<!DOCTYPE html> News from UVM's Blackboard Administrator
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News from UVM’s Blackboard Administrator

 Fall 2017

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Dear Faculty,

The Fall semester is upon us, so it's time to share some information with you about some upcoming changes to Blackboard as well as other news and resources.

Justin Henry
UVM Blackboard Administrator

New Blackboard Features

Lockdown Browser

UVM is extending its
pilot of the high-stakes testing tool
through the end of Spring 2018.
Find out how you can use this tool
in your course.


As the term begins, take note of these recently added features and tools in Bb:

Start-of-Semester Pointers

  1. Remember that in order for your students to access your course, you'll need to make it available.
  2. Do you teach multiple sections of the same course? You can merge multiple spaces into one.
  3. You can always get help with these tasks through the CTL’s Doctor Is In program.
  4. Tip: if you are copying previous course materials into a space for this semester, try using the new Blackboard feature called date management.

The Bb “Underdogs”

There are such a variety of tools available in Blackboard, so we'd like to spread the word, especially to faculty who only use their course spaces to upload files or post announcements. If you identify with that description, then this video may pique your interest. In it, the CTL presents some of the lesser known (“underdog”) features, such as:

screenshot of video

New Mobile Apps

Blackboard has released two improved mobile apps that are replacing their previous mobile product. "Blackboard Instructor" is an app for instructors and the eponymous "Blackboard" app is for students. If students or instructors still have the Mobile Learn app, they are encouraged to replace it with these newer apps. As with the deprecated Mobile Learn app, please note that these, too, have limited functionality. Many tasks, such as taking tests, are only supported in a desktop/laptop browser. More information on the Bb mobile tools is available on the CTL Bb How-To's area.

Grader App


You can now create certificates, badges, and other rewards for student activity in a course. Students can see which badges and certificates they have earned and what is required to receive additional recognition. They can use these rewards to gain insight into learning progression toward defined competencies.

The achievements tool uses Blackboard Learn’s adaptive release technology. This means you can attach rewards to a wide array of course items, including:

Content Collection

for sharing and moving files

Did you know you can share materials between
courses without directly copying or importing files?
The content collection allows you to:

» Read more about it

You can align goals to the content items created with the achievements tool, and they will appear in the Goal Coverage reports.

Big Blue Button Updated

Big Blue Button is the open-source conferencing tool that is available for you to use in your course for things like online office hours, live presentations, and video conferencing. This summer will see Big Blue Button get a refresh. The way you add it to your course will stay the same, but the tool has three main enhancements described in the following YouTube videos hosted by BBB.