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Key Minerva Updates from 2022/23

New Features / Bug Fixes / Releases

Updates July 2022 - June 2023 

Since last summer, we’ve asked for your feedback so that we can work with Anthology, the company that owns and develops Minerva, to identify areas in which key updates can be made to assist both staff and students. We’re really pleased to say that a range of updates have been made since summer 2022, with highlights being listed below.

We continue to respond to feedback and work with Anthology to bring further updates to functionality. You can access information on previous updates at our Minerva Monthly Updates page and we’ll continue to keep this updated in line with future developments.

On this page:


  • You can now easily send a module Message to just students on the module. When you compose a message, select the option ‘All Students’. (Jan 2023)

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Copying content

  • Content copied into Learning Modules was incorrectly placed at the top level of Module Content - this issue has been resolved
  • The copy panel is now larger, and you can see the items you have already selected to copy whilst browsing for more items to copy. Breadcrumbs have also been introduced to improve navigation.

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Blackboard Tests

  • Display one question at a time – new prohibit backtracking option. (July 2022)
  • Question Banks can now be created and copied from Original (named Pools in original) (July/August 2022)
  • Due Date exceptions can be added for an individual on a per Test basis (August 2022)
  • Improvements to auto save in Tests to minimise chances of work being lost (Oct 2022)
  • Page Breaks can now be added to Tests, allowing for the easy creation of sections within the Test (Nov 2022)
  • Hotspot questions allow students to identify elements in a graphic by placing one or more pins on the image. Different hot spot question types and accessibility improvements have been introduced over the academic year (Nov 2022 – April 2023)
  • Previously there were restrictions on when you could use randomisation, and this wasn’t available if you had certain types of content in a Test e.g. a text block, page break, or file/image. You can now enable randomisation without restriction - the non-question elements are locked in place and the Test will randomise the questions between those non-question elements. Where you use page breaks, the questions randomise within their assigned page. (Jan 2023)
  • Option introduced to reuse questions in Question Banks (May 2023)
  • Ability to upload questions by file (June 2023)
  • Anonymous marking available for Tests (June 2023)

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  • Gradebook History introduced (July 2022) with improvements added during the academic year (e.g. ability to include deleted items and restrict download by date/assessment)
  • Blackboard Rubrics can be copied from Original (used for 2021/22 modules and earlier) and Ultra Course View modules. (Sept 2022)
  • Staff who prefer Gradebook Grid view no longer have to switch to Grid view each time they open the Gradebook. Minerva will remember preferences and load the previously opened view of Gradebook (on a per module, per user basis). (Nov 2022)
  • Staff sometimes add a manual Gradebook item for assessment which does not take place in Minerva. Student feedback options now feature a full content editor and option to attach files. (Nov 2022)
  • Gradebook sorting options introduced into list views (Feb 2023, April 2023)
  • Staff can now quickly message students from the submission page, for example, to remind students to submit to a Blackboard Test or Assignment. (May 2023)

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Module content 

  • Drag and Drop - users found drag and drop too responsive and therefore it was difficult to use. The drag-and-drop experience is improved.  (Dec 2022)
  • You can now drag and drop folders of files to module content/folders/learning modules. (May 2023)
  • View files inline: PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Open Office, Text, audio and image files will now display directly in Minerva Ultra Course View modules rather than download by default (July 2022)
  • Staff can enable progress tracking on their module. When enabled, students can easily see which items on a module they have opened and can also mark them as ‘complete’. Staff can now see this activity per item on their module. Staff can launch an overview of activity highlighting whether students are engaging with the content. Staff can also review interactions for an individual student (Oct 2022, Dec 2022)
  • Progress Tracking included interactions with Ally (Feb 2023)
  • Math formulas – improvements for screen readers. Latex can be added via content editor. Image created works better with screenreaders (Oct 2022)
  • Module links - You can now add links to other parts of your module. You can add links to: Ultra Documents; Blackboard Test/Assignment; SCORM; files; LTI content/integrated tools (e.g. Turnitin, Gradescope, Mediasite, PebblePad, Top Hat and Reading Lists); and Journal. (Dec 2022)
  • Module search - A module search for staff and students (searches content items by title) (April 2023)

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  • You can now create Group Sets and add members via CSV upload. (Sept 2022)
  • Members of Groups will now be able to easily see who else is in their Group from the Group page. (Feb 2023)

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  • Ally now includes a new alternative format: Microsoft Immersive Reader. Microsoft Immersive Reader helps students improve their reading, comprehension, and grammar skills (Sept 2022)
  • Ally now provides guidance for fixing issues of HTML files containing links with missing text. (May 2023)
  • In cases where the same YouTube video is used multiple times, Ally now lists and highlights all instances of the video. (May 2023)

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  • You can now lock a discussion after the due date has passed. When selected, students can’t create, reply to, or edit posts after the due date. (Jan 2023)

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Regular updates are listed on our Minerva Monthly Updates page, and you can also read Minerva news posts on our site or on our Twitter account @DESystemsUoL. You can also get these updates directly to your inbox by subscribing to the mailing list.