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- Current Production Version: 9.1 Service Pack (SP) 9 – December 28th, 2012
- 9.1 SP6 (upgraded from 9.1 SP5) - December 2011
- 9.1 SP5 (upgraded from 9.1 SP3) - May, 2011
- 9.1 SP3 (upgraded from version 8.0) – May, 2010
- 8.0 (upgraded from 7.3) – May, 2009
Recent Upgrade News
- June through August - Preparation for pilot of SP9 to begin Monday, Sept.7.
- Sept. 10 - Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 9 installed at UND on test environment.
- Bb 9.1 SP9 Pilot Begins – Fall 2012
- Bb 9.1 SP9 Production Upgrade – Winter Break Dec. 27, 2012
- Production – Oct. 20th / Spring 2013(1330) Courses Created (projected dates)
- Production – December 27th / Upgrade to SP9
- Over 600 institutions participated with Blackboard Inc. in the development of SP8 and SP 9.
- Bb 9.1 SP8 solves several issues reported by students and faculty.
- Production implementation is planned after successful pilot period with no issues being identified.
- Survey of pilot faculty will be an indicator for support for upgrading in the spring.
- Tutorials and training documents will be updated.
Simply put, upgrades are part of every software program, and are intended to provide new functionality based on instructor and student feedback. Also of significant importance is that upgrades offer solutions to current issues and problems with the software. The question is not "should we upgrade", but more accurately, "when is our next upgrade".
The Blackboard environment is an enterprise system with high priority here at UND. There are many important factors and reasons that upgrading is important. Upgrades provide the opportunity to enhance, improve, address issues, and solve problems that currently exist with the key teaching and learning system we have on campus.
What is new Blackboard 9.1 SP 9
Blackboard 9.1 SP9 is the latest release of the Blackboard Academic Suite and part of a multi-year, multi-release rollout. This release:
- Builds on the student engagement tools in earlier releases,
- Improves the performance of the software,
- Enhances the entire user interface to make it easier to use, more intuitive, and extends drag and drop simplicity along with context sensitive menus.
- Brings new features such as:
- Streamlined interface
- Course Themes
- Setup Guide and Wizard
- Auto-regrade of Assessments
- Quick Navigation to Switch Courses
- Standards and Goals Alignment
- Change Author Feature in Discussion Board
- Orange Notification Bar for Copy and Imports
- Ability to Paste from Word into the WYSIWYG Editor
- Select All Box when Copying and Exporting
- Replace Option for Attached Documents
- Negative Scoring Option in Assessments
- Overwrite File Option for Attachments
- Ability to Add a Tool to Any Content Area
- Improved Course Copy with no Duplications Created
What does this upgrade mean for Faculty?
Faculty will benefit from the easy-to-use intuitive interface, enhanced workflows, and an extended tool set of capabilities to improve their teaching with Blackboard.
Pilot faculty for Fall 2012: David Yearwood, Technology
Additional faculty/staff reviewing the system:
Timothy Pasch, Communications Department; Christopher Felege, Biology Department; Tracy Uhlir, Med School; Patricia Young, U2; Janna Schill, Med School
What does this upgrade mean for Students?
Other than adjusting to cosmetic changes, students should be able to seamlessly move from version 9.1 SP6 to 9.1 SP9 without any significant additional training.
- 2012 - The upgrade to SP9 was completed in December 2012.
- 2011 - The upgrade to SP6 was completed in December 2011.
- 2010 - Blackboard Content System was added to the existing Learn and Community December 2010, providing virtual storage for all users and sharing of content between courses and users.
- 2010 - August 2010 UND updated Blackboard to integrate with the campus single username authentication system,2010 - SP3 was implemented in the Winter 2010.
- 2010 - May 2010 Blackboard 9.1 was installed which included significant design and feature changes.
- 2009 - UND moved to Blackboard 8 in the summer of 2009.
- 2007 - Blackboard 7.1 in August of 2007.
- 2004 - Moving forward, we upgraded to Blackboard 6.2 in the fall of 2004
- 2004 - As our usage grew over the 2001 to 2003 time period, we realized that we needed a mission critical enterprise installation. In January 2004, we installed the Blackboard 6 Learning System.
- 2001 - Upgrade to Blackboard 5 Level 1 in April 2001.
- 2000 – UND adopted Blackboard as the supported Course Management System for the campus.
- 1999 - UND first purchased Blackboard (CourseInfo) in 1999. It was tested by faculty during fall 1999 and spring 2000 as a pilot. CourseInfo was later renamed as Blackboard Learn.
Upgrades are important in order to take advantage of the many resolved issues and new feature sets described in more detail below.
Continuous quality improvement requires ongoing and frequent software upgrades, patches, hardware improvements, and overall monitoring of the system.
Scheduled routine system maintenance hours are: Tuesday 4:00-7:00 AM, Thursday 4:00-7:00 AM and Saturday 5:00-8:00 AM
Learning Objects scheduled system maintenance occurs every 3rd Sunday from 4:00-6:00 AM
There are three scheduled 2 day maintenance/upgrade times during the year: Winter Break, Spring Break, August prior to start of fall semester. The following dates/times were approved October 10, 2011 by the CILT Advisory Council.
- 2011 – 12/27 -- 8am – 12/29 -- 8 am (Tues-Thurs)
- 2012 – 12/27 -- 8 am – 12/29 -- 8 am (Tues-Thurs)
- 2012 – 3/13 -- 8 am – 3/15 -- 8 am (Tues-Thurs)
- 2013 – 3/12 -- 8 am – 3/14 -- 8 am (Tues-Thurs)
- 2012 – 8/10 -- 1pm – 8/12 -- 1pm (Fri-Sun)
- 2013 – 8/9 -- 1pm – 8/11 -- 1pm (Fri-Sun)