July 2016 upgrade

Learn.UQ (Blackboard) was last upgraded on the 12 July 2016 to version 9.1 Q4 2015. Vendor support requirements stipulate that the Learn.UQ version must be within the most recent three releases available. The upgrade was approved by the eLearning Strategy Committee that is chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic.

The new and improve features for Blackboard and other eLearning tools included:

Announcements: When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.

Discussion board: Users can navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page.

Turnitin: The Turnitin online marking tool has been updated. New version has a simpler more intutitive interface, the originality report can be displayed overlayed on the marking screen and includes a page navigation menu. Staff have the option of switching back to use the  "Classic" version of the tool until July 2017.

Office Mix (Desktop recording): Office Mix eLearning modules can be linked to your course using the appropriate option in the Build Content menu.

Kaltura (UQ's video server): Formative quiz questions can now be inserted into videos upload to Kaltura.

Group Peer Assessment tool: The Group Peer Assessment tool allows you to collect students responses on the contribution of individual group members to a group assignment. The tool allows you to calculate average scores (Likert option), PAFs (Peer Assessment Factors) and SAPAs (Self-Assessment over Peer Assessment) and moderate results. The ability to view student submission dates has been added to this tool.

July 2015 upgrade

Learn.UQ (Blackboard) was previously upgraded  on the 5 July 2015 to version 9.1 October 2014. The new and improved features from this upgrade were:

Tests: (Significant Figures): In calculated formula questions, instructors can select the number of decimals or significant figures for the correct answers generated by the system.

Date Management: The date management tool allows instructors to easily adjust all content and tool dates in a course.  This includes discussion board, blogs, journals, wiki and tests. This is a beneficial time saving tool for when a course has been copied and new dates for the current course can be transitioned across using the Date Management tool.

Content Editor: Spell check will be on by default.

Blackboard assignment tool: These include changes to group and individual assignments, including the two main new features: Anonymous Grading: Instructors can hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous grading and Delegated Grading: Instructors can delegate grading to specific users.      

Profiles: The Enhanced Cloud Profile provides users with their first professional profiles. The added features help users demonstrate competencies they have developed through their educational journeys in a visual and uniquely /compelling way.

Student Preview tool: Instructors can view their course exactly as a student does by using a student account the system generates for them.

YouTube mashup is working in the updated release of Blackboard.

November 2013 upgrade

Learn.UQ (Blackboard) was previously upgraded on the 18 November, 2013 to version 9.1 SP13. The new and improve features from this upgrade were:

New text and equation editor

The new version offers many functions often requested by staff, including a spell checker, improved pasting from Word and a fully featured equation editor. Further information can be found on the Text editor tool page.

The equation editor (WIRIS) offers basic functions, matrix calculus, calculus and series, logic and set theory, units, Greek alphabet and more. The equations and formulae are automatically converted to images so users do not need to download applets to view them. Further information can be found on the Equation editor page.

Improved Discussion board

The Discussion Board includes improved navigation and a Post First option, where students must post their own response before they view the responses of others. Further information can be found on the Discussion board page.

Improved Assignment tool - inline marking

The improved Blackboard Assignment tool includes another online marking option that offers an alternative to TurnItIn for some assignment types. The inline grading feature allows you to annotate assignments using text comments with highlighting, drawing and strikeouts. It also offers an improved marking panel for providing feedback and completing a marking rubric. Further information can be found on the Assignment tool page.

New Test tool feature

The Test tool includes a new availability feature that allows you to set different timer and link availability options for particular students or groups.  It also possible to set two feedback rules. i.e What feedback students' receive when they submit their test and what feedback they receive when the test closes.  Further information can be found on the Deploy a test page.

New Retention centre

The Retention Centre allows you to monitor student engagement and progress in your course. You can set your own criteria to check the varying degrees of progress for individual students in your course. Further information can be found on the Retention Centre tool page.

New Social learning tools

The new Social Learning tools allow students and staff to easily connect online and form learning communities. For example, students and staff can create a Learn.UQ profile and include an image and information on their area of study. The Spaces tool can be used to set up an online meeting space for a course or project group. Further information can be found on the Social Learning tools page.

Access xpLor content

Blackboard xpLor is a global learning object repository for rich educational materials including assessments, assignments, discussions, HTML pages and more.  It enables sharing and discovery of educational content and enables copyright management using the Creative Commons system. It is also an authoring environment, with content creation tools. A lite version was deployed for evaluation.

January 2013 upgrade

Learn.UQ was previously upgrade in January 2013 to version 9.1 SP9. The main changes were focused on improved UQ branding, simpler navigation and the new Blackboard mobile for students.

An overview of the new features of Blackboard 9.1 SP9 are listed below:

New web address

As part of the upgrade, a completely fresh version of Blackboard was created, with a new web address: learn.uq.edu.au

Courses prior to Semester 1 2013 are still available from the old address: blackboard.elearning.uq.edu.au

User interface

The user interface was updated to have a crisp, clean and uncluttered design.

Blackboard 9.1 Navigation

Note: Menus only display when you hover over them with your mouse.

Improved navigation between courses 

This feature allows you to easily jump between different courses you are teaching. The navigation retains the context of the page so if you are in the Grade Centre in one course you will also be in the Grade Centre when you jump to another course.

Blackboard 9.1 Navigation

Automatic remarking of tests

This feature will make it easier to correct problems with online tests. With Automated Regrading you can drop questions, give full marks for a question to all students, change the mark a question is out of, change which answer is marked correct and the system will remark all submitted tests and provide notification about what has changed. Further information can be found on the Remark a test automatically page.

Bulk group Manager

The Bulk Group Manager tool allows you to assign students to groups by uploading a CSV file (Excel file). It is also possible to add additional students to groups (late enrolments) and to remove students from groups. Further information can be found on the Groups tool page.

SI-net Merge tool

This tool allows you to merge a Si-net class list with Grade Centre marks into a spreadsheet in the required format to upload to SI-net. Further information can be found on the Grade Centre tool page.