Blackboard (Learn.UQ) upgrade - July 2019

January 2019July 2019

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) has settled on the dates for the 2019 Blackboard upgrade based on feedback from coordinators, the Teaching and Learning Committee and Associate Deans (Academic). The approved dates are 6, 7, 8 July (Sat/Sun/Mon) where Monday will hopefully not be required.  

These dates fall in the inter-semester recess after Semester 1 results have been published, but before supplementary exams and O-week of Semester 2. 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 this with your Program Director or Head of School. 

The University is required to maintain a sufficiently ‘current’ version of Blackboard to meet the terms of our support contract with the vendor, and as a requirement of the University CIO’s security regime.  Upgrades also provide important updates to functionality.

What's new in the upgrade?

This upgrade is to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018.

There appears to be new functionality, as well as improvements to existing functionality including:

  • The ability to download annotated PDFs
  • Improvements to User Privacy in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) including reports
  • Various enhancements to improve performance, security and stability
  • Video and audio feedback for Blackboard assignments
  • Additional attempts in Anonymous Grading

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 at a date to be advised.

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.  

Communications

This page will be updated as information becomes available and all communications will link back to this page:

  • 10 January 2019: ITaLI communications team was consulted on the upgrade date selection and consultation process.
  • Notifications in Blackboard Spotlight:
    • 11 January 2019: Staff and students alerted to the proposed dates and feedback requested.
    • 5 March 2019: Staff and students alerted to the revised dates proposed and feedback requested.
    • 19 March 2019: Staff and students alerted to the finalised dates.
  • Notices in the eLearning newsletter to alert all coordinators and associated professional staff to the proposed dates and request feedback:
  • eLearning Operational Forum (ELOF) members notified in April and May through ELOF reports.
  • All staff enrolled in a Blackboard course site notified by email.
  • Heads of Schools, Teaching and Learning Committee members and Associate Deans (Academic) notified by email.
  • Digital signage - by request to faculties and units.

Planned communications

  • Course Coordinators and Learning Designers notified via the eLearning Update once testing is available.
  • An article in the UQ Update newsletter.
  • Regular reminders included in the following eLearning newsletters:
    • 27 May 2019
    • 10 June 2019
    • 1 July 2019

Contact

If you require assistance, please contact the ITS Service Desk:
Phone: +61 7 336 56000 or 1300 738 082 (Australia-wide)
Email: help@its.uq.edu.au
Availability: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 8am to 12 midday