Blackboard 9.1 Upgrade: Steps for Successfully Navigating Through the Bb 9.1 Upgrade
As part of the commitment to improving teaching and learning, SIUE completed the upgrade of the institutional learning management system from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1 on August 6, 2012. ITS has been encouraging users since January not to procrastinate, but to begin to familiarize themselves with this very new system well in advance of the the start of the Fall 2012 semester.
The steps below outline a plan for successfully navigating through the upgrade to Bb 9.1.
Step 1: Get informed and stay informed
Step 2: Learn how to use Bb 9.1
- Download all Bb 8 Content Collection files for archival purposes.
- Delete old, unused files from your Bb 8 Content Collection.
- Download the remaining files in the Bb 8 Content Collection.
- Upload files to to be used in Bb 9.1 into the appropriate Course Content folder for each course you will be teaching when the Bb 9.1 production system comes online.
- Use these instructions to help with the content migration.
- For those who have not used the Content Collection in Blackboard 8, opting instead to use "Attach local file," the Copy Files to Collection tool can be used to place a copy of all course files into the Content Collection in Blackboard 8 in order to expedite moving them all at once into Blackboard 9.1. Once the files are in the Blackboard 8 Content Collection, follow the instructions linked in the bulleted item immediately above to move them to Blackboard 9.1.
Step 4: Be prepared to build your course(s) anew in Bb 9.1
- The Bb 8 and Bb 9.1 architecture is very different. Therefore, importing Bb 8 course shells into Bb 9.1 is not possible.
- Take this opportunity to re-evaluate your current course design and materials.
- Consider customizing your course shell with new course structures available in Bb 9.1. Note that applying a new course structure adds that structure to the existing default course navigation and will require you to remove duplicate navigational items.
- Only two elements of Bb 8 courses can be successfully exported from Bb 8 and imported into Bb 9.1: Grade Center Columns and Settings, and Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
Step 5: Develop your Fall 2012 course(s) early
- Use a sandbox account to begin to design your Fall 2012 courses.
- Any content or courses developed in the sandbox environment will need to be copied into the Bb 9.1 production system by the Blackboard administrator. Instructors must request that a sandbox course be copied into their Fall 2012 course at the time they request that Fall 2012 course shell.
- Contact the ITS Instructional Design / Bb Support team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss strategies and tools to use in your course(s).
Step 6: Request your Fall 2012 course(s) shells early
- Request your course shell early: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/request_course.shtml. There has always been a 3-5 business day turn around between the time a course shell is requested and it is actually created. Allow yourself that much time plus the time needed to build your course anew in Bb 9.1. Also note that enrollment of additional instructors, merging of multiple sections into a single course shell, and/or copying sandbox content all require additional manual processing that will require additional time.
- If you requested a Blackboard 9.1 "sandbox" course shell and spent time over the summer developing it as though it were your actual Fall 2012 course, you may request that ITS copy that "sandbox" course when creating your Fall 2012 course on the production server and all of your materials added to the sandbox course will automatically be transferred from the pilot server to the production server for you. Note that this is a manual procedure which will add time to the course creation process.
Step 7: Be aware of changing URLs
As of 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 6th, 2012, the following addresses should be used to access the different versions of Blackboard.
- The new version (Blackboard 9.1) that will be utilized for Fall 2012 and future semesters will be available at: http://bb.siue.edu. Please note that instructors will not be able to log into this new system until they have requested their Fall 2012 course shell(s) and received confirmation that the shell(s) have been created.
- There is a separate URL for faculty to use to log into Blackboard 9.1 using their "test student" (_s) account: http://bbstudent.siue.edu. See the instructions below for additional information about creating and managing the "test student" account.
- The archived version (Blackboard 8.0) that has been utilized for Summer 2012 and previous semesters will be available at: http://bb8.siue.edu.
- The pilot version (Blackboard 9.1) that has been utilized during the Summer 2012 semester to develop sandboxes will be available at: http://bbpilot.siue.edu. Users who have asked to have their sandbox course shell(s) copied to create their fall course shells should stop working in their sandbox courses immediately upon receipt of notification that their course shell has been copied to the production server.
Step 8: Add "Test Student" Account to Course and Make Course Available to Students
The final steps to take on the production server at the start of the semester include:
- Create the Instructor "Test Student" account and add it to each Blackboard 9.1 course. ITS is no longer creating nor managing instructor "Test Student" ("your e-ID_s") accounts in Blackboard 9.1 Instructors will now create their own "Test Student" (e.g. jdoe_s) account and set and manage the password for it. "Test Student" accounts created in sandbox courses on bbpilot this summer will need to be recreated on the production server for the fall. Each semester, instructors will need to enroll their "Test Student" into each course.
- Make the course available to students. All Blackboard 9.1 course shells are unavailable to students at the time of their creation. Instructors must make their course available to students at the start of the semester in order for students to be able to see the course to access it.