Blackboard Open LMS 3.3
Plagiarism prevention is essential to encourage academic integrity.
This is why Blackboard Open LMS ’ new version 3.3 includes several updates to improve our users’ teaching and learning experiences, providing tools to prevent plagiarism in an educational and interactive way. Here are some of the new features and upgrades included in this release:
Blackboard Open LMS now integrates with SafeAssign, the plagiarism prevention tool that enables users to compare submitted assignments across several sources to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign offers an interactive way to teach students about the value of original writing as well as proper citation.
The following are some of the sources employed by SafeAssign to compare documents:
- Institutional Archives: an internal repository of documents available for comparison.
- Global Reference: Blackboard’s global repository which can be used optionally to share files with other institutions, always complying with applicable information privacy and security policies.
- ProQuest: a database comprising millions of articles, magazines, academic publications and other sources, encompassing around 150 thematic areas.
- Internet: over 3 billion indexed pages in SafeAssign, including pages directly suggested by our users.
SafeAssign’s originality report provides detailed information on any matches between a student’s assignment and the aforementioned sources. Both instructors and students can use this report to analyze documents and create opportunities to identify proper ways to cite content sources. SafeAssign’s Originality Score and a link to the Originality Report appear in Moodle’s Assignment Grader and the Blackboard Open LMS Grader.
Blackboard Open LMS new features and updates
Blackboard Open LMS ‘ new updates and enhancements are focused on improving the instructor experience using Blackboard Open LMS , all while incorporating Moodle 3.3 features.
Simpler Activity Creation
Snap’s new activity chooser mimics the app menu found on common mobile devices, making it easier for instructors to add activities and resources, and access help information in separate tabs within the chooser.
Support for Course End Dates in Personal Menu
The personal menu now supports course grouping using the course end date. Courses are clustered together by year in different tabs, separating current courses from previous ones and helping users focus on relevant content.
Course categories can now be customized with different colors and a cover image, which allows users to give each existing category a unique look.
Other Blackboard Open LMS Improvements:
- Moodle Notification Support: Snap now supports Moodle notifications on the navigation bar with the bell icon, improving their visibility on the platform. With Moodle native notifications supported, the alert section has been removed from the personal menu.
- Improvements to Assignment Display: Information components for both students and instructors have been adapted to make the content visualization more engaging and attractive.
- Navigation Bar Customization: Users can now change the colors of Snap’s navigation bar without the need to add any CSS. The bar’s background and Font colors, as well as those of the “My Courses” button, can be changed from the configuration menu, enabling administrators and instructors to apply their organization or institution’s brand colors without learning how to use CSS.
- Record RTC Atto Plugin: This plugin lets users add audio and video directly from any Blackboard Open LMS text editor. The audio and video recording icons are available in the text editor, offering instructors the possibility to explore new work dynamics.
Moodle Core Upgrades
OAuth2 Services Improvements
Moodle now offers user authentication via OAuth2 and has included the necessary improvements to streamline the setup the services using that protocol, thus simplifying how both administrators and users can implement this tool. Thanks to these enhancements, users can now link their Office 365, G Suite and Facebook accounts, facilitating their authentication on the platform. Thanks to these improvements, users will not have to authenticate again when accessing Moodle repositories via the file selector, as they will be able to access from any of the aforementioned linked accounts.
Furthermore, Moodle now supports Google Document Converter and allows file conversion from Google formats to PDF to be used in the assignment grader.
Better Activity Completion Management
Instructors now have the ability to select default conditions for certain types of activities within courses, thus allowing them to define what user actions constitute an activity’s completion. In addition, instructors can also edit the completion settings for activities using the new bulk edit activity completion tab.
- A new “Remind me to grade by” setting has been added, letting instructors set a reminder to grade an assignment on a specific date. These reminders will be shown on the Snap menu and on the improved user panel.
- Instructors can now define the types of accepted files when users submit a given assignment. Thus, users will be able to visualize a list of accepted file types when submitting an assignment.
- To enhance the usability of the assignment grader, comments are now arranged in a collapsible tab, making text reading easier.
Moodle Mobile Improvements
There are also improvements for OAuth2 services on Moodle Mobile, allowing users to authenticate using these services directly from the mobile app.
Content type support has also been extended to include Feedback, Lesson and Database activities among Moodle Mobile-supported activities.
- Moodle has added support for stealth activities, which lets instructors add activities to a course without them being listed on the course page. For more information on stealth activities, check out this video by Moodle HQ.
- User can now copy and paste emojis into Moodle or the Moodle Mobile app, thanks to the extended Emoji support.
- Moodle has implemented the Font Awesome framework instead of images, which greatly improves load times and allows theme designers to change colors.
Mahara 17.04 Update
The e-portfolio tool that integrates with Blackboard Open LMS has received new features and upgrades. Some of them are:
- Mahara is now an LTI provider, which enables administrators and instructors to add Mahara activities in Moodle via the External Tool plugin. In addition, support for Single Sign-On between both systems has been added.
- Visual and navigation improvements to make Mahara’s interface closer to the look of a mobile app.
- Pages and Collections have been combined and are now visualized as portfolios in the interface. Thus, users do not need to change between “Pages” and “Collections” or verify which pages exist and to which collection they belong to.
- Some page improvements have been included.
To learn more about Blackboard Open LMS 3.3, please visit the release notes page.
Maintenance Pack 1 for Blackboard Open LMS 3.3 has been released. To learn more about the updates included, please visit the release notes page for this MP.