Ohio University

December Blackboard Learn upgrade: Faster feature releases, fewer service interruptions

On the evening of December 19, 2018, OIT will take Blackboard Learn offline for what should be the last extended maintenance outage of its kind. From a feature standpoint, this will be a typical upgrade with a mix of new capabilities, improvements to existing tools, and bug fixes. From a convenience standpoint, this upgrade will be anything but typical, because it will eliminate the need for maintenance outages in the future. To make this happen, we will need one last multi-day outage. 

Based on similarly sized institutions who have performed this same upgrade, we expect Blackboard Learn to be unavailable for 4-5 days. 

Benefits of the Upgrade

Once the work is complete, you will see several benefits.

  • Bug fixes and tool improvements will arrive much more quickly, since they can be applied as soon as they are ready.
  • Changes will be easier to manage, since they will happen in small increments on a regular basis instead of in big chunks once or twice a year.
  • This new approach will not require extended maintenance outages. In fact, it will not require any outages at all.  

Blackboard typically publishes a description of each month's changes in advance. If we see anything noteworthy like a new tool, an important bug fix, or a change to the way something works, we will let you know on the Blackboard Learn Upcoming Changes webpage and, when appropriate, via email. 

We will provide more details in the coming weeks, including a list of expected changes and a more precise estimate for how long the upgrade will take. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk