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What's New?

Whats New

There are many new features and updates that faculty will notice when we upgrade Blackboard to version 9.1 Service Pack 13.  The interface will look different, but this version of Bb will provide a more user friendly and modern experience for you as a daily user of the system. 

All improvements in this version were done with educators and students in mind.  Many existing features have been improved and there are some exciting new features added to make your use of Bb more efficient. 

Here is an overview of tools that you can expect to be using:

Global navigation

The new navigation menu provides a user-friendly experience with collaborative tools that allow you to engage 21st century participatory learners. The new navigation menu is the entry point of My Blackboard and also provides one-click access to your courses, organizations, settings, and Blackboard help. Additionally, the new menu will tell you how many items in Bb are new or need your attention, so you never miss a thing. 

My Blackboard

This feature introduces a completely new, modern user experience in Blackboard Learn that consolidates critical information from all your Courses and Organizations as well as your school-wide academic network.  The new tools in My Blackboard-Profile, Posts, Updates, My Grades, People—were developed to meet the needs of today’s active participatory learners.  For educators like you, My Blackboard allows you to easily monitor activity across your courses and organizations and rest-assured that your students are up-to-date and engaged in the online learning experience.

New Content Editor

Content editor has been vastly improved to make it easier for faculty to create, edit, and upload content for teaching and learning.  The user experience has been improved for formatting text, pasting content from Microsoft Word, and adding content to all areas of Learn.  This feature simply brings your course materials to life.  Blackboard has also replaced the old math editor with a new mathML equation editor.

SMS Tool

SMS Tool allows instructors and students to stay connected like never before. A text is automatically sent to students when an instructor submits a grade, an announcement, or any other post.  Students must set their preferences to receive notification by e-mail or SMS. 


The new iCalender feed feature allows instructors and students to subscribe to calendars.  With the freedom to schedule meetings, office hours and exams, it also allows instructors and students  to stay organized by viewing personal and course calendars.


Blackboards discussion interface has been updated with a more modern appeal, displaying all posts on a single page as well as requiring students to post before seeing other comments allowing them to share their original ideas with their class.

New Assessment Features

New assessment features include: inline assignment grading, test access logs, test availability and due date exceptions, answer pattern matching for fill-in-the-blank questions, a customizable test-begin page, and much more. 

Now you can easily refine your assessments by evaluating the quality of each question and that question’s ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Ineffective questions can be easily identified and then quickly corrected with the Automatic Regrade feature.

Have fun exploring Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 13. The update will take place on January 5, 2014.