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VITAL 2018 summer upgrade

The 2018 summer upgrade to VITAL will be taking place the week beginning 23rd July.  VITAL will be unavailable from 7:30 AM on the 23rd of July while essential system maintenance is performed. It will likely not be available again until at least the end of the day on the 24th of July but should be considered 'at risk' for the entire week. 'At risk' means that VITAL could go offline without notice for short periods while further maintenance is performed. As such we would ask staff not to schedule anything important in VITAL that week.


What’s in this year’s upgrade?

As well as a number of bug fixes and security improvements there are some small changes and new features to note.


Course availability status and update

Instructors can see the availability state of the course and change the state from the main course view.


All privileged users in a course see an open or closed padlock representing the availability state of the course to students.

This is in the course edit management areas with tools such as Student Preview and the Edit Mode toggle.



Discussion Board “Replies to Me”

There is now a filter in the discussion board to look at new replies from other users to just yourself.


Box view update (Blackboard assignment tool)

The drawing annotation is available alongside the comment annotation, allowing the marker to draw on the assignment.


Improved grading with rubrics

When grading with rubrics, the grader can now save feedback and the content will remain saved when changing the rubric's view from in-line to full screen.


Grade display standardisation

This change standardises areas of Blackboard Learn where users access grades. Now, all gradebook columns (online and downloads) and My Grades support up to five decimal points, aren't rounded, and are consistent for all display types (score, percentage, letter grade).


SCORM engine update

The integrated SCORM player has been updated to a newer version that improves playback of responsive content and better supports SCORM packages in right-to-left languages such as Arabic.


More responsive Blogs and Journals tools

Blogs and Journals have been better optimised for use on mobile devices. Posts and comments composed with responsive content will render on smaller devices. Options for filtering posts or navigating groups or users will appear below currently viewed posts.


How the upgrade is tested

There is a formal testing plan for every VITAL upgrade with which anyone can get involved. However, VITAL is a large and complex system and it is not possible to test everything. If there is a particular part of VITAL important for your teaching and which you would like to help test in the new version this summer then please contact CIE or CSD Servicedesk to discuss this further.