What’s New in Blackboard 9.1 SP13

VCCS Blackboard Course Management System will be upgraded to version 9.1 service pack 13 on Nov. 9, 2013. Below are descriptions of some of the new and improved features.

Test Availability Exceptions: Test availability exceptions are a set of new settings on the Test Options page, available only after the test is added to a content area. Select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings. Exceptions can be used to provide an accommodation to a disabled student, or provide accommodations for technology and language differences. You can change these settings at any time, even after the test has been attempted by some students. If conflicts in rules occur, the most permissive settings for that user or group of users is granted. For example, students would receive the greatest number of attempts, longest availability time, and so on. Exceptions can be created for:

  • Number of attempts
  • Time of test
  • Availability of test using start and end dates
  • Force completion on or off

Test Results and Feedback to Students: After they complete a test, test results and feedback are available to students. By setting up rules, you can set the release of progressive feedback to keep test results secure and prevent cheating. For example, you can choose After Submission to present Score, All Answers, Correct, Submitted, Feedback, and Show Incorrect Answers to show students their scores along with all answer options. Students also see their submitted answers marked as correct or incorrect and any feedback you provided.

New Way to Add Questions to a Test: Before students take a test, you can add new questions exactly where you want them on the test canvas. Click the plus sign before or after another question and choose a question type.

Due Date and Late Submissions: A new setting lets you decide whether or not to allow a student to take a test after the due date has passed. If students are not allowed to take a test after the due date has passed, they will receive a message telling them the test cannot be completed because the due date has passed. When you allow late submissions, they are clearly marked on the Needs Grading page, the View All Attempts page, the Review Test Submission page, and the Grade Details page.

Exporting Test Questions: All questions are now retained in exported and imported tests, including questions that originate outside the exported test, such as Question Sets, Random Blocks, and Question Links. When the user exports a test and imports it back into a different course, all questions are now present irrespective of their origin. Questions that are in question sets and random blocks in the originating test are imported into the new course in question pools. Single questions that were linked in the originating test are imported as “native” (non-linked) questions.

Test Access Log: Teachers and proctors can verify student activity or lack of activity during a test using the new Access Log. The Access Log is available from the Attempts page of a test and provides detailed information on student’s test attempt interactions. The access log shows a detailed list of every interaction that students engage in when taking a test. If a student claims to have started a test, the log will show the time the test was started. If a network or internet disruption occurred during the test for example, the log would show an unusual gap in the time.

Date Management: Use the Date Management tool to easily adjust all content and tool dates in your course. For example: After you have copied a course, speed up the transition of old dates to new one relevant for the new course using Date Management. Accessed on the Control Panel > Course Tools. You can choose to adjust dates automatically or individually from one convenient location.

Achievement: The achievements tool allows instructors to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both badges and certificates. Students can see which rewards they’ve earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies. Students are able to publish badges to the Mozilla Open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside of Blackboard Learn. You can easily see which students have reached learning milestones.

Quick Links: The Quick Links tool allows a user to quickly locate any heading or section within any page in the Blackboard Learn application and jump directly to it. Located in the top left, the Quick Links icon opens a pop-up window that displays the landmark and navigation links on the page. Any available keyboard shortcuts for the page are also displayed.

Group Management: The improved group management tools allow instructors to do the following tasks:

  • Easily see which students are in which groups, including which students are not in any groups.
  • Easily see and modify group memberships.
  • Create Grade Center smart views for one or more groups on the All Groups page.
  • Manage tool availability for all groups on the All Groups page.

Here is the training Recording for What’s New in Blackboard 9.1 SP13