Monday, April 21, 2008

BLACKBOARD UPGRADED TO ENTERPRISE

The proposal to upgrade the Blackboard (Bb) Curriculum Management System to the new Enterprise version 8 was approved and installation of the new system began in April, 2008. The “Basic to Enterprise” Bb upgrade enables use of scalable virtual drives, multiple servers and load balancing which will greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of the system. The upgrade will also add many wonderful new software features.

The major new Bb Enterprise features that faculty and staff will be excited about include:

· Adaptive Release facilitates the appropriate sequence of learning by making additional lessons/exams available to the student only upon completion or review of prior materials.

· The Performance Dashboard enables faculty to follow student progress (Early Warning System) and administer their course(s) more easily from one central location.

· The Safe Assign anti-plagiarism tool checks written assignments evaluated through Bb against national and local databases.

· Self and Peer Assessment involves students and faculty in group evaluation of class projects.

· Scholar allows faculty to share educational resources from other schools.

· The redesigned Grade Center has many new reporting and analysis features.

· Building Block Utilization allows integration with Bb modules and solutions from other vendors (like Interwrite PRS “clicker” and Respondus software).

Train the Trainer Bb classes for e-Learning Administrators and DIS support personnel begin in the first week of May, 2008. These new trainers will then teach “Bb Basic to Enterprise” classes for UMMC faculty and staff in May and June of 2008. Faculty and staff training dates will be made available soon.

There will be a luncheon lecture on “New Features of Bb Enterprise” in the lower stack classroom (R153) on May 13, 2008. All faculty and staff who are using Bb to teach their classes are urged to attend. A limited number of box lunches will be provided. Opportunities for computer lab classes on Bb Enterprise will be offered In the weeks following the lecture.

Additional information on the new features of the Bb Enterprise system is now available directly from Blackboard at their Release 8.0 site. Specific parts of the software are described in more detail at: blackboard quick tutorials release 8 and the Faculty Reference Center for release 8.

Both the old and the new Bb systems will be available for use until May 25! After May 25th, the old Bb basic system will be shut off. Bb courses in existence will be ported into the new system as they exist on that day. Thereafter, the new Bb Enterprise system will be functional and available for use. The website address will be the same. All UMMC on-line classes will be taught using the Bb Enterprise system as of Memorial Day, May 26, 2008.

The new Bb Enterprise features will be available in addition to many of the old familiar ones. The new instructor manual will be available from the UMMC e-learning webpage. Meanwhile, when you have questions please contact your ELA, Nancy Morris (DIS Bb Application Specialist) or Bill Lushbaugh (UMC e-Learning Committee Chair) at http://elearning2.umc.edu/guides/elas.pdf.

4 comments:

Marcella said...

Good for people to know.

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