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 Blackboard Upgrade

 Information on the December 2017 Blackboard Upgrade at the University of Cincinnati

Blackboard Upgrade Updates:

On Friday Dec. 15, UCIT completed the Blackboard upgrade. This upgrade features a more modern and accessible interface (the “Learn 2016” theme), an updated inline grading tool (New Box View), and improvements to the mobile experience.

Once the upgrade was complete, several issues were discovered with the new Blackboard interface, as well as with the installation of New Box View. Known issues are as follows:

Content Areas are unable to be moved in certain browser sizes

When the browser window is too large, the menu icons cannot be moved using the drag and drop method; the items snap back to their place. In addition, if the window is too small, the drag and drop buttons disappear. This seems to happen in all browsers.

Workaround: For now, the best solution is to have the users resize the window width (to greater that 1025 pixels and less than 1720 pixels), or use the Reorder button in the top right of the menu.

 

Student Preview Mode and Edit Mode buttons disappear with narrow window

When the browser window is too narrow, the Student Preview Mode and Edit Mode buttons disappear. However, when the browser window is zoomed out, the buttons reappear, and you can see that the header is extended across the window.

 

Workaround: Resize the browser window to greater than 1025 pixels wide or use the browser's zoom function to zoom out until the buttons become visible.

 

Grade Center becomes unusable under 1025 pixels:

When the browser is too narrow, the Grade Center rows disappear

Workaround: Resize the browser window to greater than 1025 pixels wide or use the browser's zoom function to zoom out until the buttons become visible.

 

Create Random Block opens window with large gray box covering options

When resizing too large, the box disappears.

Workaround: Click and drag the Create Random Block window to resize the window such that it is wider than 1025 pixels.

 

Blackboard frame does not dynamically scale on large displays

When Blackboard it displayed within a large browser window, it does not scale. This leaves large grey margins to the left and right of the main Blackboard frame. If the frame was scaled dynamically, these margins would not appear.

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Moving content areas occasionally results in unexpected scrolling

Occasionally moving a content area on the left-hand navigation menu results in unsightly and unexpected scrolling. Clearing browser cache resolves this issue.

Workaround: Clear your browser cache via the instructions in this Knowledge Base Article.

 

Final Column in Grade Center is un-editable

Occasionally the column in the final slot of the Grade Center in a course becomes un-editable. A temporary workaround is to create an empty column and move it to the final slot.

Workaround: Create an empty column by clicking the Create Column button in the top left of the Grade Center and move it to the far-right slot.

 

Crocodoc Comments Cut Off

This is a known issue in Blackboard that affects comments made in Crocodoc. Comments on new submissions are not affected.

Workaround: Blackboard does not plan on applying a fix and suggests using the new scroll/zoom functions in order to see the markups.

 

Clicking the calendar icon results in unsightly blue bars

Clicking the calendar icon anywhere in Blackboard (announcements, assignments, tests, etc.) results in unsightly blue horizontal and vertical bars appearing on the page.

 

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Potential CSS Issues

Red font on grey/black background on Course Menu

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Red font in Grade Center

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Performance Dashboard

The text and background is grey on grey, making it unreadable.

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Blackboard Build Content Upload issues

Items uploaded to Blackboard using Build Content > File are still editable when edit mode in Blackboard is turned off

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Date restricted announcements

The announcement disappears with announcements that have course link for an item that is date restricted.

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Hidden announcements

Announcements with a Course link to unavailable course content become hidden until that content is made available.

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Display issue in Discussion Boards

There is a display issue with the buttons on the discussion board, particularly the Reply button.

 

                                   

New Box View Point Annotation Mode issues

The Point Annotation Mode is deselected when clicking on the scroll bar of the Box window.

Additionally, some parts of a multi-page document are not visible without scrolling to the bottom of the Blackboard window which makes the Point Annotation Mode button inaccessible without scrolling.

Workaround: Use the scroll wheel on your mouse or scrolling gestures on your mousepad to scroll within the New Box View window.

 

Text color settings

Changing text colors settings in the Grade Center Color Codes menu does not change text color in the course's Grade Center.

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.


Long comments in New Box Views create more scroll bars

Comments in New Box View that are large create new scroll bars within each frame. This results in a total of four scroll bars on the same Blackboard page. We have also seen reports of comments disappearing when a comment box is resized. Additionally, comments do not appear stacked to the right of the page (like in Crocodoc) so comment icons block text.

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Rubrics with long cell descriptions are not text-wrapped

In rubrics created after the Blackboard upgrade, if a cell's description is long there is no text wrapping. This caused the cell to extend to fit the width of the entire description on one line. This issue is also apparent when viewing an assignment that is graded via a rubric.

Workaround: Modify rubric descriptions so that long words are hyphenated or separated with a space

 

Last Access date not updated correctly

When a user accesses a course, takes a test, or performs other actions within a course, the “Last Access” date within the course grade center, performance dashboard, and other reports within Blackboard. Blackboard has been made aware of this issue and is working to find a resolution.

Workaround: There is not yet a workaround. We are communicating with Blackboard technicians to resolve this issue.

 

Blackboard’s New Look

On Dec. 15, Blackboard adopted a new theme that brought more features along with a new and improved look.

This upgrade implemented the new “Learn 2016” theme, which features an updated visual appearance. This new theme  introduces minor changes to the color, fonts, and spacing.

More features of the upgrade include:
     -    New, modern look and feel
     -    Improved mobile experience
     -    Improved Discussion Board functionality
     -    Assignment submission receipts
     -    Drag and drop file attachments
     -    Additional accessibility improvements

Features of the upgrade

Improved Ease-of-use (Fewer Clicks):

Drag and drop files – You can now quickly and easily drag and drop files from your desktop to the “hot spot” in the Attach Files area to upload them. Students can also drag and drop files to upload when they submit assignments.

Course Activity Report Enhancement – To help simplify the management of large enrollment courses, this report can now be filtered to break down the calculations of student activity by course groups.

Discussion Board Thread-to-thread Navigation ­– You and your students can navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page. This improvement will save you time by reducing the number of clicks.

 

Grading Improvements (including Inline Assignment Grading):

New Box view with Crocodoc update: Crocodoc, Blackboard’s inline grading function, will upgrade to the newest version, which now supports New Box View. New Box View offers several improvements over Crocodoc, including expanded support for new file types for file types like: text-based documents; image, video and audio files; 3D files; and more.

You can find a full list of supported file types on the Box Community website.

Additionally, the annotation function has changed with New Box View. With this new upgrade, instructors will not be able edit or remove existing Crocodoc annotations in New Box View. However, these annotations will still be viewable, as the annotations are “burned” into a PDF during migration.

Submission receipts – Keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt gives students assurance about their work and can provide you evidence for academic disputes.

Missing course work reminders – You can now send email reminders directly from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework.

Grade Center improvements – When multiple- attempt assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, a new filter is available both in the Needs Grading workflow and the Grade Center to show or hide other non-counted attempts.


Accessibility Improvements & Mobile updates:

New, modern look & feel with an improved mobile experience – A new theme modernizes the overall look and feel of Learn with updated colors, fonts, and spacing. Plus, the new theme optimizes Learn for mobile devices providing a much improved, more enjoyable mobile experience.

Additional accessibility enhancements – Discussion boards, assessments, grading journals, and the content editor have all been enhanced to improve accessibility.

 

Information for this story was obtained partly by content from Blackboard. For more information on the “Learn 2016” upgrade, visit the Blackboard help page.

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