MyAberdeen Enhancements for January 2018

MyAberdeen will be upgraded from Tuesday 2nd January to Wednesday 3rd January 2018 inclusive as part of the move to Blackboard's cloud environment SaaS. Access should be restored by the 4th January if there are no issues. In addition to the new features and enhancements listed below, courses in MyAberdeen starting on Monday 15 January will be automatically linked to Panopto (this work will be done between 07:00 - 11:00 hours GMT on Saturday 13 January). This will enable staff to manage their Panopto video content more effectively.

Highlights of New Features and Enhancements

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2017 with Cumulative Update 1

Crocodoc to New Box View Update

Instructors grading assignments can view documents in-line and annotate the document to provide feedback to students. In prior versions, this used a licensed technology called Crocodoc that will be discontinued on January 15, 2018. This release allows institutions to switch to a replacement service from Box entitled New Box View that offers similar capabilities. Prior documents with annotations will be automatically migrated without requiring action from staff. The University of Aberdeen will switch from Crocodoc to the New Box View service between 02:00 - 06:00 hours GMT on Saturday 13 January.

Course Availability Status and Update

Staff can see the availability state of the course and change the state from the main course view.

Grade Center cleanup

Staff can now more easily clean up their grade books by deleting multiple columns at once. Selected manual and calculated columns are removed completely. Selected columns associated with gradable items are cleared of attempt and grade data but remain in the Grade Center.

Important: Deletion of columns and the data contained therein cannot be undone.

Collaborate Ultra Sessions for Groups

Staff can now add Collaborate Ultra sessions to Groups. If staff allow, students can share content and use the whiteboard, as well as create recordings.

Discussion Board "Replies to Me"

Keeping up with large Discussion Board forums is easier by giving participants a count and filter to just look at new replies from others to posts made by the participant.

Chemistry Notation Support

The maths editor found in the Content Editor has been updated to a newer version of WIRIS. This version adds tools specific to chemistry including an embedded periodic table of elements.

Rubric Auto-save

Selected levels of performance and feedback when grading with rubrics are automatically saved to the attempt as draft when the rubric is saved.

Accessibility and Access

Mobile optimization and response web

This release further expands the areas of Blackboard Learn suitable for use on mobile devices when using the Learn 2016 theme.

Blogs and Journals

Blogs and Journals have been better optimized for use on mobile devices. Posts and comments composed with responsive content will render on smaller devices. Options for filtering posts or navigating groups or users will appear below currently viewed posts.

System Navigation

Navigation of tabs and accessing the contents on those tabs is optimized for mobile devices. A menu icon (“hamburger” icon) typically found on many mobile web sites is used to switch between tabs and access My Blackboard.

Course Navigation

Access and closure of the Course Menu is optimized for mobile devices.

ARIA landmarks

ARIA landmarks have been incorporated in the course menu and the content area to better define the page structure and assist users with screen readers in navigating page elements.

First-time User Overlay removed

When a user first logged in to Blackboard Learn with the Original experience, an overlay appeared on the screen to highlight key navigation elements. The overlay caused a frustrating user experience for those using assistive technologies and has been removed to improve overall accessibility.

Bug Fixes

There are over 270 client-reported issues fixed in the release.


Blackboard App Download Module

A new module called Download Blackboard's Student App Today has been added to help students discover and download the Blackboard app. The module includes links to the Apple, Android, and Windows app download locations. Currently there are no plans to introduce this module as a custom module providing this functionality is already in use at the University and is available on the landing page of MyAberdeen (or 'Home' tab, after logging in to MyAberdeen).


Enhancements for Summer 2016

MyAberdeen will be upgraded on a Saturday or Sunday during the first two weeks in August. Details of the upgrade (date and time) and the enhancements will be available at the end of July 2016.


Enhancements for Summer 2015

On Saturday 15 August, from 03:00 hours to 19:00 hours BST, MyAberdeen will be upgraded to the October 2014 Release of Blackboard Learn. This will introduce a number of enhancements, such as:

Enhanced landing page

This will enable you to access information and resources prior to logging in. For examples of how the enhanced landing / login page may look please see Durham University's landing page or the University of Leicester's landing page.

Ability to create a personal profile

This will enable you to create a personal profile page, including adding a picture to your profile page, if you wish. When you log in for the first time after the upgrade, you will see a dark grey overlay and a prompt to complete your user profile. Documentation on this will be available shortly.

General maintenance and minor improvements

General maintenance (bug-fixes) will occur and some minor improvemens will be made to tools such as the announcements tool and the calendar tool.


The transparent background associated with drop down menus in the grade center will be fixed. Minor issues associated with the creation of TurnitinUK assignments has recently been fixed.


Enhancements for Summer 2014

In July 2014 MyAberdeen was upgraded to the April 2014 Release. This introduced a number of enhancements to MyAberdeen, some of which are detailed below:

Student Preview

Staff can view their course exactly as a student does by using a student account that the system will generate for them. For further details see Blackboard's Help page on Student Preview.

Marking (or Grading)

Anonymous marking: staff will be to hide student names from submitted assignments for anonymous marking (or grading). For more details see Blackboard's help page on Annonymous Grading.

Delegated marking: staff are now able to delegate marking to specific users - see Blackboard's help page on Delegated Grading.

Portfolio improvements

Portfolios are now accessed from the global navigation and have a new authoring interface. Staff will also be able to create portfolio assignments. For more details see Blackboard's help page on My Portfolios.


Exception settings: New settings allow staff to select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings. For example, if you need to provide a student or a group of students with extra time to complete the test you will be able to set this up within the same test. See Blackboard's Help page on Test and Survey Options

Significant figures: In calculated formula questions, staff will be able to select the number of decimals or significant figures for the correct answers generated by the system. See Blackboard's help page on Calculated Formula Questions.

Groups Management

Staff will be able to export and import students in groups - See Blackboard's help page on Import and Export Groups.

Date Management

Staff will have the ability to update / review dates for all tasks from a single page. See Blackboard's help page on Date Manegement


Staff will be able to generate reports of student academic contribution and activity within a single or multiple courses. See Blackboard's help page on Course Reports.


Enhancements for Summer 2013

On the weekend 20 – 21 July MyAberdeen was upgraded to Service Pack 11. This introduced a number of enhancements to MyAberdeen, some of which are detailed below:

New Global Navigation Menu and My Blackboard

The new global navigation menu is the entry point to My Blackboard and is located in the top right corner of the MyAberdeen interface. It provides one-click access to your courses, organisations, settings, help and My Blackboard features.

My Blackboard provides you with quick and easy access to critical and timely information regarding courses and students. This replaces the Notifications Dashboard that MyAberdeen has used for the past two years. My Blackboard also provides social learning tools (Profile and Profile Card, People, Messages, Spaces). However, the social learning tools will not be available to staff and students in the AY 2013 - 2014.

View the Blackboard video about the global navigation menu and My Blackboard.

New Content Editor

The content editor allows you to add and format text, insert equations and hyperlinks, tables, and attach different types of files to content. The new version includes:

  • Better ability to paste from Word and retain formatting
  • Edit box which can be expanded to full screen, and has Preview function
  • Simple & advanced modes for editing. Simple mode just shows basic icons
  • New MathML equation editor

View the Blackboard Quick Hit video on the new content editor.

New Retention Centre and Inline Assignment Grading tools

The eLearning team will be piloting these tools with interested staff. If you would like to be involved in these pilots please email Sara Preston (s.preston@abdn.ac.uk). View the Blackboard Quick Hit video on the retention centre and video on the inline assignment grading tool for further information.

Revised Discussions tool

The look of the discussion board has been updated. All of a thread's posts are now visible at the same time on one page. Thread Posting can now be collapsed and expanded. Inline replies provide the content editor on the same page, within the context of the discussion. You are not taken to a new page to post a reply. Forum Descriptions now display when users create a thread. View the Blackboard Quick Hit video on the revised discussions tool.

Revised Calendar tool

The Calendar can now also be accessed from the My Blackboard area, where you can see a calendar comprising all calendar events from courses you are enrolled/teaching on. Any items and assignments with due dates are now automatically populated in the course calendar. Your MyAberdeen Calendar can now also be downloaded to Outlook (or other similar calendar tools) and will automatically keep up to date with changes that occur on the calendar in MyAberdeen using iCal functionality. View the Blackboard Quick Hit video on the revised calendar tool.

Notes on Service Pack 11

The notes on Service Pack 11 provide detailed information on the enhancements that will be introduced to MyAberdeen on the weekend 20 - 21 July 2013. Please note that we are also introducing some of the features available in Service Pack 12. These features are: the new Retention Centre and Inline Assignment Grading tools, the revised Discussions and Calendar too

Enhancements to MyAberdeen

MyAberdeen will be upgraded on Saturday 15th August. This will result in the system being unavailable from 3 am BST until 3pm BST on that day.

This upgrade will provide an enhanced landing page. Additional information will be visible to users before they log in. It will also be possible for the users to create a personal profile, including an image if they so choose.