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Learning Services Blog

Learn : 2017 Upgrade

by Aaron Burrell on 2017-07-12T13:27:00+01:00 in Learn, Learning Technologies

The Upgrade Plan

The plan (after consultation with Heads of Service & Registry and Student Services) is for Learn to be upgraded over the weekend 5-6 August 2017. This will involve the service being unavailable from Friday 4 August at 21.00, being upgraded on the Saturday, tested by the Digital Learning Team on Sunday 6 August, and available by 8.00am on Monday 7 August (if not earlier).

We have already worked with Blackboard to complete a successful upgrade on our test environment which has passed our Phase 1 Test Plan. This is great news, and means we are very confident to be able to deliver the upgrade on the live Learn production environment within the timeline above.

The latest version will provide some enhanced functionality around common tasks, often requested by Staff and Students. These include:

Additional drag-and-drop locations

File drag and drop are now supported in the following areas:

  • Content Collection – file upload page replacing Java-dependent interface
  • Content Editor – embed attachment
  • Blank Page content type
  • Blog – Create Entry
  • Journal – Create Entry
  • Portfolio – add Artifact

If the browser allows, users can drag a folder of files and the files will upload individually.

More on Instructor: Create a file | Student: Create and edit content

Submission receipts enhancements

Students can receive a notification email for each assignment attempt with information about the submission including attached files. Students can also access receipts at any time on the My Grades page in the submissions filter area. Administrators can optionally disable the email notifications.

More on Instructor: Submission receipts | Student: Submission receipts

Outcomes Assessment: Sampling by demographic

When collecting and sampling student submissions for a secondary program evaluation process, administrators can sample student work by student demographic information in addition to sampling by courses and terms. Sampling can be done by the education level field or institution roles. You can use boolean operators such as AND/OR when sampling institution roles. For example, you could sample graduating senior in a specific program for evaluation purposes.

2016 Theme improvements to web responsiveness

The discussion board is now responsive for hand-held devices if the contents of the posts themselves are responsive. Discussion participants can read, respond, and use other discussion features such as post rating from mobile devices.

Pages with tables, the course menu, and My Blackboard pages are better optimized for hand-held devices. Menus can be accessed on touch devices.

More on the Learn 2016 Theme

Mobile App

Blackboard Instructor is a mobile app that enables you to view course content, connect with students in discussions, and interact with your class in Blackboard Collaborate. The app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

System Improvements

SIS integration enhancements

Command line Snapshot tools have been removed. Flat, snapshot-formatted files can still be processed through the SIS Integration Framework. New REST web services have been added to retrieve job status and record processing errors. These allow administrators to implement real-time monitoring and issue resolution processes if desired.

Email configuration settings

Starting in the Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 release, administrators edit email configuration settings in the user interface, rather than editing the settings in the file. This method also allows you to edit email configuration settings without having to restart your Blackboard Learn environment

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