SERVICE PACK UPGRADES: THE TESTING DILEMMA …
SERVICE PACK UPGRADES: THE TESTING DILEMMA
Kim Comer, University of Manchester
Paul Coulthard, University of Manchester
Since moving to Bb9.1, the University of Manchester has decided to carry out one major Blackboard service pack upgrade per calendar year. As part of this decision, the University has agreed to use the Easter vacation period for the upgrade. Until the recent announcement of changes to the delivery of the service packs, Manchester was operating on the principle of applying the latest odd-numbered service pack, usually released in December, during the spring upgrade window. This presentation will provide some background on the rationale behind the institution’s decisions to upgrade over Easter and apply odd-numbered service packs. The presentation will also describe the testing approach that has been adopted by Manchester. The testing is divided into three separate areas: technical, functional and integration. The technical testing is carried out by the central eLearning Applications Team (i.e. system administration) working closely with Blackboard Managed Hosting; the functional testing is managed by our Functional Evaluation and Testing group (FEAT), which consists of eLearning Technologists from across the institution; and the integration testing is handled by our Web Services Team. The presentation will focus mainly on the technical and functional testing and provide examples of the test plans used at Manchester. The talk will also address some of the dilemmas that come with testing:
What to test?
How much can you test?
Regression or black-box testing?
How long should testing take?
Who should carry out the work?
The session will end with a discussion of how Manchester will have to respond to the changes in the release cycle of services packs and in light of the institution’s move to the new Blackboard Enterprise SIS framework.