New in Blackboard Learn this Summer: Improved Calendar and My Blackboard

Blackboard Learn will be upgraded on May 30 to the latest version. Two of the new features are an all-new Calendar and a global navigation and notification area called My Blackboard. Read more about the upgrade here.

new features: my blackboard and calendar

Introducing the new calendar

The new calendar provides all the features of a modern web calendar, including:

  • View the calendar by course, month, week, day.
  • Course due dates are automatically added to the calendar and color coded by course.
  • Drag and drop calendar entries;  due dates automatically updated when moved.
  • Subscribe to a course calendar in your Outlook, Google or iCal-compatible mobile calendar.

See the new calendar in action:


Find out what’s new in My Blackboard

My Blackboard provides a personalized, timely view of information across all your courses. In just a couple of clicks, you can access:

  • Recent Posts (Discussion, Blog, Journal, Wiki)
  • Updates (notifies you of what’s available, due, overdue, needs grading, etc.)
  • Calendar (events and due dates in all your courses, plus personal calendar)
  • Retention Center (faculty only, shows “at-risk” students)
  • Recently posted Grades (students only)

Check out My Blackboard in action:

Other new features are on the way!

Each week, TLP will spotlight new Bb Learn functionality coming this summer. Read more about each:

Blackboard Learn Summer 2013 Upgrade

learn logoUpdated: Blackboard Learn was upgraded on May 30 to the latest version of the software. This upgrade brings many requested and new features and improve system security.

The system upgrade occurred on Thursday, May 30 from 5:00 am to 10:00 am (extended by 1 hour). During this time, Bb Learn was unavailable. All other campus systems including PeopleSoft were be unaffected by this upgrade.

The “My Vista Courses” link will stay in Bb Learn until October 18, 2013. The previously announced date to remove this link has been extended. Read more about Vista going away.

What are the new features?

The new Bb Learn version delivers many features requested by our faculty as well as some great new tools, including:

  • Profiles with pictures and privacy settings (learn more)
  • New calendar (learn more)
  • New navigation and notification menu “My Blackboard” (learn more)
  • Improved discussion forums (learn more)
  • Webcam recording to YouTube in many tools (learn more)
  • Detailed test question analysis (learn more)
  • Monitoring of student performance
  • In-line grading and commenting on submitted student assignments (learn more)

Why is it happening on May 30?

While there’s no perfect time for this upgrade, May 30 has been selected with the utmost priority given to minimizing service disruption for students and faculty. As part of visible planning, the timing of the upgrade has been vetted with campus governance committees on academics and campus technology. The upgrade cannot take place during the summer term because there are approximately 200 courses running at that time. Upgrading on Thursday May 30 ensures there is sufficient time to upgrade and test the system prior to the start of the summer term. This also gives advance notice to faculty teaching in the fall about new features.

What will I see after the upgrade?

Updated: User profiles were not activated during the profile, so the first time you log in you’ll notice the new My Blackboard menu at the top right of the page.

Special note to faculty: If you have not completed grading of student assignments submitted to Bb Learn prior to May 30, you will see the new assignment grading interface when you attempt to view the assignments after the upgrade. Learn more about the new grading interface.

This post will be updated as the new features are introduced. If you have questions or concerns, please use the comments below.

Acrobat Professional is now available to all faculty and staff – get yours!

acrobat pro boxIf you find yourself making instructional material PDFs, forms, flyers or publications, be sure to avail yourself of our new campus-wide license for Adobe Acrobat Pro XI. All campus faculty and staff computers are eligible to install the software – find the instructions in the ITSS knowledge base. Things you can do with Acrobat Professional:

  • Make PDFs searchable and accessible to students with disabilities
  • Edit, combine and optimize PDFs
  • Create fillable forms and collect data with Forms Central
  • Create perfect PDFs from your Office suite.

ITSS supports the installation of Acrobat Pro. The Accessible Resource Center offers their 5-clicks PDF accessibility workshop, and TLP can help you to scan, edit, manipulate and press the perfect PDF for your instructional materials.