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Blackboard Upgrade - May 16, 2017

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On May 16, 2017 the VCU Blackboard System will be upgraded to the Q4 2016 release for Blackboard Learn 9.1.

Upgrading to a newer version is always beneficial in order to maintain compliancy with newer browsers and tools, and to correct known issues, etc.

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 includes multiple new and enhanced features, improved workflows, and technology updates. Enhancements for this release generally fall into the following five categories:

  • Technology infrastructure improvement to improve performance and security
  • Improved experience for mobile users and updating the look-and-feel of the environment
  • Improvements to save time and effort including file drag-and-drop in key workflows
  • Assessment enhancements in the core teaching and learning tools
  • Reporting improvements

Spotlight Features

  • Drag and Drop FilesWhen instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Filesarea. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.
  • Submission ReceiptsA submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. giving students assurance about their work.
  • RemindersInstructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included.
  • Fewer "Needs Grading" Items A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide extra attempts that will never be used for grade calculations. Attempts that won't calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon. 
  • Improved Behavior for Self and Peer AssessmentsBy pairing an assessment with Adaptive Release, it's possible to configure Self and Peer Assessments for individual groups.
  • Enterprise Survey ImprovementsChanges to defaults and recipient count behavior help prevent admins from accidentally sending a survey to an overly-large recipient list.
  • Content Collection Search ImprovementThe Basic or Advanced Search feature in the Content Collection now requires a starting search directory for better performance.