New features coming for BlackboardTweet
Preparations are under way for an upgrade to Blackboard, Binghamton University’s Learning Management System. The transition to the upgraded version is anticipated to take place prior to the Winter Session, giving faculty and other Blackboard users a full month to make the shift to the new version.
In addition to having a new look, a number of enhancements will make Blackboard more functional for both instructors and students.
Over the coming months, faculty and others who use Blackboard will have a chance to preview new features that include:
• an improved navigation menu that includes the ability to switch quickly between courses
• a more flexible gradebook that allows inline grading for assignments
• a “retention center” that gives instructors a quick overview of student performance and activity in the course
• an enhanced calendar including the ability to export into Outlook or Google
• an improved content editor that makes it easier to create course materials, including options for quick video integration
• a rubric creator that helps structure student assignments
“Blackboard has been making a real effort to listen to faculty concerns and improve not only the look and feel of the system, but also the way instructors use the system to teach their courses,” said Donald Loewen, vice provost for undergraduate education. “For Binghamton, this upgrade is just the first phase in a multi-phase Blackboard improvement plan. We had great faculty participation in a Blackboard survey last spring, and this is the beginning of our response to faculty requests for changes and improvements that emerged in the survey.
“Some of the new features can be great time-savers for instructors, and they’ll give us a lot more options when building our courses,” Loewen said.
In addition, a number of faculty are being asked to test the new features well in advance of the late-December launch.
“We want to do everything we can to ensure a smooth campus transition to the upgraded version,” Loewen said.