Blackboard Basic release notes

2019 July 2nd

This change does not require a plugin update.

New science QuickMarks and rubrics now in TFS (except for UK)

Put on your chemistry goggles and fire up the Bunsen burners. The Feedback Studio and Teaching and Learning Innovations Teams (TLI) just released three sets of science-related rubrics and accompanying QuickMarks (QMs)! Aligned to the concepts of the NGSS and broken out for younger and older students, these resources will make it easier for teachers to score and provide meaningful feedback on both shorter and longer pieces of writing in science and STEM classes. Please note that these Marie-Curie-approved rubrics and QMs are not available in the UK yet, but they will be soon.

  • Rubric & QM: 6th-8th Grade Science Argument (CER)
  • Rubric & QM: 9th-12th Grade Science Argument (CER)
  • Rubric & QM: Science Short Answer

New ELA short answer QuickMarks and rubric now in TFS (except for UK)

Additionally, the TFS and TLI teams also released an English Language Arts (ELA) rubric and QM set that are both perfect for instructors to use when asking their students to directly, but briefly, defend a claim or explain a topic in an English class or other humanities course. This rubric and QM set is also coming to the UK in the near future.

  • Rubric & QM: ELA Short Answer

 

2019 May 24th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Students now alerted when content loads on screen in text-only Turnitin Feedback Studio

Previously, in the text-only view of Turnitin Feedback Studio, students weren't getting visual or auditory indications that new content had been selected or loaded on their screen. Now, when students tab through sections of text, select radio buttons, or choose the "Show previous/next 20 highest matches" link, the selection is outlined or highlighted, and the text itself is read aloud (if the student is utilizing the screen reader).

2019 May 16th

This change does not require a plugin update.

International Baccalaureate QuickMarks now available

Two sets of International Baccalaureate (IB) QuickMarks were just released in Feedback Studio to help teachers provide specific, actionable feedback aligned to the IB MYP5 Lit and Lang and the IB Extended Essay assessment criteria. Also, for the first time, localized British English versions of these QuickMarks will available in Feedback Studio in the UK.

IB QuickMarks

2019 April 16th

Accessibility improvements

This change does not require a plugin update.

We have made some improvements to the labeling of some aspects of our Text-Only report so that they can now be understood by screen readers. The three different modes available in the mode combo box can now all be properly identified as well as the list of preferences that can be edited within the ‘show matches one at a time’ mode. Unsure how to access our Text-Only report? Read our guide to learn how.

2019 April 10th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Localized links in welcome emails

The welcome email that all new Turnitin users receive now contains localized help links. The language of the welcome email sent out to administrators and instructors is dictated by the notification language selected upon opening the account.

Rubric criteria rounding issue

We’ve resolved a bug with rubric criteria rounding. Certain scenarios would cause the total percentage of the rubric criteria to appear as 99.999’% rather than 100%. This issue has been resolved.

2019 March 26th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Text-only view will now show your similarity matches correctly

For some papers, opening them in the 'text-only' view caused two different unintended problems when trying to view more details about a match.

  • When opening a paper with a match from within your institution, the paper view request form showed, rather than the original source text.
  • When opening a paper with a match from an external institution, the paper view request form would show as intended, but the process could not complete.

We have fixed the underlying problem that was causing these two issues, and similarity matches will now display correctly. No further action is required to update any assignments in which you may have noticed this behavior.

2019 March 7th

This change does not require a plugin update.

PDFs containing no text are now viewable in Feedback Studio

To generate a similarity report, we first need to extract text from a document. With PDFs, we used to only show documents that have extractable text, even when ‘Accept Any File Type’ was selected for the assignment.

Now when viewing a PDF with no text, we will show a viewable version of the PDF that you can use with QuickMarks and our other commenting tools.

2019 February 22nd

This change does not require a plugin update.

Improved Czech translations? Check!

One of the users using our Czech noticed a few areas where our translations could be improved. We’ve had these pages checked thoroughly and new translations have been added.

Have you noticed a problem in your own language? Get in touch with our support team at tiisupport@turnitin.com and let us know.

M14:11 errors should now be less frequent

In a number of cases, Feedback Studio would fail to correctly process a submission causing it to not show when trying to open the document viewer. This lead to the M14:11 error that some users were experiencing.

The M14:11 error denotes a problem with the processing of a submission when it is displayed. Investigation into this issue has been a top priority for our engineers for a number of weeks and we are happy to report that the underlying issues behind this error have now been resolved.

It is possible that it could still show when there is a genuine problem with a submission. However, for the vast majority of users the document viewer should operate as intended.

2019 February 12th

New password requirements for all users

We believe firmly in ensuring that our user's accounts are protected and secure. To this end, we have improved the options available to users when they create their passwords and extended the minimum character length to 8 characters.

All passwords created when initially setting up your account, or resetting your password, must be:

  • A minimum of 8 characters
  • No maximum length
  • Must not be a commonly used or simple password (I.e. 'Password' should not be your password!)
  • Use any mix of characters!

    We accept lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and any special characters you can think of. Research has shown that setting arbitrary requirements decreases password security. Feel free to make your password as complex as you would like.


Japanese language submissions will only be flagged with the suspicious paper tooltip when it is relevant

When a paper was submitted entirely in Japanese, we would sometimes show the ‘The service has flagged this paper as having characteristics common to papers submitted in an attempt to artificially lower the similarity index for the Originality Report.’ tooltip on the instructor dashboard when it was not relevant to the paper in question.

We will now only show this tooltip when a paper meets our criteria for a suspicious paper.

2019 January 29th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Google SSO is now available for our beta users

We made our sign-up form available for account administrators to help us set up their institutions to use Google single sing-on as an authentication method to connect to Turnitin. You'll have received an email from us once your account is ready.

Once you are activated, you'll now be able to use the 'Sign in with Google' button found on the Turnitin login page. Looking for a quick guide to get you started? Check out our Administrator, Instructor, and Student guides.

Haven't had a chance to sign up yet? Read our guide to learn how.

2019 January 24th

>2.7.6

You can now use a plus sign in your email

When using a plus symbol in your email address, such as when using an email alias, our system interpreted this as a 'space' and would result in an error when you tried to access Blackboard Basic. You'll always be our plus one

You can now give a grade of 0 and view it on the view by group page.

When viewing submissions via the View Turnitin assignments by group page, a grade of 0 would show as '--'. However, this should only be displayed when there is an 'empty grade' or a grade has not yet been supplied. This column will now show 0 when a grade of 0 has been given.

Fixed a formatting bug experienced on the Create Assignment page

A formatting issue had prevented some users from viewing the full Create Assignment page. We've fixed this bug, and you should now be able to view the page without a problem.

Support for Blackboard Version Q4 2018

2019 January 23rd

Sign your institution up to use Google SSO from within Turnitin - Administrator Only

This change does not require a plugin update.

We’re excited to share this new feature with you soon, but for your institution to take advantage of Google SSO, we need a little extra information from you. We’ve made the link easier to find by putting it on the settings page for your account. Just look for the 'Register for Google SSO' heading.

If you've already sent us your details, no further action is required. We'll be in touch soon!

2019 January 15th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Change the visibility of QuickMark sets

Turnitin comes packed with many QuickMark sets that help to make your life easier. However, we know that not every set will be relevant to every Instructor. You can now change the visibility of QuickMark sets with just a few clicks! Check out our guide to learn how.

2018 December 19th

You can now upload files inside a Google Drive folder

When using Google Drive upload and switching to the 'folder view', a bug had prevented files within these folders from appearing. We've replaced the 'folder view' with 'My Drive'. This new view will allow you to look through all of the files on your Google Drive, and even search for a specific file.



2018 November 28th

Translated help links now go to the right place

We made a few changes to our main website this year, which had the unintended side-effect of breaking some of the links within Turnitin Feedback Studio. One you may have noticed was the '(?) Help' link, for any of our translated versions of the site, would land you on our homepage. We've updated these links to take you to the relevant guidance for each language.



2018 October 30th

New instructors can now see the EULA in the language of their country

We identified an issue that displayed the English EULA to new instructors of non-English speaking countries. Now, all new users will see the EULA in the correct language!

Administrators can now change the email address of an unenrolled instructor

Administrators would be greeted with an error message when attempting to change the email address of an unenrolled instructor. An unenrolled instructor is an instructor who hasn't yet completed their user profile or logged into Turnitin. We’ve fixed this issue!



2018 October 17th

Instructors can no longer join a Turnitin account using a join key

At Turnitin, fair and secure usage of our platform is important to us. We’ve recently investigated the issue of unauthorized access to Turnitin through public sharing of join keys on external websites. Whilst this illegitimate access could not compromise the data of any of our users, it’s only fair that those using our service are doing so legitimately. To prevent uninvited folk from accessing our platform in the future, moving forward, administrators will have two options for adding instructors to Turnitin: uploading a list of instructors or adding instructors one by one. Any join keys currently in public circulation should be removed.

This change will impact instructors access only. Student join keys can still be used to access Turnitin; however, we ask that your institution removes any student join keys from public circulation.



2018 October 4th

 Integration deactivation modal no longer grayed out

We've fixed a cosmetic issue affecting administrators during integration deactivation. Previously, when administrators selected the 'Deactivate' button on the settings of a configured integration, depending on the size of the browser, the confirmation modal could be caught in a grayed out area. This has now been resolved.



2018 September 14th

Administrator tabs now display correctly

Previously, when an administrator switched over to the Instructors tab and then moved back to the Accounts tab from the Administrator Homepage, the colors of the tabs would not change. It could be confusing to users unfamiliar with Turnitin as to which tab was currently selected. This problem was purely cosmetic, but we’ve made sure that the right tab will be highlighted when in different sections of Feedback Studio.

Instructors can now enroll students with capitals in their email address

In our release on June 5th, we added the ability for uppercase letters to be used when an administrator adds Instructors to an account. We thought this was such a capital idea that we’ve extended the functionality to Instructors adding students to an account too!



2018 June 27th

 Voice comments now save to the correct papers in Google Chrome

Oops! Our Support team picked up reports that a bug was at large in Feedback Studio, causing voice comments to save to the wrong papers in HTML5/Google Chrome, which caused confusion for both instructors and students. Having sprayed the intertubes with a strong mite repellent, all is back to normal.

 Disabling online grading no longer disables ETS e-rater®

We identified a bug impacting the use of ETS e-rater® if an administrator disabled online grading in their Turnitin account settings. Now, should an administrator opt to disable online grading from the account features, they needn't worry about any other features being disabled, too. ETS e-rater® will remain active!



2018 June 19th

 Issues with Chinese and Japanese characters are now resolved

We received a report advising that, when using a rich text editor for Chinese and Japanese, the first letter of a text comment was not handled correctly; this caused some characters to duplicate and others to display in the Latin alphabet. We've fixed this issue!

 Instructors can now upload QuickMark sets without error

We found that QuickMark sets failed to upload if the set description contained " " which should be an accepted description. Whilst finding a fix for this issue, we advised users to enter the word null rather than use quotation marks. Thankfully, all QuickMark sets will now upload successfully regardless of their description.



2018 June 14th

 Increased support for quote exclusions in Feedback Studio!

You asked and we listened! Should you opt to exclude quotations from the Similarity Report, Turnitin (and iThenticate, too!) will now exclude all content between an updated set of quotation marks. This new support aims to provide a more reliable similarity score for our international users - specifically those submitting content in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Supported marks

Turnitin will exclude any matches that use the following quotation marks when you opt to exclude quotes from the Similarity Report:

" ... " « ... » » ... « „ … “ 《...》 〈...〉 『... 』

 

Unsupported marks

' ... '

Turnitin will not exclude matches using single quotation marks when you opt to exclude quotes from the Similarity Report:' ... '

 



2018 June 5th

 Uppercase letters are now accepted in user email addresses

If an administrator attempted to add an instructor to their account with an email address containing uppercase letters, they encountered an error message; this prevented them from successfully adding some instructors. We've resolved this issue by removing the letter case restriction in email addresses.



2018 May 29th

 No more references to 'pushing' PeerMark assignments to class sections

While Turnitin does not allow PeerMark assignments to be pushed to class sections, there were areas within the user interface that provided the option to do so; however, this quickly returned an error when attempted. To prevent any further confusion, we've made a big effort to remove all references to pushing PeerMark assignments to class sections.

 Oops! We've corrected anonymous marking tooltip information

When enabling anonymous marking in the "Create Assignment" page, we advised users that they would be applying a mask to a student's personal information until the due date. However, this was incorrect, as the mask is actually removed on the post date (the date that feedback is released to students). We've correct this information, located behind the anonymous marking tooltip icon .

 Administrators can now successfully share QuickMark sets to their account

We received a report that administrators were unable to share a QuickMark set to their account via the Share this set to account checkbox within the QuickMark library, with the checkbox failing to function as expected. This issue has now been resolved!



2018 May 5th

 Change the resolution of papers in Feedback Studio

Some of our users reported slow document load times since we upgraded the resolution of papers in Feedback Studio. To combat this, Feedback Studio now offers a "lite" image resolution option for quicker load times. At the bottom of the document viewer, you'll now find a High Resolution toggle which can be switched On and Off at your own convenience. We'll save this preference for any future visits you make to Feedback Studio, too. Say goodbye to delays in accessing submissions!


2019 February 6th

2.7.6

Our iOS app will now work correctly when synching to the Blackboard Grade Centre

For a small number of users, the scores set while using the iOS app would not carry through to the Blackboard Grade Centre when applied. We've worked out what they were unable to talk to each other properly, and you should now be able to use both in concert with one another, as intended!

This change does not require a plugin update.

2019 January 24th

2.7.6

You can now use a plus sign in your email

When using a plus symbol in your email address, such as when using an email alias, our system interpreted this as a 'space' and would result in an error when you tried to access Blackboard Basic. You'll always be our plus one

You can now give a grade of 0 and view it on the view by group page.

When viewing submissions via the View Turnitin assignments by group page, a grade of 0 would show as '--'. However, this should only be displayed when there is an 'empty grade' or a grade has not yet been supplied. This column will now show 0 when a grade of 0 has been given.

Fixed a formatting bug experienced on the Create Assignment page

A formatting issue had prevented some users from viewing the full Create Assignment page. We've fixed this bug, and you should now be able to view the page without a problem.

Support for Blackboard Version Q4 2018

2019 January 15th

2.7.5

Change the visibility of QuickMark sets

Turnitin comes packed with many QuickMark sets that help to make your life easier. However, we know that not every set will be relevant to every Instructor. You can now change the visibility of QuickMark sets with just a few clicks! Check out our guide to learn how.

This change does not require a plugin update.

2018 September 14th

2.7.5

We're improving your security

As part of continuing security improvements, we reconsidered how session IDs work with Blackboard Basic. Now, rather than have the session ID in the URL of your browser, we'll create a session-based cookie unique to you. To ensure a smooth and secure user experience in Blackboard Basic, you should always allow third-party cookies when using Blackboard Basic.

This change does not require a plugin update.

UK instructors can now use grading templates again

A bug had prevented our UK Blackboard Basic instructors from successfully using grading templates to give feedback. If you were affected, you'll now be able to use grading templates as intended. Not sure what a grading template is? It’s the perfect time to learn! Check out our full guide.

2018 June 19th

2.7.5

 No more confusion over the ability to move papers!

As Blackboard Basic adopts a similar user interface to our core service in turnitinuk.com and turnitin.com, it receives some of the same feature updates (but not all!). We received some reports that Blackboard Basic was incorrectly displaying a "Move To..." button after selecting a paper; however, the ability to move papers between assignments is not an active feature in Blackboard Basic and should not have been visible in the Basic integration. To clear up the confusion, we've removed this button. This change does not require a plugin update!

2018 May 22nd

2.7.4

 Hotfix! Instructors can now access all

Following our latest release, we found that each submission to a Blackboard Basic assignment was assigned the same paper ID on the "Modify Grade" page. This resulted in instructors only having access to one paper in Feedback Studio for multiple students. While this issue had absolutely no impact on students or their grades, it was important we rectified this to allow instructors to view and mark student work. Paper IDs are now assigned correctly!

2018 May 16th

2.7.4

 Grades automatically update after being applied in Feedback Studio

We've made a welcome change to the grading process! For reassurance that a grade has saved successfully, when an instructor applies a grade in Feedback Studio, then closes the window, this now updates automatically in the Grade Center's Modify Grade page. This change simply saves you from having to refresh the page to see the grade in the "Grade" box.

 Feedback files with special characters can be removed successfully

We received reports that, although instructors could upload and access their feedback files successfully, they could not be removed as easily if special characters were included in the filename. The offending special characters included the following:

- ! £ $ % ^ & ( ) _ + @ ~ ' #

We've made a few tweaks to allow special characters in feedback filenames. Feedback files can now be removed at your convenience, regardless of their filename!

 When viewing assignments by group, the assignment table is now easier to read

Users adopting Blackboard's new Ultra theme had some trouble viewing assignments by module group. They found that text cells within their table of assignments failed to wrap onto multiple lines (for example, the title column!); this resulted in users being unable to scroll horizontally to view all data in the table. We've made a change so that all table columns now wrap regardless of theme.

Wrap text is used to describe text that moves onto the next line automatically without having to press the enter or return key. We use text wrapping in tables to contain text within a set area, preventing text from being cut off or difficult to read.

 We've removed Blackboard's unsupported permissions

We've removed and modified some permissions that had been marked as unsupported in newer versions of Blackboard Learn. These permissions were still being requested as part of the Blackboard Basic plugin, and displaying a warning message to users.

Permissions are required to correctly install, display, retrieve and persist data, as well as properly operate within Blackboard. Therefore, we need to keep these permissions up to date to ensure you can use the Blackboard Basic integration as smoothly as possible.

 Anonymous marking is now working as expected

We received several reports that when the 'sync grades' button was selected, this pushed grades to the grade centre immediately, regardless of the fact that anonymous marking was enabled. This was a result of a change in the backend. We've now corrected this issue to ensure that we do not sync anonymized submissions to the grade centre. You must update your version of Blackboard Basic for this fix to take effect!

 Assignment due dates are now correctly set in the Grade Centre

When an instructor creates an assignment in Blackboard Basic, an associated column is created in the Grade Centre showing the assignment title. By editing the column information for the assignment, you can opt to set a due date so that it appears in the calendar (among other areas within Blackboard). However, this date wasn't automatically pulling from the Turnitin assignment, allowing manual entry only. Now, it does!

On March 9th 2018, Blackboard provided an update around displaying Turnitin due dates in the Blackboard app. While Turnitin has completed development for this feature, we're waiting for Blackboard to do the same. Once Blackboard's enhancements are complete, Blackboard will pick up calendar items that have due dates for Turnitin. Until then, please sit tight!

 We'll remove Grade column(s) if a user deletes Basic assignments prior to recycling them

If an instructor copied a course containing Blackboard Basic assignments, then deleted these assignments without recycling them (by clicking the View link), the Grade column(s) remained unnecessarily. We've managed to fix this small peculiarity; now, any Grade column(s) will disappear if this happens in future.

2018 January 16th

2.7.3

 Download class usage statistics

Real-time data is now available as a downloadable .csv file, providing instructors with useful tools to make data-driven decisions within their faculty. Class statistics empower faculties to see class-level trends in submissions and feedback, as well as viewing trends in papers with high similarity scores; this helps to provide targeted instruction to students. Read more.

When on your class homepage you'll find a Statistics tab at the top of the page. Select this tab to start the download.

Best of all, you don't have to update Blackboard basic for the change to take effect!