The Blackboard upgrade for 2018 has been approved for Saturday 7 July to Sunday 8 July.  These dates fall on the first weekend of the inter-semester break. Blackboard will be unavailable from midnight on the evening of Friday 6 July until midnight on Sunday. Most undergraduate courses will be on break, although some course dates differ from standard semester schedules. If this is likely to impact your course activity please discuss with your Program Director or Head of School. 

Annual upgrades provide critical updates to back-end functionality and security that are required by our license agreement. 

What's new in the upgrade?

This upgrade is to version CU2 Q4 2017.

There appears to be new functionality as well as improvements to existing functionality included in this upgrade.  

Examples include:

  • The math editor in the Content Editor is being updated to a newer version of WIRIS. This version adds tools specific to chemistry including an embedded periodic table of elements.
  • Course availability status and updateInstructors and other teaching staff can see the availability state of the course and change the state from the main course view.
  • Instructors and students will notice an improved mobile experience as each release has introduced responsiveness to additional areas of Blackboard.
  • Accessibility - ARIA landmarks have been incorporated in the course menu and the content area to better define the page structure and assist users with screen readers in navigating page elements.

Source: PDF flyer

There are also some improvements to existing grading and assessment features.  For more information, please view Blackboard's release notes online.

When will end user testing be available?

ITS and the Elearning team will conduct testing in a range of testing environments throughout May and early June. End-users will be invited to test within the staging environment from Monday 11 June.

What should I test?

It is recommended that Course Instructors using textbook publishing tools try these out in the staging environment.  

Staff who have unusual workflows, or use a range of additional tools in their coursework should test these in the staging environment, to prepare for any workflow changes.

To arrange for a copy of your current course to be added to the staging environment, please contact the eLearning Support staff with your request.  

Communication

This page will be updated as information becomes available and all communication will link back to this page.

All staff and all student memos sent according to ITS and eLearning team communication and change management best practice guidelines (sent May 14).

Heads of Schools notified by email.

Teaching and Learning Chairs notified by email.

ELOF members notified by email.

Regular updates are included in the eLearning Newsletters.

Notification in Blackboard Spotlight.

Contact

For information or feedback, please contact Elizabeth Wardrop