Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

Blackboard Upgrade in the Works!

EdTech, NewsBrandi Bleak
blackboard logo

FSCJ is planning to upgrade Blackboard on May 10, 2017, with outages certain on May 10, and possible throughout the day on May 11. 

Why Upgrade?

Blackboard releases version updates twice a year, in order to introduce new features and address bugs that are problematic in old ones. Currently, we are a bit behind in adoption of Blackboard versions, and will be making a larger leap from Version 9.1 CU 5 2014 to Version 9.1 Q2 2016.

What to do to Prepare for the Upgrade

There is very little that needs to be done by instructors or students to insure that the upgrade is successful; the Academic Technology Department will work with Blackboard to complete the transition as seamlessly as possible. 

We are asking, however, that professors export any summer courses that you are working on now and store them locally for backup purposes. For more information on how to do this, visit the FSCJ Knowledge Base. 

What to Expect after the Upgrade

Though the Blackboard interface will not change substantially as a result of this upgrade, and most things will look and function the same, users will notice some small changes, detailed below. 

Announcements

When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.

Email

This release fixes an issue with email sent from Blackboard. Some email clients do not use the reply-to header of emails sent by BbLearn to populate the "To:" field when the user replies to an email. As a result, some students were confused when they received email from do-not-reply@<bblearn_domain> instead of their instructor's email address. This update will fix that problem.

Discussions

Users can navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page.

Browser & HTML5 support

Learn 9.1 now supports the Microsoft Edge browser. The Content Editor now supports HTML5 Audio and Video playback in Chrome and Edge browsers.

VALUE rubrics

As part of the Association of American Colleges & Universities' (AAC&U’s) Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. Educational professionals from over 100 higher education institutions collaboratively developed 16 VALUE rubrics to use the most frequently identified characteristics for measuring success in key learning outcomes.

For users who are interested in using these rubrics, Blackboard has made them available for download and import. Each rubric has been built and formatted appropriately so it can be imported to your courses and used anywhere you can align and evaluate with rubrics today. The downloadable rubrics are available in US English only because this is how they were authored by AAC&U.