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Blackboard Upgrade - December, 2013

Instructional Services Top 8 "Staff Picks"
  • New Test Access Log
  • New Date Management Tool
  • Improved Group Management Tools
  • Grade Center Improvements (Instructors)
  • Improved My Grades Ordering & Design (Students)
  • New Achievements Tool (Badges, Certificates)
  • Improved Test Question Exports
  • New Single Course User Participation Report

Test Access Log - New!

Previously, instructors had no way to verify student activity, or lack of activity during a Blackboard test. Students had no way to prove they began a test or when they took it. If they reported the problems, instructors either gave them the benefit of the doubt and reset the test or they were penalized for circumstances beyond their control.

The Test Access Log shows instructors or other users with Grade Center access a detailed list of every interaction a student had while taking a test. If a network or Internet disruption occurred, the log will show unusual gaps in the time between interactions.

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Date Management Tools - New!

Cut the task of changing course dates "down to size" - Date Management is a new utility instructors can use to automatically "shift" content and tool dates in a course in a highly efficient way. Instructors can also see all of the course dates in one place and further "tweak" dates from a single place, greatly streamlining the process of updating course dates!

Date Management is accessed from Course Tools:


Instructors can also see all course dates and update individual dates in one place:

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Groups Management Tool - New!

Groups Management replaces the previous Groups tool. Groups Management adds new capabilities to the existing workflows for Group creation and management for both courses and organizations in Blackboard:

  • Easily see which students are in which groups, and see which students aren't in any groups yet
  • Easily see and modify group memberships
  • Instantly see which tools are available to each group
  • Automatically create Grade Center Smart Views corresponding to each group
  • Import and export groups and group memberships between courses/organizations
  • Streamlines several common group management actions (i.e Delete multiple groups, add/remove group members, etc.)


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Grade Center Improvements (Instructors)

The Grade Center interface has not changed but there are several improvements:

  • Grading Schemas greater than 100% - letter grades will now display correctly when students score more than 100% (extra credit, etc.) if the instructor has set up the grade schema to allow it

  • Test Total Points Adjustment - Instructors can now adjust the total points possible for tests - this was not possible previously without adjusting individual question points

  • "Score Attempts Using" Setting - When multiple attempts are allowed on Blackboard tests or assignments, instructors can easily set which attempt will be graded directly from the "Options" page


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My Grades Ordering & Design Update (Students)

  • New "Order By" option: By default, students see My Grades in the order the instructor chooses in the Grade Center, but they can choose other options
  • The "All," "Graded," "Upcoming," and "Submitted" filters allow students to decrease/increase the number of rows they see
  • Instructor feedback is included right in-line with the item so students no longer need to click anything to see that feedback
  • The My Grades text size and row spacing have been reduced so more information displays on the page at once

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Achievements (Badges and Certificates) - New!

The Achievements tool allows instructors to specify criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both Badges and Certificates. Students can see which rewards they've earned and what is required to receive additional rewards. Students are able to publish badges to the Mozilla Open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside of Blackboard. Instructors can easily see which students have reached designated learning milestones in a course!


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Test Question Export Improvements

Previously, questions included in exported tests which were originally created from Test Pools using Question Sets, Random Blocks, and Linked Questions were not exported along with the test, often resulting in tests containing no questions!

All questions are now present in exported Blackboard tests, irrespective of their origin.

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Single Course User Participation Report - New!

The Single Course User Participation report was created to provide data required for the reporting of student academic contribution in compliance with Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) rules established by the U.S. Department of Education. The report provides a download file of user academic activity/submissions within a single course.

This report should not be confused with the User Activity Report that displays a summary of user access and click activity within a course. 

The data is provided in a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet (*.xls) format for use and manipulation within an external data manipulation tool such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, SAS, SPSS, or other such similar tool.

The report provides:

  • Student identifier information: student first name, last name, userID, and student batch ID
  • System availability setting
  • Course ID and Course batch ID
  • Submission time/date stamp
  • Count of submissions for attemptable items within a course, including Assignments, Tests, Discussion board posts, Blogs, and Journals

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North Dakota State University
IT Help Desk Phone: +1 (701) 231-8685
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Last Updated: Monday, June 15, 2015 11:16:16 AM
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