New features and enhancements in Service Pack 8 (SP8) and Service Pack 9 (SP9)

New features and enhancements will be coming to the UNI eLearning System in time for the Fall 2012 semester. The UNI eLearning team will be installing Service Pack 9 on Saturday, August 4, 2012. Service Pack 9 (SP9) is cummulative and contains the ehancements and features of Service Pack 8 (SP8). Below is a explanation of the features and enhancements that will be available after the update to SP9:

(click on the thumbnail to open a screenshot in a new window or tab)

    

Enhancements (Changes):

Action Bar Functions in Content Area Have Been Renamed (SP8) Action Bar Functions
 Build Content remains the same, but the others are renamed to Assessments, Tools, and Publisher Content. This resulted from moving adding tool links to the Tools drop-down list and making the naming more generic. 
    
Users Can Choose to Create Link to Course Tool (SP8) Course Tool Link

 
Instead of adding tool links from the Build Content function in a course area, adding tool links is now moved to the newly renamed Tools drop-down list and more tools are available in the list. 
    
Add Menu Item Redesigned (SP8) Add Menu Item
 The Add Menu Item option list for the Course Menu has a new look. The option names are shorter. 
    
Collapse Course Menu Behavior (SP9) Collapse Course Menu
In response to user confusion around the collapsing course menu behavior, the course menu has been modified to only retain its collapsed state for the duration of the user session and on a per-course basis. When a user enters a course for the first time in a given login session, the menu will be expanded. If the user collapses the menu, it will stay collapsed for that course only, until either the user expands the menu again, or until the user's session ends. 
   

New Features:

Automated Regrading (SP8) Automated Regrading
 Instructors can now fix problematic questions by simply editing the invalid question directly and having all necessary updates flow automatically to the Grade Center.
For any given question, Blackboard now allows instructors to drop, give full credit, change point value, or change the correct answer. After the question has been updated, Blackboard recalculates the score of all submitted assessments that included the updated question, reflects the updates in the Grade Center, and provides notification to both the instructor and optionally to the student for all impacted submissions. Note: Instructors have the option of saving as new when editing a question in a pool.
 
http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/documents/getting_started_with_automatic_regrading_9_1_8.pdf
http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_tests_auto_regrading.htm

 
    
Negative Marking (SP8) Negative Marking
Negative marking allows instructors to apply negative point values for wrong answers on test questions. This allows them to prevent (by penalty) guessing or the selection of egregiously wrong answers. 
 http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_tests_negative_points.htm 
    
Course-to-Course Navigation (SP8) Course-to-Course Navigation
 When in a course, click the Action Link next to the course title to jump from course to course to access the same page/tool. For example, if you are in one course’s Grade Center, you can jump to the next course’s Grade Center easily to complete your grading tasks. As a student, you can jump from one course’s announcement page to another. 
 http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_tools_course_to_course_nav.htm 
    
Course Themes (SP8) Course Themes
 Within a course, instructors can apply a Course Theme to match their design preferences and teaching methods. Course Themes add a background image to the course display and change the color of the user interface, including the Course Menu, buttons, and controls. Applying a theme does not affect course content, and users can change the theme again at any time.
NOTE: Please keep your users in mind; especially those that may be color blind or difficultly with low contrast.
 
    
New View Grade History Option (SP8) View Grade History
 A new View Grade History option appears in the contextual menu for a column in the Grade Center where users can choose a time period for the history that is shown. 
    
Activity Reports (SP8) Activity Reports
 The Student Overview for Single Course report displays an individual student's activity within a course, sorted by date. Data includes the total overall time the student spent in the course as well as detailed information about the student's activity, such as which items and Content Areas the student accessed and the time spent on each. This is accessed as a Course Report by the instructor, and at the system level by the Administrator.
The Course Activity Overview displays overall activity within a single course, sorted by student and date. Data includes the total and average time spent per user and the total amount of activity the user had in the course. This is accessed as a Course Report by the instructor and at the system level by the Administrator.
The User Activity Overview displays overall system and course activity for all users, including average logins and time spent, and statistics on user activity by course. This is accessed at the system level by the Administrator.
The Single User Activity Overview displays all system and course activity for a single user. Data includes total system access time sorted by date and total course time sorted by date or course. Any user such as instructors and their activity can be tracked using this report. This is accessed at the system level by the Administrator.
Administrator may generate reports for any course on the system and all user activity in the system. Instructor reports are limited to their individual courses and the students enrolled in those courses.
 http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_reporting_course_reports.htm 
    
Rubrics Update (SP9) Rubrics Percentage Range
 We have updated Rubrics to include Percentage Range along with Points Range. The Percentage Range option allows a single rubric to work with any assignment as the achievement scores are calculated as a percentage of the item being graded. This update to Rubrics makes customers more flexible and able to support any type of graded item.
Users select a Percent Range rubric from the Rubric Type drop-down menu. The user then enters the Rubric Percentage ranges, identifying the point range possible for any given criteria and achievement level.
During the grading process, the user selects the desired percentage level for a particular achievement level and the system calculates the points earned by multiplying the weight x achievement percentage x item points.