During the Summer 2012 term a group of faculty completed a pilot of the new Blackboard Learn platform. This system will eventually replace our Blackboard Vista system that Blackboard, Inc. is phasing out support for in 2013. Many of you attended preview sessions in the spring where you were able to view the upgraded and completely redesigned interface.
We are pleased to report that Bb Learn has received overall positive reviews from the pilot. In addition to our work in the pilot, DTS and Learning + Development (L+D) worked with our hosting partner, UMass Online (UMOL) and Blackboard to refine the some of the capabilities of the system for the smoothest transition possible. From this work, UMOL is focusing on improving some specific features for optimal success and a seamless rollout.
Rollout Decision and Timeline
From our discussions with UMOL, we will be rolling out the new system in two phases to minimize disruption to teaching and learning activities.
Phase 1 Early Adopter Group -Fall 2012
Technology mentors, pilot participants, and heavy users of Bb Vista will run their Fall 2012 courses in Bb Learn. Learning + Development has already reached out to those faculty directly and will support them in their conversion efforts.
This group of faculty will attend training sessions, and participate in focus groups to prepare further for the full, campus-wide launch of Bb Learn in Spring 2013. . Learning + Development has already reached out to those faculty directly and will support them in their conversion efforts.
Please note: All other faculty will use Bb Vista for their Fall 2012 courses.
To request your Fall 2012 Vista site, please go to the Learning and Development channel on the Academic Resources tab in Blackboard.
Phase 2 – Spring 2013 Full, Campus-Wide Launch.
By the Spring 2013 semester all faculty will offer their courses in Bb Learn. However, during the Fall 2012 term faculty will be invited to begin their training and development on the new platform starting as early as October 2012.
Each faculty member will receive a test course to experiment with in the new platform, and as well as will be able to see their migrated Vista course content. Learning and Development will continue to offer training sessions office hours and one-on-one consulting throughout the Fall to prepare the entire campus community for the switch.
Any questions regarding the pilot can be directed to Learning and Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.