Blackboard Learn 9.1: Maintenance Window and New Features for SP11

Blackboard Maintenance Tuesday, April 30 – Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blackboard will be unavailable on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. until Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. due to maintenance to the system. This will include the upgrade to Service Pack 11.

Upgrading to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 11 (SP11)

As spring semester comes to an end, we are in preparation to upgrade to the latest service pack for Blackboard Learn. On April 30, 2013 there will be a maintenance window to upgrade Valencia to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP11.  The majority of the functions will remain the same as our current version (SP9), however, there are several new features that are noted below.

Blackboard 9.1 SP10/11 is the latest release of the Blackboard Academic Suite and part of a multi-year, multi-release rollout. This release:

  • Builds on the student engagement tools in earlier releases.
  • Improves the performance of the software.
  • Enhances the entire user interface to make it easier to use, more intuitive, and extends drag and drop simplicity along with context sensitive menus.
  • Brings new features for faculty and student to improve teaching and learning.

As Blackboard continuously improves the system, the following features are included within this service pack:

  • My Blackboard and Global Navigation – An overlay when you first login to Bb will provide awareness of new features.  There will be a new profile tool that includes avatar support for blogs, journals, wikis, and the discussion board. (VIDEO)
  • New Content Editor with advance features for editing HTML and style. (VIDEO) Compare New versus Legacy Content Editor (READ)

SP11 New Content Editor  

  • New Discussion Board with increased accessibility for screen readers. (VIDEO)
  • Expanded Social Learning Tools for students to better communicate.(VIDEO)
  • New Calendar will allow for iCal support and drag-n-drop functionality aligned with due dates entered. (VIDEO)

SP11 New Calendar

  • Video Everywhere tool enables personalized and just in time feedback for students utilizing YouTube accounts. (READ)
  • Enhanced Assignment Grading features (to be able to grade and annotate online). (VIDEO)
SP11 Inline Assignment Grading
  • Retention Center to better monitor student performance. (VIDEO)
  • Enhanced Item Analysis – Provides additional statistics on test performance and individual test questions. (VIDEO)
  • Pattern Matching Fill-in-the-Blank – Fill in the blank questions can be automatically scored using a pattern matching feature. (VIDEO)
  • Expanded Accessibility – New accessibility improvements include the ability to skip links, ARIA Markup, Forms Markup, My Blackboard, My Grades, and enhancements in the accessibility of tests.
  • Improved Help Site: Blackboard Help SP10 and SP11

New Features Webinars

As we embark on teaching in the latest version of Blackboard, we have designed some discussion and overview webinars to help our faculty and staff learn about the latest changes. This is an opportunity to (1) learn about specific changes in SP11 and (2) get general questions on Blackboard answered. No Professional Development or Faculty Development Credit will be offered for these sessions. These sessions are designed to get your questions answered and to meet members of the Learning Technology Services (LTS) Instructional Design team.

A short presentation on new features in SP11 will take about 20-30mins. The Instructional Design Team will stick around for any additional questions. Click the registration button below to RSVP for one of these webinars.


Date & Time


Tuesday, April 16, 2013
10:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
5:30 p.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Thursday, April 18, 2013
1:00 p.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Friday, May 3, 2013
12:00 p.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

We anticipate this should be a fairly smooth transition to the latest service pack.  We appreciate any feedback or concerns as we move forward.

David, Josh, LaVonda, Leslie, and Nemir
Instructional Design Team

One response to “Blackboard Learn 9.1: Maintenance Window and New Features for SP11”

Leave a Reply