What can you expect?
• Blackboard 9 uses Web 2.0 features that allow users to drag-and-drop items that appear on the screen and select drop-down menus.
• Content reordering and editing is much easier.
• You can access items in the control panel from the course page with drop-down arrows, which streamlines the
content editing process.
• Increased flexibility for Grade Center (old grade book).
Navigation and Reordering Features
• Turn on the Edit Mode switch to enable editing and navigation tools. This switch is located in the upper-right corner of every page. You must turn the switch to “ON” to access editing tools.
o Edit Mode = OFF means the page is displayed as students will see it.
o Edit Mode=ON means the editing tools are available to the instructor.
• The “action button” is the chevron arrow (either up or down) that opens and closes menus and options.
• The chevron arrow pointing to the right will open sub-menus and options to right of the menu. For example,
evaluation expands to show Course Reports, Early Warning System and Performance Dashboard.
• The double-headed arrows allow you to rearrange the order of items by dragging and dropping.
• Use the Course Tools link to display tools used in the course (Announcements, Collaboration, Send Email, etc.).
Improved Course Management Workflow
• All Control Panel options are now available from the main course menu. Remember, you must be in Edit Mode to access these tools.
• Menu items can be dragged and dropped for quick and easy reordering.
• Items can be more quickly edited by selecting the dropdown menu (double arrows pointing down) next to each item.
CAUTION: Be careful not to “Delete” items that you do not intend to remove. If you simply mean to hide an item or are not sure, select “Hide Link”. If you delete a menu item, all content inside of it will be deleted.
• Course menu items that do not contain content are automatically hidden from students. As soon as content is added, Blackboard will make it visible. Tools and Communications have been combined into one item “Tools”
• Announcements Page: No longer is the announcements page the page which opens the course. It has been replaced
by a Home page containing modules that deliver news about the course. Announcements shown on the Home page can be read on the Announcements page by clicking them.
• Priority Ordering: Use the drag-and-drop double-headed arrows to change the display order of announcements.
• Announcement Email: Instructors can still select to send emails to student when posting announcements. However,
the announcement text is no longer included in the email. Students are prompted to login to Blackboard to view the announcement.
• Drop Box is Gone: The Drop Box has disappeared. Student submissions of work must be done using an Assignment.
• Multiple Attempts: Instructors can now allow multiple attempts for assignments (a set number or unlimited), which
allows drafts of papers and final papers to be submitted in the same item.
• Group Assignments: Assignments can be individual (as with Blackboard 7.3) or group assignments. For group
assignments, create Groups first and then select the group when creating the assignment. Instructors can select to grade the group (grade is applied to one student in the group and that grade is submitted to all group members) or override the group grade for individuals.
• Student Submission Field: In addition to comment box and file attachment options, students can now include formatted text and web addresses when submitting assignments.
The Grade Book from Blackboard 7.3 is now called the Grade Center. This area is considerably different.
• Inline Editing: Grade entries can be entered directly into the Grade Center page through inline editing, similar to
placing entries into a spreadsheet. These entries are automatically saved.
• Grading History: The Grade Center automatically records the grading history. For instance, if the instructor or teaching assistant changes the student’s grade, the grade history will show the new grade, the old grade(s), when the grade(s) changed, and who posted the change(s).
• Drag and Drop Column Reordering: Use drag-and-drop to reorder grade columns.
• Smart Views: Create Smart Views to view users based on category (Manage > Smart Views). Smart Views saved as
favorites will appear in the Grade Center sub-menu for easy access.
• Email from Grade Center: Instructors can send emails directly from the Grade Center.
The new homepage includes modules that notify you and students of changes and due dates in the course. These modules can be added or removed by the instructor:
• Announcements Displays links to announcement for an instructor-set length of time. Clicking the link takes you to
the Announcements page.
• What’s New: Displays a list of new items in relevant courses.
• To Do: Displays what is Due and Past Due in the course.
• Needs Attention: Displays all items in a course that require some type of interaction. Instructors see assignments,
tests, and surveys that have been submitted
• Tasks: Displays tasks entered by the instructor.
• Alerts: Displays past due and early warning notifications for all courses. Instructors set alert warnings using the
Evaluation/Early Warning System.
Create groups individually or as a group set. Students can be enrolled manually or they can self-enroll. When creating group sets, you can also select random enrollment. Students can now create groups and customize their group space adding colors and banners.
Blogs – shorthand for Web Log – have been integrated in Blackboard 9.1 as an interactive tool. Web logs come in several varieties in Blackboard: Course blogs, where everyone in a course participates in the same blog; Individual blogs, where each student has their own blog that they maintain; and Group blogs where groups of students can work together to maintain a blog. While traditionally blogs are public to the world, it is important to note that blogs inside of Blackboard are only visible within the course where they are created.
The term Wiki comes from the Hawaiian word wiki-wiki, which means quick-quick. Like Blogs, Wikis are a tool that’s new in Blackboard, and considered an interactive/collaborative in nature. Wikis are sets of pages that can be collaboratively edited by the students enrolled in the class as well as the instructor. In essence, students can build a dynamic Website together that includes text, images, and much more. The instructor also has the ability to see all of the changes to a wiki – similar to the track changes feature in Microsoft Word.
What were formerly known as Course Statistics are now called Course Reports. You can find this under the Evaluation link in the Control Panel. After opening up this tool, you will see different options. Select Overall Summary of User Activity unless you need to run statistics on the specific areas listed. You can still select users and a date range. Now, you have the ability to export this in different formats (i.e. PDF, HTML, Excel, and Word.
Course Files (File Management)
Instructors can now upload files and folders into a file management system and link to those files as needed. This allows you to upload a number of files at one time using drag and drop or browsing.