Office of Information Technology

Introducing Service Pack 8

This year Blackboard released service pack 8 and UAF upgraded on May 13th. 

This update resolved some known issues of the current version, and added a lot of really exciting features!  Watch Video

There is also a pdf handout version of the below information here.

Expand the categories below to find out more information about each.

User Interface


Theme Swatch

One of the new features introduced in service pack 8 is a new default theme that is modern and more efficient. Watch Video

Theme Picker

Along with the default theme there are also over 50 professionally designed themes to choose from so that you can match your course to your subject, color preference, or current mood. Changing the theme of a course is as easy as selecting an item from the drop-down menu.

Course Menu

With the new 2012 Theme, the course menu also gets a facelift becoming sleeker and more accessible.

See an indepth look at the differences: Watch Video

Tasked-Based Navigation

Task Based Navigation

We know you teach multiple courses and when you are performing a task, you often want to do it for several courses. Task-Based Navigation lets you jump from one course to another, retaining the context of the page, so you can perform the same task across multiple courses, saving you time and frustration. Watch Video

Quick Setup Guide

Quick Setup Guide

There is also a Quick Setup Guide that will help you with customizing your course. This will automatically pop up the first time you log into your course to make it easy to setup the course just the way you want it.

Grade Center

Auto Regrading

Auto Regrading

The most requested new feature in SP8 will save you time and make it easier to correct problem questions in assessments. With Automated Regrading, instructors can drop, give full credit, change point value, or change which answer is marked correct and the system will re-grade submitted assessments gracefully and provide notification about what has changed. Watch Video

Negative Points

Minus 5 Points

Also new in SP8 is the ability to assign negative points for wrong answers.

Activity & Performance Reporting

User Activity Report

SP8 introduces reporting on performance as well as on activity in the system. See how often a particular student accesses your courses, or view the overal activity for your courses. These new reports help teachers see what students are accessing and how long they spend in the course!


Resolved Issues

Not only are there a bunch of new features in SP8 there are also over 200 problems that have been fixed! Making it the best Blackboard yet! Below are some highlights:

  • Grade Center columns with no specified category now properly display Needs Grading information.
  • Errors in Mobile Notificaitons no longer cause the entire Mobile task to fail.
  • Multiple File Uploads now works in all browsers.
  • The calendar, date picker, and calendar module now display properly in IE7 or IE8/9 in compatibility mode.
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