Here’s my latest post in the series describing the changes in the next version of Blackboard. (If you want to see others, simply click Blackboard 9 in the tag cloud on the right (or the link at the bottom of the post) and it’ll bring all the posts on the subject together.)
There have been some changes to the announcement features in Blackboard 9.1. The main change is that Email notifications no longer contain the full body of the announcement text, but simply offer a link to the announcement. This means that users will now have to log into Blackboard to read the announcement. Blackboard have also removed the announcement date filter because they were getting feedback that students were missing important announcements because they didn’t log in until after the announcement had been filtered (In our current version announcements are shown for 7 days after they are made, and after that, if a student wishes to see them, they have to click the “announcements in the last 30 days” tab.)
On the plus side, announcements can now be displayed in courses, the front page, and on a special course specific announcement module – so students can choose to have a module on their front pages that displays only announcements from a specific course.
Perhaps more usefully, instructors can now set the order in which announcements are displayed, thus removing the need for “permanent” announcements to be used to display an announcement first, although it will still be possible to use permanent announcements.
Adaptive release will not change significantly, although it will be possible to notify students when a particular item becomes available (for example, after a given date), and you won’t need to click to confirm quite so many times when you’re creating an adaptive release rule. As with many features in Blackboard 9.1, you can access the controls from a link to a drop down menu adjacent to the title. (When you’re in Edit mode)