bbWhile you head off for some fun in the sun this May the Walker Center for Teaching & Learning (WCTL) will complete an update to the Blackboard system. From May 7-9, 2013 Blackboard will be unavailable to instructors and students, while the system is updated from Service Pack 6 to Service Pack 9.

Although this is a minor update (you probably won’t even notice a difference!) there are some new features that we are excited to share with you.

  1. More efficient navigation from course to course: Jump from any location in one Blackboard course to the same location in another; great for grading multiple assignments across different courses.
  2. Course templates based on teaching style: Create a course menu that suits your discussion focused teaching style with a click of a button. There are lots of styles to choose from and each can come with example course content to help guide course design. A word of caution about this tool, once selected, course styles cannot be easily removed or changed.
  3. A new menu and access to more tools from any course content area: The “Add Interactive Tool” content area drop down menu is now simply called “Tools”. Additionally, a new menu called “Publisher Content” provides easy access to Blackboard supported publisher content, such as McGraw Hill and Wiley Plus.
  4. Automatic re-grade: Update a test before, during, or after a test is deployed to students. Blackboard will automatically update all student submissions to reflect any changes. Yay!
  5. Better tracking with new course reports: Two new instructor course reports have been added to Blackboard – Course Activity Overview and Student Overview for a Single Course.
  6. A few more small changes which will hopefully improve your experience:
  • Negative point values for test questions
  • View Grade Center History by grading column
  • Percent ranges on rubrics
  • Select all option for course export, import, and copy – Yay! Fewer clicks!

For more details on these changes and how to utilize them in your course please review UTC Online’s What’s New in Blackboard SP9 document or join the WCTL for an upcoming What’s New seminar. Register for an upcoming seminar.

If you have questions or concerns about UTC Online’s update to Blackboard on May 7-9, please contact the Walker Center for Teaching & Learning at or 423.425. 5835.


Erin Profile

Erin Noseworthy
Senior Instructional Designer, Center for Online and Distance Learning
email / 423.425.5677

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