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2019

If you haven’t heard, the New Box View replacement for Inline Assignment Grading has a new name- Re:Mark.  The roll-out for Re:Mark will begin in mid-March 2020 with a Technical Preview program.  We are currently finalizing the specific dates for the Technical Preview program.  Formal details for the roll-out to test, stage and production environments will be determined after the Technical Preview dates have been released.  The current target is to start releasing in late May to Production environments with all clients being on Re:Mark by the end of August.  Once the plans are ready to share, I will be providing more information in an upcoming Community post. 

 

In the meantime, it is important to share information regarding planning for Cumulative Updates (CU) with Self-Hosted and Managed Hosting clients.  Our initial roll-out will not require a specific CU, however, there are two changes that will impact CU planning. 

  1.  Once we fully move away from Box, a portion of the back-end services will be changing as well. For existing and new annotations to continue to work, clients should have at minimum Q2 2019 CU3 (BtBb Article #51020), Q4 2018 CU7 (BtBb Article #51021), or Q2 2018 CU13 (BtBb Article #51022) installed by the end of August 2020.  All three Cumulative Updates are available today.

    There is no action required by SaaS clients as the changes aligned with the 3700.9 release in September for Continuous Delivery and Flexible Deployment clients have a new CU, Q2 2019 CU4, installed already.

  2. With the initial release of Re:Mark, Audio and Video files will be downloadable. To have those automatically display, like they do with New Box View today, clients will want to take at minimum Q2 2019 CU5 (BtBb Article #51528), Q4 2018 CU9 (BtBb Article #51529), or Q2 2018 CU14 (BtBb Article #51530).  All three Cumulative Updates were released on November 14th.

 

There is no action required by SaaS clients as the changes will be included in the 3700.16 Continuous Delivery release and Flexible Deployment clients are schedule to receive Q2 2019 CU5 to test/stage environments on November 20th and Production on December 4th.

 

    

For Self-Hosted and Managed Hosting clients, if you were already planning to install Q2 2019 CU5, Q4 2018 CU9, or Q2 2018 CU14 for the Rustic SCORM patch for Google Chrome version 80, these newer CU’s will cover the back-end service changes.

We are pleased to announce that we will be launching a new Alexa Skill for Blackboard Learn later this month. This integration will be the first Alexa Skill officially released by Blackboard. 
 
What is the Blackboard Alexa Skill? 
The Blackboard Alexa Skill allows Blackboard Learn users to request and receive information about their assignments and courses stored in the Blackboard Learn application via an Alexa device such as an Amazon Echo. After identifying their institution and linking their Blackboard account to their Alexa account, students can use any US-enabled Alexa supported device to find out about what is going on in their classes. 
  
What is supported in this first release? 
Just ask Alexa to learn about your upcoming assignments. For example, you can say:  
- Alexa, what do I have due tomorrow?  
- Alexa, what do I have due on <day of the week>? 
- Alexa, what do I have coming up in <course name>?  
 
What are the Blackboard requirements? 
- Blackboard Learn version 3400.9.0 or newer 
- Blackboard Mobile App must be enabled 
- US institutions only 
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Blackboard Alexa Skill REST API integration will be made available on all US-based Blackboard Learn production environments within the next 24 hours. Once the Blackboard Alexa Skill is officially launched (later this month) and your institution has enabled the Blackboard Mobile App, students will be able to utilize the skill by linking their Blackboard and Alexa accounts.  
To disable the Blackboard Alexa Skill REST API integration from Blackboard Learn, please refer to the opt-out instructions here. Students will not be able to utilize the Blackboard Alexa Skill once the REST API integration is made unavailable in Blackboard Learn.   
 
Where can I access Additional Amazon Alexa Resources?  
Please go to https://amazon.com/alexa-education  
 
Where can I find detailed information on the Data Privacy Safeguards for the Blackboard Alexa Skill?  
- Access the Blackboard data privacy information here 
- Access the Alexa Privacy Hub at https://amazon.com/alexaprivacy  
 
Where can I find more information about the Blackboard Alexa Skill? 
- Access the Blackboard Alexa Skill FAQs here 
- Access the Blackboard Alexa Skill User Guide here  
 
 
Stay tuned for the official launch announcement of the Blackboard Alexa Skill, coming later this month. If you have any questions, please contact Blackboard Partner Support at BbPartnerSupport@blackboard.com.