Blackboard Upgrade for Spring 2014

UAA is upgrading to the latest version of Blackboard Learn over winter break. You will see the new interface when you log back into Blackboard in January 2014. UAA Blackboard will be unavailable December 20-29, 2013.

Spring 2014 course shells will be built in the current version, please go ahead and begin creating/copying your courses as you normally would. If you are copying course shells please check out the new tips at Course Copy.

Take time to review the updated features below. The titles are live links to Blackboard Upgrade Center, you will find videos and more documentation on how the updated features work.


Exciting New Features

  • Global Navigation
    • Streamlined top-level links are the entry point when using the system and the new social learning tools.
  • New Text Editor 
    • The updated text editor is called the content editor. It features more dynamic tools and features and improves the user experience for adding and formatting text and digital content. Review this Text Editor to Content Editor document to see the features in comparason.


  • A revision to the workflow allowing instructors to view student-submitted files "inline" without requiring any plugins, applets, or client-side applications.
  • Additionally, annotation tools enable instructors to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings/annotations directly on the inline view of the document. 

  • Tests and Surveys Options
    • This release provides additional enhancements and improved workflows including group and user deployment exceptions, granular feedback control for tests, improved handling of late submissions, and more.
  • Test Availability Exceptions
    • A set of new settings on the Test Options page, available only after the test is added to a content area. Instructors can select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings.
    • This feature allows an instructor to create additional time requests within the TEST DEPLOYMENT area versus copying and creating an adaptive release folder.
  • Test Access Log
    • A new feature that allows teachers and proctors to verify student in/activity during a test.
  • 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. When the user exports a test and imports it back into a different course, all questions are now present irrespective of their origin.
  • Expanded Features Calendar
    • Instructors and students can view personal, course, and system-wide events in a single calendar view.  External calendars can subscribe to events created on the Blackboard Learn calendar through an iCalendar feed.
  • Discussions
    • Modern discussion interface that displays all posts and options on a single page, allows inline posting, clearly identifies the role of the poster, and can require students to post before participating.
  • Video Everywhere
    • A feature of the Content Editor Building Block providing faculty and students with the ability to record and reuse videos in Blackboard Learn. The videos are created and managed through an integration with YouTube.


Blackboard Upgrade Training

Check out the most current FTC workshop schedule to sign up for upcoming Blackboard workshops.


Need additional help or training?

Workshops and consultation are available from UAA Faculty Technology Center.