Blackboard is a Course Management System (CMS) that allows an instructor to interact with students online. Whether you are teaching a face-to-face, hybrid, or completely online class, you can use Blackboard to engage students in online discussions, assess students' knowledge with online tests and quizzes, hold virtual office hours, and more.
Blackboard Learn Features
- Send students text messages and voicemail messages using the Professor Notification function.
- Easily identify students at-risk of failing a course based upon Blackboard performance with Course Analytics.
- Give students early alerts of late assignments and low grade performance with the Retention Center.
- Use interactive rubrics to assist with authentic assessment of student work.
- Students can easily access Blackboard Learn with their mobile app on iPhone and Android devices.
- Encourage student writing and reflection with blogs and journals.
How Can I Use Blackboard?
Content Management: Add copies of your syllabus and other important course documents.
Student Engagement with Course Material: Use the discussion board to engage with the course readings: find out what students find interesting, what they're understanding, and what they're misunderstanding.
Assessment of Student Learning and Student Self-Assessment: Give summative and formative assessments directly in Blackboard by creating tests, essays or other assignments.
Communication with Students: Easily remind students of important, upcoming deadlines or other crucial.
Student Collaboration: Engage students in collaborative activities with peer evaluation, wikis, and groups.
What's New in Blackboard?
Global Navigation Menu: 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.
My Blackboard Posts: The Posts tool in My Blackboard makes it really easy to stay up-to-date and engaged with all the conversations going on across Blackboard Learn. The Posts tool consolidates posts from all of your courses and organizations – so posts from Discussion Boards, Journals, Wikis, and Blogs – as well as the comments and replies to those posts. And to make it easy to manage the posts, they're presented in a familiar, chronological stream interface and there are filter options.
My Blackboard Updates: The Updates tool in My Blackboard consolidates all of your Notifications from across all your Courses and Organizations, so you never miss a thing. This tool updates you on course announcements, when new content or assignments are added to a course, when an assignment or assessment is due, and much more. Faculty can also see when assignments and assessments need grading.
New Content Editor: The new and improved Content Editor enables simple content creation through an easy to use interface. The essential functions you need are there – the ability to resize images, find/replace, and simple icons in the toolbar for everyday tasks. And you can easily add rich content by pulling in mashups from YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, and more. Another great feature of the new Content Editor is that you can expand it for full-frame editing, giving you a lot more real estate to build rich content.
Inline Assignment Grading: Inline Assignment Grading is a revision to the workflow for grading Assignments in Blackboard Learn. Instead of requiring Instructors to download student-submitted files to view or edit those submissions, Instructors will now be able to view student-submitted files "inline," i.e. in the web browser, without requiring any plugins, applets, or client-side applications. Additionally, annotation tools will be made available as part of the inline viewer, enabling Instructors to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings/annotations directly on the inline view of the document.
Retention Center: The Retention Center provides an easy-to-use data visualization and pre-configured rules for identifying at-risk students in a course. Because it requires no set up on the part of the instructor or administrator, it automatically calls out students who may need the instructor's attention, making it easy for instructors to catch and respond to risk factors quickly, while there is time to help the at-risk students succeed in the course.
New Calendar: A new and improved Calendar significantly enhances the Calendar features in Blackboard Learn. Students and instructors can view items that are past due, due today, or due this week by navigating to the overview capability in My Blackboard.
Visit the Blackboard website for supported browsers, plugins & operating systems for Blackboard Learn release 9.
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. Our commitment can be evidenced by the following third party evaluations of the Blackboard Learn platform:
Conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Priority AA, issued December 2012 by Deque Systems
Blackboard Learn is the first and only LMS in the world to deliver a conformance statement by a third-party, demonstrating our focus and determination to deliver excellence for everyone.
Gold level certification for non-visual access, issued by The National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Blackboard was the first LMS in the world to achieve this certification. With valuable input from our clients and a strong set of development and testing tools, we invest in accessible products and capabilities that meet the wide range of our client’s needs. To fulfill this promise we are continually partnering with industry experts to audit our code and user interface design techniques to ensure the accessibility of the products.
Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility using two sets of standards: the WCAG 2.0 standards issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act issued in the United States federal government.
In Service Pack 11, our latest update to Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, we continued to build on the considerable progress made with Service Pack 10 perfecting the details in key user workflows and achieving conformance with the WCAG 2.0 Priority AA Standards.
Some of the notable changes in Service Pack 11 include:
- Increased focus on color contrast throughout the application ensuring that contrast ratios meet or exceed the 4:5:1 contrast ratio requirements of WCAG 2.0 Priority AA.
- Updated keyboard navigation with in our contextual menus and list action menus to ensure they follow commonly understood keyboard patterns.
- Controlled focus when completing tasks within the screen reader view of the Grade Center, ensuring the user is returned to the proper cell in the main Grade Center table.
- Improvements to the screen reader interaction with a 'fill in multiple blanks' question when building and taking a test.