Blackboard Updates

1. New Blackboard Functionality

NEW: Blackboard Ally accessibility tool is activated for all Courses

Ally is an assistive technology working within the Blackboard environment to: 

  • Offer guidance on how to improve documents accessibility
  •  Provide students with immediate access to alternative document formats, including:
    • HTML (For viewing in the browser and on mobile devices)
    • ePub (For reading as an e-book on any device)
    • Electronic braille (BRF version for consumption on electronic braille displays)
    • Audio (MP3 version for listening)

Sign up for Ally online training in Cornerstone

Contact eLTI for more information or an orientation to Ally.


To request cross-listings for your courses, complete the short form on Insite. Before sending the request make sure:

  • that you are assigned to the requested CRN in Banner.
  • additional professors are assigned to the same CRN, as needed.
  • to wait for the course to be cross-listed before adding any content to the shell.

If you have difficulty submitting the cross-listing form, send an email to Cross-listings are completed within 48 hours of your request.

You can find instructions to copy course content. If you fail to copy content in your first attempt, please call ext. 4320 for help.

Course Closing Dates

If you are using Blackboard, you have probably experienced students complaining that the course is no longer available at the close of the semester. Going forward, all courses close two weeks after the end of the semester. For Winter 2018, all course shells close on May 11, 2018. Of course, you can still customize the start and end dates for your courses. Download this document which outlines how to modify the availability dates of a course.

Instructor App

Blackboard has replaced the Bb Learn app with a brand new mobile app for faculty that gives you a quick and easy way to interact with students, manage your courses, manage and preview content and assignments, create and reply to discussions, create announcements on your mobile device and even host Collaborate sessions. You can find more information here or contact eLTI for a demo. The app is available for IOS and Android devices. NOTE: support for the Blackboard Learn App ends August 31, 2017.

Assignment Submission Receipts

When a student submits an assignment in Blackboard, the Learning Management System or LMS now provides a confirmation number after a successful submission. If a student contests the submission of an assignment –"and Blackboard lost it"– ask for the submission confirmation number as proof. Every submission will generate a ticket that looks like this:


2. Updated Blackboard Functionality

NEW: Box View

NEW: Box View is the new inline grading tool on Blackboard. Box replaced Crocodoc. Read more information about New Box View here  or contact eLTI ( for help.

More Drag and Drop Options

When creating content items, assignments, and web links, you can easily drag files from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser, so you do not have to install any software to initiate or join a session. In this release, we focused on improving your experience with chat and breakout groups, and you can now download the recordings. Get here more information and help.


3. Blackboard Training and Support Updates

NEW: Blackboard Workshops also offered Online

Just a reminder that Blackboard workshops continue to run at all campuses and online. Topics include Getting Started, Communication Tools, how to get the most out of the Grade Book, and more. We are also available for customized training at your convenience. For September, every Tuesday and Thursday, eLTI is offering online training sessions for Bb Getting Started and Bb Course Creation. Please visit Cornerstone to sign up for face-to-face and online training, or contact me for custom training.

NEW: Walk-in eLTI Blackboard faculty support now at Waterfront Campus five days a week!

You can find Saiful Haque in room 702 cubicle 52 for one-on-one support.

FYI: Blackboard and CASL

Blackboard only uses the email address. Therefore, you do not need consent to email students. The approved disclaimer is not appended to Blackboard emails, as they are considered internal.