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Details of Blackboard Enhancements as of January 6, 2011

Grade Center and Assessment Improvements

  • Needs Grading 
    Gradable Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion Board activity can appear in Needs Grading status in the Grade Center and on the Needs Grading page. When an instructor chooses to make an interactive tool gradable, they will also have the option to choose how many interactions will place the item in needs grading status. A Discussion Board forum, for instance, might be set to only appear in Needs Grading status after a student has made three posts, rather than with each individual post. 
  • Timed Assessments 
    Attempt information for timed assessments includes details on how much time the student spent on the attempt versus how much time was allotted.
    Instructors can choose to make the timed assessment save and submit automatically when the timer expires, or to allow the assessment to continue beyond the allotted time. 
  • Test Announcements 
    If announcements are created for a Test, the date and time of the most recent announcement appears on the Test Options page. 
  • Interactive Rubrics 
    When creating a rubric, instructors can assign weights to categories, allowing the same rubric to be used across multiple items with different possible points. Rubrics can be imported and exported for use across courses. Existing rubrics in ANGEL and CE8 courses will be converted as part of the course conversion process. 

    Instructors can associate rubrics when creating gradable content items, including Blogs, Journals, Wikis, Discussion Boards, Assignments, and short-answer, file-response, or essay questions in tests and pools. Rubrics can be associated with multiple items, and all associations can be viewed from the Rubric tool. Multiple rubrics can be associated with an item. The rubrics can be visible to students at any time, or only after grading has been completed. 

    Instructors can interact with any associated rubric for grading in a grid or list view, and Feedback can be typed for each criteria as well as the entire assessment. Grades calculated using rubrics can be overridden. When a rubric has been used for grading, a report is available to view the results of all content graded with that rubric. 
  • SCORM Engine Integration 
    Through a co-development partnership with Rustici Software, a new SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) content player is integrated into Blackboard Learn. This feature will provide users a stable and reliable platform for SCORM content. Along with the new content player is a new report available through the Control Panel to show activity and progress.

 Improved Browser Support

The following browsers will now be considered compatible

  • Internet Explorer 9
  • Google Chrome 10 (stable channel)
  • Firefox 4 (final release channel)

Note 1: The Firefox Release Channel is the fully tested version by Mozilla and intended to be the most stable. This channel is updated roughly every 6 weeks.

Note 2: The Chrome Stable Channel is the fully tested version by Google and intended to be the most stable as the name implies. This channel is updated roughly every 2-3 weeks for minor releases and 6 weeks for major releases. .

No longer supported:

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7
  • Firefox 1.x, 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5
  • Safari 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 and any version on Windows
  • Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 "Tiger"
  • Java 5, although it may continue to work
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