You are also encouraged to visit our Blackboard 9.1: New Features, Blackboard 9.1 Upgrade: New Functionality, and Assignments and Assessments 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.
Instructors can grade assessments anonymously within the Grade Center. When grading anonymously, instructors will be presented with student submissions displayed in random order without any personally identifying information. Note that it will be important that any assessment submitted as a document to be graded anonymously include instructions directing students not to include a cover sheet and/or page headers or footers with personally identifying information.
Adding Comments and Feedback to Grades in the Discussion Board
While grading a discussion forum or thread, a text entry box is provided for instructors to add Feedback and/or Grading Notes to the grade.
Adding Due Dates for Multiple Items from One Location
The Grade Center Due Dates tool allows instructors to set assessment due dates and/or availability for all columns in the Grade Center from a single access point.
Instructors can view individual assignments, group assignments and test attempts, as well as blog and journal entries, wiki pages and discussion posts ready for grading all on the Needs Grading screen.
Group Self Enrollment
Self Enrollment allows students to join groups using sign-up sheets that instructors create for each group. When instructors create a group using sign-up sheets, the group can either be set to be immediately available for use or made available only after all the members have signed up. Instructors can also limit the number of students per group.
Journals, Blogs, Wikis and Tasks Tools Available to Groups
Auto Submit for Timed Tests
Now when instructors schedule a timed test, they have the option to have Blackboard automatically save and submit the test for any student still in it at the end of the end of the allotted time.
Blackboard 9.1 introduces several new notification modules available by default on the course entry screen labeled "Planner". In addition to the "My Announcements," "My Calendar," "MyTasks," modules familiar in Bb 8, students will want to monitor the "To Do" (what is due) and "Alerts" (what is past due) modules. In order for these modules to be useful, instructors will need to enter due dates for all of their assessments. Students can also monitor the "What's New" module for the latest additions to the course. Instructors will want to monitor the "Needs Attention" module for assessment submissions.
External Links Validator
The External Links Validator verifies that links within a course are valid, not broken. The tools does not repair broken links, but it does allow instructors to make the links invisible to students until they can be repaired.
Instructor as Student Account
The Add Test Student tool gives instructors the ability to create their own student account and to enroll that student instances of themselves in each course. Blackboard 9.1 will take the instructor's e-ID and append "_s" to the end to create the username (e.g. jdoe_s). Instructors will create and manage their own password for this account. Instructors are encouraged to log into their courses using this Test Student account to see the course as their students see it and to take tests or other assessments as a student would. The student account will appear as AAStudent in the Grade Center for the course.