Jul 012013
 
 Posted by on July 1, 2013

Hello all Blackboard instructors!

Please visit our new Online Resources website. Click on the button For Faculty/Staff where you will find important information on the next page in the Blackboard News for Faculty/Staff module about the transition from Blackboard Service Pack 7 to Service Pack 11 including What’s New and Different about SP11 and other tutorials. The Online Resources website also has information specifically For Students to which you can direct your students to as needed.

Where to prepare your courses for the fall semester:

Q: Do I have to move my course to the new version of Blackboard?

A: NO! Your course will be upgraded in place in August; you don’t have to do anything. If you want to wait and see what is different and make adjustments in August, that is fine.

However, you really should consider importing a copy of your course to the TRAIN server before that to learn how all the tools work, so you are not surprised or confused when you go live for the Fall semester. Most of the commonly used tools work differently, and new global navigation is a powerful and new feature that will change your work flow.

Q: I logged in to the TRAIN server but I don’t see my Fall courses!?

A: The only courses on TRAIN are development shells for you to test/develop/edit. The actual Fall course shells are on the live Production server as they always have been.

Q: What if I already have a lot of Voice Boards and other Collaborate audio tools in my Course that I will be keeping for the next semester? Will they move?

A: If you have many of these audio plugin tools built in your course already, edit your course in the live Production server (current service pack 7) and it will be updated in August when we do the upgrade in place.

However, it is advisable to export and import a copy of your course into the TRAIN server on SP11 so you can see how to navigate and use the other tools which have changed significantly – in particular the text box editor where you will be adding or editing content.

Q: I only use Blackboard for Organizations. Can I edit these in the TRAIN server and move them back in August?

A: NO. The Organizations are available on the TRAIN server so you can see how they work in the new environment, but all changes to Organizations need to be made on the live production server (Service Pack 7) because Organizations are always live. Try out the new tools on the TRAIN server, but you will have to wait until the upgrade is in place on the current live production server to make any real changes.

Q: I have created a new course on the TRAIN server and I want to Export it and import it into the live production server, but I can’t find the EXPORT button!

A: Export is turned off on TRAIN until we upgrade in place in August. TRAIN exports will be possible from the mid-August upgrade until two weeks into the Fall semester, allowing ample time to move or archive any work you have done. After this one month window, TRAIN will be repurposed to begin the cycle of testing and upgrading for the next year, and your material will be gone.

Q: I use Publisher deeply integrated content and tools in my course or I want to use Publisher deeply integrated content and tools in my course. How do I do that and where do I do that?

A: If you use already use McGraw Hill Connect, you can continue to select your material from on their site, adding their content links into your course on the live production server. When we upgrade in place, all the Blackboard components will upgrade. We can’t put the McGraw Hill (or most of the publisher plugins) on multiple servers. But it is still worth your time to export your non-Publisher material/course to the TRAIN server to see how the new environment works. Especially in light of the notifications tools, global navigation and other items that will be visible to students around work flow and due dates.

If you are planning on using Pearson, Wiley or Cengage deeply integrated content and tools, you have a choice. You can build these components in August before classes start or you can wait until Spring to fully implement these tools into your course. After this first upgrade cycle, where Publisher deeply integrated content (also known as Blackboard Partner content) is first added to our server, you will be able to work on the live production server if you have Publisher deep integration. In this cycle, our production server version does not yet support these.

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If you would like to have some hands on experience in the new service pack 11, please contact Mark Petersen at m.petersen@hvcc.edu or call 629-8128 to:

  • come in any day for one on one training
  • come to a scheduled workshop
  • arrange a webinar with one of our instructional designer
  • explore on your own in the training server and with the tutorials

Please e-mail DLHelp@hvcc.edu or call 518-629-7070 if you need assistance or have any questions about the new service pack.