What's New for Faculty

April 2024

Student Assignment Center

In the New Assignment Center, students can now select Missing assignments to review a list of their missing assignments with due dates and class information. Missing assignments only displays for students with assignments missing for the current term.

Student assignment text editor

In the new assignment experience, students now have additional options when entering text, including resizing the Text box and the ability to copy and paste from Microsoft Word while retaining formatting.

Question banks for Assessments

Teachers can now bank their assessment questions to use again on future assessments. For more information, see Assessment Question Banks and check out this Question Banks feature video.

Performance summaries for assignments using letter grade scales

In gradebooks, performance summaries now display Grade stats for assignments using letter grade scales. Previously, Grade stats only displayed for assignments using numeric grades.

To access performance summaries, launch a gradebook, select the down arrow under an assignment, then select See performance summary.

Calendar view of class Assignments

On class pages, the calendar view on Assignments now loads for students, parents, and faculty.

March 2024

Rubric comment access

In the new assignment experience, rubric comments are now visible to parents and students when only Assignment grade comments are enabled in Gradebook access. This allows parents and students to view rubric comments regardless of Assignment grades access.

Student Assignment Center calendar displays assignment status color

When students view the New Assignment Center in grid view, the assignment tiles now display as blue, green, or red based on the assignment status.

  • Blue: In Progress, To Do, or Paused

  • Green: Completed or Graded

  • Red: Overdue or Missing

Class Attendance Preview

Towards the middle of April, we will be making an update to the Record attendance modal. The experience will remain the same with one key workflow change as Present will not be selected by default for all students. Instead, Faculty will now have the choice to either manually select Present or if they leave an attendance field blank for a student upon saving, the system will insert a Present attendance code automatically. An in-system notification will be displayed on the modal to act as a reminder of this change.

With this update, we’re introducing a couple of small enhancements as well. The names of students that appear in the modal will now follow Username format and teachers will be able to easily swap to a view of their seating chart to take attendance.

February 2024

Assessment results display regardless of exempt students

Teachers have the option to hide the results page for an assessment until all students submit at least one attempt. This setting now ignores students marked exempt for the assessment. Previously, exempt students prevented the results page from displaying as they never submitted an assessment attempt.

Bulk actions in gradebook

In gradebooks, bulk actions are now available for assignments assigned to only specific students in a class. Previously, bulk actions were only available via gradebook if an assignment was assigned to the entire class.

Past assignments excluded from Missing and overdue bucket in the New Student Assignment Center

For students viewing the New Assignment Center in list view, the Missing or overdue bucket now includes assignments for the current term only. Assignments from previous terms, including those marked Missing or Overdue, can be viewed by setting the Assignment view to Past assignments and reviewing the due date-based buckets.

January 2024

Award extra points on Assessment questions

When evaluating Assessments, teachers can now manually award more points on a question than it is worth.

Assignment resubmission icon

The Student is resubmitting icon now displays in the gradebook when a student is in the process of resubmitting an assignment that allows online submissions. The icon indicates that since the student's last submission, they have added a file, deleted a file, or updated the Text field on the assignment, but they have yet to submit those changes. The icon is removed when the student selects Resubmit assignment.

The Student is resubmitting icon also displays on the assignment evaluation page.

Tip: To view the icons that display in the gradebook, launch a gradebook and select More, then See key.

Incomplete and Missing assignment indicator preferences

Teachers can now set their assignment preferences to automatically remove Incomplete and Missing indicators when a grade is committed for a student.

  1. In Faculty, select My Day, then Assignment Center.

  2. Ensure you are in List view using the icon in the upper right.

  3. Select More, then Preferences.

  4. Select Evaluation.

  5. Enable Remove student's Incomplete status when a grade is entered and Remove student's Missing status when a grade is entered.

  6. Select Save.

These Evaluation settings are user specific. In a class with multiple teachers, some may have the options to remove indicators enabled while others do not. The preference of the teacher committing the grade is respected.

December 2023

Assignment creation enhancements

We've made the following enhancements to the assignment creation process:

  • When adding an assignment from the calendar views of the Assignment Center and the Assignments tab on class pages, selecting Save and add another now opens a new assignment creation modal.

  • In the calendar views of the Assignment Center and Assignments tab on class pages, selecting a past or future date on the calendar now opens an assignment creation modal with the Assigned and Due dates defaulting to the selected date instead of today’s date.

  • In the calendar view of the Assignments tab on class pages, selecting a date on the calendar now opens an assignment creation modal with sections of the current course selected by default under Publishing options.

New Assessment Builder available in calendars

Assessments created from the Calendar, as well as the calendar views of the Assignment Center and class Assignments pages, now utilize the new Assessment builder. Previously, creating an Assessment from these calendars launched the old builder.

New Student Assignment experience available

A new Student Assignment experience is available for schools to enable at a time of their choosing. Once your administrator turns on the new experience, students and parents will have access to both the new and previous Assignment Center views. The new experience includes the following updates:

  • Custom color coding for classes: Students can select a color to assign to each of their classes. The chosen colors are then used in both the list and calendar views of the new Assignment Center.

  • Enhanced settings and filters: Students have more filters to identify their actionable assignments and settings to manage the information displayed for their assignments.

  • Maximum points for assignments are visible to students.

  • Assignment and Class tasks: Students can create tasks for a specific class or tasks for a specific assignment, which is particularly helpful if they want to track milestones for long term or multi-part assignments. Previously, students could only create General tasks that are not linked to a class or assignment.

  • Default assignment due time: Previously, all assignments defaulted to an 11:59 PM due time. Now, your administrator can set a global default due time that better suits your school.

  • Enhanced Student Assignment Preview: Faculty can access an assignment preview that mirrors the student view of that assignment.

  • New Student Assignment Details page: Students utilize an updated Assignment Details page where they can view all information for an assignment and submit online assignment files. The new page replaces the previous Assignment Details when the new Student Assignment experience is enabled.

  • The new Student Assignment experience utilizes SKY UX for improved usability on mobile devices.

November 2023

Removing old assignment annotations

A little over a year ago, Blackbaud Learning Management System introduced a new tool for annotating files that students submit for assignments. With the implementation of that new tool, it meant that eventually the previous annotation tool would be removed. As of December 12th, 2023, annotations created with the previous tool will no longer be accessible. Any file with annotations added prior to July 5th, 2022, will no longer display those annotations. This update does not impact any grade information, the original files submitted by students, or annotations added after July 5th, 2022.

Updated Assignment and Discussion creation experiences from calendars

Teachers now open the latest assignment creation models when adding Assignments and Discussions from calendars. Previously, teachers saw an older version of the assignment creation modals when adding assignments from the Calendar in the Faculty persona, as well as the calendar view of the Assignment Center and the calendar view of the Assignments tab on class pages. Now the user experience is consistent when adding assignments from list views, calendar views, and gradebooks.

Additionally, teachers can now select an assignment tile in a calendar to edit that assignment. Selecting an assignment name in a calendar still opens the assignment evaluation page.

Delete graded assignments

Teachers can now delete an assignment even if grades and evaluations have been recorded. Previously, grades and evaluations had to be removed before deleting an assignment was possible. If an assignment is included in gradebook calculations, the results are recalculated upon deleting the assignment.

  1. From the Assignment Center or Assignments tab on a class page, select the context menu next to the assignment, then select Delete.

  2. Select the course section(s) you want to delete the assignment from.

  3. Select Yes, delete for the selected sections to proceed with the deletion.

You can also delete an assignment from the gradebook by selecting the down arrow in the assignment column, then selecting Delete.

October 2023

Student assessment results page displays Take again

If a student has any remaining attempts to complete an assessment, Take again displays on their assessment results page. We've removed the Show "Take again" button if multiple attempts enabled option in the Student results page settings in the new assessment builder. Previously, teachers had to enable this option so students could select Take again from their results page.

September 2023

Summer 2023 Developer Update

We've added a Developer Update video under Related links on the Faculty - My Day page. The video highlights improvements we made over the summer based on feedback from the Faculty user experience survey conducted earlier this year. It also features a preview of some enhancements we’re working on for the 23-24 school year, including an updated Grading tab interface, and a revamped Student Assignment Center experience.

Links in Assignments

When creating or editing assignments, you can now select the Insert/edit link button to add hyperlinks in the Title and Description.

August 2023

Pronouns on rosters

If your school publishes pronouns, they are now displayed on the Roster tab for classes, activities, advisories, and community groups. Pronouns will be added to the Roster tab on dorm groups and athletic teams in the future.

Keyboard gradebook grade entry

In the gradebook, you can now use your keyboard to enter letter grades and skills. Previously, letter grades and skills could not be selected from the dropdown popover using only a keyboard.

  1. In the gradebook, select a grade field to activate editing mode for that grade field. If using your keyboard, navigate to the grade field and press Enter on your keyboard to activate editing mode.

  2. Use the up and down arrows, letter, or number keys on your keyboard to choose a letter grade or skill rating.

    Tip: To display the dropdown with letter grade and skill rating choices, press Enter again.

  3. Once the desired letter grade or skill rating is selected, press Tab on your keyboard to move down to the next student row. If you’re editing the bottom row, press esc to exit editing mode.

    Tip: If the letter grade or skill dropdown is displayed, press Tab twice to exit editing mode and move down to the next student row.

Additional details:

  • Editing mode is indicated by a blue outline around the grade field.

  • You can exit editing mode by pressing esc on your keyboard. Press esc twice to exit editing mode if the grade or skill dropdown is visible.

  • When the grade/skill dropdown is visible, you can select the desired grade or skill rating, then press Enter to exit editing mode.

  • When you’re not in editing mode, use the arrow keys to navigate between grade fields.

  • Letters I (Incomplete), L (Late), M (Missing), X (Exempt), and C (Collected) are keyboard shortcuts for gradebook indicators. If you type these letters without pressing Enter to activate editing mode, you’ll update the gradebook indicators. To enter a letter grade using these letters, activate editing mode first by pressing Enter on your keyboard, then type the letter grade.

  • To open the full Evaluate assignment modal, press the spacebar on your keyboard.

July 2023

Assignment evaluation improvements

On the Assignment evaluation page, we've hidden some of the assignment details by default to allow more space for annotating documents. You can display the hidden information by selecting See details at the end of the assignment name.

June 2023

Allow students to resume assessments independently

Enabling Allow students to resume independently on an assessment now allows students to resume the assessment regardless of how their connection was interrupted. Prior to this change, students could only resume an assessment if they selected Close to exit.

Convert assessments to the new experience

Teachers can now convert assessments created with the old builder to the new experience by copying or importing the old assessments. Assessments created with the old builder can no longer be copied or imported without converting. For more information and steps, see Convert Assessments.

Text formatting in assessments

When creating assessments, teachers now have superscript, subscript, underline, and strikethrough options to format text in the introduction, questions, and answers.

Resize assignment text fields

Teachers can now resize text fields when adding or editing assignments. To expand a field, select and drag the bottom border to accommodate a long Description, Discussion prompt, or Title.

May 2023

Assignment abbreviations no longer required

An Abbreviation is no longer required when adding an assignment or graded discussion. Teachers can continue to add abbreviations if they wish, and they can choose to display abbreviations or full assignment names in their gradebook settings.

To update gradebook settings:

  1. Launch the gradebook

  2. Select More > Settings.

  3. In Display options, select Use assignment titles or Use abbreviations.

  4. Select Save.