Blackboard Upgrade: Summer 2011

The number 9 The number 9This summer we will be upgrading the University of Southampton Blackboard service from version 8 to version 9.

This web page includes some important details to be aware of, and will soon have some short videos that will introduce you to the improved user interface.

When will it happen?

25 July to 29 July

Blackboard will not be available for the duration of the week above.

What will change?

Blackboard will look very similar but the interface will be cleaner, more modern and more dynamic. You will be able to change your course faster and do things with fewer clicks. We will place videos on this web page showing you this in the weeks running up to the upgrade.

There will also be some new features and enhancements such as

  • Easily change your course menu
  • Drag and drop content within a content area to re-order it
  • Embed resources easily from YouTube, Flickr and SlideShare
  • Learning Modules
  • Improved groups
  • Batch upload of content

What do I need to know now?

New Item! New Item! New Item!Find out about the new interfaceBlackboard 9 Modify button animation 

Adam Warren from the Technology enhanced learning & enablement team has created a number of videos explaining the new interface you will encounter in Blackboard 9.

There are four key aspects to the new interface and understanding these is the key to making your way with the new Blackboard.

There is a video for each of these key parts to the interface. Each video is about 3 minutes long. Watching these will prepare you for the new interface and help you to get to grips quickly with its use.

Removal of Digital Dropbox

Please ensure that you have completed any usage of the Digital Dropbox by the end of June 2011, including retrieving any files, as they will not be available following the upgrade. The digital dropbox functionality is replaced with an enhanced assignment feature in Blackboard 9. This has been notified on a number of occasions since 2009 via the Blackboard-Users mailing list and our web site.

Sign Up Tool

This tool is not compatible with Blackboard 9 so you will not have access to existing sign up lists or the sign up functionality.

The Groups function in Blackboard has been improved and can provide similar functionality to the Sign Up tool.

The Sign Up tool was made available following a feature request raised by Psychology and was approved with the condition that since it is not commercially supported there were no guarantees that it would continue to work following upgrades. This is stated on our web pages.

Windows XP UDE

If you still have a Windows XP University Desktop Environment (UDE) computer then you will still be using Internet Explorer 6 (IE6). This web browser was released in 2001 and is no longer supported by most modern web sites. Blackboard 9 will not work properly with IE6. Until your computer is upgraded to Windows 7 you should install the alternate web browser Firefox.

How to install Firefox on a Windows XP UDE PC 

Users of Windows 7 UDE will have Internet Explorer 8, which does work with Blackboard 9. However we would still recommend using Firefox as it is faster.

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Updates

We will update this web page with new content over the weeks leading up to the upgrade and keep you informed of this via the Blackboard-Users mailing list.