Bb9 upgrade updates

As many of you know, my staff is heavily involved (submerged?) in the needs of faculty and instructors as a result of yesterday’s Blackboard 9 upgrade. I’m pleased to report that most of the difficulties have been medium to minor (though there are a couple of pretty difficult ones). On the other hand, when it’s happening to you, it’s major, no matter what anyone else thinks – and I say that in all sincerity.

Where are we? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s the current state of the upgrade (and if you contact Help Desk about a problem, please specify which browser, including version number, you are using – sometimes it makes a difference):

  • Bb’s tool that pulls feeds from SAP is not working, and so student enrollment is not happening automatically as it should. The problem has been ticketed to Blackboard, and it’s been bumped to Tier 2 Support. IT is in contact with Bb, and in contact with my staff. It’s obviously top priority. In the meantime, my staff is pulling Excel spreadsheets from SAP and doing a manual enrollment daily. Not fun, but definitely necessary to keep things moving.
  • Blogs and wikis (Campus Pack Learning Objects, for those who have used them) are not working well in Bb9, but the reason is fairly straightforward and we’re working on it now. We believe we’re close to a resolution. A “patch” was supplied by the software company, and we working diligently to ensure that the code is updated across the system today.
  • A few instructors have had difficulty making their course available. This seems to be intermittent, and we’re hoping it  has been resolved, but please report to Help Desk at 257-1300 if you have this difficulty. It can be resolved for you easily, but we’re also tracking every instance to ensure it’s being resolved.
  • Announcements. Ack. Some instructors can’t add them. Some can’t make old ones go away. This is a priority today. Report this problem to Help Desk at 257-1300 if it’s causing problems within your course.
  • In Contacts, the photo is overlapping text (no matter how you resize that photo). This has been ticketed with Blackboard.
  • TurningPoint users, there is no building block for TurningPoint in Bb9. We’re pressing for it. Stay tuned.
  • A few instructors have reported content missing. In some cases, this has been the result of the Edit Mode not being clicked to ON. (See top right corner in Bb9 for Edit Mode.) For a few others, it has been a different issue. Report to Help Desk at 257-1300.
  • At least two instructors have had difficulty accessing testing that they have created. We’re looking into that today.

I haven’t listed some individual items that appear to be single instances. Also, there are a couple of other cosmetic issues, but we’re trying to deal with the content-related issues first. Remember that when you call Help Desk, they will bump items up that need TASC’s attention to our instructional technologists. This is what we’re working on this week – we even have a Tier 2 Help Desk person in our offices this week so that we can be in very close contact with Help Desk. We’re working on all issues that need attention in the most collaborative way possible. Go team!


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