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System Upgrades

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This page is intended to provide an overview of the new features that will be found in the updates to the Blackboard learning management system. The information contained on this page is compiled from Service Pack and Upgrade Release Notes, Enhancements, and Guides provided by Blackboard.

ITS will communicate with the campus community via email and posted announcements in Blackboard to keep users informed when an update is scheduled.

For additional information, contact ITS at:

Service Pack 10 (implemented 12.21.12)

Blackboard recently announced the General Availability of Service Pack 10 for Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 (Build: 9.1.100401.0). Efficiency for instructors, administrators and institutions remain a central theme for this release. Click here for the Service Pack 10 Feature Guide for End-Users. Click here to view the detailed release notes for this Service Pack.

Blackboard will be unavailable for SIUE users beginning Wednesday, 12.19.12 at 12:00 p.m. in order to provide important upgrades to the system (including the application of Service Pack 10). This outage is scheduled to last for two days as ITS completes the necessary backups and upgrade.

Highlights of New Features & Enhancements (Service Pack 10)

Course Delivery

  • Assessment - Item Analysis: Item Analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and on individual test questions. This data helps instructors recognize questions that might not adequately discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Instructors can use this information to improve questions for future tests or to adjust credit on current attempts. Ineffective or misleading question are identified easily, corrected in the Test Canvas, and are re-graded automatically. Learn more about it.
  • Assessment - Fill-in-the-Blank Question Enhancement: Fill-in-the-Blank and Fill-in-Multiple Blanks questions now offer "contains" and "pattern match" (using regular expressions) as grading options for answers. Instructors no longer have to rely only on exact match for grading and manually enter every possible correct answer. Instructors can also make the answers case sensitive. Watch the videos for Creating Fill-in-the-Blank Questions and Creating Fill-in-Multiple-Blank Questions.
  • Global Navigation: Global Navigation refers to the set of links that appears at the very top right of the Blackboard Learn frame. This set of links has been streamlined and becomes the entry point to My Blackboard and social learning tools. Access points to critical academic information are organized in one place to provide a consistent, quick, and easy way to find information. Watch the video for the Global Navigation feature.
  • My Blackboard: My Blackboard aggregates information from across the Blackboard Learn system for users. Users access My Blackboard using Global Navigation at the top of the screen. My Blackboard has a navigation panel that quickly connects to different tools in the system. Watch the video for the My Blackboard feature. Blackboard has also released My Blackboard FAQ for instructors and My Blackboard FAQ for students.
  • New Content Editor: The newly designed Content Editor vastly improves the user experience for adding text and other forms of digital content to Blackboard Learn. The new Content Editor is based on the industry standard TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor. The new Content Editor is delivered as a Building Block extension for optimal maintenance and integration. Compare the features of the legacy editor with the new Content Editor . Watch the video for the new Content Editor.
  • File Picker: A new and improved File Picker has been introduced that is available everywhere users attach files. The resulting behavior provides users with a modern, consistent experience. The new File Picker is available both for direct file attaching, as in Assignments, or attaching files via the Content Editor.

Content Management

  • Copy Course File Attachments: To cut down the number of file attachments that are duplicated during a course copy, a new option has been added to the course copy function for course files. Previously the entire Course Files directory was included in the package when users elected to include copies of course files. With this new option, users can decide to copy the entire folder of files or only those files that are actually linked to course content.
  • New User Warnings for Deleting or Moving Linked Folders or Files: Two new warnings help users avoid inadvertently creating broken links to files in their courses. A warning occurs when a user deletes a folder that is directly linked to course content or that contains files that are linked to course content. A warning occurs when a user moves a file linked to course content, a folder that is directly linked to course content or that contains files that are linked to course count, to the recycling bin. This helps prevent broken links because most users are unaware that the recycling bin may be set to automatically purge.

New Integrations

  • Blackboard Connect for Learn: The Send Two-way SMS Building Block gives instructors the ability to text with students at the course level. With 97% of college students today preferring text, this easy-to-use tool will help improve faculty-student communication and provide important, timely information to today's 'mobile' students. Instructors can send out mass texts to their class and quickly receive replies in Blackboard Learn. Common use cases include class cancellations, exam prep, student questions and support.

Additional Information (Service Pack 10)

Overview of select features included in Service Pack 10 (video)

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