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Blackboard logo Blackboard SP 13 Upgrade

The latest upgrade to Blackboard is service pack 13.  Below are a few of the key features in the release. And how about Bb upgrade videoFilm strip icon


List of options

Test Availability Exceptions is new setting on the Test Options page. Instructors can now select one or more groups of students and make exceptions based on need that differ from the settings for the rest of the students in a class. Instructors can use Exceptions to provide an accommodation to a disabled student, for example. 

Picture of a pencil used in grading

Show Test Results and Feedback to Students -After students complete a test, test results and feedback are immediately available.  But now, by setting up rules using the new this new feature, you can control what is released and when.  This will keep test result information such as the correct answers secure and helps to discourage cheating.


Image of someone's hand taking a multiple choice exam

Adding Questions to a Test - Now you can add new questions exactly where you want them on the test canvas.   No need to travel all the way up to the top of the page just to add a question anymore.  Just hover your mouse over an existing question and then click the + sign that appears.  When the menu of question types appears, select your question type and proceed with creating the question.


cartoon picture of someone who is obviously late

Due Date and Late Submissions - In previous versions of Bb, setting a due date for an exam would not preclude students from taking an exam beyond its due date.  This new setting in Test Options gives instructors the flexibility of allowing students to start a test after the due date or not.


Crash Test Dummy bashing into a laptop computer screen

Test Access Log - Teachers previously had no way of verifying if a student’s claim that, “But, the test crashed on me!!” was valid or not. SP 13 adds a new feature called the Test Access Log, which provides detailed information on student test attempts.   The Access Log keeps track of all the interaction that occurs between the student and the test providing instructors with key information while they determine whether to reset a test or not.

picture of a ship carrying cargo for export

Exporting Test Questions - Have you ever tried to export a test with Random Blocks or Question Sets to a new course?  In previous versions of Bb, it just plain didn’t work.  You would have to manually import the pool that contained the questions that were referenced in the Random Block and setup the Random Block all over again!  What a pain! 

But, no more!  SP12 completely fixes this problem. All questions are now retained in exported and imported tests, including questions that originate outside the exported test, like Question Sets, Random Blocks, and Links.  Translation?? No need to manually build the pool, import the questions into the pool, recreate the Random Block in the new test…yeah!

picture of a calendar

Date Management - Have you ever exported a course from one semester to the next and experienced the challenge of resetting availability dates and due dates for the new course?  Date Management makes it easy to adjust the dates, either automatically or manually, to match the new semester.  What a time saver! Need more detail ? Check out this 3 minute video. Film strip icon

picture of a grade

The Inline Grading - Introduced in SP 11 for Assignments, this feature is now available for Blogs, Wikis, Journals and Discussion Boards.  Haven't used Inline Grading before?  Check out this 2 minute video on how it works. Film strip icon

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