MyGateway

MyGateway System Help

 

What's New: Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 8

Blackboard Learn, Version 9.1, Service Pack 8 (SP8) includes a new look and feel that will enhance the experience for instructors, students, and administrators. Users already familiar with Bb 9.1 will be pleased with the additional functionality Bb 9.1, SP8 offers: New features affect Bb's user interface which is now more in-line with today's Web 2.0 experience; workflow functionality which includes course navigation, course structure, and course theme enhancements; and improved grading features to better support instructor's efficiency in the grading process. To learn more about a specific feature click on its corresponding link from the list provided below. As always, please feel free to contact your Faculty Resource Center team for assistance with MyGateway.


Course-to-Course Navigation
This feature 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.
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Course Structures
Course Structures are pre-built structures that focus on specific aspects of a course including Activity, Communication, Content, Systems, and Time. Other Structures mimic the ANGEL and WebCT legacy platforms. These structures re-align the left navigation to match the pedagogical needs of the particular course type.
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New Themes
The default theme in Blackboard Learn has been updated to enhance usability. Course Themes are pre-built designs that Instructors can select to match their design preferences and teaching methods. Course Themes add a background image to the course display and change the color of the user interface. Course Themes do not affect content and can be changed at any time. Note: To use the Course Theme, the new default theme should be enabled, or an existing custom theme should be built upon the new default theme. Refer to the New Default Theme topic below for details.
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Negative Marking
Negative Marking allows Instructors to apply negative point values for
incorrect answers on assessment questions.
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Automated Regrading
Instructors can now fix problematic questions by simply editing the invalid question directly and having all necessary updates flow automatically to the Grade Center. For any assessment question, Instructors can drop, give full credit, change point value, or change which answer is marked correct. After the question has been updated, Blackboard Learn recalculates the score of all submitted assessments that included the updated question, reflects the updates in the Grade Center, and provides notification to both the Instructor and optionally to the Student for all impacted submissions.
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Interactive Rubrics
Enhanced rubrics are here to better support instructor efficiency in the grading process and convey expectations to students. The rubrics enable the efficient, consistent grading of manually graded student submissions and also facilitate secondary evaluations used to support program evaluations. The rubric is 'clickable', allowing for dynamic entry of feedback and ratings. When creating a rubric, instructors can choose from 4 types (percentage, point, point range, and no-point), as well as assign weights to categories. The same rubric can be assigned to multiple gradable items. Instructors can also opt to have the rubric viewable by students. Rubrics can be imported and exported for use across courses.
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Needs Grading Tool Enhancement
The Needs Grading tool is a view in the Grade Center that instantly provides instructors visibility and access to items that need to be graded. Gradable Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion Board activity will now appear in Needs Grading status in the Grade Center and on the Needs Grading page. When an instructor chooses to make an interactive tool gradable, (s)he will also have the option to choose how many interactions will place the item in Needs Grading status. A Discussion Board forum, for instance, might be set to only appear in Needs Grading status after a student has made three posts, rather than with each individual post. The Needs Grading tool is also visible as part of the Needs Attention Module so instructors are alerted consistently with other gradable items.
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Timed Assessments Enhancement
This new capability provides instructors with an intuitive means of setting time limits on assessments and configuring the system to auto-submit the assessment at time expiration. Instructors can now choose to make the timed assessment auto-submit, or to allow the assessment to continue beyond the allotted time as in previous releases of the Blackboard Learn platform. Students are provided with visual cues to track their progress when taking and submitting timed assessments set to auto-submit. Attempt information for timed assessments includes details on how much time the student spent on the attempt versus how much time was allotted.
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Quick Setup Guide
When Instructors first enter a course they are presented with a Quick Setup screen that provides links to documents that outline working with content and getting started in the course environment. There are also direct links to the On Demand Learning Center and help.blackboard.com. This feature will help acquaint new users to Blackboard Learn courses, features, and capabilities to help them quickly get started.
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Activity Reports
Activity Reports provide reporting on how instructors and students are utilizing their Blackboard Learn courses and course materials. Administrators can generate reports for any course in the system, any user, or a collective view of users. Instructor reports are limited to their individual courses and the students enrolled in those courses. The following reports are available: Course Activity Overview - available to Instructors and Administrators; Student Overview for a Single Course - available to Instructors and Administrators; User Activity Overview available to Administrators only; and Single User Activity Overview available to Administrators only.
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Improvements to Students Access to Files Within a Course
Adaptive Release and Date/Time Availability Rules are Honored
Service Pack 6 and higher changes the way students access files that are stored in Content Collection or Course Files and linked in a Blackboard Learn course. Access is now granted using tokenized URLs instead of URL plus permissions to control read access to files from the course. Instructors (or those users creating course content) are no longer prompted to give Read access to newly created items. Adaptive Release rules are now honored for items stored in Content Collection and accessed through the Blackboard Learn course. Items that are released at a later date will not show up in a search before they are released.
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Improvements to Handling Mini Websites and File Packages
When an instructor links to an HTML file attachment from a course item, access to that HTML file will be granted to all users enrolled in that course. Instructors can also grant access to other files in the same folder or selected files in the Content Collection to handle mini-websites and packaged content. Student access is constrained by Adaptive Release rules, and these rules, along with access to the files, will be propagated along with the files when the course is copied.

Additional Resources
Blackboard Training Video site
Blackboard Training for Service Pack 8
Blackboard Instructor Help
Blackboard Student Help

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