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Minerva Monthly Update - August 2023

New Features / Bug Fixes / Releases

The August update to Minerva introduces updates to Learning Modules, Messages, Gradebook and Groups. A known issue relating to Calculated Numeric Test questions is resolved. 

New Features and Improvements 

Learning Modules - option to add image

Learning Modules are often used to structure content in Minerva modules (they are used for Learning Resources in the institutional module template). Staff can now add an image to a Learning Module. This will appear on the module content page helping students identify the theme of the Learning Module and also making the module more visually appealing.

You will see the option to add an image when creating a new Learning Module. To add an image to an existing Learning Module, select the three dot icon for the relevant Learning Module and then Edit. This opens a peek panel where you can add a description and image:

Click Add image and follow the onscreen instructions to add the file. You will have options to crop/zoom the image. Mark the image as decorative or add alternative text if you need to convey meaning (this will help students with screen readers).

Images courtesy of Anthology


In modules, staff and students will now see a notification if they have an unread message. In the Navigation bar (across the top of the module), a number will appear next to the Messages item indicating how many messages are unread.

If accessing Messages via the Minerva home page (using the Global Navigation menu on the left-hand side), modules with unread messages will now appear at the top of the list. Modules with recent activity will appear next in the list.


Two changes have been made to the interface. In grid view, staff would see the words 'Grade Now' for each cell, even though there had been no activity. This is now replaced with a '-'. In list view (gradable items tab), it was not obvious how to reorder items. The option to reorder used to only appear if you hover your mouse in the correct place. The reorder option now always displays.

If you use anonymous Blackboard Assignments, it is also now possible to download all submissions at once. This is done in Gradebook Grid View.


Groups have been moved from the Details & Actions menu into the Module Navigation bar (which is across the top of the module). This change is for both staff and students.

Groups also now have a Group Space. This means staff and students can click on the Group name and see any content assigned to this Group. At the moment, this will only be Group Blackboard Assignments i.e. where students work on an assignment together and submit one assignment on behalf of the Group. We expect our vendor to develop this further to allow other types of activities to appear here.


Known Issue resolved

Students could enter text into the answer of a calculated numeric question. Staff could not enter text into the answers. This caused issues with automatic marking. Students are now warned if they enter text.