Blackboard 9.1 is coming to campus!

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Blackboard 9.1 will be released to campus on Sunday, May 20, 2012, starting just after midnight.

Blackboard will be unavailable while services are transferred over from version 9.0 to 9.1. This process may take up to 12 hours, though the expected time to completion is considerably less than this.

EdTech is offering several training opportunities for instructors. To sign up, please visit the link below:

http://edtech.mst.edu/events/blackboard9-1/ 

More information about training can be found HERE.

Here is what campus customers can expect from the transition to Blackboard 9.1:

  • All existing Blackboard courses will be transferred over as is. This includes both Summer 2012 and Fall 2012 semester courses as well as the current Spring semester courses and any courses from previous semesters.
    • Instructors who would like to export/archive a course for future use are encouraged to review the process for exporting/archiving courses: http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9/archivecourse/

    • NOTE: Importing a course from Blackboard 9.0 into 9.1 may cause some issues as features that exist in the 9.0 course may not be supported in 9.1. This happened with some courses that were transferred from Blackboard 8 to 9 as well.
  • A few Blackboard features will be going away for good due to changes in the system. This includes:
    • Wimba Live Classroom will be replaced by Blackboard Collaborate, but other Wimba tools (Voice Podcaster, Voice Email, Voice Board, etc.) will still be available. Blackboard purchased Elluminate (which powers Collaborate) and Wimba recently, so elements from both toolsets are incorporated into Blackboard’s Learn platform.
    • Learning Objects blogs and wikis will no longer be available. Instead, Blackboard has its own built-in blog and wiki system that are more compatible with the Grade Center. Instructors can more easily track usage of the blog and wiki entries and grade contributions quicker and easier from within the blog or wiki itself.
      • Content from existing blogs and wikis can be archived from the existing blog or wiki. Click HERE to see how to export a blog. Click HERE to see how to export a wiki (they are very similar processes).
  • New features are being introduced. This includes:
    • Grading rubrics for more consistent rating of highly subjective topics (e.g. essay questions and discussion board posts).
    • Collaborate virtual classroom environment. It’s very similar to Wimba Live Classroom in most respects with video web cam conferencing, desktop application sharing, and web sharing enabled along with the standard text chat window. Collaborate sessions can be archived for later review or converted into a downloadable format (e.g. *.MP4).
    • “Mashups” of content can be imported directly from YouTube, Flickr, and Slideshare. An improved content management system allows for “single-sourcing” of content inside a Blackboard course.
    • Improved and more-powerful Grade Center options–including grade filtering and favorite smart views.
    • Powerful question-choosing and -organizing tools. Alas, creating questions remains challenging inside of Blackboard, but once they are created (perhaps using Respondus or Diploma and then imported into Blackboard), very flexible assessments can be created to address a wide-variety of student and instructor needs.

Information about these items and more will be discussed in more detail on the EdTech Connect blog going forward. Visit http://edtechconnect.mst.edu/blackboard_91/ for more information.