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What's New in Blackboard 9.1

SafeAssign Originality Report Changes

The SafeAssign originality report has been changed in the following ways:

  • The report has been updated with a new look and feel. The report now displays multiple attachments.
  • The email option has been removed. While viewing the report, you can "print to PDF" either natively or using a plug-in based on the operating system and browser combination that you are using to create an accessible PDF. Then, you can share the PDF in multiple ways, including secure email.
  • Each source now has a color unique to the source. Text matching the source is highlighted in the unique source color. There are a maximum of 30 different colors. This matches the maximum of 30 different sources.
  • By default, all citation source highlighting is on. Instructors can click Show/Hide All Highlighting to turn source highlighting off and on for all sources at once.
  • The report layout has been improved for narrow screens. The report information and citations now appear at the top of the submission when instructors reduce the width of the viewing area.
  • Instructors click Select Sources and Resubmit to determine which sources they want to include in the next report. By default, all sources are included. Instructors can clear the check box for each source to exclude from the results. This behavior is the reverse of previous releases.
  • The page instructors are redirected to after resubmitting a paper has been updated to be more in line with the styling of the new report.
  • During the redesign of the SafeAssign originality report, it became clear that the mixed script count was potentially showing misleading and confusing information. The mixed script count identifies the potential of multiple scripts used in an assignment to hide acts of plagiarism. It was discovered that the count was based on the number of words or sentences in the text and was only triggered by Cyrillic. The count should be based on all of the ways multiple scripts can be used to avoid plagiarism detection.

    Also, the areas where each script was used were not identified in the document and had to be manually located. For these reasons, while the originality report continues to alert you to any use of mixed-script characters within individual words anywhere in a submission, the word count will not be available until it can be accurate for all script combinations and all instances can be highlighted in the report.

    Blackboard at USNA

Grade Center Improvements

Blackboard has made several improvements to grading and Grade Center in Service Pack (SP) 14:

  • My Grades ordering and design update: The page provides students with a new default option for the order grades are displayed in.
  • Define “Score Attempts Using” setting from the “Options” page: This is a workflow improvement to ensure you know about and can easily find this setting for tools that support multiple attempts.
  • Inline Assignment Grading and New Box View: Inline assignment grading, powered by Box. Box allows for viewing instructions, adding comments and highlighting text, removing or replying to comments, providing grades and feedback, and the downloading of student's files.
  • Test total points adjustment: This enhancement address several related needs, all revolving around the total points possible for tests, and needing to adjust the total points possible.
  • Grading schemas greater than 100%: There is now an enhancement to allow for schema percentages to be greater than 100%.

Assessments: Significant Figures

Calculated Formula
In calculated formula questions, instructors can select the number of decimals or significant figures for the correct answers generated by the system.

Grading: Anonymous Grading

Instructors can hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous grading.

Grading: Delegated Grading

The new Grade Center brings powerful features like automatic re-grading, contextual grading, grade by question, a needs grading smart view and color coding to highlight student performance.

Portfolio Improvements

Portfolios are now accessed from the global navigation and have a new authoring canvas. Instructors can create portfolio assignments.


The Enhanced Cloud Profile provides users with their first professional profiles. The added features help users demonstrate competencies they have developed through their educational journeys in a visual and uniquely /compelling way. If you do not see this update, your institution has not turned it on.

Restrict Tests by Location

Restrict Tests
You can deliver tests in a specific physical location.

As increasing numbers of institutions are delivering high-stakes tests using Blackboard Learn, there is an increased desire on the part of course facilitators, instructors, and administrators to prevent students from cheating. High-stakes tests are often delivered to students in proctored lab environments to ensure that students can be identified—using an ID—and monitored while taking a test. However, if students can access the test from any location during the testing window, students could conspire to have someone else take the test on their behalf, compromising the security of the testing environment.

IP addresses identify specific computers and are a good method to enforce the location-restriction requirements described above. The first step is for your institution to create a range of IP addresses to correspond to one or more network segments that are used exclusively in the testing environments. 

SafeAssign Anti-Plagiarism Tool


  • Prevent Plagiarism
  • Protect the Originality of Work
  • Ensure a Level Playing Field
  • Create Awareness and Educate Students

Student Preview

Student Preview
Instructors can preview their course exactly as a student does by using a student account the system generates for them.

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