On June 8, myLesley will upgrade to the latest version of Blackboard (Q2 2018). This update will mainly address behind-the-scenes fixes but there are a few new features that will be available with this update.


Topics in this article include:

Customize Your Course Menu Colors

Grade Center Full Screen Mode

Attendance Tool

Coming Attractions



Customize Your Course Menu Colors

With our January 2018 upgrade, we lost the ability for faculty to select a custom color palette for each course. This function has now been restored! Please note that if you went into your course last term and tried to change your course menu color, those colors will have been saved and will now be present in your course.


To customize your course menu colors, go to your course Control Panel, select Customization, and select Teaching Style.

Screenshot of course control panel



Here, you may select your course entry point, select your course banner, and more. To change your course menu color/style, scroll down to Select Menu Style.


Here, you can choose the course menu text and background colors. The Buttons option is not currently functional. As you make choices in the Select Menu Style section, the Preview sample menu shows what the settings will look like once submitted.

screenshot of menu style options


When choosing menu colors, select colors for the background and text that display a high level of contrast to ensure readability and accessibility.


For more information and detailed instructions see Course Style Options



Grade Center Full Screen Mode

Instructors now have the ability to view the Grade Center in Full Screen mode. Full Screen mode collapses the side navigation and the top banner, allowing you to see more of the Grade Center on your screen.

screenshot of full screen mode button



Attendance Tool

Blackboard has rolled out a new Attendance tool, allowing instructors to easily track attendance. Once the Attendance tool is launched, it will create an Attendance column in the Grade Center, which will provide an overall attendance score. For more information see Attendance or view the tutorial video below:




Coming Attractions (New Features Coming Summer 2018)

Throughout the summer Blackboard will be rolling out new features. Stay tuned for more information as these features become available.

  • Audio/Video Feedback: Instructors will be able to create personalized feedback recordings for assessments (ex Assignments, tests)  as well as manual Grade Center items. For more information see Add Feedback Recording.
  • Cloud Storage Integration: Blackboard will be implementing new cloud storage integration, including OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Instructors will have the ability to copy files from their cloud storage into Content Items or Assignments and students will  have the ability to submit assignments from their cloud storage. For more information see Add Files from Cloud Storage (Instructor).
  • Blackboard Instructor App: Following the summer update to the Blackboard Instructor app, instructors will be able to view and grade submissions from a mobile device, including the ability to use rubrics and add comments. 
  • Ally: Ally is a tool within myLesley, which creates alternative files that are easier to for all students to use. Ally creates multiple alternative formats including readable text for screen readers, pictures with captions, and easy-to-navigate content. You can download these alternative formats anywhere that files are used. Ally is being piloted in select courses this summer and will be rolled out in all courses this fall. For more information see Ally for Instructors.