New Features in Blackboard
Blackboard SP12 has many new features and enhancements. Here are some highlights for this new version.
- Global Navigation
- Test and Survey Options
- Content Editor
- Discussion Board
- Item Analysis
- Retention Center
Once logged into Blackboard, you will see the Global Navigation menu next to your name. You can view Bb Home, Course Posts, Updates, Calendar, and the Retention Center.
Faculty and students can personalize and customize the new Blackboard Learn Calendar. 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 for an instructor. Users can also create recurring events by selecting the “repeat” checkbox.
Faculty can set up new “Test options.”
a. Test Availability Exceptions: A new rule-based method for adding availability “exceptions” to tests has been added to the Test Options page. Using this new capability, instructors may select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings. Specifically, the exceptions that can be made for users or groups are: Number of attempts, Time of test, Auto submit on/off, Availability start & end date, and Force completion on/off.
b. Blackboard also implemented a new event-based method for releasing test feedback. They also added additional feedback options to provide instructors with more control over what kinds of feedback students can or can’t see. Events can be specified to trigger specific feedback settings.
This new and improved text editor reads, writes, and renders modern HTML – so the content you created in Microsoft Word and the course pages you designed with Dreamweaver will render with great fidelity within Blackboard. Other functions include word counts, full screen editing, and a preview feature. Also, there is a new Math Editor and WIRIS updates that provides Math editing capabilities.
Blackboard has thoroughly redesigned the Discussions interface while adding some new functionality including all posts on one page.
Item analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance.
The Retention Center is a new feature for educators in Blackboard Learn. The Retention Center highlights retention factors and student engagement, quickly alerting educators to potential risk and allowing them to take immediate action. Easy-to-understand views and pre-configured rules make it simple to identify at-risk students within a course, and it requires no set up on the part of the instructor or administrator. However, instructors can also modify these rules to suit their individual teaching methodologies and approaches.
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