Feature & Function Updates

July 13th-17th, 2020 – Inline Grading Tool Migration from Box to Bb Annotate

Blackboard will be replacing the current Inline Grading service, Box (or New Box View), with a new service called Bb Annotate during the week of July 13th-17th.

Bb Annotate offers many ways to provide your students with engaging feedback when grading Assignments in UNM Learn. Under Annotation tools you will find a tool for free-hand drawing using a pen or brush; you can customize the color, line thickness, background fill, opacity and blend mode. There are also new tools for adding text blocks, images and stamps, and lines, including an array of shapes that can be styled in many different ways. The Comment tools feature redesigned point comments. And the highlight tool can now be used to strike-through or underline.

In terms of viewing student submissions, thumbnail, outline, annotation and bookmark layouts have been provided. Pan and zoom controls are now built in. Navigation for longer documents has been improved by adding the ability to jump directly to different pages. There is also a Search function.



  • Based on responsive design, small screens show only the page number you are on (not the advanced navigation features), and the Annotation tools are stacked under the View Annotation Tools icon. They will display if you click the icons or resize your screen.
    The icon for small screens is a piece of paper and a pencil.
  • To save a Comment, click “Comment.” If you want to continue the same thread, the button used to post is labeled “Reply.”  IMPORTANT NOTE:  You must save each comment by clicking the "Comment" or "Reply" button.  Any comments you do not save will no longer be available once you leave your marking session and will not be included in the annotations rendered for students.
  • Downloaded versions of annotated files are PDFs that must be viewed in a dedicated PDF viewer in order to display properly.
  • Mobile apps: Bb Annotate is available for instructors using the mobile Blackboard Instructor app. Students will need to use a browser to view annotated submissions; they are not currently accessible via Bb Mobile.
  • Once the migration process is complete, all pre-existing annotations created through New Box View should be accessible in Bb Annotate.

    For more, see Bb Annotate.
    For one-to-one virtual assistance, see the Center for Digital Learning’s schedule. Click the Open Labs button.

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April 21st, 2020 – Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor

At the request of the Provost’s office, IT Academic Technologies partnered with the Faculty Senate IT Use Committee and the Center for Digital Learning to offer a free virtual proctoring option in UNM Learn, Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor.

Respondus Lockdown Browser is a custom browser that students install on their own computers to lock down their testing environment while still allowing them to take the exam within UNM Learn.

Respondus Monitor is a virtual Proctoring tool that runs as an extension to Lockdown Browser. It uses a regular webcam to record student exam sessions, which are machine-analyzed to flag potentially suspect behaviors for review by the instructor.

For more, see Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor - Virtual Proctoring.

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April 8th, 2020 - Kaltura Reach

Beginning April 8th, 2020, any new media uploaded to your Kaltura My Media repository is automatically processed by the Kaltura Reach tool to provide automatic (machine) captions. Note: the captions are created after the video is uploaded and rendered; there is a short delay before they are available. Depending on the content, machine captions may not meet accessibility requirements, but Kaltura Reach offers the ability for instructors to review and edit/improve their transcript(s).

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January 5th, 2020 - Maintenance updates

UNM Learn maintenance was performed on January 5th, 2020.  On this date, Blackboard Ally, previously enabled for new courses only, was enabled for ALL courses in UNM Learn as part of the spring 2020 rollout of this tool. 

Blackboard Ally

 Ally indicators rate content to help instructors prioritize what to work on. They are NOT visible to students, only to instructors and course assistants.Blackboard Ally works seamlessly with UNM Learn to gauge the accessibility of course content and provide instructor guidance on how to resolve issues and make improvements. Students can click the Alternative Formats icon (The Ally icon is a capital A with a down arrow to the right of it.) next to common file types (e.g., PDFs, Word, PowerPoint, HTML) to generate alternative formats for a range of devices and needs (structured PDF for assistive devices, HTML and ePub for mobile devices, MP3 for audio, electronic braille for braille readers, etc.). For more information, see Supporting Accessibility.


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August 4th, 2019 - Q4 2018 Release upgrade

UNM Learn was updated to the Q4 2018 CU6 Release (3500.0.6) on August 4th, 2019.  Several integrated tools were also updated in line with this maintenance.   New and improved features include: 

Download Annotated PDFs

The Assignments tool has been improved so that when Instructors, Teaching Assistants and Graders use the Inline Grading tools to comment on student work, those annotated files can now be downloaded as PDFs.  The PDF versions show annotations as they appear through the body of the work, in addition to summarizing them in a page by page “Comment Summary” at the end of the document (the exception is drawings—which are not listed in the summary).  From the “Grade Assignments” screen, instructors and course assistants click the drop-down menu next to the name of the original file or files.  For students, this option becomes available through the “Review Submission History” screen once their attempt has been graded.  They also click the drop-down menu to select this option.

Note:  Due to variations and potential issues in the way browser-based software displays PDFs, users should download and view these files directly in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro.  Certain annotations may not display when viewing these PDFs using web browsers.  This issue has been added to the UNM Learn Critical Issues page.

To download an annotated PDF, click the chevron to the right of the original file title.  Then click the title that ends in PDF.

Record audio and video feedback for students

Instructors, Teaching Assistants and Graders can now create personalized feedback recordings for assessment attempts or manual grade book items. Each recording can be up to 5 minutes long and can be audio and video, or audio only.  From a grading screen, expand “Feedback to Learner,” then click the “A” to open the Content Editor.  If necessary, click the chevrons to reveal all three rows of icons.  Click the microphone icon to begin.  Recordings can be generated for Assignments, Tests, Graded Discussions, Graded Wikis, Graded Blogs, Graded Journals, and Feedback in a manual grade column.  Note:  Mac users need to record using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox; Safari is not currently supported.  However, playback for students DOES work in Safari.

Once a grade is submitted, students will see icons representing recordings along with any text Feedback. They simply click to begin streaming playback on their computer or mobile device.  For more information see Audio and Video Feedback.  

Please be aware there is an issue with audio feedback.  If you run the microphone test from the recording screen before recording, the recording will be broken.  See the UNM Learn Critical Issues page for details and a workaround.

Note:  Feedback recordings are not closed-captioned/ accessible.  Do not use for students who are deaf/hard of hearing.

From the Learner Feedback section of the Grade Assignments page, click the 'A' icon at the bottom of the Feedback to Learn text box.  Then click the microphone icon, first item on the third row of tools.

Grading features added to the Blackboard Instructor app

Using the Blackboard Instructor app, Instructors, Teaching Assistants and Graders can now identify courses where they need to grade student submissions. They can review, annotate, and grade submissions, and post student grades.  For more details, see Grading in Blackboard InstructorNote:  the Bb Grader app is no longer supported.

Mobile app improvements for Students (Blackboard app)

The Blackboard app offers wider support for test-taking on mobile devices.  Students can take tests that use auto submit and/ or time-limits.  Note:  the option to take timed tests may increase the number of your students using the mobile app to take assessments. We recommend that students pay attention to their Internet connection when taking tests (particularly timed tests), and only begin tests on a computer or device with a stable, high-speed connection to the Internet.  The UNM Learn Support Team’s ability to provide support for a wide variety of devices is limited, so we advise students to use caution, especially if electing to take a higher stakes exam on a mobile device.

Grade Reconciliation expanded to include Graders

The Delegated Grading options for Assignments have been expanded.  The power to reconcile grades can now be conferred upon Graders as well as Teaching Assistants and Instructors.  For an overview of the process, see  Delegated Grading.

Grant Additional Attempts in Anonymous Grading

Instructors can now grant an additional attempt for scenarios when the student needs one and the prior attempt cannot be cleared because it is in an anonymous state. For more details, see Anonymous Grading just below Multiple Anonymous Attempts.

Clear Multiple-Choice Selections

Students can now clear a selection in multiple-choice questions.  This lets them avoid a penalty in tests that have negative points associated with certain answer choices.  For student documentation, see Tests & Surveys.

Accessibility Enhancements

To make it easier for those who use assistive technologies to navigate the structure or pages, “skip links” now work more consistently across tool areas in Learn.


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June 1st, 2019 - UNM Learn integrated tool update 

New Kaltura desktop recording app, Kaltura Capture

The suite of media tools integrated with UNM Learn now includes an updated recording app.  The Kaltura Capture desktop recorder offers a redesigned user interface.  Users can now record two inputs simultaneously:  mix and match combinations of cameras, screens, and audio.  Screen recordings offer annotation tools:  a pencil for freehand drawing, arrow pointers, and a text tool—making it easy to direct the viewer’s attention during a presentation or demonstration.  Recordings featuring multiple inputs are automatically displayed in Kaltura’s interactive media player.  The process for uploading new videos to My Media has also been also been streamlined and updated.  See Using Kaltura Capture.  Note:  Kaltura Capture replaced CaptureSpace Lite as of June 1, 2019.  Users must download the new app in order to avoid any issues uploading media to UNM Learn.