News & Updates

Blackboard Course Archive Scheduled for May 19, 2014
Posted 5.8.14

During the summer, Academic Computing will archive and remove the following terms from our Blackboard site:

  • Spring 2012
  • Summer 2012
  • Fall 2012

Removing this older content, files, and transactions will improve system efficiency. The selection of these terms is in keeping with the BSU Online data retention guidelines.


Is my content gone forever?
No! At the end of the Spring 2014 semester, Blackboard Managed Hosting will archive all courses in the system to date. Instructors can request a copy of the *.zip file or the restoration of the course.

What happens to the student data (discussion, assignments, tests) in my Blackboard course?
The archive will content course content and student data. It will also contain your gradebook for the course.

Can I back up my own courses?
Yes, and we encourage it! To archive your course: Go to your course control panel. Click Packages & Utilities. Select Archive to back up your course content and student data. Download the *.zip file to your hard drive. You should also back up your grade book separately by selecting Full Grade Center -> Work Offline to download a CSV that can be opened in Excel.

Can I restore only course content?
Yes! In fact, that’s all you can import to a course shell. If you need to restore course data such as student assessments and submissions, we’ll do that for you.

How long will you keep the purged courses?
We will keep the archived courses for 3-5 years after the courses are saved to an external drive.

Who maintains the archive?
OPAA will maintain the master copy of the archived courses for data integrity and accreditation purposes. Academic Computing will have a secondary copy... so please contact us for your course data.

When will the archive and purge happen?
The archive is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 19th, one week before the planned upgrade. Once the external drive is returned to us and the contents verified, we will purge the courses. We anticipate this to begin by Monday, June 30th.

Please contact Academic Computing if you have further questions or concerns.

Blackboard Upgrade Scheduled for May 25, 2014
Posted 5.5.14

Blackboard will be offline starting at 12:30 am EST on Sunday, May 25, 2014 for a scheduled system upgrade. Services should be restored in approximately 15 hours.

New features will include:

  • SafeAssign will be integrated with the Assignment creation and grading workflow, allowing instructors to use embedded feedback tools and rubrics. Blackboard has also updated the SafeAssign Originality Report interface.
  • Student Preview - The new Student Preview feature provides the capability for an instructor to see the course exactly as a student would see it. It accomplishes this by allowing the Instructor to easily transition into and out of a system-managed preview account that is automatically enrolled in the course as a student. This provides all the advantages of a “dummy” account while absolving the instructor and System Administrator of the management overhead. This will replace the existing 3rd party student preview tool we are currently using
  • Anonymous and Delegated Grading - Blackboard has implemented a robust Anonymous Grading feature to add another layer of fairness and impartiality to Grading capabilities. Without knowing who submitted the assignment, a Grader is not influenced by a student's previous performance, class participation, conflicts, race, gender, or perceived student aptitude. Delegated Grading promotes reliability and removes bias by using grades and feedback from more than one Grader. These features may be used together or individually to meet grading requirements.
  • Course Messages Notifications - Prior to this release, when Messages were sent inside the Messages Course/Organization tool, there was no way for users to know that they had new Messages. Now you will see a notification through your My Blackboard corner, and in the "What's New" module on both the institutional and course module pages.
  • Grade Center Improvements - Blackboard has made several improvements to the Grade Center in this release. They have redesigned the My Grades page providing a new default option for the order in which grades are displayed.  Grading Schemas can now have values greater than 100%. 
  • Assessments: Significant Figures - Blackboard has improved Calculated Formula Questions by adding the ability to define the significant figures required and used in the creation of answers and the automated grading process.
  • Portfolio Improvements - Blackboard has improved the Portfolio framework to simplify the authoring workflow. Portfolios are tightly integrated with courses providing students the ability to convert course assignments into Artifacts. Instructors may also formally require a Portfolio as a submission to an assignment in a course. (NOTE: Portfolios requires a consult with Academic Computing to build templates before they can be used.)

We are very excited about this new release, and we hope you will enjoy using these exciting tools.

Thank you for your patience.

Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series Kicks Off for 2014
Posted 2.5.2014

The 2014 Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS) kicks off on February 13th! BITS brings together educators to learn from each other and share best practices. As always, all Blackboard webinars are free and recorded

Upcoming webinars include:

Turnitin Webcasts Announced for Spring 2014
Posted 2.1.2014

Can't attend a webcast? All Turnitin webcasts are recorded and posted on the TTI website for your convenience.

Faculty Institute Training in January 2014
Posted 1.18.2014

Several technology workshops are available during the Faculty Institute in January:

  • Enhancing Student Engagement and Learning Through Technology (90 minutes)
  • Why Do I Need Blackboard? I Teach Face-to-Face! (45 minutes)
  • Assignments & the Blackboard Grade Center (45 minutes)

All sessions are scheduled for Friday morning, January 23.


Turnitin to End Support for Internet Explorer in July 2014
Posted 1.17.2014

Turnitin will no longer test or fix features and bugs found only in Internet Explorer 8 starting July 1, 2014. This does not mean that Turnitin will suddenly stop working in IE8, only that they can no longer guarantee full functionality long term. We hope that this six month notice will provide Internet Explorer 8 users time to prepare and move to a current version of one of these supported industry standard browsers:

Internet Explorer 9 | Firefox | Chrome | Safari