Blackboard To Get A Facelift in May

Click on the image above to view full screen.

We are writing to you to inform you of some upcoming changes to Blackboard that will be implemented in the next couple of weeks. On May 21, 2012, from 4:00 AM – 4:00 PM the Blackboard servers will be taken offline in order to install a new service pack upgrade. The upgrade will not affect the functionality of Blackboard. The tools and features that you have grown accustomed to will remain the same, so there will be no need to re-train yourselves on how to use Blackboard. This upgrade will include a few additional options available to the user within areas such as the grade center, but they are minor in nature and we will be sure to make available resources on all the changes included.

The most significant impact of the upgrade and the one that you will notice immediately will be with regard to the look and feel of Blackboard. The user interface has been updated to a more modern and cleaner default theme. This has been done to enhance usability and make the interface more intuitive.

Below is a 2-minute video of the same course in Blackboard viewed through our current version of Blackboard as well as the new version being rolled out later this month. You will notice subtle changes between the two versions, most notably the absence of all the control features up front on the new version. These control features are still available but will only be made visible when a user hovers over the item they are looking to edit. So for example, if an instructor is looking to edit an item that they have uploaded to one of their content areas, they will need to hover the mouse over the item in order for the item options dropdown menu to appear.

Click on the following link to see a short video highlighting the new default theme and user interface:
http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_tools_2012_theme.htm

For more information on the changes to Blackboard as a result of the upgrade, please visit our previous blog post – http://ctlt.blogs.pace.edu/2012/04/blackboard-9-1-enhancements-in-service-pack-8/

Additionally, if you have any questions about this upgrade, please feel free to contact your respective CTLT office or send us an email at CTLT@pace.edu.

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2 Responses to “Blackboard To Get A Facelift in May”

  1. You know, there are online course running strictly running on Blackboard. There are discussion boards and exams with specific dates. And, yes, even weekends are essential (are utilized) for a 4-week course.

    We’d appreciate if next time you think ahead and alert us BEFORE the semester/sessions begin, so we can plan ahead.

    I do hope you send a couple emails to students alerting them not to take an exam or do anything with Bb during the upgrade!

    Thank you.

  2. Julio Rodriguez 09. May, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Good morning George,

    As in the past, the upgrade only takes 1 day (in this case, Monday, May 21). In any event, we sent an e-mail last week to a list of faculty who are teaching during the May Intercession letting them know of this change before posting it as a general announcement to the entire Pace community. In the e-mail there was also a letter that faculty can forward to their students as well. We retrieved the course list from each school. They are as follows:

    Dyson – 7 classes (of those 7 only 1 is online, which is yours: POL 101).
    Lubin – 6 classes
    iPace – 7 classes

    Please let us know if you’d like us to forward that e-mail to you again.

    Regards,

    - Julio Rodriguez-Rentas
    CTLT – Academic Affairs

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