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Blackboard Releases Angel Edition 8.0, Promises Support Through 2014

Blackboard has launched Blackboard Learn-Angel Edition 8.0, a new version of its online course delivery platform. Support for Angel will continue until October 2014, at which time clients will migrate to Blackboard Learn 9.1.

The company, which acquired Angel in 2009, is urging users who are planning to continue using the platform after October 2012 to upgrade to Angel 8.0 before then.

"While we will support Angel 7.4 through October 2014, the product will move to operational support beginning in October 2012. That means that we will stop the provision of regular service packs, and we'll look at fixing bugs on a case-by-case basis. We'll only fix critical issues that arise. Angel 8.0, on the other hand, will be fully supported until at least October 2014 with planned updates every other month," reads an entry in the August "Angel Connection" newsletter.

New features in Version 8.0 include:

  • Simplified course functionality for instructors;
  • The addition of rubrics to discussion forums, which lets instructors provide feedback and grade student discussions more quickly and consistently;
  • Support for uploading multimedia to courses from mobile devices with Blackboard Mobile Learn;
  • Compatibility with Apple Safari and Google Chrome;
  • A batch export tool that lets users transfer course content, especially ones that switch to Blackboard Learn 9.1;
  • Tools that let students see which questions they haven't answered, mark them, and return later;
  • The addition of Course ID and Section ID for content exchange notification e-mails;
  • Enable/disable dates for drop boxes; and
  • Recognition of iWorks, OpenOffice.org, Flash, Shockwave, and Star Office file types.

For more information, visit the Blackboard Web site.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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