Welcome to my blog

With the Blackboard upgrade project kick off now around a week away, and having a (ahem) personal interest around the business processes associated with the VLE and how it can help deliver against the University’s goals, it feels timely to start contrasting the nice shiny newcomer against the clunky rusty old fellow we’ve been using basically unchanged since 2003.

We don’t yet have access to our 9.1 service and so there are a couple of health warnings to note here:

  1. researching functionality for 9.1 is mainly based around using www.coursesites.com
  2. where we’re heading is still somewhere in the mist on the horizon (‘ere be dragons some might say.)  These comments / opinions should therefore be taken as being mine alone and may not reflect those of colleagues in LDI, IS, the upgrade project team, Blackboard  or the University.

On with the show.  I’ve been looking this week at the process of creating an MCQ and doing a side by side comparison for old faithful against the upstart.  A separate blog entry will cover this specific topic but it has enabled some initial reflections on the overall move and what the user community are probably going to be worried about going forward…

  1. how will the business processes change to reflect the management of the new system and move to a hosted solution?
  2. how will what the user sees in terms of their content (presences, etc) differ come September say to what they see now ? For example they may currently have 12 versions of their Advanced Zymurgy module but does this mean they still will have in a few months?
  3. in terms of actually using the software:
  • how do the features / functions compare / contrast to release 8
  • what are the steps required to deploy an MCQ, add content, etc
  • what about the use of screen real estate – do you still have to click a Submit button at the bottom of the page each time
  • etc etc

I suppose that (in)famous Will Powers / Carly Simon track from 1983 was penned in much the same vein…


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