The new features in Blackboard’s March upgrade will be available on Friday 8th March. This month’s upgrade includes the following new/improved features to Ultra courses:

AI Design Assistant – Context picker for test question auto-generation

Following the March upgrade, when using the auto-generate question tool in Blackboard tests, staff will be able to use the new ‘Select course items’ option to specify exactly which resources the AI Design Assistant auto-generate tool should use when generating questions. Prior to this, any auto-generated questions would be based on the course title (i.e., the module name).

The ‘Select course items’ option may be especially useful for staff wanting to create multiple tests, each based on one or more specific content items in the course, or for staff wanting to create a longer test built up from multiple auto-generated questions from different sections of the course, thus ensuring that the test represents questions testing students’ knowledge from across the entire course.

• Selecting ‘Auto-generate question’ from within a Blackboard test
• Refining the context of the question auto-generation by choosing ‘Select course items’
• Selecting the items for inclusion

More information about the AI Design Assistant is available from: Learning Technology Team – AI Design Assistant

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‘No due date’ option for Blackboard assignments, tests, and forms

After the March upgrade, staff will no longer have to specify a due date when setting up a Blackboard assignment, test, or form. Please note that this change does not affect Turnitin assignments, which will continue to require a due date to be specified.

• Blackboard assignment with ‘No due date’ selected

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Gradebook item statistics

The March upgrade provides staff with the option to select a column in the Ultra gradebook and access summary statistics for any graded item. The statistics page displays key metrics including:

  • Minimum and maximum value;
  • Range;
  • Average;
  • Median;
  • Standard deviation;
  • Variance.

The number of submissions requiring grading and the distribution of grades is also displayed.

• Accessing the statistics page from a Gradebook item with the Gradebook in grid view

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More information

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: Who is my learning technologist?