Service Updates

Blackboard Upgrade - Service Pack 11 (March 12, 2013)

Upgrade Timeline

Prior to the start of the 2013 summer semester, OTC will be upgrading the Blackboard learning management system from version 9.1 (Service Pack 7) to 9.1 (Service Pack 11). This upgrade will occur between Thursday, May 23rd and Friday, May 24th, at which time Blackboard will be unavailable. Instructors working on courses at this time should plan accordingly. Existing courses and content should not be affected by the upgrade and course copy requests for summer will be processed normally.

New feature training sessions will be provided each month for faculty and staff starting in February 2013. To register for upcoming training, please visit the OTC Online Faculty Development page at

For one-on-one training or for questions pertaining to the upgrade, contact OTC Online at 417-447-8200, option 2, or email

Upgrade Rationale

To provide new functionality based on instructor and student feedback. This upgrade will also provide fixes to several reported issues with OTC's current version of Blackboard (Service Pack 7).

What is Blackboard 9.1, Service Pack 11?

Blackboard 9.1, Service Pack 11 is the latest release of the Blackboard Academic Suite and includes the following enhancements:

My Blackboard and Global Navigation - An overlay when first logging in to Blackboard will provide awareness of new features including user profile, updates, and notification settings. User profile photos can now be uploaded to display in content areas (blogs,   journals, wikis, and discussion boards) Video


New Content Editor - Greatly enhances proper text and multimedia entry in content areas Video PDF
Drag-and-Drop Calendar - Assignment due dates will appear in course calendar when created and can be rescheduled by drag-and-drop Video PDF
Video Everywhere - Allows instructors and students to create and embed video content within their course Video PDF
Enhanced Item Analysis - Provides additional statistics on test performance and individual test questions Video


New Discussion Board - Enhances discussion forums and includes new profile photos Video PDF
Inline Assignment Grading - Submitted assignments can now be graded without downloading documents for viewing and markup in Microsoft Word or other programs  Video -
Retention Center - This tool will alert instructors to student performance issues before it's too late  Video -

Bug fixes included in Blackboard Service Pack 11:

- Correct html code to render bulleted lists correctly
- A fix to Blind Copy messages sent from the Grade Center so that email is now sent correctly
- Assignment file download tool now properly contains all files from users with multiple attempts
- When a math equation is inserted into the content editor, the equation can now be properly edited
- Improvements in loading time of Content System parent folders
- Grading discussion boards reduces scrolling with score form field properly displayed at the top of the screen
- Extra spaces in announcements and  emails are now removed

What does this upgrade mean for Faculty?                              

Faculty will benefit from the intuitive interface, enhanced workflows, and an extended tool set of capabilities to improve their teaching with Blackboard.

What does this upgrade mean for Students?

Students will benefit from the improved user interface and will now be able to personalize their profile by uploading a photo that will appear in various content areas within Blackboard. Additionally, students will be able to select additional notification options (beyond the default email notification) to receive important updates and changes for the courses they are taking. For example, notifications can be sent via text messages, if desired.

Blackboard "Student View" Tool Availability for Instructors (September 6, 2012)

A new "Student View" tool is available for use by instructors in their Blackboard courses. This tool, when enabled, will allow instructors to view and interact with their course from a student's perspective through an automatic demo student enrollment. This tool can be used to troubleshoot and verify that course elements are functioning properly and viewable by students.

The following instructions will show instructors how to enable and use this tool within Blackboard.  For questions, please contact Blackboard Support at 417-447-8200, option 2 or email

Blackboard Online Attendance Tool (August 15, 2012)

Online Attendance is a new Blackboard tool that allows instructors to manage student attendance through Blackboard. For courses in which the tool is being used, students will be able to track their attendance by logging into their Blackboard course site. All new courses will have the Online Attendance Tool enabled by default; however, for older courses that have been copied, the tool will need to be enabled prior to usage.

The following instructions will show instructors how to enable and use this tool within Blackboard.  For questions, please contact Blackboard Support at 417-447-8200, option 2 or email

Collaborate Web Conferencing Tool

OTC Online is pleased to announce the availability of the new Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing Tool. Collaborate provides online meeting spaces for faculty, staff, and students to interact through live video and audio web presentations, chat sessions, and whiteboards.  Additionally, all sessions may be recorded and archived by moderators for future playback.

Collaborate and Wimba (OTC's current web conferencing tool) will both be available for use until December 31st of this year, at which time Wimba will be discontinued. During this transition period, it is advised that faculty and staff submit a Wimba Archive File Conversion Request Form (shown below) to for the Wimba archives that you would like to save.

If you are a faculty or staff member who would like to use Collaborate, please follow the instructions below to get started. For questions, please contact Blackboard Support at 417-447-8200, option 2 or email

Getting Started

An Introduction to Blackboard Collaborate