Blackboard Updates

​​​​Blackboard (Bb) and Collaborate are updated monthly. Visit the Release Notes for Bb Learn and Release Notes for Collaborate Ultra for more details on the changes (note, we are using the Original Course View for Bb Learn). For specific dates, visit Bb Learn Release Schedule and Collaborate Ultra Release Schedule.

September 9-13, 2021 - Release 21.16 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Group Integration - Group sets from your Learn course will be available in the course's Collaborate sessions for breakouts. Creating the groups ahead of time in Learn will save you time in Collaborate if you like to keep the groups the same. Groups can always be manually adjusted in Collaborate without affecting the Learn group sets.
  • Browser Not Supported Warning - If a user tries to attend a Collaborate session on an unsupported browser, they will see a warning. If their browser is out of date, they'll also see a prompt to update or download the latest version. View Blackboard's Supported Browser page for more information.

September 2, 2021 - Release 3900.21.0 - Bb Learn

  • Content Editor Formatting - Additional improvements will be made to have more consistency bewteen what you see in the editor and how it looks after saving. Some of the adjustments include line spacing, lists, and the background color in preview mode.

August 12, 2021 - Release 21.14 - Collaborate Ultra

  • New Whiteboard - There will be improved tools for annoation, formatting, and usability. Annotations will persist if you switch to other content sharing (instead of automatically clearing). In addition, annotated files from breakout groups can be shared with the main room. For more information, see the Whiteboard for Moderators guide or Whiteboard for Participants.​

August 5, 2021 - Release 3900.19.0 - Bb Learn

  • Content Editor Formatting - There will be improvements in the formatting of text in the content editor to better match how it looks after saving (e.g., color, spacing, font, etc.). Additionally, when you select text the toolbar will change to display that text's font, size, and header/paragraph settings.

July 8, 2021 - Release 21.12 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Bandwidth and Gallery View - When there are a lot of videos in the gallery view, it can burden your network connection. Collaborate will automatically reduce the videos to 4 if your network connection is poor.

June 18, 2021 - Release 21.10 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Gallery View - Participants will now have the ability to switch to the Gallery View and see up to 25 videos at a time, depending on their web browser. Moderators can disable the Gallery View in the Session Settings. For more information, check out the Gallery View for Participants help guide.
  • Camera on Mobile - Moderators can use Share Camera on mobile devices to share either their front or rear facing camera. For more information, see the Share Camera portion of the Collaborate guide.

May 13, 2021 - Release 21.08 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Pin Videos - Moderators and participants will be able to pin videos so they remain visible or at the top of the other videos, depending on the view you have selected. To pin a video, open the "Attendees" list, click the "Attendee controls" button to the right of the person's name (the circle with the three dots in it), and choose "Pin video." You can also click the "Attendee controls" button< in the bottom-right corner of the video and choose "Pin video."

April 8, 2021 - Release 21.06 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Gallery View - The highly anticipated Gallery View will be available for moderators using Chrome!
    • The number of videos displayed depends on the browser, device, and resolution.
      • Chrome will display up to 25 videos at a time with buttons to navigate to additional pages (up to 250 videos total) and zoom controls to make a particular video larger.
      • Firefox has limitations that do not allow more than two videos to display. Until Firefox expands the number of videos allowed, the Gallery View will display only two videos but will have buttons to navigate to other videos.
      • Safari has issues as well that Apple would need to address. Blackboard is looking for workarounds/mitigations but is still planning to make the Gallery View available in Safari in a future release.
      • Visit Blackboard's Browser Support for Video guide for more information.
    • If the moderator shares content, they will be able to quickly switch to the Gallery View in the bottom-right corner. In a future release, the moderator will be able to see the Gallery View and shared content side-by-side.
    • In a future release, participants will also have access to the Gallery View and moderators will have the ability to disable it for participants.
    • For more information, visit the Gallery View section of the Video in Collaborate guide.

March 4, 2021 - Release 3900.8.0 - Bb Learn

  • Language of Email and SMS Notification Messages - System email/SMS notifications used to be sent in the system's default language, but will be sent in the user's chosen language instead.

January 14, 2021 - Release 20.24 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Support Chatbot - In the My Settings panel in Collaborate, users will be able to get help from the Chat Support bot for common issues such as audio or webcam problems.
  • Recording Privacy Status - In the Collaborate Recordings area of the course, instructors will see a new "Access" column indicating whether a recording is privately viewable by only the members of the course or if it is available publicly to anyone with the link.

December 10, 2020 - Release 20.22 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Chat Mentions - In the chat, you will be able to tag another participant. Type the @ symbol, start typing the person's name, and then select the person from the list. Moderators will be identified in the list with a "MOD" label. Persons tagged will receive a notification so they don't miss out on chat messages directed at them.
  • Chat Formatting - Chat will have some basic Rich Text Editor capabilities to help make messages clearer. You will be able to add bold, italic, and/or underline.

December 3, 2020 - Release 3900.2.0 - Bb Learn

  • Grade Questions feedback - If you used the "Grade Questions" feature of tests, the Response Feedback textbox was missing in the new Content Editor and text entered in it wouldn't save. This issue has been fixed.
  • Annotate comments - You will be able to create multiple comments on a document submitted through an Assignment without having to select the comment tool each time. When you select the comment tool, it will stay selected, even after scrolling.

November 6, 2020 - Ally 1.51

  • Mobile App Alternative Formats - Ally alternative formats for attachments will be available in the Blackboard mobile app.

November 5, 2020 - Release 3900.0.0 - Bb Learn

  • Content Editor - The content editor you use whenever you add/edit content like announcements, assignments, discussions, etc. will be majorly updated and include a lot of new features. For example: YouTube video links will automatically embed, pasting in a full link will automatically be a clickable link, images can be resized by dragging the corners, when you paste in text from Word or other sources you can remove the excess formatting, and there will be an Accessibility Checker. For more information, please see the Content Editor Quick Tips (PDF) or the Content Editor Detailed Comparison (PDF).
  • Assist - A new student success hub, Assist, will be added to the main Blackboard navigation menu. It will allow students to quickly access DMACC resources, such as the Academic Achievement Center, Testing Center, and Advising. For more information, see Assist for Instructors and Assist for Students.
  • Support Chatbot - A new help chatbot for students will be added to Blackboard and accessed from a help icon in the bottom-right corner of the window. Students will be able to type in questions or select from a list of commonly asked questions/issues.

October 8, 2020 - Release 20.18 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Recording Status - In the Recordings area, a "Status" column will be added to indicate if the recording is Processing or Done.

October 1, 2020 - Release 3800.19.0 - Bb Learn

The following issues will be fixed in this update:

  • Announcement Emails - If the "Send a copy of this announcement immediately" option is selected, the emailed copy does not include the announcement subject.
  • Test Passwords - If a test contained a password with certain character patterns, students would receive an incorrect password error.
  • Broken Discussion Board links - If a course is copied without copying the actual discussion boards, the broken links in Course Content can't be deleted.

TBD - Collaborate Ultra

  • Improved Whiteboard - Additional formatting tools will be added (e.g., pencil thickness, font, font size, arrows, etc.). You will be able to copy-and-paste elements/text and more easily clear portions. You will also be able to annotate a file in the main room and then share it to breakout groups with the annotations included. Annotations made on the whiteboard or file will be saved in the session (instead of cleared when you switch slides or stop sharing).

September 10, 2020 - Release 20.16 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Recording Reminder - Moderators will see a "Start the recording?" reminder after joining the session. It will remain visible until it is closed or you click the "Record" link to begin recording.
  • Secure Recording Links - Public access to recordings will be off by default, restricting access to recordings to only persons enrolled in the course. This will apply to recordings made after the 20.13 update; previous recordings will have public access enabled. You can choose to allow public access in the "Recording settings" area for each recording.

August 10, 2020 - Bb Annotate for grading - Bb Learn

  • Bb Annotate - A new inline grading tool for assignments will replace Box. Annotate is a Blackboard-developed grading tool which allows you to markup documents and highlight passages to make comments on student-submitted work. It supports more file formats and allows you to download the marked-up document. See Bb Annotate help for more information.

August 6, 2020 - Release 20.14 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Chat Profanity Filter - This is a new feature that is off by default, but can be enabled in the Session Settings. If enabled, profanity in English, Spanish, or French will be replaced by a series of asterisks in the chat.

July 1, 2020 - Release 20.12 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Browsers Not Supported - Collaborate Ultra will no longer support the native Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome 78 and earlier. We recommend using the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft Edge Chromium is supported, but Chrome and Firefox are the best. See Collaborate's Browser Support for more info.

June 13, 2020 - Release 20.09 - Collaborate Ultra

  • Share Camera - Moderators and Presenters can share a camera, such as a document camera, in addition to their webcam. More than two can be shared if you have multiple USB ports and multiple cameras plugged into your computer. Keep in mind that the more cameras (videos) you share, the more internet bandwidth will be required.
  • Collaborate Ultra Scheduler - The way you create and edit sessions is improved (there are tabs at the top instead of toggling sections open/closed and a lot of scrolling). There's also a Save button to prevent accidental changes.
  • Download Poll Results - If you used polling, you'll be able to download the poll results from the session report. See our Blackboard Collaborate Help Guide for Instructors (PDF) for details on viewing session reports.

May 7, 2020 - Infrastructure improvements - Collaborate Ultra

  • Secure Sessions by Default - If you wish to allow guest access, you will need to select the checkbox to enable it; it is no longer enabled by default for new sessions. Existing sessions should retain their previous settings (i.e., if you had it enabled before, it should still be enabled).