Blackboard’s New Release for Summer and Fall 2015

MiraCosta College upgraded to the newest release of Blackboard for Summer and Fall 2015. https://blackboard.miracosta.edu. Looking for your Spring 15 or older classes to export content from?  Go to:  https://bbarchive.miracosta.edu and follow the export/import procedures.

Below are some notable changes for faculty.

New Faster Hardware

AIS has a new server and a clean installation of the new Blackboard Learn. With the new hardware and software, Blackboard will run smoother and faster and be ready to keep up with future releases and enhancements.

Single Sign-On

Blackboard now utilizes MiraCosta’s single sign-on system. Once logged into one MiraCosta single sign-on system, faculty and students can access other single sign-on systems without having to log in again, until the session has expired. Blackboard joins current single sign-on systems 25Live, Clockwork, Moodle, WordPress, Library Prox, Regroup, Maxient, and CCCApply. Additional campus systems will be converted to single sign-on soon.

Single Sign-On

Course Content – Export /Import

Faculty will need to export existing course content from the old Blackboard server and import into the new Blackboard server.

Student Preview

Viewing your course as a student is an important way to ensure that it is working for your students as you intended, and now it’s much easier. With this upgrade, instructors can view their course exactly as a student does from within their instructor account, rather than having to log in with a separate Blackboard username and password. This is a significant simplification for MiraCosta faculty!

Student Preview

Email Improvements

During 2014, changes made by some email providers to reduce spam meant that some users may not have received emails generated within Blackboard. This update includes changes inside Blackboard to fix this issue. You can read more about email from Blackboard – emails sent from different Blackboard tools are not formatted consistently.

Calculated Formula Assessments

Calculated Formula questions in Tests are used by faculty to create quantitative questions using a formula & variables that can be dynamically generated, calculated, and scored. The automated grading of these questions, the correct answer to be calculated using the defined formula and variables, and the student’s response validated to award credit, has been improved to include calculation to significant figures. In addition, support for scientific/exponential notation is improved. The Test Canvas and the Item Analysis report have also been updated to include Significant Figures information.

Calculated Formula screenshot

My Grades

The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. Students now view feedback by clicking View Feedback.

View Feedback

Anonymous and Delegated Grading

Anonymous & Delegated Grading provides a more useful, robust option than the “Hide User Names” function to enable anonymous grading, and provides a mechanism for lead faculty to delegate grading. When creating or editing an assignment, faculty can enable Anonymous Grading and Delegated Grading within the Grading Options section.

These tools can enhance assessment by avoiding bias (with Anonymous Grading) and/or by promoting reliability by obtaining two or more grades from separate individuals (with Delegated Grading). However, faculty in any courses in which grading is a shared responsibility may benefit from the capabilities.

For Anonymously Graded Attempts, student identifying information will be obfuscated. The student’s name is replaced with a unique identifier that can be used by graders and instructors to identify a particular attempt for evaluation without discovering the identity of the student.

Calendar

Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.  Also, there is now a course list filter in the calendar.

Additional Information

Much of the text above is adapted from Blackboard’s What’s New in Blackboard Learn 9.1, April 2014 Release. More details are available there.