As the Technical Product Manager for Blackboard Learn much of the work I do lives behind the scenes and has minimal visual impact on day-to-day Blackboard Learn usage. Today I’m excited to write about the new Visual Text Box Editor (VTBE) and Math Editor which are scheduled for delivery in Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 10. Upon release, the new VTBE would provide state of the art web-based text editing, while supporting Blackboard Learn™ specific functionality such as mashups! The VTBE and Math editor are used by virtually every person who edits content for use in a course or organization within the Blackboard Learn platform – a big change from features which generally are behind the scenes or only impact our system administrators!
Prior to my starting at Blackboard, when I was a client and administrator, I (as I know many other clients did) held some well-founded criticism toward the ‘old-VTBE.’ It was limited as a WYSIWYG editor and presented difficult troubleshooting scenarios for our help desk. Additionally the Math Editor had compatibility issues which limited its usefulness.
The Product Management team understood these shortcomings and began to work with clients on research and development of a new Visual Text Box Editor and Math Editor. Our clients provided us with valuable input on features that would take the user experience in Blackboard Learn to the next level.
Today, I am happy to say that we plan for the new VTBE and Math Editor to either meet or exceed those requirements. We plan to deliver a vastly improved experience for editing HTML and math equation content within Blackboard Learn.
Continuing Blackboard’s support of industry standards, we are developing the new VTBE on an industry standard for web-based WYSIWYG editors – TinyMCE. The new Math Editor is being developed based on forward-looking technology provided by WIRIS. The VTBE and Math Editor would be bundled and delivered in a way that enables the Blackboard Learn solution to provide maintenance and delivery of new capabilities in future releases faster.
Try it out!
So if you are as excited about the new VTBE/Math editor as I am and want to know more please feel free to contact me. We are planning to conduct a Visual Text Box Editor Early Release Program that would kick off later this month. The purpose of the program is to expand the availability of the new VTBE to our clients giving you the chance to plan to go live on Blackboard Learn 9.1, SP8/SP9 with this new feature in the fall semester. We have limited seats available so please don’t wait until the last minute!
If you are interested in participating in the VTBE Early Release Program, please click on the following link to complete the registration form.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Statements regarding our product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent our current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available to our customers