Blackboard Maintenance and New Features – SafeAssign Intergration, Student Preview, Bb Grader App

Blackboard Maintenance Tuesday, December 16 &­ Thursday, December 18

Blackboard will be unavailable on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 from 3:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and Thursday, December 18, 2014 from 3:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. due to maintenance to the system. This will include the upgrade to the latest October 2014 release of Blackboard Learn 9.1.

Upgrading to Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 Release

As the fall semester comes to an end, we are in preparation to upgrade to the latest release for Blackboard Learn. On December 16th and 18th there will be a maintenance window to upgrade Valencia to Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 [release].  The majority of the functions will remain the same as our current version (SP14), however, there are a few new features that we’d like to tell you about.

SafeAssign Integration:

SafeAssign is now integrated into the regular Blackboard Learn assignments. With the integration between SafeAssign and regular assignments, almost all of the regular assignment features are available with the SafeAssign service, including inline grading and rubrics.

You can use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for plagiarism potential and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.

Blackboard SafeAssign Intergration

Old SafeAssignments created prior to this upgrade still work but they will not automatically become new assignments with access to the additional features. It would be beneficial to recreate your old SafeAssignments into new Assignments and enable “Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign”.

Watch this tutorial on SafeAssign for additional information on enabling SafeAssign in an assignment, setting options, reviewing submissions and SafeAssign reports, and grading an assignment.

Additional information and step-by-step tutorial:


Student Preview:

As an instructor, you want to be confident that your course is well designed and functions as intended—before your students see it. Use Student Preview to review the course content and validate the course behaviors, such as those that control the availability of course content or require a particular interaction from the student to be triggered. This new feature will replace the old “Add Test Student” course tool.

Blackboard Student Preview

With Student Preview, you can experience your course exactly as your students do. While in student preview mode, you can do the following student activities:

  • Submit assignments
  • Take tests
  • Create blog and discussion posts
  • Create journal and wiki entries
  • View student tools, such as My Grades
  • Test a course as a student prior to the course being available to students


For a video tutorial on how to enter student preview mode, exit student preview mode, and delete the preview user account.

Additional information and step-by-step tutorial:


Bb Grader App

The Bb Grader App provides instructors with a mobile solution for reviewing, providing feedback, and grading student submissions to Blackboard Learn Assignments. Available for the iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad 2, 3, or 4 with iOS 7 or iOS 8.

The Bb Grader App is available to download for free in the iTunes App Store:

Bb Grader App

Key Features

  • Inline viewing of student submissions for supported file types
  • For unsupported file types, you may download the file, view the file on your device (if supported by your device), and still provide grade information via the app
  • Gesture-based interactions for grading and feedback
  • Support for audio and video-based feedback
  • Course and assignment level views
  • Integration with Multiple Attempts, Group Assignments, Rubrics, and Anonymous Grading

Additional information and step-by-step tutorial:

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