Blackboard Upgrade Q4 2016 Release

UPDATE:  8/7/18

The upgrade of the Blackboard Learning Management was successful and back online as of 8AM PST this morning.


The Blackboard Learning Management System is now offline from
Friday, August 4th 2017 at 1:00pm (PST) to Mondayblackboard-icon August 7th, 2017 at 8:00am (PST).

The updated Friday, August 4th 1:00pm downtime represents a minor change from our earlier planned outage notification. Due to the complex nature of this upgrade, the systems administrators require additional time working with the production server to complete this planned update. 

 Information Technology Services (ITS) will perform a significant upgrade to the Blackboard Learning Management System ( The system will be inaccessible during this time.

The Blackboard upgrade includes multiple new and enhanced features, improved workflows, and technology updates. As a result of the upgrade Blackboard users will experience a more contemporary users experience. All the details regarding this upgrade can be found in the Q4 2016 Release Notes. We have highlighted some of the features  below.

Bb Upgrade Highlights

New Mobile Apps for Students

The Bb Student app provides an intuitive way for students to interact with courses, content, instructors, and each other. Bb Student helps students:

  • Access course content anytime, anywhere
  • Stay on task with push notifications, a due date list, and activity stream updates
  • Submit assignments, take tests or quizzes, and review submissions
  • View course grades as well as individual assessment grades
  • Participate in discussions
  • Collaborate with classmates through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
  • Attach assignment files from cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox


BB StudentBb Student is available free for Apple, Android, and Windows devices. It replaces Blackboard Mobile Learn, which will no longer be supported this fall.Bb Instructor launches later this year!

Drag and Drop

It is easier than ever to attach files in Blackboard. As a faculty member, you can now add files to Items and Assignments by dragging files from your computer to the “hot spot” in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.


Assignment Submission Receipt

You and your students will be able to better track whether Assignments submit successfully with submission receipts. When students submit Assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page will include a banner and confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submission and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students will receive a different number for each submission. For group attempts, each student will receive a separate confirmation number.


Assignment Reminders

Faculty will be able to easily send system-generated reminders for missing coursework in the Grade Center to students and members of groups who have not submitted work. Students will receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date (if included).

More Convenient Grading Workflow in ‘Needs Grading’

When you allow multiple attempts on an Assignment or Test, you may not need to grade all of them. With this update, the Needs Grading page will automatically be filtered to only display the attempts that need grading. When you set up the assessment, you can specify whether the grade is based on the first attempt or the last attempt, and now the Needs Grading page will only display one attempt per student based on that choice. You can still display all of the attempts, if you want to see the others.


Additional Details

In addition, to the Blackboard Learn, ITS will be upgrading the underlying infrastructure including powerful and secure Linux Red Hat OS, Oracle Database 12C to ensure increases stability and security.

On Friday, August 4th at 5:00pm we will disable all faculty and students login account from We then make full back-up of the system to guarantee that we are preserving all Blackboard materials, courses work and data. We will then update the the systems to Bb 9.1 Q4 2016 release. After the upgrade is done we will complete a comprehensive quality assurance check to ensure that the upgrade was delivered successfully and the system is operating in the most optimal state. We will then reinstate the logins and send communication to the community regarding the Blackboard system coming back online. When the system becomes back online we will have full staff on the Help Desk and iTeam to ensure if any issues are detected we are able to respond right away.

We understand the impact of this upgrade on the courses, faculty and students utilizing blackboard for the Summer 2017 term, but we have processes established so that all content, student interactions recorded in the system and faculty records will be maintained. Aside from the course look-and-feel, you will NOT have any impact to the courses content or data you are hosting in Blackboard. We also want to assure you that the system will come back up by no later 8:00am on Monday August 7th, 2017.


If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Instructional Support and Training team (iTeam) at or 619-260- 7900.