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Release Notes & New Features: Start Here

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Release Notes & New Features

Release Notes for 3900.19 (anticipated September 2, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original and Ultra Course Views, users created using a SIS integration were seeing an error page when trying to load the Content Market page. We updated the integration and fixed the issue.

Release Notes for 3900.19 (anticipated August 5, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original Content Editor, we’ve fixed issues with the height of the editor window and alignment of content in tables. Clients using custom theme packages may need to refresh their theme package from the default Learn 2016 Theme to get these fixes.
  • In the Original Experience, a query associated with the disk usage task was consuming CPU time without completing executions. This was affecting performance, especially for Oracle data base clients. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, a text in a table cell remained left aligned even though a different text alignment was specified using the TinyMCE. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, Assist users could have been impacted by the integration not being visible in the base navigation UI. We've removed previous dependencies to allow displaying Assist through the base navigation, and fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, some instructors and administrators couldn't save their HTML in the new Content Editor despite having the privilege to do so. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, some SCORM attempts remained "In Progress" in the Grade Centre, even after a successful completion of the corresponding SCORM quiz. Rustici identified the potential problem causing the issue. We've made their recommended fixes to mitigate future problems.
  • In the Original Experience, some Learn SafeAssign reports could not be rendered. Submissions could remain in a "report in progress" status for days. We've fixed the issue.

In Original Course View Tests, Surveys, and Pools, there are limits for which test question options support file attachments and embedded media. In this release, we’ve expanded the places where files and media can be embedded, allowing instructors and content authors to create more interactive and visual questions. These question types and fields now support attached files and media using the Add Content button in the editor:

  • Calculated formula: Question text
  • Essay: Answer text
  • Matching: Question/Answer pairs
  • Multiple Answer: Answer options
  • Multiple Choice: Answer options
  • Ordering: Answer options
  • Short Answer: Answer text

Note: In release 3900.0.0, we introduced the ability to copy and paste images into these fields. Due to performance concerns, this was removed in 3900.6.0. This enhancement replaces that workflow to once again be able to support not only images, but now also links to files.

 

Release Notes for 3900.17 (anticipated July 1, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original Experience, the Self and Peer Assessment process was presenting a performance issue, due to a data file processing that required improvement. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Course Views, alerts for New Discussion Posts didn't appear in the What's New module for courses, based on term availability. We’ve fixed the issue.

 

Release Notes for 3900.15 (June 3, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, users couldn’t download files attached to Organization discussion boards. Instead, they were redirected to Learn’s front page. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experiences, an accessibility issue was present in threads within forums as the Thread Reply, Quote, Edit or Delete buttons were inoperative using the keyboard via the tab, space or enter keys. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, the Last updated time/date stamp in the full grade center view has been removed to improve performance. The upper-right corner of the full Grade Center in an Original Course displayed a time/date stamp indicating the last change by any user. This display caused significant performance issues in courses with large enrollments or when many users graded concurrently, thus it has been removed. If reviewing when changes were made in the Grade Center, you still see this information, including the last update, under Reports > View Grade History.
  • In the Ultra and Original Experiences, there were software updates related to server performance causing customer email alerts: Administrators were receiving Failed to Phone Home emails for software updates on SaaS environments. They will no longer see those emails. Also, as part of this change, the Update Status column has been removed from the Installed Tools page for Building Blocks. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Experience, after a Learn user had disabled their profile image from view, other users were still able to see it as it remained publicly available. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original and Ultra Course Views, formatting space differences may be visible between the original uploaded document and the one rendered online for .docx, .doc, .ppt, and .pptx files. We've added an on-screen information message to let users know about this. The message appears anywhere where Bb Annotate is enabled, including the Mobile View. Instructors and students are able to download the original file as usual.

Release Notes for 3900.13 (May 6, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original Course View, the Last updated time/date stamp in the full grade center view has been removed to improve performance. The upper-right corner of the full Grade Center in an Original Course displayed a time/date stamp indicating the last change by any user. This display caused significant performance issues in courses with large enrollments or when many users graded concurrently, thus it has been removed. If reviewing when changes were made in the Grade Center, you still see this information, including the last update, under Reports > View Grade History.
  • In the Ultra Experience, we've enabled colorless grading pills. Rubric grade pills are now monochromatic for both kinds of rubric in the following content types: Single attempt, multiple attempt, group, offline submission, multiple graders and anonymous grading assessments; individual and group discussions, and journals.
  • In Ultra Experience, when creating a new group assessment with a grading rubric enabled, the Grading Sidebar was not updating. When going from the first group attempt to the next one with the rubric open, it showed the rubric and feedback of the previous attempt. We've fixed the issue.

 

Release Notes for 3900.10 (April 22, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, Organizations, content items or files created with attachments could not be edited, and the user received an error message when attempting to modify them. We’ve fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, for some instances, when an authorized user attempted to enroll another user in a given course, even from within the course, they received an error message related to the necessary privileges required to perform the enrollment. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, when a Calculated Formula question was used in a test, if the answers used the exponential form (E-2, E-4, etc), with significant figures expressing the result, some right answers were marked as wrong, depending of the position of the decimal point. Also, the correct answer format field wasn't verified, students were able to answer a question with an incorrect format and the system would mark it as correct. We've fixed both issues.
  • In the Original Course View, automatically disable notifications for users with > n enrollments (with a default value for n = 500) has been enabled. Now admins are able to automatically disable the generation of new notifications for users when the user has more than a certain configurable number of enrollments. Note that Institutions that create large enrollment volumes for support staff should use Institutional Hierarchy instead.

  • In the Original Course View, in the responsive Mobile View for the 2016 theme, Instructors, teaching assistants, course builders, graders and facilitators couldn't see the Instructor Gear icon which, in turn, contains the Student Preview and Edit Mode buttons. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, a student could receive a past due notification for an on-time submission sporadically. We've put in place proactive measures to monitor this behavior in order to fix it in a future release.

  • In the Original Experience and Original Course View, the ability to support access to third-party content within the Content Editor by the use of LTI is an important milestone for institutions, partners, and tool creators who look to transition from Building Block mashups to the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard from IMS Global. Appropriate LTI course tools will appear for instructors, course builders, teaching assistants, and students in the Add Content menu as additional tools alongside Building Block mashup tools. Two methods are supported: either the tool can add a link in the editor, or if the tool designates that the resource should be embedded, it will be inserted into an iframe in the Content Editor and rendered automatically.

  • In both Original and Ultra Course Views, we've improved the timeliness and performance of notifications for all users (including emails, push notifications, Stream, and MyBlackboard) by no longer generating these notifications for users with more than 500 enrollments.

    A user with this large volume of course enrollments will still have access to all course resources but won’t receive notifications regardless of their settings.

    Typically, users enrolled in so many courses are support staff or instructional designers. We recommend administrators to configure these users to be node administrators instead, with privileges to enroll and unenroll themselves from any course in the appropriate Institutional Hierarchy nodes, and with access to all the courses they may need without enroll them. Enrollment availability or enablement states are not considered for a user to count as to have over 500 enrollment records.

Release Notes for 3900.8 (March 4, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original Course View and the Original Experience, within the Content Editor, a user won't be able to use copy and paste functionalities to transfer images from other sources. The user can include images with the Add Content workflow, as it used to be before version 3900.0. We've made this change to address performance problems that arose with certain large or numerous images. We’ll review whether it's possible to reintroduce this capability in the future.
  • In the Original Course View, when an XSS filter is applied to sanitize the content for different fields present in the plugin modules section, the fields are sanitized for both trusted and untrusted users as well. This behavior only occurred when a course tool was created via importing a package with the Import Package & Utilities  functionality. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra and Original Course Views, in Mobile, course messages had duplicated content in their push notifications and appeared encoded and unreadable to users. We’ve reverted the changes made while we verify a permanent solution.
  • In the Original Course View, the Goal Performance Dashboard was failing on SaaS Servers for certain reports. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, where a calculated formula rounding was required, the number 5 was rounded down rather than rounded up for some values. We've fixed the issue.

 

Release Notes for 3900.6 (February 4, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original Course View and the Original Experience, within the Content Editor, a user won't be able to use copy and paste functionalities to transfer images from other sources. The user can include images with the Add Content  workflow, as it used to be before version 3900.0. We've made this change to address performance problems that arose with certain large or numerous images. We’ll review whether it's possible to reintroduce this capability in the future.
  • In the Original Course View, students were unable to view iframe content in the Notes area for Contacts, Tasks and Glossary posted by their instructor including YouTube and Kaltura uploaded content. We fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, enterprise surveys with open questions followed by a page break displayed an error when a user tried to move to the next page, and the survey couldn’t be completed. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Course Views, formatting space differences may be visible between the original uploaded document and the one rendered online for .docx, .doc, .ppt, and .pptx files. We've added an on-screen information message to let users know about this. The message appears anywhere where Bb Annotate is enabled, including the Mobile View. Instructors and students are able to download the original file as usual.

 

Release Notes for 3900.4 (January 14, 2021) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  • In the Original Course View, the rich text editor didn't display an HTML preview after a media link was pasted. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, a recent fix to the Grade Center scrolling behavior caused problems loading custom color palettes. We’ve reverted the Grade Center scrolling behavior until both issues are resolved.
  • For sites on Ultra base navigation, when a user opened the Student Activity page in an Original Course View course, the course disappeared and the user returned to the Ultra base navigation page. We’ve fixed the issue.

Release Notes for 3900.2 (December 17, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

In the Original Course View, the Link to Wiki page option was missing from the new Content Editor experience. You can now find it under the Add content dialog

Release Notes for 3900.0 (November 5, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

Original Course Specific Updates

Assist

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.0.0 | Release to Production 5 November 2020
Original Experience, Ultra Experience

As students re-engage in their disrupted educational experience, they'll need student services more than ever. At some institutions, these services will be virtual for the first time. Blackboard Assist is a student success hub for campus and online resources, available on your desktop or from anywhere with the Blackboard mobile app. Assist elevates campus and online resources, building awareness so students always find what they need.

Assist supports your educational continuity plans with institutional, Blackboard-sourced, and partner-provided solutions. Institutions can create and feature profiles of their existing services to appear in Assist. Assist also provides access to partner services: curated, high-quality providers offering scalable, virtual solutions to meet student needs. Administrators can manage available partner services that best benefit their students.

Assist will be available in Learn SaaS for higher education institutions in the Original Experience, the Ultra Experience, and the Blackboard app. At this time, it won't be available for K12, corporate, and government clients.

We encourage you to start planning the services you would promote in Assist, connecting with the offices that manage your student services including academic and financial assistance, health and wellness, housing and food security, and student life.

In future releases, Assist will adapt to users and offer personalized recommendations in places of learning such as in courses, the gradebook, and the activity stream.

Content editor updates

This release introduces big updates to the content editor in the Original Course View and the Original experience. We’ve made numerous simplifications and improvements, including:

  • A single menu to add content that automatically recognizes file types

  • Optimized experience for all devices and screen sizes

  • Better accessibility for both the editor and the content you create. Menus and icons have higher contrast, pop-ups are gone, and an accessibility checker lets you know about accessibility issues as you write

  • The ability to paste content from Word, Excel, and websites with basic formatting and easily remove extra HTML

  • The ability to paste a link in the editor and automatically embed videos and previews

  • The ability to display formatted computer code snippets

Blog Performance

To improve performance for very large classes, we’ve removed the option to filter the blog participant list to display only non-participants in Original Course View.

Ultra Course Specific Updates

Large icon updates

In this release, you’ll see new large icons in the Ultra experience. We made these changes to our icons to improve accessibility and differentiation for all users.

  • Like the small icon update earlier this year, the new icons have a thicker stroke to improve accessibility.
  • The new icons are more distinctive to avoid confusion between similar icons and to better support quick scanning. 
  • All course-related icons have a blue background.

Show seconds in quiz timer

With this release, students will know how much time they have left down to the last second when they take a quiz in the Ultra Course View. The quiz timer will change from minutes to seconds when less than 1 minute remains.

Show/hide overall grade column

With this release, instructors can choose whether to show or hide overall grades to their students in the Ultra Course View.

Release Notes for 3800.19 (October 8, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

Updates in this version include:

  • Emailed course announcements in both the Original and Ultra Course Views now include both the course name and the title of the announcement in the email subject.

  • The calculated grade snapshot information didn't update correctly in courses that use the Telemetry B2. We've fixed the issue.

  • Learn environments ran out of memory when archiving courses with large volumes of activity accumulator records. We've fixed the issue.

 

Release Notes for 3800.17 (September 24, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Original Course View, emailed announcements didn't include the announcement title in the subject line. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Course View, students received an incorrect password error when a test used a password with certain character patterns. We've fixed the issue.
  • This update makes the archive process more comprehensive. Now, archives gather data for users who may have dropped the course during the term, which provides a fuller picture of user activity in restored courses for records and reviews.

When an archive is restored, course and enrollment records are returned to the enablement state at the time of the archive creation. User records that match with existing accounts will be linked during the restore process, but the existing user’s enablement state will not change. As before, if records are disabled and locked, an administrator will need to enable records in Learn to review them.

 

Release Notes for 3800.15 (August 4, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

Updates in this version include:

  1. In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't access created tests. We've fixed the issue.
  2. We’ve improved system performance and stability for institutions with very large courses (many students and many content item.
     

Release Notes for 3800.13 (July 2, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

Updates in this version include fixing stability issues, SIS feeds, and the archiving process.
 

Release Notes for 3800.11 (June 4, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

Updates in this version include:

  1. In the Ultra Course View, students with special characters in their name couldn't launch a test in Respondus LockDown Browser. We've fixed the issue.
  2. In the Original Course View, instructors couldn't enter maximum points for a graded discussion thread. We've fixed the issue.
  3. Some administrators still saw "New Box View" as their building block title after Bb Annotate was turned on. We've fixed the issue.

To learn about Bb Annotate, visit the Bb Annotate Communication & Adoption Toolkit.


Release Notes for 3800.06 (April 2, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  1. With this release, Blackboard calendars will display the most common convention for the first day of the week based on a user's selected language. Users will be able to see the change in the month and day views of both their overall and individual course calendars. The date picker display will also change in the Ultra Course View and for administrator notifications in the Ultra Experience.  
  2. Library upgrades in our SAML authentication provider B2 could affect the first logout attempt of any Learn user session created through a SAML authentication provider with Global Logout support. If a user's session was established before the library upgrade, they won't be able to log out of their SSO session through Learn the first time they try. On first logout, users will be presented with a page that informs them that their SSO session is still active.

    Users can log out through the identity provider, or they can log in again, which will present them with the option to log out of their SSO session.


Release Notes for 3800.04 (March 5, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  1. In the Original Experience, the last login date wasn’t updating accurately for users with cloud profiles. We’ve fixed the issue.
  2. Some users couldn’t upload files with % in the filename. We’ve fixed the issue.
  3. Some users couldn’t download files attached to submissions that use Box view. We’ve fixed the issue.
  4. In this release, a Course ID now appears with the Course Name in key areas when Ultra base navigation is enabled. Now, users can find their Course IDs on the Courses page of base navigation, in the Calendar, and when copying course content.
  5. In this release, we moved the Edit course image option in the tile view on the Courses page. Now, it can be found in the overflow menu at the top-right corner of the course tile.

Release Notes for 3800.00 (January 2, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  1. Links to Blackboard’s Privacy statement and Terms of Use now appear at the bottom of the global navigation bar in the Ultra Experience.
  2. Previously, disabled students were included in the Participants list for a discussion in the Ultra Course View. This was confusing for instructors since these students don't display in assessment submission lists or in the gradebook. This update removes disabled students from the Participants list in discussions, so this view is now consistent with assessments and the gradebook.
  3. With this release, Blackboard Learn will remember instructors’ preferences for the Show attempts that don't contribute to user's grade filter on the Needs Grading page in the Original Course View. By default, the checkbox is unselected and student attempts that don’t affect grades won’t show on the Needs Grading list. When an instructor changes the setting, Learn will remember the preference across that user’s sessions and courses.

 

Release Notes for 3700.16 (January 2, 2020) 
Blackboard has released notes on its latest service pack.

  1. In the Original Course View, some instructors encountered error messages when they created calculated questions that use predefined calculus functions. We’ve fixed the issue.

For Release Notes and Updates from 2017-2019, please visit https://library.elmhurst.edu/bbupdates2019andprior

 

System Requirements

1. Browser Choice

    Desktop OS
Browser Versions
             Mobile and Tablet OS
             Browser Versions*
Android Browser Not available 4+
Chrome                           36+ 35+
Edge 20+ 20+
Firefox 31+ Unsupported
Internet Explorer 11 Unsupported
Safari 6+ 6+
  • Microsoft announced it will only support Internet Explorer (IE) version 11 as of January 2016.  This means Microsoft will no longer address security vulnerabilities or other issues that may be identified with Internet Explorer 10 and older. 
  • Microsoft Edge do not support NPAPI-type plug-ins including Java plug-ins and many media browser plug-ins. Blackboard doesn't support these browsers for use with the Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat tools, the multiple-file upload interface, or embedded media that require NPAPI plug-ins for viewing.

Use the browser checker tool to check for compatibility and recommended software upgrades.

2. Devices & Operating Systems

Category

Tested

Operating Systems

Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, MacOS 10.8, MacOS 10.9, MacOS 10.10, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Chrome OS

iOS Devices

iPod Touch , iPhone 4S, iPhone 5S, iPhone5c, iPhone 6, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad Mini 3, iPad Air 2

Android Devices

Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, HTC G1, LG C800 Mytouch, HTC One, Galaxy Note 2014, HTC One M8

Windows Mobile Devices

Venue 8 Pro, Lumia 520, Lumia 930

Chrome OS Devices

Chromebook

Note that mobile and tablet browsers for both Android and iOS are much better equipped to handle the Ultra Experience than the Original Experience. 

3.  Java Installation & Java Runtime Environment 7 & 8

 

4.  Third Party Plug-ins

  • You may require third party plug-ins to view certain content.
  • Check to see if you have the updated versions of Flash, Acrobat Reader, and Quick Time.

5. No longer supported by Blackboard:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems not running a supported browser
  • Internet Explorer versions 10 and lower which are no longer supported by Microsoft; Internet Explorer on mobile devices
  • Firefox versions 30 and lower on desktop; all Firefox versions on mobile devices
  • Chrome versions 35 and lower (version 34 and lower on mobile devices)
  • Safari versions 5 and lower
  • JRE 5 for Blackboard Learn Original user interfaces

The most current information on System Requirements for Blackboard Learn  can be found here.