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UNI eLearning

Instructors: New Features and Enhancements for Fall 2013

The UNI eLearning team will be installing Service Pack 13 on Thursday, August 8, 2013. Below is an explanation of the Instructor features and enhancements that will be available after the installation of Service Pack 13.

Please visit the "To learn more" links for more information, tutorials, or videos.


New Content Editor or WYSIWYG Editor: Based on the industry standard TinyMCE platform and vastly improves the user experience for entering text, pasting content from Microsoft Word, and adding content to all areas of Blackboard Learn.

To learn more, see Using the Content Editor.

Test and Survey Options: Many new options that allow you to control the availability, presentation, and feedback for an assessment. Highlights include:

  • Test Availability Exceptions - new settings allow you to select one or more students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings to provide accommodations for such things as a disabled student, language differences, etc.

  • Show Test Results and Feedback to Students - new options for the release of test results and feedback to students.

To learn more, see Test and Survey Options.

Discussions: The Thread Detail page is thoroughly redesigned yet maintains all of its existing functions. Highlights include:

  • Post First Setting - new forum setting to require students to post to a forum before they can see other students’ posts.

  • All posts on one page - all of the posts in a thread are now visible at the same time on one page.

  • Inline replies - when replying to a post, the content editor used to write a response appears on the same page, in the context of the discussion.

To learn more, see Discussions.

Calendar: The Calendar in Blackboard Learn has been significantly enhanced and integrated. Highlights include:

  • A consolidated view of all calendars that is color coded by course.

  • Gradable items with due dates automatically show up on course calendar.

  • Clicking on calendar items allows an instructor to view or edit the item, or grade attempts on the associated item.

To learn more, see Calendar.

Groups Management: The Groups Management course tool greatly improves your ability to review and manage groups and group memberships. Highlights include:

  • Easily see which students are in which groups, including which students are not in any groups.

  • Easily see and modify group memberships. Avatars are now available to distinguish among users.

  • Improved workflow to manage membership for groups sets.

To learn more, see Groups Management Building Block.

Profile Avatars: You can upload a personal image that is used to represent you throughout the system and appears in the page header, people tool, blogs, journals, discussions, wikis, roster, and within the notifications modules—including what's new, needs attention, and to do.

To learn more, see Profiles.

Accessibility Improvements: Blackboard is committed to ensuring that the platform is usable and accessible. The code and user interface design techniques are continually audited to ensure that the application is usable by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation. To learn more, see Accessibility Improvements.

Course Menu: Viewing the folder structure of the course now always opens in a new window, to ensure users have the space needed to read the expanded contents. To learn more, see Course Menu.

New Features/Tools:

New Global Navigation Menu: Always present in the top right corner, the new navigation menu is the entry point to My Blackboard and also provides one-click access to your Courses, Organizations, Settings, and Help. To learn more, see My Blackboard.

My Blackboard: A completely new, modern user experience in Blackboard Learn that consolidates critical information from all your Courses. The new tools in My Blackboard–Profile, Posts, Updates, My Grades, and People–were developed to meet the needs of today’s active learner.

To learn more, see My Blackboard.

Inline Grading for Assignments: Instructors can view, comment, and grade student-submitted assignment files without leaving the Grade Assignment page. When you view a document submitted in an assignment, that document is converted to a format that is viewable inside the web browser. Supported document types that can be converted are Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF (PDF). Non-supported file types can be downloaded. The converted document is displayed in a viewer on the Grade Assignment page. Formatting and embedded images of the original document are preserved in the conversion. Note: Assignment submissions created with the content or WYSIWYG editor are not compatible with inline grading. Submissions of this type show in the window, but annotation is not available. To learn more, see Inline Grading for Assignments.

Retention Center: The Retention Center is an instructor-only tool that enables you to give focused attention to students who need it. It replaces the Early Warning System feature with easy workflows, while retaining all existing Early Warning System data and rules.

To learn more, see Retention Center.

Test Access Log: The access log shows a detailed list of every interaction that students engage in when taking a test.

To learn more, see Test Access Log.

Item Analysis for Tests: You can now easily refine your assessments by evaluating the quality of each question and that question’s ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Ineffective questions can be easily identified and then quickly corrected with the Automatic Regrade feature. To learn more, see Running Item Analysis on a Test.

Video Everywhere: Video Everywhere is a feature of the content editor that accesses your webcam to record a video on the fly and have it seamlessly embedded in course materials, interactions, and feedback.

To learn more, see Video Everywhere Overview and Video Everywhere Help.

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. To learn more, see Exporting Test Questions.

Content Editor Math Formulas: You now have full math editing capabilities on all platforms with the new JavaScript-based WIRIS editor that supports the editing and display of LaTeX formulas. To learn more, see Content Editor Math Formulas.