Blackboard Service Pack 14 updates!

Olé will be upgraded with the following new features during the night of September 24, 2014. Although the look and feel of Blackboard won’t change much, several new features and enhancements will be available to Instructors, including:

  • Achievements – The Achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to designate criteria for issuing  Badges and Certificates to students. Students are able to publish badges to the Mozilla Open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside the LMS.
  • Date Management – Using “Date Rollover,” instructors will be able to set the system to automatically “shift” content and tool dates in a course in a highly efficient way.  After the system makes this shift, the instructor will be able to see all the dates in one place, and further validate and adjust dates in a single user interface.
  • Grade Center Improvements – Grading Schemas can now have values greater than 100%; define “Score Attempts Using” setting from the Options page added to improve workflow for assessments with multiple attempts; total points possible adjustment for tests added; and more.
  • My Grades – Students now have the option to change the order in which their grades are displayed.
  • Groups Management – Groups Management significantly improves the experience of managing Groups with large numbers of students in a course. It adds capabilities to the existing workflows for Group creation and management.
  • Course Messages Notifications – Notifications for Course Messages fill a gap in the Notifications framework. Prior to this release, when Messages were sent inside the Messages Course/Organization tool, there was no way for users to know that they had new Messages. Adding Course Messages to the Notifications framework provides visibility and notification in My Blackboard, and in the “What’s New” module on both the institutional and course module pages.
  • Inline Assignment Grading – This update to the inline grading experience improves the user experience of Inline Assignment Grading, introduced last fall.  Instructors now have the ability to expand the grading window to full screen, and can now choose to view students who have not submitted an assignment or posted an entry from the inline grading sidebar.
  • Inline Grading for Tools – The sidebars for grading Blogs & Journals, Discussions, and Wikis have all been updated to present an experience consistent with the Inline Assignment Grading sidebar. Assignment, Blog, Journal and Wiki instructions have been removed from the details panel and is now above the content for quick reference. By default the instructions are minimized in Assignments but expanded in Blogs, Journals, and Wikis.
  • Test Access Log – The access log shows a list of every interaction a students engaged in when taking a test, including time started, time spent on each question, and time each question was saved.
  • 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.

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