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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Becky Simons and Joyice Childs
Minor but noticeable improvements are in store for Blackboard users when OIT brings version 9.1 of the popular learning management system into production over winter break. According to faculty who piloted the system during fall, Grade Center will be easier to use, and a new option will be available for embedding multimedia files.
The fall quarter pilot included 38 faculty who taught 54 courses to 2,640 students. A mid-quarter survey of the faculty participants indicated overwhelming support to move forward during winter intersession. One participant suggested that OIT,"emphasize that 9.1 isn't too different, but that there are improvements in Grade Center and Mashups." One of the most popular new features of the Grade Center is its ability to maintain the instructor’s location in the grade sheet when the window is refreshed, rather than sending the user back to the top-left corner. A mashup is a tool that allows you to easily embed files from YouTube, Flickr and Slideshare into Blackboard courses.
Faculty can begin work on winter courses at their convenience. All changes made to course content will be retained in the new version.
The actual move to Blackboard 9.1 will take place between 5:00 pm on Friday, December 16 and 5:00 pm on Sunday, December 18. During that time, Blackboard will be unavailable.
If you would like to check out the new features in advance, there are Blackboard Workshops available. To register, visit:
If you would prefer to meet with Blackboard support staff, you can go to the Faculty Commons, Monday through Thursday, from 1-4 pm. For more information about new features and enhancements, visit: http://bbsupport.ohio.edu/
If you would like to meet with Blackboard support staff at a time other than the dates and times listed above, or if you have specific questions about the new features, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.