Learning Management Systems
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Getting Updates for Competency Ed, More
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Blackboard Learn is getting a cluster of new features and assuring its customers that the flagship software still matters even as the company pursues development of its next-generation software. Sometime during the next two months the company will be rolling out updates to version 9.1 of the learning management system that will be of use to schools pursuing competency-based learning and seeking to exchange grade information between the LMS and the student information system.
The biggest update is the addition of a goal performance dashboard building block to map goals to courses within Learn. This tool, intended for competency-based education environments, lets learners and instructors track progress toward competencies and other learning milestones.
Grades Journey bolsters integration between Learn and the SIS to allow data exchange, such as grades between the two types of applications.
For K-12 schools and districts using PowerSchool SIS, the integration allows for "hands-free" syncing of users, classes, enrollments, assignments and grades.
Additional updates include small enhancements or fixes. For example, users will be able to navigate to the next or previous thread in a discussion from the thread detail page instead of having to go through the discussion forum page. Also, "multiple fixes" to grades reporting will surface as will updates to content folders and notification processing.
"As we continue to work very hard to deliver new versions of our core products as part of the 'New Learning Experience,' we want to make sure customers understand that Blackboard Learn 9.1 will continue to be an absolutely critical focus area," said Mark Strassman, a senior vice president for product management. "We hope that our customers enjoy the improvements that this update brings them, and we will continue to listen to them to ensure that we bring continued enhancements and innovation in updates to come."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.