Blackboard’s October upgrade will be available from the morning of Friday 7th October. The highlight of the October upgrade is the addition of student engagement reports in Ultra courses, which will allow staff to see the extent to which students are engaging with course content. (Please note that progress tracking must be turned on for the student progress reports to be available.) Also included in the October upgrade is improved access to student grades overview in the gradebook in Ultra courses, enhanced auto save capability in the content editor in Ultra tests & assignments, and more accessible maths formulas in Ultra courses.
Student engagement reports for course content in Ultra courses
After the October upgrade, staff will be able to view reports which show the extent to which students are interacting with course content in Ultra courses.
The new reports allows instructors to select a piece of content and view:
- Students who have not yet opened content;
- Students who have opened or started viewing content; and
- Students who have marked the content as complete.
The report includes the date and time an action occurred (e.g., when a student started viewing content). Staff may sort by student name or progress status. Staff can act based on this information by sending an individual or bulk message with a blind copy to each student.
Please note that progress tracking must be turned on for the student progress reports to be available.
More information about progress tracking in Ultra courses is available from: https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Ultra/Courses/Progress_Tracking
Improved access to student grades overview in the gradebook in Ultra courses
Prior to the October upgrade, when in the grid view of the gradebook, when staff selected a student, the student’s account information appeared. Following the upgrade, an overview of the student’s performance on assessments will be displayed when selecting a student in the grid view of gradebook.
Enhanced auto save capability in the content editor in Ultra tests & assignments
Following the October upgrade, student responses entered in the Ultra content editor will auto-save two seconds after the student stops typing. The ‘last saved’ time will also be displayed at the bottom of the assessment.
In addition, if there is a disruption in connectivity, students will receive a ‘Connection lost’ warning. This warning informs students that they must act to re-establish the connection. When the connection is restored, the student’s work will be saved automatically.
Maths formulas accessible with screen readers in Ultra courses
After the October upgrade, staff and students will be able to use screen readers to access maths formulas when creating, editing and viewing content. This update will help people who use a screen reader independently access maths formulas. This new functionality also supports easier content creation since no added effort is needed to make the math formulas accessible.
Course name appears in browser tab in Ultra courses
Staff and students often open different courses in separate browser tabs. Following the October upgrade, the course name will appear in the browser tab in order to help staff and students locate the correct tab.
As ever, please get in touch with your learning technologist if you would like any more information about the new features available in this month’s upgrade: https://libguides.northampton.ac.uk/learntech/staff/nile-help/who-is-my-learning-technologist
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