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De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

@TUDelftBb

Blackboard

Browser support for SP Oct. 2014

In the past weeks we have tested the new version of Blackboard against major browsers and have not found any large issues. In general, Blackboard supports all major mainstream browsers. If you want to know which browser versions are supported, you can find this information on the Blackboard site.

We have noticed that many workstations at the TU Delft run Internet Explorer 10 (in compatibility mode) which is known to cause issues in combination with using Blackboard. Safari 6 works without any issues, but we have noticed that Safari 7 and 8 unfortunately don’t support all functionalities in Blackboard. As a result of this, we advise users to use either Firefox or Chrome when using Blackboard as these browsers are the most stable and have the least performance issues.

If you are using the IE 10 browser (still used at many TU Delft workstations), you can run into issues when using Blackboard. If it seems that you are missing content when using Blackboard through IE10, we advise you to check if the browser is running in compatibility mode. The fix that we detailed after our previous upgrade will also work for our newest version. Please find the information on how to use Blackboard with IE 10 in the post on Browser Support for SP14.

We are already aware of one issue that might pop up when you are using Chrome to access Blackboard. With the release of Chrome version 42, the NPAPI plugin has been disabled and Chrome is planning to deprecate it entirely by version 45. Users will notice that the NPAPI plug-in has been disabled as it will produce an error when trying to use JAVA based content (as found in Blackboard Collaborate, SCORM packages or other JAVA based content). For the moment the work-around is to enable the plugin in Chrome yourself. Please check Google for a description of how to enable the NPAPI plugin.

If you are unsure if the browser you are using is compatible with our newest version of Blackboard, you can also use the Blackboard Browser Checker tool to check this.

If you experience problems with your browser after trying one of the work-arounds detailed above, please contact E-Learning Support (ELS) at els@tudelft.nl or call 89194.

 

New Features & Improvements after the Upgrade to Blackboard SP Okt 2014

At the moment we are upgrading Blackboard to the latest service pack, October 2014. With this new version of Blackboard some long awaited improvements and new features will become available, and several security issues have been fixed as well. The most important new features and improvements are:

For all users:

  • Calendar: Users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted (both in the calendar tool and when making date selections) and they hey can alter the first day of the week for their monthly and weekly calendar views.
  • Blackboard Collaborate: The BB Collaborate launcher now works for Windows and Mac, and has Java integrated in the tool. Users are now no longer dependent on having the correct java version installed on their PC which will result in more convenient and reliable launching of the tool.
  • YouTube: The YouTube mashup that was not functioning properly and displaying errors when viewing an YouTube video within Blackboard, has been fixed.

 

For course managers / instructor’s:

  • Student Preview: In the top right hand corner you can now find a new button that makes the long awaited Student Preview possible. You can use this to check how your course looks to students and check what they can or cannot see/do. Student Preview allows you to experience your course as your students will. For example, in Student Preview you can test your user, group, grade, and review status adaptive release criteria to make sure it releases content when you want it to. Please read the Blackboard site for more information on how to use the Student Preview button.
  • Anonymous grading: Instructors can hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous grading. Read more on anonymous grading on the Blackboard website.
  • Delegated grading: Course Mangers can delegate the grading of student submissions to specific users or fellow instructors. Read more on delegated grading on the Blackboard website.
  • SafeAssignment: SafeAssign is now integrated into regular Blackboard assignments. With the integration between SafeAssign and regular assignments, almost all of the regular assignment features are now available with the SafeAssign service. SafeAssign originality reports have also undergone an upgrade, and it is now also possible to download a report as PDF. For more information on how SafeAssign has been updated, please check the Blackboard website.

 

For students:

  • My Grades: The interface for MyGrades has been updated. It looks and feels better and students can now easily view feedback from their instructors by clicking the View Feedback button. You can find more information on all new icons that have been added to My Grades on the Blackboard website.
  • Portfolios: These have been moved to the Global Navigation menu (the fly-out menu next to your name in the top right hand corner). Changes to this feature include a simplification of the design process and an improved workflow for building a portfolio.

 

If you would like to read more about the various bug fixes, improvements and new features, please read the release notes on the April and October 2014 version of Blackboard.

Unfortunately a new version does not only fix bugs, it usually means new bugs as well. We have been testing this new version the last couple of weeks and did not run into any critical bugs. For security reasons it is important that we keep our Blackboard version up to date. We will keep you informed about the existing bugs and will help you and provide a workaround if possible.

Please check this weblog if you would like to be informed of any news regarding Blackboard and/or the upgrade process or follow us on twitter @TUDelftBb

For questions about Blackboard please contact E-Learning support (email: ELS@TUDelft.nl or call: 89194 )

Coming up: Blackboard upgrade – July 12-14

Next weekend, we will be upgrading our current Blackboard 9.1 SP14 environment to SP Oktober 2014. We will be starting the upgrade process on Sunday evening July 12th, around 18:00 hrs. We hope to have the new version up and running by Tuesday evening, July 14th at the latest.

Please keep in mind that the regular Blackboard will be unavailable during this period and that if you have any deadlines during this time frame that you make alternative arrangements.

If you only need to look up data in Blackboard, we do have a consulting system up which is available at [edited to remove temporary URL used during the Upgrade] (login with NetID + password).

!!! Please note that BBtest system will only contain data that was entered into the regular Blackboard environment before July 1st.  Data that was entered into the regular Blackboard environment between July 1st and the upgrade will not be available in BBtest unfortunately. Please only use the BBtest system to consult information, as any data that you alter in BBtest will be lost after the upgrade and will NOT be available in the upgraded Blackboard afterwards. !!!

More information about the coming upgrade will become available on the ICT Maintenance page this week. Osiris and all other systems can be reached as normal during the Blackboard upgrade.

With the new Service Pack several bugs that are currently in Blackboard are fixed, a couple of tools have been improved, and new features will become available. Next week you can expect a blog post with the highlights of Blackboard 9.1 SP Oktober 2014.

 

Blackboard 9.1 SP14: New features & improvements

We have just upgraded our Blackboard environment from SP11 to SP14. With this new version of Blackboard improvements and new features have become available. The most important new features and improvements are:

General:

  • Security improvements and bugfixes
  • Content editor Math formulas – the equation editor has been replaced by the mathML equation editor (WIRIS) so it is now possible to enter simple Latex directly in the content editor. On the WIRIS LaTeX support page you can find several examples on how to use simple LaTeX.

For instructors:

  • Date Management – After a course is copied, it is possible to speed up the transition of old dates to new ones relevant for the new course using Date Management. From Date Management, instructors can adjust all availability dates, due dates, and adaptive release dates. Instructors can choose to update dates automatically or manually from one convenient location.
  • Grade Center improvements – Blackboard has made several improvements to grading and the Grade Center.

If you would like to read more about the various bug fixes, improvements and new features, please read the release notes on Blackboard SP12, SP13 or SP14.

Unfortunately a new version does not only fix bugs, it usually means new bugs as well. We have been testing this new version the last couple of weeks and did not run into any critical bugs. For security reasons it is important that we keep our Blackboard version up to date. We will keep you informed about the existing bugs and will help you and provide a workaround if possible.

Please check this weblog if you would like to be informed of any news regarding Blackboard and/or the upgrade process or follow us on twitter @TUDelftBb

For questions about Blackboard please contact E-Learning support (ELS@TUDelft.NL of 89194 )

Browser Support for SP14

The following link highlights the new platform and browser configurations tested for SP 14 using the support terms listed on Blackboard’s Browser Support Policy page.

We have noticed that many workstations at the TU Delft run Internet Explorer 10 (in compatibility mode) which is known to cause issues in combination with using Blackboard. Safari 6 works without any issues, but we have noticed that Safari 7 and 8 unfortunately don’t support all functionalities in Blackboard. As a result of this, we advise users to use either Chrome or Firefox when using Blackboard as these browsers are the most stable and have the least performance issues.

If you do use IE10 you will have to take note of the following known issue:
When running IE10 in Compatibility mode, Blackboard will not load as expected and the various tabs to access content are not visible. To use IE10 in standard mode, you can use the following work around:

1. Open your browser, and go to https://blackboard.tudelft.nl. You will see a file icon behind the url: If the icon is dark blue, it means that the compatibility mode is switched on in IE10 (see screenshot below). If the file icon is light blue IE10 is not running in compatibility mode and you don’t have do do anything.

ie19 comp mode
2. Click on the file-icon to deactivate the compatibility mode for the TU Delft Blackboard environment. The page will reload and you will see the various tabs become available at the top of the page.

 

NOTE! :  If you do not see the above mentioned file-icon to indicate if you are working in compatibility mode, and you are experiencing problems with your IE browser, you can also try the following steps:

  • Press on the ALT button and a menu bar will appear at the top of the screen.
  • click on the tools menu, and go to the item “Compatibility View Settings”; click on it.
  • in the pop-up, please deselect the option “Display all websites in Compatibility View” and click close.

If you continue to experience problems with your browser after trying this work around, please contact E-Learning Support (ELS) at els@tudelft.nl or 89194.

Upgrade Blackboard to SP14 – next weekend

The weekend before Christmas, we will be upgrading our current Blackboard 9.1 SP11 environment to SP14. We will be starting the upgrade process on Friday evening December 19th around 18:00 hrs and will be working throughout the weekend. We hope to have the new version up and running by Sunday night December the 21st.

Please keep in mind that Blackboard will be unavailable during this period and that if you have any deadlines during this time frame that you make alternative arrangements.

More information about the coming upgrade will become available on the ICT Maintenance page this week. Osiris and all other systems can be reached as normal during the Blackboard upgrade.

With the new Service Pack several bugs that are currently in Blackboard are fixed, a couple of tools have been improved, and new features will become available. Next week you can expect a blog post with the highlights of Blackboard 9.1 SP14.

 

Blackboard is available again

Blackboard is back online. Unfortunately not on the new version. During the upgrade we ran into some issues we knew we could not solve in time to be back online again tomorrow. Therefor we decided to restore Blackboard, so it is still the same as it was this morning before we started the upgrade.

We had hoped to be on the new version now. We are going to sort out, what causes the issues and prepare for a new upgrade probably just before Christmas.

Our read-only environment is corrupted due to the restore, but we do not need that environment at the moment. Blackboard is back online and we will stay online.

Blackboard Upgrade this Monday and Tuesday August 4th and 5th

Since we had to postpone the upgrade we have been making new plans. We have weighed our options and we have decided that we are not going to wait until the Christmas Holidays. We are going to perform the upgrade this Monday and Tuesday.

We know this is short notice, but now, with so many people on holiday, is the best time. For those who are preparing for the exams. We have a copy of Blackboard on our test environment. Just go to Blackboard and we will redirect you to this application. Please Note: changes to this application will not be saved to our production environment! If you can’t find what you need here, please contact ELS (ELS@tudelft.nl of 89194), so they can assist you.

We hope not to disturb to many people, but not upgrading was a very big disappointment. Keeping Blackboard up to date is important in many way’s. There are security reasons, bug fixes and of course new functionalities.

We will keep you informed of the progress by means of this weblog and our twitter account @TUDelftBb.

If you have any questions, please call or e-mail E-Learning Support (els@tudelft.nl 015-2789194). They will makes sure your questions will be placed by the right people, and you will be contacted.

Blackboard upgrade postponed

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Blackboard upgrade is postponed.

We had to make the difficult decision to postpone the Blackboard upgrade due to a major issue we were not able to fix. The upgrade will not be possible before the start of the new academic year. A new date will be scheduled after consulting all parties involved.

The blocking issue, which we discovered during our test process, turned out to have more influence within Blackboard than we first thought. The last few weeks we haven been working on solving this issue together with the support staff from Blackboard, but we were not able to come to a satisfying result.

As soon as we know more about the new upgrade plan we will inform you.

 

Blackboard Upgrade Summer 2014

The preparations of the Blackboard upgrade are ongoing. We will be upgrading to the new version starting on Friday evening July 18th and hope to be back online Sunday afternoon July 20th. The Blackboard courses for 2014-2015 will be available in the first week of August.

This new version of Blackboard will give us new functionalities, and bugfixes. The most important new functionalities and improvements are:

General:

  • Security improvements and bugfixes
  • New portfolio’s – Portfolios are now accessed from the global navigation (top right corner) and have a new authoring canvas. Instructors can create portfolio assignments.
  • Content editor Math formulas – the equation editor is replaced by the mathML equation editor (WIRIS) so simple Latex is possible directly in the content editor.
  • Profiles – You can share your avatar and study with other users, just for now. We are looking into the more advanced options, but have to make sure this will not cause performance issues before turning those extra social options on.

For instructors:

  • Student Preview – Instructors can view their course exactly as a student does by using a student account the system generates for them by clicking on the icon next to the Edit Mode. (The first time opening the student preview will take some time)
  • Delegated Grading – Instructors can delegate grading to specific users.
  • Date Management – After a course is copied, it is possible to speed up the transition of old dates to new ones relevant for the new course using Date Management. From Date Management, instructors can adjust all availability dates, due dates, and adaptive release dates. Instructors can choose to update dates automatically or manually from one convenient location.
  • Safe Assignment improvements – SafeAssign is integrated into regular Learn assignments. You do not have to choose between an Assignment and a SafeAssignment anymore. Just create an assignment and choose SafeAssign in the assignment options. The SafeAssign originality report has been changed as well.
  • Grade Center improvements – Blackboard has made several improvements to grading and Grade Center.

For Students:

  • My Grades – The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. Students can now view feedback by clicking View Feedback.

Unfortunately a new version does not only fix bugs, it usually means new bugs as well. We have been testing this new version the last couple of months and did not run into any critical bugs. For security reasons it is important that we keep our Blackboard version up to date. We will keep you informed about the existing bugs and will help you and provide a workaround if possible.

In August there will be an open office by E-Learning Support (ELS). If you have any questions or issues, please come by, we will make time to sit down with you and help you as best as we can.

Due to the upgrade Blackboard is not available from Friday evening July 18th until Sunday July 20th. We will do our best to be back online again as soon as possible. Osiris can be reached during the Blackboard upgrade. The new Blackboard courses for 2014-2015 will be available the first week of August. They are created according to the data from CourseBase.

Please check this weblog if you would like to be informed of the upgrade progress or follow us on twitter @TUDelftBb

For questions about the upgrade or Blackboard please contact E-Learning support (ELS@TUDelft.NL of 89194 )

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