You will have seen that ITS have announced a major upgrade for Blackboard for the new academic year. Within the School of Biological Sciences I will be reviewing the impact of this upgrade on our practices. If you have any questions or concerns that you would like to raise, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The Blackboard virtual learning environment will be upgrade during the summer vacation (2009).
The planned upgrade date is MONDAY 3rd AUGUST and IT Services will be upgrading Blackboard to the latest version of the software – version 9.0.
Why: For technical reasons the Blackboard service was not upgrade for this academic year (2008-2009) and our current version (version 7.3) will become unsupported in October 2009. Blackboard Version 8 saw an upgrade to the grade book which now supports multitude of ways to customize the display of the Grade Centre, however, this version remains problematic so IT Services has decided to upgrade to Blackboard Version 9.
What does it Offer: Blackboard Version 9 is the latest release and features an expanded” Web 2.0” and “social learning” tools, such as blogs and journals and the new Blackboard Sync facility allows certain Blackboard content to be available to users of Facebook and the Apple iPhone.
What are the Changes: The major change for Blackboard users is the redesigned and customizable user interface. Although the student view basically remains the same as previous versions there are some significant changes in the user interface for course instructors – although the basic Blackboard functionality remains the same.