Feature & Function Updates

August 1st, 2020 – UNM Learn and Integrated Tool Updates

UNM Learn was updated to the Q4 2019 CU4 Release (3800.0.4) on August 1st, 2020. Several integrated tools were also updated in line with this maintenance.

Zoom web-conferencing tool integration added to UNM Learn

UNM Learn offers an integration with Zoom that makes it easier for instructors to schedule and share UNM Zoom meetings with students. For information on how to add and use Zoom sessions from within UNM Learn, see Getting Started with Zoom for Faculty. If instructors choose to add the Zoom tool, students can use it to join any meetings scheduled for that course. For students/participants, see the Zoom Participant Guide.

Zoom cloud recordings automatically push to Kaltura (My Media)

It is now faster and easier to securely share Zoom cloud recordings with students inside UNM Learn. If an instructor uses “Record to the Cloud” to capture a Zoom meeting session, that recording will upload automatically to the Kaltura My Media tool for the meeting’s host. Note: My Media items are NOT visible to students until the instructor links them in the course. For more information, see Zoom Recordings in UNM Learn.

UNM Learn Q4 2019 CU 4 Release Update

New and improved features include:

Open file upload warning in Edge
To help prevent file submission problems that can occur when using the Microsoft Edge web browser, UNM Learn now warns Microsoft Edge users that they should close files before uploading them. The message only displays the first time the user encounters a file upload workflow in a each Blackboard Learn session.

Improvements to SafeAssign Reports
The SafeAssign Originality Report has been updated and reformatted for improved usability, responsiveness, and accessibility. The design of the new Originality Report is more modern and includes some new information about a submission's overall risk for being copied from another source. This new report interface is also more responsive for mobile devices and more accessible to screen readers than the old design.

Sticky Needs Grading Filter Selection
UNM Learn will remember instructors’ preferences for the “Show attempts that do not contribute to user’s grade” filter on the Needs Grading page. By default, the checkbox is unselected and student attempts that do not affect grades will not show on the Needs Grading list. When an instructor changes the setting, UNM Learn will remember the preference across that user’s sessions and courses.

Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) 2.1
Instructors and instructional designers use various technologies to develop assessments and need to be able to move assessment items such as questions from one system to another easily. To ensure compatibility and easy re-use, IMS Global developed the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) standard so questions can be shared between learning management and assessment systems. Instructors, Teaching Assistants and Course Builders can now add QTI packages to UNM Learn.

360 view for content collection resources
In the Content Collection> 360 View, attached files are now listed under “Links,” in the same way that way linked files have historically appeared.

Third-party calendar items
Functionality of the Calendar tool is expanded so that tests and assignments created through integrated 3rd-party solutions are now incorporated into the UNM Learn Calendar when viewed using a web browser.


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July 14th, 2020 – Inline Grading Tool Migration from Box to Bb Annotate

Blackboard replaced the current Inline Grading service, Box (or New Box View), with a new service called Bb Annotate.

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, stamps, and an array of shapes that can be styled in many different ways. The Comment tools feature redesigned point comments. 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.
  • The Comment tool is not 'sticky,' meaning that you must reselect it for each new entry.  Blackboard has made improving this behavior a high priority, but in the meantime the workaround is not to select a tool when beginning an inline grading session.  Use the menu for the default tool, the highlighter, to add comments.  Highlight a bit of text.  When you release, a small menu appears.  Select the Comment tool icon. Type your comment.  Click the "Comment" button to post/ save.  The Highlighting tool is still active, so you can go immediately to the next place you wish to mark.  See Inline Grading - Comments Workflow.
  • 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.
  • All pre-existing annotations created through New Box View should be accessible in Bb Annotate.

    For more, see Bb Annotate.
    For questions about the new tool, please contact UNM Learn Support. We are available 24/7 by phone.
    The Center for Digital Learning also offers assistance with tools in UNM Learn, such as Annotate. To sign up for one of their sessions, click the “LMS Open Labs” button on their schedule

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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.