All going well, our Blackboard Learn system will be upgraded to SP12 this Friday, 12th July.
In the second of this series, here are three new features that will be available.
The Retention Centre
The new Retention Centre in Blackboard replaces the Early Warning System in earlier versions. It is easier to use and to set up your own rules for monitoring student activity, based on missed deadlines, poor grades, course activity or course access. From within the Retention Centre you can monitor your student activity and identify potentially at-risk students. You can access the Retention Centre from within a course, under the Evaluation section of the Control Panel, or globally through the new My Blackboard menu.
For more information see Using the Retention Centre.
Inline Grading for Assignments
If you are already using Blackboard for online submission of assignments, this new feature will make it easier for you to mark those assignments online and give fast and effective feedback to students. Instead of having to download each student submission (one by one, or in bulk), mark each one using Word markup tools (for example) and then upload each annotated document, Blackboard now allows you to open and mark each student submission inline, i.e. within your web browser. Using grading tools, you can add comments, annotate, edit and highlight text within the browser, and then save the annotated version ready for your students to see their feedback. You can easily use rubrics to further support good quality feedback.
To find out more about using rubrics for assessment and feedback, see the CELT guide.
For more information see Inline Grading for Assignments.
Test and Survey Options
The test and survey options in the new Blackboard Learn have improved, giving more flexibility when you deploy a test or survey. It’s also now possible to add new questions to an existing test or survey, at exactly the place you want.
For more information see Test and Survey Options
For anybody who regularly uses Blackboard tests for continuous assessment, you’ll like the new Item Analysis feature. This works in the background, without any set up required, and is used to measure the effectiveness and validity of an individual question. This helps you to understand which of the questions in your pool are good questions, based on a statistical analysis.
For more information see Running Item Analysis on a Test.