As of Saturday, June 1, 2013, your version of Blackboard is 9.1 Service Pack 11. This version has an updated and streamlined user interface, as well as some new and some improved features. While you'll notice the new look, the actual functionality of the features and tools has not changed significantly. The main feature changes are described below, with links to more in-depth information on each.
Also, be sure to check the list of Supported Browsers for Service Pack 11.
My Blackboard: This is a new navigation and notifications interface.
Learn more about My Blackboard.
Instructor Edit Mode changes: The Instructor/TA interface will look a lot cleaner to you. Edit signifiers become visible when mousing over items rather than double move arrows and double chevrons being permanent fixtures on the page. You can also navigate from course to course without returning to the Main or Courses tab.
New Text Editor: The text editor is completely new, and provides better control over formatting. Additionally, pasting from outside sources such as MS Word is far less problematic due to a built in "clean up Word" function. Also the math editor is now WIRIS. (NB: It is no longer necessary to use the Paste from Word mashup when copying and pasting from a Word document into the Blackboard content editor.)
Learn more about the new Content Editor.
Avatars: All users now have the option to upload an avatar that will appear in discussion, blog, wiki and journal posts. If you use these tools in your courses, encourage your students to use the avatars - it's a great way to add a personal touch to these communication tools.
How to upload an avatar.
Improved Discussions Interface - The discussions interface has been completely overhauled and new functionality has been added.
Learn more about the new Discussions tool.
Improved Calendar tool - Another total overhaul. Vastly improved calendar features include recurring events, private or public events, and export options.
Learn more about the new Calendar tool.
Retention Center - The new Retention Center (replaces Early Warning System) automatically provides alerts to issues in student performance and/or engagement.
Learn more about the Retention Center.
New assessment (test) features - Fill in the Blank and Fill in Multiple Blanks questions now offer "contains" and "pattern match" as grading options for answers. Also, the new "Item Analysis" feature lets you evaluate the efficacy of your test questions and the automatic regrade feature will adjust scores if you have to delete a question or change the correct answer or number of points.
Learn more about new test features.
Confirmation emails from the export process may report "Export Failed." In fact it probably succeeded with minor errors. Go ahead and import the file.
If your Grade Center doesn't load: Occasionally after an upgrade, you'll get an error message when trying to load the Grade Center. It might refer to a "parsing error." If you get this message, it is almost always cured by clearing your browser cache. If not, or if you're not sure how to clear the cache, contact your Blackboard Support Team.
Links to outside websites: Any links you create to go to a website outside Blackboard must be set to open in a new window. If you have existing content that is set to open in the same window, you may need to edit it and select "open in new window" to have it work properly.
Copy and paste to new content (textbox) editor: On Mac, when you copy text from a website, you will not be able to paste into the Blackboard text editor in Firefox or Chrome. On Windows, the problem occurs in Firefox. One workaround is to first paste it into a word processing or text editor (such as TextEdit) document, then copy and paste from there into the Blackboard content editor. See more workarounds here. Blackboard client support has said that a solution is being developed for this known issue. Copy and paste from MS Word works using the keyboard shortcut command-v.