The Fall semester will be the first time that many instructors experience the latest version upgrade of Blackboard Learn. The system was upgraded over the summer to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP 8 and then Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP 9. Additionally, several Building Blocks were added to the system to increase functionality based on the Learning Management System survey from the spring These newest versions includes many enhancements and new tools that improve the teaching and learning experience online.
- Add a Test Student: This new tool will allow instructors to create their own test student and use it to view their courses purely from a student point of view. Once the test student is created, the instructor can login as the test student and experience the course as a student.
- Master Courses (Merging Courses Across Sections): Instructors who teach several section of the same course often request that they just have one course for all the material for all sections. In the past this meant manually enrolling students and manually controlling any changes to the enrollment. Blackboard has introduced a new tool that will allow the Blackboard administrators the ability to merge enrollments. As students drop and add the course, the enrollment will remain updated. If you are interested in this option, please contact Jodie Reminder.
- Online Attendance: One of the biggest frustrations for instructors has been that Blackboard does not offer a way to keep track of attendance. The newly installed Online Attendance allows instructors a quick way to keep track of attendance right in Blackboard and shares the instructors record of attendance with the students. Reporting allows instructors to get a quick summary of the semesters attendance for determining an attendance or participation grade. (Available in the system on Wednesday, August 15th).
- Paste from Word: Text pasted from Microsoft Word into Blackboard often has formatting problems, but this new tool will reduce the number of formatting issue and alleviate the extra work that goes into fixing pasted text.
- Teaching Style (Pre-Designed Course Structure): Instructors have long requested that Blackboard provide some type of template course to give them a quick start for the semester. With the new Course Structure option, Blackboard provides templates for a variety of teaching styles and even allows instructors to add content suggestions based on the teaching style.