Blackboard Learn’s official release strategy has been to reserve odd-numbered service pack releases to maintenance and patches, but Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 9 changes up the model a bit. Service Pack 9 includes some features and enhancements that system administrators, other support staff and faculty will appreciate.
These features and enhancements include: support for the Common Cartridge 1.2 standard, a new Administrator Console, security and privacy enhancements as well as an update to the rubric feature.
Common Cartridge 1.2
I’m usually the guy that touts Blackboard’s continual support of LMS industry standards. With this release I’m proud to announce that, as of Service Pack 9, Blackboard Learn will support the Common Cartridge 1.2 standard. Common Cartridge 1.2 allows users to export their course content including Basic LTI integrations and standards aligned content.
The Administrator Console
Delivered with Service Pack 9, the Administrator Console is a new diagnostic and troubleshooting tool for Blackboard Learn system administrators. Its purpose is to make troubleshooting activities easier to initiate from the user interface, either for an administrator starting a self-diagnosis, or for working on an issue in conjunction with the Blackboard Learn Support team.
Security and Privacy Enhancements
Service Pack 9 addresses security fixes for cross-site scripting, link injection, cross-site request forgery, and authorization vulnerabilities. Stephanie Tan, the director of Blackboard Learn’s security team comments on Service Pack 9 by saying,
“With Service Pack 9, we’re continuing our commitment to quality through many security initiatives ranging from prevention to rigorous internal security testing. Each service pack is increasingly hardened from security threats. Furthermore, we understand that our users’ privacy is important and we’ve shipped our Cookie Disclosure B2 (installed but not enabled) so clients can meet their privacy needs relating to the EU and UK Data Protection Directives, head-on.”
With Service Pack 9 we’ve updated Rubrics to include Percentage Range along with Points Range. The Percentage Range options allows a single rubric to work with any assignment as the achievement scores are calculated as a percentage of the item being graded. You can see where this option is available below:
Despite usually being reserved for routine maintenance and patches, Blackboard Learn Service Pack 9 delivers new features and enhancements that focus on administrator efficiencies around enterprise support, instructor efficiencies and improved insight with enhancements to the Rubric evaluation tool, improvements to security, as well as extending our commitment to leadership in open standards through our support of Common Cartridge 1.2.
This is no ordinary odd-numbered release. For an explanation of changes and new features, please reference the Release Notes and the Maintenance Release page on Behind the Blackboard. Also, please find regular updates from our Maintenance Experience team on our Maintenance Blog.
You’ll also be able to see Blackboard Learn Service Pack 9 in action at BbWorld, so if you’re in New Orleans make sure to ask about it!