What's New

Fall 2018

  • The Bluepulse feedback tool has been replaced with Feedback Box.

  • Instructors and students can now download instructor annotations papers. Previously, annotations were only visible in the browser. The download option available for papers submitted in DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, and PPTX formats.

  • Instructor Grade Center improvements: The full text of column names are now displayed and instructors can click a full screen button to see a larger version of the grade center.

  • Instructors can change the color of the course menu (Control Panel > Customization > Properties).

  • The Respondus Monitor report, which allows instructors to review students' online test attempts, is improved. The new dashboard includes a ranked "Review Priority" scoring system (Low, Medium, High) that provides instructors an easy way to identify exam sessions that require deeper scrutiny.

  • Kaltura Webcam recording, which allowed users to record their webcam in the browser, is no longer available. The tool was Flash dependent which is no longer supported. Users can also use the Kaltura CaptureSpace application to record their webcam. Users could also record webcam using another program on their computer or record on their smartphone, and upload to Kaltura.

  • Kaltura video editing – additional editing options are available including clipping and trimming videos in your My Media.

  • Kaltura quizzing – additional question types are now available. They include True/False and Inflection Point (pause video and add text to the screen).


Spring 2018

  • A new login button: Click the button which will redirect to a Mason authentication login. Enter your NetID and password.
  • Fixed: Users will receive emails when subscribing to email discussion forums
  • Email confirmations: Students will receive an email confirming Assignment submissions were successful
  • Mobile friendly: Improved navigation on mobile device browsers
  • Interface modifications: New icons next to Assignments, Tests, etc.
  • Updates to the Assignment submission confirmation screen. Additional file formats can be viewed. New comment tool for instructors 
  • Discussion Board will include a new filter to display only "replies to me"
  • More for Instructors >


Fall 2017

Drag and Drop File Upload
In most places where you can upload a file, users can now drag and drop one or more files (or a folder of file) into the browser window to upload.

Submission Confirmation Receipts
Students can view assignment attempt with information about the submission on the My Grades page. This feature provides confidence assignments were successfully submitted and evidence for academic disputes, giving students assurance about their work.

Self and Peer Assessments Improvements
Non-participants during the submission period are excluded from the evaluation process (this was a problem with previous versions)

Announcement Date Restriction Default
When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.

Content Collection Searching
Faculty/staff can better search the content collection to find files in any course/content area they have access to.

Course Activity Overview Report
This report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrollment courses. Instructors can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups.

Thread-to-Thread Navigation in Discussion Boards
Users will be able to navigate to the next or previous thread in a discussion from the Thread Detail page without having to navigate back up to the Discussion Forum page.

Discussion Boards
Forum Descriptions are now seen on the Create Thread page.

Spring 2015

The Content System has been added to myMason. It gives faculty and staff both personal and departmental storage space separate from Courses and Organizations. Multiple courses can link to files, allowing for standardized content and makes updating files easy. Read More >>

Fall 2014

Updates to SafeAssign and the Student View tool. New features such as test exceptions and e-portfolios. Read More >>

Spring 2014

Kaltura is a video management tool that allows faculty and students to easily create, host and share video and audio inside the Blackboard course environment. Read more >>

Blackboard Collaborate
1) Each class now has an online meeting room created by default. Instructors can use this room throughout the semester or continue to schedule rooms as needed. The room creation/scheduling wizard is improved.

2) Users of recent versions of Mac OS will now be prompted to download and install a separate Collaborate Launcher program the first time they use Collaborate. This will prevent some of the Java version and security issues Mac users had previously.

Fall 2013


  • New Blackboard Features
  • Self-Paced Online Blackboard Workshop
  • Course Reports & Retention Center
  • Student View Tool
  • Quickly Make Courses Available
  • Respondus Monitor
  • Collaborate Updates
  • WordPress Course Blogs

Summer 2013

Find out more about the updates to Blackboard.

Spring 2013

Blackboard Collaborate Recordings
Collaborate recordings can now be converted into downloadable mp3 (audio) and mp4 (audio and video) format for storage, editing, adding to other courses or websites. Look for the "Convert" button next to new recordings.
Blackboard Collaborate Mobile
The Collaborate Mobile app is now available for iOS devices. Users can view and participate in live sessions. For more information and limitations view: http://tinyurl.com/bcjlwrh
Mobile Notifications
If you have the Mason Mobile or Blackboard Mobile Learn app on your smartphone or tablet, you may begin to receive notifications based on events in your courses. You can turn off or modify these notifications in the Settings area of the app.
Several faculty are using a free, online discussion/Q&A tool called Piazza (www.piazza.com). You can now link your Piazza to your Blackboard course. Information is available: http://tinyurl.com/a8o4fnn


Fall 2012

Course Reports

Course-to-Course Navigation

  • Course-to-Course Navigation allows students and instructors to jump from course to course while retaining the context of the page or task from the original page of any recently accessed course.

Tests and Grade Center

  • Instructors can now apply negative point values for incorrect answers on assessment questions.
  • An automated regarding feature enables instructors to quickly fix problematic questions by simply editing the invalid question. Instructors can drop, give full credit, change point value, or change which answer is marked correct. After the question has been updated, Blackboard Learn recalculates the score of all submitted assessments.

Course Structures & Themes

  • Instructors can select a Quick Setup Guide that shows them help information on set-up and course building. They can then select their Course Structure, Sample Content, and Course Theme. The Quick Setup Wizard enables an instructor to select one of over 50 course themes and structures depending on the needs of the course.

Mobile Learn

  • Users of the Mobile Learn app will be able to receive push notifications regarding events in their courses and organizations.

Blackboard Collaborate

  • Instructors can choose to add new sessions to the Grade Center. Students will receive a score when they attend the session or the recording.
  • Instructors can easily generate a public link to their session directly in Blackboard Learn.
  • Instructors/Moderators can now easily change global permissions  or participants (allow them to talk, use whiteboard, etc.)
  • Echo Cancelling - You longer need to use a headset microphone to avoid feedback.