Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Update from DDLC: Blackboard 8 and 9

As you know from some earlier posts, I went last week to the year's first meeting of the VCCS Distance and Distributed Learning Committee. I want to pass along a few tidbits about Blackboard:
  • We will be going to BB 8 in late December. Lucky for us, it will be a simpler switch than the move to BB7 was. BB7 required a migration, but BB8 is just a software update, and downtime will be one day or less. Also, while during the move to BB7, courses had to be physically transferred from one system to the other, none of that will have to take place this time. So, you can do any needed course copying, setup, etc. for your spring courses while BB7 is still in place--you don't have to wait until BB8 is online. Meanwhile, though, you should seek training in the BB8 Gradebook so you are ready to use it when spring hits. Note that Shaoyu and Rong are holding training sessions on Nov. 18 and 19--see this semester's ELI calendar for specific times and how to sign up. There may also be trainings taking place on the campuses.
  • BB9 (also called BB NG, for "next generation") will be released next year, probably before the BB user conference in the summer. The VCCS might go to it as early as Fall 2009, but we really don't know as of yet. This BB will apparently be a major revision, including a totally new user-friendly interface (e.g., the ability to drag and drop, which will be great!) and more web 2.0 functionality. Some of you went to a session at New Horizons about BB 9--can you share what you learned? How did it look?

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