Blackboard upgrade changes

Blackboard system upgrade

The Blackboard system was upgraded on December 2, 2016, bringing new features and an improved user experience.

Discussion threads

Users can navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page.


As part of the upgrade, several known issues have been addressed:

  • Default Folder permissions do not exist on Blackboard courses
  • Using Special Characters in Blackboard fields
  • Discussion board only prints the first page
  • Page display issues may occur when creating Turnitin Assignments

Please refer to the educational technology applications known issues register for remaining known issues and workarounds.

Browser support

Blackboard 9.1 now supports the Microsoft Edge browser. Some browsers no longer support NPAPI plugins. Without these plugins, some Blackboard features, such as some embedded YouTube videos, may not render correctly.

HTML5 support

The Content Editor now supports HTML5 Audio and Video playback in Chrome and Edge browsers.

Announcement date restriction default

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

Accessibility updates

Several changes have been implemented that improve overall accessibility for users.

Discussion Boards

Forum descriptions are read on the Create Thread page. This improves accessibility for users with screen reader technologies.


When creating a hot spot question, an Image Alternate text box is now available. This improves accessibility for users.

Content Editor

The default heading size for all of the embedded headings has been increased so they are properly read in both the view and edit state in the Content Editor.

Bb Student mobile app improvements

Improvements to the Bb Student mobile app enables users to embed images in HTML for in-line display, fixes an issue where some due dates are missing when a non-English system language is selected, fixes incorrectly displayed grades on the Grades page, and resolves authentication issues.

Turnitin assignment viewer in Student Preview mode

Due to the upgraded Turnitin Blackboard Building Block, it is currently not possible for staff to access the Turnitin assignment viewer while in Student Preview mode. Access to the assignment viewer for staff and students is not affected in their default viewing mode.

Blackboard Guest Role is now available

Blackboard’s Guest Role has been implemented for all current and past Course shells. This allows Instructors to grant guest / read only access to their Blackboard content.

Blackboard’s Guest Role can be assigned to existing RMIT Blackboard users to allow them access to view course materials such as Learning Resources, Announcements, Blackboard Collaborate sessions, and Course Contacts. Further details about Blackboard's Guest role are available via Blackboard Help.

Instructions for assigning the Guest Role can be accessed via myCommunity.

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