Some of you may have been teaching over the summer and have already seen the improvements made to Blackboard and YuJa, but if you’re just coming back after a relaxing summer away from the classroom here are some of the updates you’ll see in these tech tools as you get started this term.

Blackboard Updates

Blackboard saw some important updates over the summer. These include:

  • Creation of Flexible Grading: Flexible Grading is a new, efficient assessment grading experience. You can grade by question or student, filter by grading status, view attempts and final grades, grade inline, and provide feedback without a rubric.
  • Removal of Grade Now: Instructors have varying preferences of the gradebook view. Some prefer the gradebook grid view to get an overview of student performance or locate new submissions. In the past, the gradebook grid view displayed “Grade Now” in each cell even when no submission had been made. This was confusing and has been replaced with a dash.
  • Addition of permanent Move Item button in Grade Center: Instructors may need to reorder items in their online gradebooks to align with the sequencing and structure of their course. Instructors can reorder items in their gradebook from the gradebook list view. In the past, this option was not obvious to instructors. Instructors had to hover over the option for it to become visible. Now, the option to move an item in the gradebook list view is always visible.
  • Updates to Ally Accessibility Checker: Accessible content ensures inclusivity and meaningful engagement for diverse learners. To help instructors create accessible content, instructors can now use the Ultra Accessibility Checker (Powered by Ally). The Ultra Accessibility Checker scans content in the content editor for Ultra Documents. This helps instructors identify and fix accessibility issues.
  • Replacing Files in course Content: Responsible use of storage space matters to institutions. Before, when an instructor replaced a file in the course, the system created a new file version. Now, the system replaces the file. The system no longer creates new versions, freeing up storage space.

To learn about other updates to Blackboard Learn, check out the full release notes.

YuJa Updates

If you haven’t used YuJa since last term, there have been a couple of updates. Here’s what’s new:

  • Ability to Archive Courses within Courses & Groups Administrators and instructors can now archive and unarchive courses within the Video Platform. When courses are required, a simple Unarchive action brings them back to the active Courses tab.
  • Bulk-Merge Videos Tool Enhanced to Filter “Shared With Me” Content This feature enables Creators to conveniently select multiple videos, rearrange their order, and effortlessly generate a new video that combines group projects, assignments, and other relevant content.
  • Embed Playlist Objects Through the Media Chooser You can now select and embed Playlists within the Learning Management System.
  • Media Chooser Will Auto-Detect Gradeable Areas for Video Quiz Insertions Video Quizzes can only be embedded into gradable areas of the LMS. With this feature, grades will be accurately synced to the LMS gradebook and reduce potential user errors of insertion of a Video Quiz in an area the LMS does not support gradebook synchronization.
  • Visual Video Quiz Badge on Video Thumbnails with Quizzes Visual enhancement has been added to thumbnails to help users identify Video Quizzes without accessing the Media Details window for their selected media. Simply look for the Quiz indicator in the top-right corner of thumbnails to identify Video Quizzes.

Notice other changes in your most commonly used tech tools? Let us know!