Working under the radar … Blackboard 9.1 update

One of the lessons I am learning about implementing a major technology project is that there are quite long stretches of time when nothing really newsworthy happens – there is a huge amount of work going on but very little of it is of interest to the majority of our readers. I could write more about how Blackboard 9.1 now integrates with our student information database, or similar  … but I won’t.  Instead, here are a couple of snippets on progress in general.

As we move towards July, the number of academic and administrative staff  receiving training in the essentials of Blackboard 9.1 is picking up. All academic departments have arranged to attend workshops that will enable them to build their courses in 9.1. We are also timetabling mop-up sessions between now and the end of July for those colleagues unable to attend. If you want to arrange a place on one of these additional sessions, please email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk for information on dates, times and availability.

There are currently 110 modules in 9.1 that are ‘live’ with 1,624 registered users. We’ve been monitoring all requests for support and to date, the number of technical issues reported have been pleasingly low. I don’t think this is a matter for complacency, however, so if you are a student or a member of staff who is currently using Blackboard 9.1, or who used it last semester, your feedback would be very welcome.

As Blackboard has now achieved mainstream adoption across the University, the Learning Technology Development Division (part of Learning Services) have completely reviewed the processes that were in place to communicate with and support staff, students and other customers in the event of occasional dips in service or the system being down. Again, this activity is essential, largely invisible and only really of interest when there is a problem. Having completed the review, tested and introduced new, robust processes, we can now start publicising them. Staff can access the guidance from the  How do I report a problem? section (Blackboard) from the Learning Services wiki. Feedback on this is also welcome. I just hope we don’t have to put it into practice anytime soon!