Blackboard Upgrade Q2 2018 Release

UPDATE:  07/1618

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
Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 8:00PM (PST) to Mondayblackboard-icon August 27, 2018 at 8:00AM (PST).

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 Q2 2018 Release Notes. We have highlighted some of the features  below.

Bb Upgrade Highlights

Record attendance in Blackboard Learn

Institutions and instructors want to track attendance for various purposes, including at-risk detection, federal financial aid and accreditation compliance, and to support instructor pedagogical preference where being present is a component of a course grade.

With this release, instructors can track attendance in both experiences. In Learn courses, a gradebook column is added when the instructor begins taking attendance. The Attendance column provides the overall attendance score in the gradebook, where it can be included in the student’s overall grade.

Create recordings for feedback

An instructor or grader can create personalized feedback recordings for individual assessment attempts or manual gradebook items. Each recording can be up to 5 minutes long and can be both video and audio. The option appears in the third row of the Content Editor as a microphone icon. 


The following feedback locations are supported:

  • Assignment
  • Test
  • Graded Discussion
  • Graded Wiki
  • Graded Blog
  • Graded Journal
  • Feeback in a manual grade column

Students will see icons representing recordings that they can select to start streaming playback of the video on their computer or mobile device.

Learn 2016 theme grade center enhancements

The Learn 2016 theme now has an improved grade center. Instructors will now be able to:

  • View full titles of Grade Center columns, making it easier to distinguish between similarly-titled items,
  • View as many columns as the size of their window will allow, and
  • Enter into Grade Center full-screen mode to make the most of their desktop experience.

Learn 2016 theme mobile optimization

Tests and the learning modules tool are now optimized for web on mobile devices. In the Learning Modules tool, the table of contents will always be pinned to the bottom of the page and can be expanded or collapsed.

In tests, additional question types have been optimized for use on mobile devices.

Additional Details

In addition, to the Blackboard Learn, ITS will be upgrading the underlying infrastructure to ensure increases stability and security.

On Saturday, August 25 at 8:00PM 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 Q2 2018 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 2018 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 27, 2018.


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