What's new in Blackboard
The recent upgrade to Blackboard brings with it a number of new features and enhancements, including:
- Global Navigation - a new set of links that appears at the top-right of the Blackboard Learn frame. Access points to critical academic information are organized in one place to provide a consistent, quick, and easy way to find information.
- Course-to-Course Navigation - a new feature that allows students and instructors to jump from course to course while retaining the context of the page or task of the course they are jumping out of. For example, if you are working in the Grade Center of a course and jump to another course, you will land in its Grade Center.
- The new content (WYSIWYG) editor vastly improves the user experience for adding text and other forms of digital content to Blackboard Learn. Pasting from MS Word is no longer problematic.
- Video Everywhere is a feature of the new Content Editor providing faculty and students with the ability to record video on the fly using a webcam, and have it seamlessly embedded in course materials, interactions, and feedback through the content editor. The videos are created and managed through an integration with YouTube.
At last, Blackboard has a useful calendar! The new features include the ability to export to Google and Outlook; schedule course events and assignments, including due dates; a consolidated, color-coded view; and filtering that allows selectively view only course level items, click on items to view item details, and, if supported, take action.
Improvements to assessments include automated regarding; negative marking; assessment item analysis that provides statistics on overall test performance and on individual test questions; Fill-in-the-Blank and Fill-in-Multiple Blanks questions now offer “contains” and pattern match; and rubics now include percentage range along with points range.
The redesigned Discussion Board now displays all posts all of the posts in a thread on one page. The posts now also contain the users’ course role and forum role. When replying to a post, the content editor appears on the same page, as opposed to a separate page, so it can be viewed in the context of the discussion. The new Post First setting allows instructors to require students to post to a discussion before seeing other students’ posts.
WordPress Blog Integration
While the native Blackboard blogs are easy to use and integrate with the Grade Center, they lack the functionality, extendability, and customizability that WordPress blogs offer. WordPress blog set-up is automated by the instructor clicking the "Blogs (WordPress)" link in the Tools area of the course. These blogs are private, with access limited to course membership.
Simplified Piazza Intergration
Piazza, the free online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7, under the guidance of their instructors, can now be established in a course site by the instructor with a click of the Piazza link in the Tools area.
For more information about Blackboard, including support resources and training opportunities, go to www.princeton.edu/bb.