Blackboard Learn Upgrade: Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Posted: 5/9/17

A significant upgrade is scheduled to be performed to the Blackboard Learn System over Memorial Day weekend. The upgrade will begin at 5:00 AM on Saturday, May 27, 2017, and will complete by 5:00 AM on Sunday, May 28, 2017. The Blackboard Learn system ( will be unavailable during this time.

The latest version of Blackboard Learn, Q4 2016 Release, will introduce several new and exciting features, including:

  • Mobile-Responsive Design
    The new look of Blackboard features a more mobile-friendly design that adapts based on screen sizes.
  • Improved Course Request Process (Available Now)
    Instant processing, notifications, auto-availability, and auto-group creation for Master Courses are just some of the new features of the new and improved course request process. Learn more »
  • New Mobile App for Students
    The Bb Student app provides an intuitive way for students to interact with courses, content, instructors, and each other. Learn more »
  • Improved Behavior for Self and Peer Assessments
    An update to the existing Self and Peer Assessment tool makes it possible to exclude students who did not participate during the submission period.
  • Drag and Drop File Attachments
    It is now easier than ever to attach files in Blackboard. You can now add files to Items and Assignments by dragging files from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area.
  • Assignment Submission Receipts
    You and your students will be able to better track whether Assignments submit successfully with submission receipts. When students submit Assignments successfully, the submission page will display a banner with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submission and evidence for academic disputes.
  • Assignment Reminders
    Faculty will be able to easily send system-generated reminders for missing coursework in the Grade Center to students who have not submitted work.
  • Fewer Needs Grading Items
    When you allow multiple attempts on an Assignment or Test, you may not need to grade all of them. With this update, the Needs Grading page will automatically be filtered to only display the attempts that need grading.
  • Dropbox Integration
    Faculty and students will be able to attach files from Dropbox directly into Blackboard. This integration is available through the Mashups tool anywhere the text editor is available, such as Items, Assignments (creating or submitting), and Discussion Boards.

To learn more about the upcoming features, please visit

The Faculty Development & Instructional Design Center will be holding workshops and hands-on sessions to preview the new features. To sign up for a workshop please visit

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the DoIT Service Desk at 815-753-8100 or

Need Technical Assistance?

Call the IT Service Desk at 815.753.8100, email, or submit a ticket at

Need Assistance Teaching with Blackboard?

Call the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at 815.797.2477 or email

Keeping Current

Stay up-to-date with the latest news regarding teaching with Blackboard at NIU, by following @NIUBlackboard on Twitter