At the start of the Fall Semester of 2013, Wilmington University will be upgrading the Blackboard Learn system to the newest version. Blackboard Learn now delivers the information you need, the way you want it. With the new My Blackboard and a revamped navigation menu, critical information like notifications, due dates, and your learning network are right at your fingertips. With a modern design, timesaving tools, and the ability to connect and collaborate with others – My Blackboard is what you’ve been waiting for. See for yourself.
*Some of the features mentioned will be available at the start of the Fall semester and other features will gradually be released as they become available Click here to view a list of Known Issues associated with the upgrade to Service Pack 11.
New Features for Students (view more)
New Features for Faculty (view more)
Share information about yourself, follow other users’ profiles, and communicate through your profile wall. Your Blackboard Profile includes your picture, your area of study / focus, and an "about me" description that can also be used as a timely status update. Profiles also have privacy options, so you can keep your profile hidden, make it available to just the people in your classes and organizations with you, or make it available to everyone at your school.
Access all your grades in one place, viewable chronologically by date or consolidated
by course. Grades is the only place a student needs to go to get all the information they want about their grades. There's no need to go in and out of each course to check grades. You can see a stream of the latest grades you've received, so you never miss a new grade that was posted. And you can see the instructor's feedback right there as well.
Never miss a thing with notifications consolidated from across Blackboard that keep you updated on what’s new, due, and needs your attention. Additionally, to make it even easier to manage, you can choose which Notifications you want or do not want to see and there are filters so you can look at all your updates or only those from one particular Course or Organization.
The Posts tool consolidates posts from across your courses and organizations – so that includes Discussion Board posts, Blog posts, Journal posts, and Wiki posts – as well as the comments and replies to those posts. You can easily manage your posts with the provided filters. You can decide to filter by all posts, just those that directly involve you, or only posts from one particular course. So it's really easy for you to stay up-to-date and engaged with all the conversations going on – fostering Social Learning.
Discover and build your learning network by easily searching for and viewing profiles as well as following and messaging others. The People tool enables you to discover others in your academic network. This is where you can see who is in each of your courses and organizations and you can also see anyone else at your school that has made their profile visible school-wide. When you mouse over someone in the People tool, their Profile Card comes up.
The Messages tool enables you to asynchronously communicate with other users in your learning network through one-to-one and one-to-many messages – similar to the type of message you can send and receive through a social platform.
Collaborate with your learning network by simply creating your own group spaces within Blackboard. The Spaces tool enables students and educators to create ad-hoc communication and collaboration spaces – for study groups, group projects, committee work, interest groups, clubs, teams, etc.
Students and educators have stated that they don't want to go to multiple places to stay up-to-date on what's going on across all their Courses and Organizations in Blackboard. That's why Blackboard has developed the new "My Blackboard" feature. Now, the critical information you need to know from across all of Learn is consolidated in a simple, modern, easily consumable way.
My Blackboard is about making the lives of students and educators easier. How? Through five new tools that make up My Blackboard – Profile, Posts, Updates, My Grades, and People. Each tool will be discussed in detail below. But first, let's discuss how you access My Blackboard.
The entry point to My Blackboard is a new Global Navigation Menu. This new menu is available all the time in the top right corner of the Learn interface and provides one-click access to your Courses, Organizations, Settings, Blackboard Help, and the new My Blackboard tools. You can see the new My Blackboard tools going down the left-hand side of the menu in the screenshot below. And the numbers in red tell you if there's something that’s new or needs your attention – so you never have to worry about missing anything. With this new Global Navigation menu, you can access everything you need quickly and easily, from wherever you are in the Blackboard Learn platform.
You now have an identity in Blackboard Learn, a profile, so you can share academic information about yourself with others at your school. Your profile includes your picture, your area of study or focus, and an “about me” description. The "about me" description can be used to share anything you want about yourself – for example, the activities you’re involved in at school, future career goals, where you’re going to be studying for the Chemistry midterm coming up, or a status update.
When you create your profile, you have the option to start by pulling in information from Facebook or Twitter – like your profile picture or the “about me” description. (Note: Each institution has the option to turn this Facebook and Twitter integration off)
Profiles also have privacy options, so you can keep your profile hidden, make it available to just the people who are in your Courses and Organizations with you, or make it available to everyone at your school.
Once you complete your profile, your profile picture will appear in multiple places throughout the Blackboard Learn platform where your name appears: in the new People tool (see the next section), the Roster, the User Directory, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Journals, and Wikis. Plus, when you hover over someone's profile picture, a profile card automatically pops up so you can see their profile information and learn more about them (see an example profile card below). With profiles in Blackboard Learn, the online learning experience is much more social.
Now that you have a Profile in Blackboard, the People tool enables you to discover others in your academic network. This is where you can see who is in each of your Courses and Organizations as well as everyone across your entire school that has made their profile visible school-wide.
With the People tool, you can search for people in your network and view their profile cards to learn more about them (by simply hovering over their picture).
The Posts tool in My Blackboard makes it really easy to stay up-to-date and engaged with all the conversations going on across Blackboard Learn. The Posts tool consolidates posts from all of your courses and organizations – so posts from Discussion Boards, Journals, Wikis, and Blogs – as well as the comments and replies to those posts. And to make it easy to manage the posts, they’re presented in a familiar, chronological stream interface and there are filter options. With the different filters, you can look at all posts, just those that directly involve you, or you can choose to only look at posts from one particular Course or Organization.
Additionally, with Journal, Wiki, and Blog posts, you can comment right from within the Posts interface or you can click to see the full context of the post in the course environment. With Discussion Board posts, you can click right into the interface in the course environment where you can type your reply. So it’s simple to both stay up-to-date and involved in the conversation.
Calendar events are color coded to indicate which place/entity they are associated. Easily add calendar events by clicking on a date and adding an item. Items with due dates automatically appear on the calendar. Faculty can move calendar events by dragging and dropping them to a new date. The due date on the associated item is automatically updated. Users can click through calendar events directly to the associated item. Calendar honors adaptive release and availability rules. External calendars can subscribe to events created on the Blackboard Learn calendar through an iCalendar feed. When reusing content through course copy, archive/restore or import/export, the course calendar events are propagated to the new course.
The Updates tool in My Blackboard consolidates all of your Notifications from across all your Courses and Organizations, so you never miss a thing. This tool updates you on course announcements, when new content or assignments are added to a course, when an assignment or assessment is due, and much more. And educators can also see when assignments and assessments need grading. To make it easy to manage this information, there are filters so you can look at all Notifications at once, only those from one particular Course or Organization, or just all Course Announcements. You can also change your notification preferences and pick exactly what you want to show up in this tool. With these helpful features, you can ensure you're always up-to-date on important updates from across Blackboard Learn.
The My Grades tool found in My Blackboard consolidates all your grades from across all your courses into one view. There's no need to go in and out of all your courses to check your grades. You can quickly see a stream of the latest grades you’ve received, so you never miss a new grade that was posted. When you click on a grade in the stream, you will see additional detail like your instructor's feedback and the class average if your instructor has made it available. You can also click into a Course view if you want to see your grades by course. For each Course, you can see your current overall grade (if your instructor has made it available to you), as well as graded items in the course, submitted items that haven't been graded yet, and upcoming assignments and assessments. My Grades is the only place you need to go to check your grades.
The new and improved Content Editor enables simple content creation through an easy to use interface. The editor reads, writes and renders modern HTML – so the content you created in Microsoft Word and the course pages you designed so carefully in Dreamweaver will render with great fidelity within Blackboard Learn. We’ve made sure that the essential functions you need are there – the ability to resize images, find/replace, and simple icons in the toolbar for everyday tasks. And you can easily add rich content by pulling in mashups from YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, and more. Another great feature of the new Content Editor is that you can expand it for full-frame editing, giving you a lot more real estate to build rich content.
Inline Assignment Grading is a revision to the workflow for grading Assignments in Blackboard Learn. Instead of requiring Instructors to download student-submitted files to view or edit those submissions, Instructors will now be able to view student-submitted files “inline,” i.e. in the web browser, without requiring any plugins, applets, or client-side applications. Additionally, annotation tools will be made available as part of the inline viewer, enabling Instructors to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings/annotations directly on the inline view of the document.
Item Analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and on individual test questions. This data helps faculty recognize questions that might not adequately discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Faculty can use this information to improve questions for future tests or to adjust credit on current attempts. Ineffective or misleading question are identified easily, corrected in the Test Canvas, and are re-graded automatically.
Educators can now take advantage of using "contains" and "pattern match" logic when grading Fill in the Blank questions. That means you no longer have to rely upon an exact match for Blackboard Learn to automatically grade these questions. So you no longer have to enter multiple answer choices when creating a Fill in the Blank question in order for Blackboard to grade the question for you. For example, let's say your test question is "Who was the first president of the United States?" Instead of trying to enter all possible correct answers for the blank (George Washington, Washington, President Washington, President George Washington, etc.), you can simply select "contains" and type Washington.