What’s New in Blackboard?

December 2014 – Service Pack 14 Upgrade

Some new features and enhancements will be provided in the December upgrade to BlackBoard. Included among these enhancements are the following:

  • Improved My Grades view for students with a more user-friendly way to receive feedback left for them
  • Anonymous grading of assignments
  • Delegated grading
  • Improved Student View functionality with the ability to keep or delete changes made as “Demo User”
  • Improved SafeAssign integration with the Assignments tool and improved SafeAssign reporting
  • Minor enhancements to the Grade Center view

Some additional features include minor cosmetic updates or changes to the interface for certain tools. Notably, the Assignment tool has received several changes. When creating any Assignment (retrieved from the Assessments tab) you now have the option to add plagiarism checking directly to the assignment. You no longer will create separate SafeAssign assignments. All SafeAssign tools are now available in any “normal” assignment simply by checking the appropriate boxes under Submission Details. For more information, visit the BlackBoard Help website.

SafeAssignment tool integrated with Assignment tool

In addition, grading options are now available to enable anonymous and delegated grading. Anonymous grading hides the students’ names while instructors are grading, helping to remove and eliminate any possible grading bias. This helps students feel assured that their grades are not influenced by any other factors than the work they have produced. Delegated grading can be used when working with teaching assistants or other instructors to delegate grading of groups or random blocks of students to different graders. The delegated grading feature can make the process of working with other graders more automated.

Anonymous grading options

The Student View icon has also changed slightly. While it is still located in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, it now looks like a set of arrows to indicate the change in views. Clicking on this icon brings you to Student View as you have been used to using, although you will now see an orange bar at the top of the screen indicating that you are in Student View. You can also adjust settings in this bar, indicating whether you would like to leave any information you enter as Demo Student or whether you would like it deleted when you return to the Teacher View. For more information, visit the BlackBoard Help page on this tool.

New Student View Button

Student view demonstration


student view settings

May 2014 – Service Pack 14

Service Pack 14 has many enhancements to the already robust platform, most notably inline grading, test availability and feedback options, and date and group management tools.

New Test Availability and Feedback options include:

  • Test Exceptions that allow an instructor to add a user to the exception list for an extended test time, different test dates, and other test options
  • Test Feedback options that allow an instructor to choose when feedback is released after the immediate submission, due date, or availability date
  • Test Access Log that will document the time spent inside an exam in between questions and show the user’s progress
  • Scoring attempt options and due date restrictions

2013 – Service Pack 11

Service Pack 11 is designed to improve existing features, most notably a more robust Text Editor [Opens in New Window] and an improved discussion forum [Opens in New Window] that can require first posting before revealing others’ posts.

Some new features have also been added to the new version to make the user experience simpler and more efficient for both instructors and students. New features include: