Blackboard Learn 9.1: Upgrade and Bagels & Blackboard

Moving to Bb WordPress LogoAs summer semester comes to an end, we are in preparation to upgrade to the latest service pack for Blackboard Learn. On August 10, 2012 there will be a maintenance window to upgrade Valencia to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP9.  The majority of the functions will remain the same as our current version (SP6) with a few new features that are noted below.

 Blackboard Maintenance Friday August 10 – Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blackboard will be unavailable on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. until Sunday August 12, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. due to maintenance to the system. This will include the upgrade to Service Pack 9.

 New Features in Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 9 (SP9)

 Quick Setup Guide

  • The guide puts some help resources, and access to the new Course Themes and Course Structures (which I’ll go into more detail on in future posts), and can easily be suppressed by checking a box in the lower left corner of the window. You can regain access to the Quick Setup Guide by choosing its menu entry on the Control Panel, under Customization, should you wish to.

 Course Themes

  • In the upper right corner of any course you are an instructor of, right next to the switch that toggles Edit Mode on and off, there is now a “paint swatch” icon, which will open up a menu listing all the possibilities of Course Themes. Simply click on one of the theme names from that menu and your course will immediately switch to a new appearance. It is now simple to pick differing appearances for your courses, which should aid in forgetting which course site you are looking at when working along in Blackboard.

Course Structures

  • Course Structures allow an instructor to choose from a list of different organizational methods, and then add course menu, content area, and even samples of content that would be appropriate to use with the selected organizational method. Course Structures may be selected as part of the Quick Setup interface, or applied separately from the Control Panel. You can either browse through the screens in a course site, or you can take a look at a listing of all the different Course Structures that are available.

Course-to-Course Navigation

  • All Course-to-Course Navigation allows students and instructors to jump from course to course while retaining the context of the page or task from the original page of any recently accessed course. You will stay within the area or tools of the other course. This navigation tool has the potential to streamline an instructor’s workflow tremendously. For example, if you are in the mood to read discussions your students have submitted, go into your first course and into the Discussion tool. Read and reply to the discussions in this first course, then choose your next course from the drop-down menu. You’re now in the Discussion screen of the next course automatically.
  • Blackboard On Demand Video – Course to Course Navigation

Automatic Regrading

Negative Points for Incorrect Answers to Test Questions

 Visual Changes

  • Various visual changes have been made to the appearance of a course in SP9

Bagels and Blackboard

As we embark on teaching in the latest version of Blackboard, we have designed some discussion and overview sessions to help our faculty and staff learn about the latest changes. Bagels and Blackboard is an opportunity to (1) learn about specific changes in SP9 and (2) get general questions on Blackboard answered. No PD 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 will start at 9:00 a.m. on the dates listed below and the team will stick around to answer questions until 11:00 a.m. Feel free to stop in anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to join us to learn more about Blackboard’s latest features and meet the team. Click the registration button below to RSVP for this event, even if you are just dropping by for a short time.


 Bagels and Blackboard:


Date & Time


Osceola Campus

Building 1 – Room 115

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

9:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

East Campus

Building 4 – Room 133

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
9:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

West Campus

Building 6 – Room 326A

Thursday, September 6, 2012
9:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Stay Connected & Updated!

Valencia’s LTS Facebook:
Valencia’s LTS Twitter:
Valencia’s LTS YouTube:
Valencia’s Moving to Blackboard Blog:
Valencia’s Learning Technology Blog:

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

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