If you have used Blackboard 8.3, there are many features in Blackboard 9.1 that are very familiar. However, there are also several new features in the upgraded learning management system that will improve the teaching and learning experiences. Additional details about the features listed below will be provided in the coming months as ITS continues to disseminate information about the Bb 9.1 system.
You are also encouraged to visit our Blackboard 9.1 Upgrade: New Functionality,and Enhancements to Existing Tools and Features web pages which highlight some more of the new features and exciting enhancements to existing Blackboard 8 tools that are introduced in Blackboard 9.1.
Journals are personal writing spaces for students for self-reflection or private communication with the instructor. Journals may be set to be visible only to the instructor, or by all course users.
Blogs can be used to create a shared, online weblog for use in class. Posts are frequent and displayed chronologically with the most recent on top. Blogs can be set up for use by: 1) all course users, where everyone can create and comment on postings; 2) members of a group, where only members of that group can create entries but all course users can comment on them; or 3) individuals, where only individuals can create entries but all course users can read and comment on them
Wikis are a collaborative tool that allows students to create and modify one or more pages of course-related material in an easy to use web interface. Wikis can be set up for use by all course users or for use by groups.
Mashups provide an easy way to search for content outside of Blackboard (e.g. YouTube videos) and easily embed that content directly within your course.
Rubrics provide a means of clearly outlining the criteria to be used in grading an assessment. Blackboard 9.1 includes a rubric creation tool, the ability to associate a rubric with an assessment (e.g. Assignment, Blog, Journal, Wiki, Discussion Board), and a ready means for using that rubric to grade an assessment.
6. Bb Drive
Bb Drive is a desktop application that allows users to map a network drive on the Windows or Mac computers to the Content Collection in the Blackboard LMS. Bb Drive replaces the WebFolder or WebDAV feature in the Content Collection.
Blackboard Collaborate, developed out of the purchase of Wimba and Elluminate by Blackboard and their subsequent merger of both products, will be replacing Wimba. This web conferencing tool will be available for use both inside and outside of Blackboard. Unlike Wimba, there are no wizards to run, making this new collaboration tool far less subject to browser-related issues.
Blackboard 9.1 includes over 30 Course Structure templates and over 50 Course Themes. Course Structures facilitate the organization of course content via the course navigational buttons while course themes allow instructors to change the color scheme and "wallpaper" in the course.