Seton Hall University
Blackboard Upgrade to SP10

New Possibilities and Exciting Changes

On Sunday, January 5, 2014 the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center will upgrade Blackboard Learn to Service Pack 10/11, which will provide you with a more user friendly experience and up-to-date features.

Many existing features have been improved and some exciting new ones have been added. Here is an overview of features that you can expect to be using soon.

Play the video on the left to see an overview of the new improvements. Explore the links below to get additional information on specific “Major Changes” and “New Features”.

Register for a training session »



My Blackboard

My Blackboard consolidates all the critical information students and educators need to know across all their Courses and Organizations in Blackboard Learn.

Global Navigation

The entry point to My Blackboard is a new Global Navigation Menu. This new menu is available all the time in the top right corner of the Learn interface and provides one-click access to your Courses, Organizations, Settings, Blackboard Help, and the new My Blackboard tools.

You can see the new My Blackboard tools going down the left-hand side of the menu in the screenshot to the right. The numbers in red tell you if there’s something that’s new or needs your attention – so you never have to worry about missing anything.

With this new Global Navigation menu, you can access everything you need quickly and easily, from wherever you are in the Blackboard Learn platform.

View a video about these changes to My Blackboard »

My Blackboard is about making the lives of students and educators easier. How? Through five new tools that make up My Blackboard:

My Blackboard: Profile & Profile Card »

My Blackboard: Posts »

My Blackboard: Updates »

My Blackboard: My Grades »

My Blackboard: People »

Video Everywhere

Video Everywhere  Record a using a webcam and have it seamlessly embedded in course materials, interactions, and feedback through the Content Editor. This video gets automatically uploaded to a personal YouTube account as an unlisted video.
Video Everywhere With the YouTube integration, your personal video library is at your fingertips. Repurpose past videos wherever you can.

Learn more about Video Everywhere »


Item Analysis

Item Analysis  Item analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions by evaluating the quality and validity of each question and that question’s ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not.  After examining the question, you can see whether it was poor wording, vague answer choices or some other factor.  If you decide to change or update that question, you can use the automatic regarding feature to either update or delete the question and regrade it – even if students have already completed the assessment.  And the updates flow automatically into the Grade Center.

Learn more about Item Analysis »


Bb Calendar  Course items created with due dates are automatically added to your calendar. Want to move an item? Simply drag and drop. 
Bb Calendar  Personalize your view of the calendar. Filter by course, apply colors and labels, set up a category for personal appointment and view by day, week or month. 

Learn more about the enhancements to the Calendar »

Text and Text-to-Voice Notifications

Text-to-Voice Notification

You can now opt in to receive automated course notifications and system wide announcements through texts and/or text-to-voice calls.  From course announcements, to an assignment that’s due, you can stay updated anytime, anywhere from your mobile device. 

Discussion Board Updates

The newly updated Discussion Board has been thoroughly redesigned while maintaining all its current functionality.

Updates Include:
  • Post First - Using the "Participants must create a thread in order to view other threads in this forum" setting, instructors can require students to first post to a forum before they can see other students' posts.
  • One Page - All posts appear on one page.
  • Instructor Highlighting - Posts made by forum managers and moderators now contain the user's course role and forum role.
  • Inline Replies - When replying to a post, the content editor used to write a response appears on the same page, in the context of the discussion

View a video about these changes to the Discussion Board »

Inline Grading Assignment

The Inline Grading Assignment feature allows Instructors to view, comment, and grade student-submitted assignment files without leaving the Grade Center. The new features of the Inline Grading Assignment include:

  • Converting a student submitted assignment to a format that is viewable inside the web browser.
  • Allowing instructors to review and comment directly in the document.
  • Offering instructors the ability to grade the assignment from the inline grading sidebar. From the sidebar, instructors can view the assignment details, the grading rubric and each attempt. Instructors can type an overall grade and grades for each attempt as well as provide feedback to your students without leaving the page.

Please Note: The supported documents that can converted are Word (.doc, .docx), PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx), Excel (.xls, xlsx), and PDF (.pdf).

For additional information please watch this video or visit Blackboard Help.

Fill in the Blank Question Enhancement

Fill in the Blank Enhancements  You no longer need to rely upon exact match for Blackboard Learn to automatically grade Fill in the Blank questions.  For example, let’s say your test question is “Who was the first president of the United States?”  Instead of trying to enter all possible correct answers for the blank (George Washington, Washington, President Washington, President George Washington, etc.), you can simply select “contains” and type Washington.

Learn more about Fill in the Blank Question Enhancement »

Blackboard Learn Update Guide

Download the Blackboard Learn Update Guide in PDF format »

Navigation Changes

New Global Navigation Menu- This refers to a set of links that are available all the time in the top right corner and provide one-click access to Courses, Organizations, Settings, Blackboard Help, and the My Blackboard tools. Learn more »

Quick Links - Quick Links tool allows a user to quickly locate any heading or section within any page in the Blackboard Learn application and jump directly to it. The Quick Links tool will help significantly improve the navigation experience for sighted keyboard-only users. This tool can be quickly accessed on any page using a link at the very top of the page or keyboard shortcut (Control+Alt+L) to invoke it at any time. It will aggregate a list of all of the landmarks and headings on a page and allow a user to select one and jump directly to that location within the page. It will also collect and highlight any keyboard shortcuts that exists for the current page or tool providing another method for quickly completing key tasks within the application. Learn more »

Task-Based Navigation- Task-based navigation allows instructors to jump from course to course while retaining the context of the page/ task they were on in the original course. Learn more »

Course Content

Course Themes- New and improved themes allow Instructors to add a theme to their course by simply choosing from a pre-defined list. Learn more »

Common Cartridge 1.2- Common Cartridge allows a user to package a course in a reusable manner for use across multiple learning management systems. Common Cartridge 1.2 includes the following enhancements: (Learn more »)

  • Standards Alignment- This new option now allows inclusion of alignment to Standards within the Common Cartridge package. In this context, the “Standard” is a globally unique identifier (GUID) that links to the standard description. It is up to the installer to connect to the actual standard’s description as determined by the provider. Though the specification supports any provider, we are limiting links to Academic Benchmark standards.

  • Assignments- Web content can now be marked as an assignment, and an assignment is now supported both in export and import.

WCAG 2.0 WAI-AA Conformance (Accessibility)- Blackboard is fully committed to ensuring that our platform contains no barriers for users with disabilities and is both usable and accessible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. Blackboard has been issued a conformance statement Deque Systems that states Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 11 is in conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Priority AA. This is a global standard. Learn more »

My Blackboard

My Blackboard*- My Blackboard was designed in response to feedback from students and staff who told us that they don’t want to go to multiple places to stay up-to-date on what’s going on across all their Courses, Organizations, and Social Learning interactions in Blackboard Learn. Now, the critical information users need to know from across all of Blackboard Learn is consolidated in a simple, modern, easily consumable way. The My Blackboard features include: Home, Profile, People, Posts, Updates, Calendar, My Grades, Messages, and Spaces.

  • Profile Card- Once the Profile is complete, the user’s Profile picture will appear in multiple places throughout the Blackboard Learn platform where his/her name appears. When hovering over a user’s Profile picture, a Profile card automatically pops up, displaying the user’s Profile information so others may learn more about that user. With Profiles in Blackboard Learn, the online learning experience is much more social. Learn more »

  • My Blackboard: People*- The People tool enables users to discover others in their global learning network and learn more about them from their Profile Card and Profile Wall. This is where users can see who everyone is in each of their Courses and Organizations across their entire institution, as well as across the global network of Blackboard Learn institutions. Users can also build and manage their learning network through the People tool by following/ networking with others. Learn more »

  • My Blackboard: Posts*- The Post tool in My Blackboard makes it easy for users to stay up-to-date and engaged with all the conversations going on across Blackboard Learn. The Posts tool consolidates posts from all their Courses and Organizations, including posts from Discussion Boards, Journals, Wikis, and Blogs, as well as the comments and replies to those posts. With the different filters, users can look at all posts, just those posts that directly involve them, or they can choose to only look at posts from one particular Course or Organization. Learn more »

  • My Blackboard: Updates*- The Updates tool in My Blackboard consolidates all Notifications from across all Courses and Organizations, so users never miss a thing. This tool updates users on course announcements, when new content or assignments are added to a course, when an assignment or assessment is due, and much more. Users can also change their Notification preferences and select exactly what they want to show up in this tool. Learn more »

  • My Blackboard: My Grades- The My Grades tool consolidates all grades for a student from across all his/her courses into one view. There’s no need for the student to navigate in and out of all his/her courses to check grades. When the student clicks on a grade in the stream, (s)he will see additional details like Instructor feedback and more. Learn more »

  • Messages*- The Messages tool provides users the ability to quickly and easily communicate with other users at their institution or at other institutions in the global learning network. They can send one-to-one and one-to-many messages that are similar to messages they can send and receive through today’s social platforms. From the Messages tool, users can compose, read, reply, and delete messages. They can also send a message to someone from their Profile and the conversation will appear in that user’s Messages tool. Note: This new feature is separate from the Messages tool found in the Course and Organization environment. Learn more »


Text & Text-to-Voice Notification- Users can now opt in to receive automated course notifications and system-wide announcements through texts and/or text-to-voice calls. From course announcements to an assignment that is due, users can stay updated anytime, anywhere from their mobile device. Learn more »

File Picker Enhancement- The new File Picker is an enhancement in the Content Management license, and it is available everywhere users attach files. The goal with Service Pack 10 was to de-clutter the page, remove unnecessary functionality, and make the primary action of choosing a file as easy and simple as possible. The new File Picker is available for both direct file attaching, as in Assignments, or attaching files via the Content Editor. Learn more »

Video Everywhere- The capability of Video Everywhere is part of the Content Editor Building Block (Record from Webcam setting). When activated, users can record video and upload it directly to their personal YouTube accounts (as a private video). The feature provides the ability for faculty and students to record a video on the fly using a webcam and have it seamlessly embedded in course materials, interactions, and feedback through the Content Editor. In addition, the feature allows users to reuse previously recorded videos by choosing from one’s own “library” of videos. Learn more »

Mobile Browser Support for Mashups- Changes, in how mashups are processed, allow them to now play on mobile devices via a web browser. Media-rick learning can happen anywhere students can access Blackboard Learn. Learn more »

Discussions- Discussions have been updated in two primary ways. The “Thread Detail” page has been thoroughly redesigned while maintaining all of its current functionality. There is also new functionality to support specific pedagogical needs for the use of Discussions- a way for Instructors to require students to “post first” to a forum before they can see other students’ posts. Learn more »

Calendar- Blackboard Learn’s Calendar has been updated and enhanced, making a dramatic improvement to the modernity of the Calendar, especially regarding design and usability. This new version allows personalization and customization. Users can select views (month, week, day) and color-code the events to differentiate courses and personal items. Items with due dates automatically appear on the new Blackboard Learn Calendar. If an Instructor changes a due date, the Calendar gets updated as well. On the flip side, moving a Calendar item (by clicking on the item or drag and drop) simultaneously changes a due date. These calendar items can also be exported via an iCal feed to Outlook, Google, or other 3rd party calendars. In addition, the Calendar now supports recurring events. Instructors and students can optionally make events repeat by selecting the “repeat” checkbox. When this is selected, additional options appear that allow the user to create multiple events based on a repeating pattern. Learn more »


Test Enhancements- Tests in Blackboard Learn have been updated in Service Pack 12, 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 being 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. Learn more »

Inline Assignment Grading- The Inline Assignment Grading feature allows Instructors to (1) view a document submitted through the Assignment tool inside the web browser (converting the document) (2) annotate it (3) grade it inline using a rubric, and (4) provide rich feedback to students. Supported document types, that can be converted are Word (.doc, .docx), PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx), Excel (.xls, xlsx), and PDF (.pdf). The technology powering the viewing capability and the annotation features is Crocodoc. Learn more »

Item Analysis- The Item Analysis feature helps Instructors easily refine tests and quizzes by evaluating the quality and validity of each question and that question’s ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Ineffective questions can easily be identified and quickly corrected with the Assessment Regrade feature. Learn more »

Fill in the Blank Question Enhancement- Instructors can now take advantage of using “contains” and “pattern match” logic when grading Fill in the Blank questions. That means they no longer have to rely upon an exact match for Blackboard Learn to automatically grade these questions. So, they no longer have to enter multiple answer choices when creating a Fill in the Blank questions in order for Blackboard Learn to grade the question for them. Learn more »

Negative and Weighted Marking- Negative and weighted marking is now available in assessments.
Negative Marking »
Weighted Marking »

Rubric Upgrade- Rubrics now include Percentage Range along with Points Range. The Percentage Range option allows a single rubric to work with any assignment as the achievement scores are calculated as a percentage of the item being graded. This update to Rubrics makes them more flexible and able to support any type of graded item.

Student Performance

Activity Reporting- The activity reports are available Instructors. Instructor reports are limited to their individual courses and the students enrolled in those courses.

  • Course Activity Report- Instructors may see the aggregate activity in a course and the Instructor limited to just their courses. These reports show activity within the course for all enrolled users in that course.
  • Student Activity Report- This report shows a particular student’s activity within a course, including time spent per content item, number of times a content item was accessed, and when the student first accessed a content item. Instructors may view this report for students in their courses.

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