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Posted in December 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:


  • 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  • Content editor Math formulas – the equation editor has been replaced by the mathML equation editor (WIRIS) so it is now possible to enter simple Latex directly in the content editor.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 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 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.


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