Blackboard Direct V2.5 Release Notes

2019 January 15th

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.

2019 January 11th


You can continue to upload a file after encountering an error

Our upload process is simple to follow. However, sometimes a field can be missed or a student might forget to accept our user license agreement. Previously, if an error like this occurred, we'd let you know, but the upload process couldn't continue until you reloaded the page. Now, you can make any changes you need to and then go right ahead with the rest of the submission process.

Remove users from Blackboard without losing access to your Turnitin assignment

A bug had prevented some users from accessing their Turnitin assignments after removing a user from Blackboard. You'll now be able to remove users while still retaining access for yourself and other users.

Reveal grades to students without revealing Feedback

When you set an assignment to Reveal Grades Immediately, it was possible for students to view your feedback before the post-date for an assignment had passed. We'll now only update the grade column with any grade you give the student. Students can access your feedback once the post-date for the assignment has passed.

We now support Blackboard Q4 2018


2018 December 18th


This change does not require a plug-in update.

PeerMark Improvements

We wanted to kick the season of giving off in style, and what better way is there to do so than with some PeerMark improvements! After talking to users this year, we've tailored the improvements we've made to the things that will most improve the lives of our instructors and their students.

A prettier interface - We've changed how buttons and a few other elements look. This change should make it clearer to students where they need to click to start their reviews.

A new message when the start date hasn't passed - When a student tries to access a PeerMark assignment when the start date hasn't passed yet, we'll now show them a message telling them when they can come back to get started.

We've made accessing completed reviews much easier - A Received Feedback button can now be found on the PeerMark Reviews screen. This button allows students to immediately open any reviews they've received by their classmates.

Would you like to learn more? Students | Instructors

2018 August 02nd


 Users can accept our EULA when third-party cookies are disabled

When your cookie preferences were set to Allow from current website only, users found that they couldn't dismiss our EULA acceptance window. We've reworked the mechanics of how this window is displayed so that all users can use it as intended.

 You can now modify learners as well as instructors via Blackboard Course Tools

Feature improvement! Previously, you could access modify instructors from the ‘Modify Assignment’ page, but we’ve found this feature a new home and added the ability to modify learners enrollment, too!
You can now modify fellow instructors via Course Tools from the side navigation of your course page. Look out for the Turnitin Direct - Modify Enrollment link. Here, you can enroll or unenroll any students who are currently attached to the course.
We’ve introduced this new capability to help you manage your student usage limits. Any papers submitted by students that you unenroll will enter into a read-only state.

 The course relink option has been retired

We removed the access link to the Course Relink Tool in a prior release, but support still remained for the feature. With this release, the feature has now been retired.

 Continued support for previous versions of Oracle DB

In our 20180521.1.0 release, we fixed an issue where using our plugin with some versions of Oracle database would result in administrators seeing an error message when they tried to access the plugin configuration screen. We’ve revisited this issue and added further support for older versions of Oracle database.

 The assignment inbox will now load faster

We’ve streamlined some of our background code, and as a result, you should find that the assignment inbox now loads faster. This will be particularly noticeable in courses with a large number of Learners.

 Removed the possibility of duplicate submissions

We've all done it before. You open a tab and get distracted, then open the same page again in another window. Unfortunately, if you became distracted during the upload process, this confused the system and we weren’t able to identify which upload you were trying to complete. We've added an error message to notify you if the upload process has already been initiated in another window.

This error message will only appear if you attempt to complete two uploads at the same time for the same assignment. If you’re a multitasker needing to upload multiple classes or different assignments at the same time, you shouldn't have any problems

2018 May 22nd

 Hotfix! Instructors can now access all

We've all done it before. You open a tab and get distracted, then open the same page again in another window. Unfortunately, if you became distracted during the upload process, this confused the system and we weren’t able to identify which upload you were trying to complete. We've added an error message to notify you if the upload process has already been initiated in another window.
Note: This error message will only appear if you attempt to complete two uploads at the same time for the same assignment. If you’re a multitasker needing to upload multiple classes or different assignments at the same time, you shouldn't have any problems.

2018 May 21st


 Instructors can now create, modify, and attach a rubric or grading form during assignment setup

We've made assignment setup even easier! As an instructor, you can now attach, create or modify a rubric during assignment setup! Select the rubric icon to launch the manager, and use the rubric drop-down menu to attach your chosen rubric or grading form.

 Students can view the rubric or grading form used to mark their work

As a student, it's helpful to see the marking criteria for your assignment in order to understand how your work will be assessed prior to submitting. You can use this rubric as a tool to structure and write your paper. If your instructor has attached a rubric or grading form to your assignment, a rubric icon will appear in the submission inbox. Select this icon to view the rubric or grading form at any time before or after making your submission.

 Blackboard Grade Center grades can now be viewed in the submissions inbox

Have you chosen to ignore Turnitin grades, but would still like to view Blackboard grades in the submissions inbox? Now, you can! Create an assignment with the Ignore Turnitin Grades setting enabled and we'll display the Blackboard grade in the submissions inbox.

 Instructor repository settings are more transparent

We've made the Blackboard Direct v2.5 repository settings much clearer, by providing easy-to-understand, transparent language behind the Paper Repository help icon. During assignment setup, administrators and instructors can now be completely sure that they're selecting the correct storage options for student papers.

 Oracle DB administrators can now successfully configure the Blackboard Direct v2.5 plugin

We received reports that Oracle DPBadministrators were experiencing difficulty accessing the plugin configuration page in Blackboard, and were receiving the error message: 'Null or empty language code provided'. We've fixed this, and access to the configuration page is now possible.

 Students previously enrolled as instructors can now submit

We ran into an issue where a student was unable to submit if they had previously been enrolled in the same course in an instructor role. Our system failed to identify the student as being enrolled in the class with the 'Learner' role, and displayed the error message: 'Failed to submit paper'. We're pleased to advise that we've resolved this issue.

 Instructors can now accept the EULA when submitting on behalf of a student

We had some difficulty recognizing the fact that an instructor had accepted the EULA (end user license agreement) when submitting on behalf of a student; this was a result of Turnitin using the ID of the student, rather than the ID of the instructor. This problem caused the EULA to display in an infinite loop and prevented the instructor from submitting. Instructors can now accept the EULA without issue on their next visit to Blackboard Direct v2.5.

 No more duplicate submit icons!

Under certain circumstances, a duplicate submit icon appeared in the submissions inbox, which caused some confusion for our users. We've resolved this odd bug, and from here on out, users will only see one submit icon in their submissions inbox.

 We've fixed the 'Reveal grades immediately' setting

While the assignment setting ‘Reveal grades immediately’ should ensure that a student can see their grade (and overall grade) as soon as it becomes available, students found that they were unable to do so, being forced to wait until the post date had passed. We've made some updates to ensure that students can access their grade as soon as it's set by their instructor, providing that the 'Reveal grades immediately' setting is enabled.

 All instructors can now be unenrolled, regardless of their entry type

We noticed that the Modify Instructors page encountered an error if an instructor didn't have a local entry in Blackboard. Instructors who've been deleted from the Blackboard side don't possess a local entry, as well as those who've been enrolled in Turnitin directly. This issue caused the unlink feature - which unenrolls instructors from a class - to fail. We've managed to safely resolve this!

2018 March 08th


 The Blackboard Ultra theme now displays in Blackboard as expected

Are you using an instance of Blackboard that adopts the Blackboard Ultra theme? You may have noticed some cosmetic issues, particularly odd font and icon sizes, as well as skewed positions of text and boxes. We've made some changes to our CSS to fix all of these little snags. All should appear as you'd expect it to now.

CSS is used to format the layout of a webpage and stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS allows Turnitin engineers to create a uniform look across several pages or instances of the Turnitin product.

 Disabled fields now not only look disabled... they are disabled!

During assignment creation and editing, some of the setting drop-down menus looked disabled but remained active. We've made a fix to disable form elements so that they can now no longer be changed in instances where they're not meant to be changed. This should ease up any confusion.

2018 February 17th


 Previously, if you were using grading schemas, we'd show you a converted value in the Turnitin Inbox. Now, in the Turnitin inbox, you will only ever see the raw numeric value given for the submission. This value will still be passed to the Blackboard grade center where you can continue to use grading schemas.

2018 January 12th


 Instant Similarity Reports for up to three resubmissions

Feedback Studio allows students to view their Similarity Report results immediately! Students can now view their initial Similarity Report, then revise and resubmit their work up to three times, without having to wait 24 hours for an updated report. After three resubmissions have been made, the 24-hour report generation wait time will be restored. Instantaneous similarity results give students the formative support they need to master paraphrasing and citation conventions efficiently.

To enable resubmissions for students, you must correctly configure the assignment settings of a new or existing Blackboard V2.5 assignment.

  1. Scroll to Assignment.
  2. Under Report generation speed, select Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date): After 3 resubmissions, reports generate after 24 hours.

 K-12 QuickMark sets in Feedback Studio

QuickMarks are Turnitin's most popular feedback tool among Feedback Studio instructors! But in finding that many of our default QuickMark sets failed to address the needs of our K-12 instructors and students, we've added two new sets to the Feedback Studio collection. Our new drag-and-drop (and customizable!) comments will help instructors help their students to engage in revision, save time, and more importantly, achieve learning outcomes.

To view and edit your new QuickMarks, launch the QuickMark manager from the Blackboard Direct V2.5 submissions inbox, or alternatively, from within Feedback Studio.

Overall grades now appear correctly when using the schema scoring

When an assignment was configured to use the grading schema, 'Score', a submission's overall grade in the submissions inbox appeared to multiply by 1000. For example, a grade of 44 displayed as 44000. Sadly, our instructors weren't being overly generous this time, but rather a pesky bug! Having squished this critter, scores now appear as expected.