Upcoming Blackboard Downtime – New Features Coming!

Blackboard Maintenance Wednesday, December 18 – Thursday, December 19

Blackboard will be unavailable on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. until Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. due to maintenance to the system. This will include the upgrade to Service Pack 14.

Upgrading to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 14 (SP14)

As fall semester comes to an end, we are in preparation to upgrade to the latest service pack for Blackboard Learn. On December 18, 2013 there will be a maintenance window to upgrade Valencia to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP14.  The majority of the functions will remain the same as our current version (SP11), however, there are several new features that are noted below.

Test Enhancements – Tests in Blackboard Learn have been updated, making specific improvements to how tests are designed and deployed. These enhancements will help meet specific scenarios that frequently come up from Instructors who use tests in low- and high-stakes situations. Specifically, tests are updated to provide more granular feedback control, group and user deployment exceptions, Test “Begin” page user experience enhancements, an improved user interface of the Test Canvas and Create/Edit pages, and improved handling of late submissions.

New test options video: http://youtu.be/ef08mqN4rIY?t=2m17s

More info about Deploying Tests in SP14

New Test Results Display Options for Blackboard SP14

Date Management – After you have copied a course, speed up the transition of old dates to new one relevant for the new course using Date Management. From Date Management you can adjust availability dates, due dates, and adaptive release dates within a course. You can choose to update the dates automatically or manually from one convenient location.

More info about Date Management in SP14.

Date Management Options in Blackboard SP14

Test Access Log – A source of frustration for students, instructors, and test proctors is the inability to confirm whether students began a Blackboard Test or ran into problems during a Test. Instructors and other users, who are granted permission, can view the Access Log for a Test from the Attempts page of the Test. The access log shows a detailed list of every interaction that students engage in when taking a Test. If a student claims to have started a Test, the log will show the time the Test was started. If a network or Internet disruption occurred during the Test, for example, the log would show an unusual gap in the time.

More info about Test Access Log in SP14

Achievements (Badges) – The Achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to designate 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 of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies. Students are able to publish badges to the Mozilla Open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside of Blackboard Learn. Instructors can easily see which students have reached learning milestones.

More information about Achievements in SP14

Achievements (Badges) Flow in Blackboard SP14

Groups Management – The Groups Management tool has been significantly enhanced to improve the experience of managing large numbers of Groups with large numbers of students in a course. It adds capabilities to the existing workflows for Group creation and management. This feature applies to both Courses and Organizations*. Groups Management improvements provide the ability to:

• Easily see which students are in which Groups, including which students are not in any Groups

• Easily see and modify Group memberships

• Automatically create Grade Center Smart Views that correspond to Groups

• Import and export Groups and Group memberships

• Streamline common actions that previously made Group management cumbersome and time-consuming

More information about Groups in Blackboard SP14

xpLor is a cloud-based learning object repository that is designed to work with multiple Learning Management Systems (LMS). It is built on open standards and will allow for the creation, discovery, and sharing of rich learning objects. You can share learning objects beyond the confines of a single LMS, and shared objects will work in any supported system without alteration. You can move existing content from the LMS to xpLor, making it accessible in multiple courses on multiple platforms.

Video – Introducing Blackboard xpLor http://youtu.be/NUOjgax8VO4

Instructor xpLor Help: https://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Cloud/xpLor/Instructor

SMS Notifications – By editing your personal information in the Global Navigation menu you are able to add a mobile phone number. This allows both students and instructors to choose SMS as a notification type for various types of notifications in their courses. This can include announcements available, tests needs grading, assignments needs grading, items graded, tests due, and much more depending on your role in the course.

More information about Notification Settings in Blackboard SP14


Intelecom Sciences

Science anyone? Intelecom online resources, provider of academic video on demand announces a new collection from the National Science Foundation (NSF). New topics range from biochemistry, climate change, current scientific research, robotics, social networking, oceanography and green technology. This ADA compliant video collection is available inside your Blackboard course under the Build Content menu.

Complete list of NSF Videos at this link

How to Access Intelecom in Blackboard

If your browser has been blocking your video content in Blackboard, please see the link below for an easy workaround.

Click Here

What is Instructional Design?

What is instructional design all about?


  • Could your course use a facelift?
  • Are your students lost in the land of Blackboard?
  • Do you want to do more online and don’t know where to start?
  • Are you interested in incorporating a new educational tool in your course and not sure which one is most appropriate?
  • Do you want to integrate active learning strategies to your online course and need some pointers?
  • Are you interested in designing or re-working your Blackboard course and don’t know where to start?


Find answers to these questions and more by setting up a one-on-one consultation with your campus’s Instructional Designer.

Don’t know who the instructional designer is on your campus? CLICK HERE

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