misuse. The instructor doesn't require a report for these specific materials and turns off the "Check for plagiarism" option. Submission is processed, but the Originality Report is not generated. The system will compare all future student submissions against these resources.
  • Add to Institutional Database (on by default): When on, submissions are added to the institutional database.

Instructors cannot deactivate both 'Check for Plagiarism' and 'Add to Institutional Database' at once. If both options are turned off, it is not possible to proceed with file submission.

  • Share option (deselected by default):
    • All submissions are private by default. These submissions are only visible to the person who submitted the file across courses.
    • If selected, the submission is visible to other course instructors within the course where the file was submitted.

Once a user submits the file, the submission panel closes, and a confirmation message appears. Users may see the information as it processes.

Image 5. Submission confirmation and processing is underway

Submission confirmation and processing is underway

Navigating the Direct Submit page

Instructors can use the Search Item field to locate submissions quickly. Instructors can filter entries based on Privacy (All, Shared, Private) or Database (All, Added, Not Added). The pagination at the bottom lets instructors view more submissions across several pages.

For each submission, instructors can view the following:

  • Item name
  • Processing status
  • Link to the Originality Report
  • Matching Score
  • Database status
  • Submission Date
  • Privacy status

Instructors can organize the table entries by:

  • Item Name (alphabetical order)
  • Matching Score (from highest to lowest or vice versa)
  • Submission Date (from newest to oldest)

Image 6. Direct Submit page

Direct Submit page

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. Direct Submit for Original courses remains unchanged. SafeAssign Direct Submit is exclusively available to those with Instructor roles. Administrators must turn on SafeAssign for the Direct Submit option to appear in Books & Tools (Building Blocks, Installed Tools, SafeAssign).

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Delegated grading distribution by group membership – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors sometimes distribute the grading workload for an assessment to multiple graders. This is a popular practice in larger classes. Instructors can assign graders to groups of students with the new delegated grading option. Each grader will only see the submissions made by students in the group(s) assigned to them.

Delegated Grading can be used with all available group types. This first release of Delegated Grading supports assignment submissions from individual students. Tests, group assessments, and anonymous submissions are not supported at this time.

After selecting the Delegated Grading option, select the appropriate Group Set. Instructors can assign one or more graders to each group in the group set. If multiple graders are assigned to the same group, they will share the grading responsibility for the group members.

Graders assigned to a group of students will only see submissions for those students on the assignment’s submission page. They can only post grades for their assigned group members. Any unassigned instructors enrolled in the course will see all student submissions on the assignment’s submission page. They also post grades for all students.

If you would like to delegate randomly to course graders, first set up a randomized Group Set.

At least one Group Set complete with Groups must be present in the course before using the Delegated Grading option.

Image 1. Instructor view of the assessment Settings panel with the Delegated Grading option enabled

nstructor view of the assessment Settings panel with the Delegated Grading option enabled

Image 2. Instructor view of the Delegated Grading interface where the Group Set to be used for distributing the grading workload is selected

Instructor view of the Delegated Grading interface where the Group Set to be used for distributing the grading workload is selected

Image 3. Instructor view of the Delegated Grading interface with a Group Set selected

Instructor view of the Delegated Grading interface with a Group Set selected

Image 4. Instructor view of how to align graders to a group to distribute the grading workload

Instructor view of how to align graders to a group to distribute the grading workload

Image 5. Instructor view of the completed delegated grading set up where all groups have been aligned to one or more graders

Instructor view of the completed delegated grading set up where all groups have been aligned to one or more graders

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Partial credit auto-distribution for correct answers for Multiple Choice questions – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Multiple-choice questions with more than one correct answer are valuable assessment tools. Also known as multiple-answer or multiple-select questions, these questions assess comprehensive understanding. They also promote deeper learning and higher-order thinking skills.

Some instructors wish to award partial credit for these question types. This practice awards students who have a partial understanding. It also fosters a positive learning experience.

In the past, instructors had to enter a value for partial credit percentage for each option. Now, we auto-distribute partial credit across correct answer choices. This distribution provides efficiency and saves instructors’ time. If desired, instructors can edit the values if some correct answer options warrant more or less credit. Values for correct answers must sum to 100%.

Image 1. Question credit auto-distributes across correct answer options; values can be edited

Question credit auto-distributes across correct answer options; values can be edited

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Deselect answer choice for Multiple Choice question – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Students

In the past, a student could select an answer choice for a multiple-choice question, change their mind, and mark another answer choice. However, the student wasn't able to deselect an answer choice to return the question to an unanswered state. Now, students can deselect an answer choice. Deselecting a choice is helpful when a student doesn't want to guess. Deselecting a choice also allows the student to skip the question and return to it using the unanswered questions filter.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Communication & Collaboration

Send Reminder from Gradebook list and grid views – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students

Part of effective teaching is student support. Instructors may want to send a reminder to students or groups who haven't yet made a submission for an assessment. To make this easy, we have added a "Send Reminder" option to items in the Gradebook.

Reminders is an option for all gradebook items, including LTI and third-party tools.

From the Gradebook list view, this option is in the overflow menu.

Image 1. Send Reminder option from list view

Send Reminder option from list view

Instructors may access the "Send Reminder" option in the grid view by selecting the gradebook column header.

Image 2. Send Reminder option from grid view

Send Reminder option from grid view

Reminders are sent as a blind carbon copy to non-submitting students or groups as a course message.

Instructors can view the sent message in their course messages. If messages are off and the reminder is sent as an email, the instructor will receive a copy of the email.

When sending the reminder, the instructor will need to confirm their intent to send the reminder. The confirmation displays a count of the number of non-submitting students or groups who will receive the reminder.

Image 3. Send Reminder confirmation

Send Reminder confirmation

Image 4. Instructor view of the reminder as a course message

Instructor view of the reminder as a course message

For anonymous grading, non-submitting students receive the reminder via e-mail. This ensures that anonymity is preserved.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Course/Organization Level Override option for Messages – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Administrators

Some institutions want to allow instructors to set Messages options with a course or organization. In the past, administrators defined the default settings, but these couldn't be changed at the course or organization level. Now, administrators can choose to allow instructors to set the Messages options at the course or organization level.

Image 1. Administrator’s view of new Course and Organization Level Override option

Administrator’s view of new Course and Organization Level Override option

When the administrator selects the override option, the Messages Options appear in the Settings area of the course or organization.

Image 2. Instructor's view of Message Options from Course Settings

Instructor's view of Message Options from Course Settings

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses and organizations. This setting can be managed from the Administrator Panel >Tools & Utilities module > Messages.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Gradebook

Anonymous comments in Bb Annotate – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Students

In some grading scenarios, instructors prefer their students not to identify the individuals offering feedback on their submissions. To enhance anonymity, graders can now post Bb Annotate comments without disclosing their names. Instructors have the option to mark inline comments as anonymous when creating them or even after comments are added.

Image 1. Setting a comment as anonymous while editing the comment

Setting a comment as anonymous while editing the comment

Image 2. Anonymous comment as seen by the student

Anonymous comment as seen by the student

For administrators: A new configuration option, "Enables anonymous comments in Bb Annotate", appears on the Ultra Experience Management page in the Administrator Panel. The default state is "off.” The feature will have a phased release that may occur after the release date.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Sorting controls for manually added gradable Items – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Sorting controls help instructors organize and find the information in the gradebook. Instructors can now use sorting controls on the grades page for manually created items. The sorting controls enable sorting in both ascending and descending order. Instructors can sort the following information:

  • Student name
  • Grade
  • Feedback
  • Post status

The applied sorting order is temporary and resets when you leave the page.

Sorting controls can be applied to one column at a time. When you sort another column, items will order according to the selected column.

Image 1. Instructor view of sorting controls on the grades page for a manually added gradable item

Instructor view of sorting controls on the grades page for a manually added gradable item

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Copying grading schemas from course to course – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors can now copy individual grading schemas from Ultra and Original courses to other Ultra courses. Previously, you had to copy all schemas from the Original course. From the new Grading Schemas folder on the Copy Items panel, you can select which schemas to copy.

A course may contain up to 100 grading schemas. If the number of selected schemas plus that already in the course exceeds this limit, the system will copy as many schemas as possible up to a total of 100. An informative banner alerts the instructor of this situation so they can take appropriate action.

Image 1. Grading Schema folder now appears as an option in Copy Items

Grading Schema folder now appears as an option in Copy Items

Image 2. Selected Grading Schemas to copy

Selected Grading Schemas to copy

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Learner Progression & Personalized Experience

Last access course alert default set to 15 days – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

User feedback is key. Users told us that the frequency of access to Ultra courses depends on several factors, such as workload or class meetings recurrence. Previously, the default value for the "Number of days a student is inactive" was 5. Now, the default is 15. The alert for overall grade percentage is blank by default and is unchanged.

As before, instructors can adjust or remove course alerts.

The new default value of 15 applies to new courses and courses that did not have values set for course alerts. Course alerts values set in existing courses are maintained.

Image 1. Alerts Settings panel

Alerts Settings panel

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. To view the Course Activity and Student Activity Details reports, the user role needs to have the “Course/Organization Control Panel (Grade Center) > View Grades” privilege.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Student Activity report for Assessments enhancements for small devices and the Mobile app – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Instructors lead busy, on-the-go lives and access Learn from a variety of devices. To provide a better experience on small devices, we have added more capabilities for the Student Activity report for assessments. Instructors can access this report from their mobile devices with greater flexibility.

Now, in addition to a student’s name and grade, instructors can view student information on small screens:

  • Late submission indicator
  • Date opened
  • Date started
  • Attempts

Instructors can download the report in CSV format from small devices.

Image 1. Student Activity report for an assessment on a small screen

Student Activity report for an assessment on a small screen

The “Time to open” metric is no longer available in the Student Activity report. This metric was deprecated based on user feedback. The activity timeline chart is not available on small devices due to space restrictions. The messaging option from this report is planned for a future release.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Integrations

Edit Settings for Partner Cloud Content Items – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors

Partner Cloud tools provide flexibility in content and assessment creation. This release includes improvements to partner cloud settings in Learn Ultra. Instructors can now edit these settings from the Ultra Course page.

The edit settings include:

  • Name/Title
  • Description
  • Visibility including Release Conditions
  • Option to Launch to the tool
  • Open in a New Window
  • Enable Class Conversation
  • Grade information if Partner Content is gradable
  • Goals & Standards

Image 1 and 2. Partner Cloud Edit Settings

Partner Cloud Edit Settings

If the Partner content is gradable, the due date and grade maximum are read-only. These are only configurable within the Partner Cloud tool.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Ultra courses and all Partner Cloud tools. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


REST API to track content copy history – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators
Related topic: Learn APIs

Understanding the copy history of course content is crucial to improve version control. Now users can retrieve a detailed history of content copies across different courses.

Administrators can use the endpoint GET /learn/api/public/v1/courses/{courseId}/contents/{contentId} to access course content. To retrieve the content copy history, include the "expand=copyHistory" parameter.

The "copyHistory" attribute contains a list of Content Copy history objects, each with two attributes:

  • contentId: Refers to the historical hierarchy of LTI content IDs
  • courseUuid: Refers to the corresponding course IDs from which the content was copied

For administrators: The required entitlements for Course Content API remain unchanged.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


REST API to access Gradebook dates – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Administrators
Related topic: Learn APIs

Users can now retrieve valuable date-related grading data. This provides a more effective experience when working with this API.

For the endpoint GET /learn/api/public/v2/courses/{courseId}/gradebook/columns, users will now have access to the following attributes:

  • Created: This attribute allows you to find out when a grade or gradebook column was created.
  • Modified: With this attribute, you can get the date when a grade or gradebook column was last modified.

For this, we have also introduced corresponding query parameters to allow filtering:

  • ?date_created= date: Use this query parameter to filter the results based on the creation date.
  • ?date_modified= date: This query parameter enables you to filter results based on the date of the last modification.

These query parameters allow users to tailor their API requests. This ensures that the data required for reporting or management purposes is obtained.

For administrators: These query parameters allow users to tailor their API requests. This ensures that the data required for reporting or management purposes is obtained. The required entitlements for Gradebook API remain unchanged.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Migration Tools (Kaltura Course Content) – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS, Blackboard Learn 9.1
Original Experience
Original Course View
Impact: Administrators

We are committed to ensuring a smoother transition experience ahead of the removal of Building Blocks. To help, we've enhanced Building Block content migration related to converting Kaltura content in Original Courses. The conversion transforms Building Block links to LTI links.

Administrators can manage placements through intuitive drop-down menus, simplifying the Building Block transition process.

The Content Migration Tool service for Kaltura can be accessed through Administrator Tools.

Image 1. Content Migration Tool

Content Migration Tool

Administrators will find a dedicated location for configuring settings.

Image 2. Migration Service Settings

Migration Service Settings

Administrators can select the required IDs and leverage custom parameters for course details and migrated content.

Image 3. Migration settings for Kaltura

Migration settings for Kaltura

Once configurations are set, administrators can manage placements seamlessly. They can select the courses to migrate to and monitor the status of the migrated courses.

Image 4. Content Migration Tool

Content Migration Tool

A course search function will display the courses (enabled or disabled) that contain the content links to be migrated. This has a designated time range for the search.

Image 5. Example – courses that contain Kaltura content links

Courses that contain Kaltura content links

Administrators can easily track the status of courses selected for content link migration. They can search for migration link statuses for each course based on a specified time range.

Image 6. Search options for identifying courses for migration

Search options for identifying courses for migration

This tool has been designed to accommodate other B2s and to allow for future enhancements without major changes to the interface.

For administrators: For optimal performance, select a maximum of two semesters during content migration process.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Set allowed number of concurrent sessions – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Impact: All users

Institutions may want to restrict access to Learn from several devices at the same time. In the past, administrators could restrict users from accessing Learn on more than one device at the same time. Now, we have updated the number of concurrent sessions to include options for 2 or 3 concurrent sessions.

When users surpass the limit at login, they receive a notification that they will be logged out from devices with the oldest sessions.

Image 1. Concurrent session notice when a user surpasses the limit

Concurrent session notice when a user surpasses the limit

Image 2. Concurrent session notice for mobile users when a user surpasses the limit

Concurrent session notice for mobile users when a user surpasses the limit

Image 3. Administrator view - Concurrent Session controls

Administrator view - Concurrent Session controls

For administrators: Administrators may define their preference in the Administrator Tool Panel > Security module > Account Lock Settings option. We have updated the default value for the IL4/FedRAMP boundary to 2 sessions allowed. Every other institution continues to have "Unlimited" as a default value.
This feature is available for all users of the Mobile App. No action is needed from users who have enabled automatic updates on their devices. Users who have turned off automatic updates on their devices must download the update.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Mobile App

Messages tool availability settings respected in Mobile App – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Students

With this release, the mobile app aligns to the course settings for Messages. If Messages are "off" for the course, the Messages option is not displayed in the mobile app. This applies to both courses and organizations. When Messages are "on", the messages options for students are enforced on the app.

For administrators: This feature is available for all users of the Mobile App. No action is needed from users who have enabled automatic updates on their devices. Users who have disabled automatic updates on their devices must download the update.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Inactive session termination warning in Mobile App – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: All users

Terminating inactive sessions reduces the risk of unauthorized access to a user's account. When an administrator defines a timeout for inactive sessions, the auto-login option for the Mobile app does not renew the session. To improve the user experience, users are now alerted 6 minutes before the session expires. When the session expires, the user is logged out. If the app runs in the background, it counts as an inactive session.

Image 1. Notification appears 6 minutes before session termination

Notification appears 6 minutes before session termination

For administrators: Administrators can configure the time for inactive session termination from the Admin Panel > Security > Account Lock Settings. The default time a user can be inactive is 180 minutes (about 3 hours). The inactive time can be configured between 15 to 480 minutes. As before, session cleanup is a background task, so the ending of a session will be approximately the configured time, typically in a minute or two.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Upgrade to Ultra

Canvas conversion improvements: Removed unnecessary Content Item/Document – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors

Canvas Modules convert to Content Areas in the Original Course View. The conversion created a Content Item inside the Content Area using the same title as the Content Area. The content item didn't contain any content. This created more work for users as they now needed to delete the unnecessary Content Item.

Image 1. Unnecessary Content Item with the same title as the Content Area

Unnecessary Content Item with the same title as the Content Area

Canvas Modules convert to Folders in the Ultra Course View. The conversion created a Document inside the Folder using the same title as the Folder. The Document didn't contain any content. This also created more work for users as they now needed to delete the unnecessary Document.

Image 2. Unnecessary Document with the same title as the Folder

Unnecessary Document with the same title as the Folder

Now the conversion process no longer creates unnecessary Content Items or Documents.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Original and Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description


Canvas conversion improvements: Preserving videos – 3900.76

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience, Original Experience
Ultra Course View, Original Course View
Impact: Instructors, Administrators

In some cases, video files from Canvas were not coming over during conversion. We have resolved this issue for those converting to both Original and Ultra courses.

For administrators: This feature is available for all Original and Ultra courses. There are no configurations needed.

Return to October 2023 – 3900.76 Release description



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