New in Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 8

Blackboard v9.1 Updates

In August, 2012, UK's Blackboard learning management system will be updated to version 9.1, Service Pack 8. This update will include changes to the look and feel of the Blackboard system, as well as offer enhanced functionality for instructors.

UKIT's Learning Systems Support team will be offering in person and online demonstrations of Blackboard 9.1's new look and features for instructors throughout the summer. Visit our Training and Events calendar or contact our Scholars team for more information or to register for a demonstration. We hope to see you there!

New Interface

Specific focus on the user experience really shows with the new user interface in Service Pack 8. Although most functions are in the same location, Blackboard's default interface has a new, simplified look. Edit mode functions now appear intuitively when needed by the instructor.


Blackboard 9.1 SP8 streamlines course-to-course navigation! Now, users can jump from one course to another, with specific task-based navigation. The context of the page is retained, so users can perform the same task across multiple courses.

Quick Setup Guide

When instructors enter a course for the first time, a Quick Setup Guide screen appears to assist the instructor with the design and structure of a new course. Over 30 different course structures are offered, as well as the ability to change the theme, course name, and description right at the start. The guide will appear every time the instructor enters the course unless turned off and can also be accessed from the Control Panel under Customizations.


Two major changes in Blackboard 9.1 SP8 enhance instructors' options and increase flexibility for grading and assessment design.

Automatic Regrading now occurs when editing a question's point value, giving full credit for a question, designating a question as extra credit, or deleting a question after student submissions exist. Scores affected by any of the above changes are automatically recalculated for every student.

Negative Point values can now be awarded for incorrect answers in Blackboard assessments. Negative points can be assigned to multiple choice, matching, and multiple answer questions. When building an assessment, check "Specify negative points options for answers" in the Question Settings page. This allows negative partial credit percentages to be awarded.