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Blackboard 9 at city college norwich

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Presented by Chris Boon, City College Norwich at the RSC Eastern VLE forum, 12th Nov 2010. …

Presented by Chris Boon, City College Norwich at the RSC Eastern VLE forum, 12th Nov 2010.

http://info.rsc-eastern.ac.uk/events/event_details.asp?eid=796

Published in Education , Technology , Business
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Transcript

  • 1. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich Chris Boon
  • 2.  
  • 3. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 4. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 5.  
  • 6. Blackboard NG
    • Multi-release project
    • Improved interface
    • Extra functionality
      • Mash-ups
      • Context menus
      • Improved Group functions
      • Ajax drag-and-drop of modules
  • 7. Blackboard 9.0
    • First release of Blackboard NG
    • Deployed by some ‘early adopters’
    • Bugs and reliability issues
  • 8. Blackboard 9.1
    • Much improved QA
    • More features
    • Installed at CCN
  • 9. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 10. Hardware configuration Application Server Database Server Content Server Share on SAN
  • 11. Content - maintenance
    • Two days maintenance at Whitsun half term
    • Stopped services
    • Data copied from old content server to SAN
    • Set permissions on new share
    • Started services
    • Completed successfully although took 12 hours to copy
    • No difference from users’ perspective
  • 12. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 13.  
  • 14. Sandbox
    • Installed copy of Blackboard 9.1
      • Learn about product
      • Plan the design
      • Staff training
  • 15. Consultation
    • Student focus group from Level 1 to HE
    • Staff focus groups and informal conversations
    • Regular meetings with Head of Communications
  • 16. Suggestions from Focus Groups
    • Link to library catalogue from Home tab
    • Add more images on the Home tab
    • Add more dynamic content such as updates from Twitter accounts
    • Increase line spacing on the Useful Links panel
    • Changes to colour and design for accessibility
    • Improve resources for HE students
    • Make ILP more prominent
  • 17. Managing the suggestions
    • Balancing the needs and suggestions from everyone:
      • Students from all Schools
      • Students from all levels
      • Teachers
      • Support staff
    • Required change of mind set – users’ perspective instead of technical
  • 18. End result
  • 19. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 20. Testing the upgrade
    • Clone of live system using VMWare
    Application Server Database Server Share on SAN Application Server Database Server Share on SAN Physical Virtual
  • 21. Upgrade process
    • Blackboard Release Notes – Upgrade Route:
      • Blackboard 8.0 SP4
      • Blackboard 8.0 SP5
      • Upgrade Java to 1.6
      • Blackboard 8.0 SP6
      • Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP1
  • 22. Testing the upgrade Blackboard 8 SP4 Take Snapshot Blackboard 8 SP5 Upgrade Java to 1.6 Blackboard 8 SP6 Blackboard 9.1 SP1 Take Snapshot Blackboard 9.1 SP1 Scripts from Bb support
  • 23. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 24. Project Meetings
    • Fortnightly meetings
    • Management support
    • Guests invited where appropriate e.g. hardware team
    • Clear actions from meetings
  • 25. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 26.  
  • 27. Upgrade Plans
    • Everything was planned for upgrade week
      • NO decisions should be needed during week
    • List of tasks ready for technical upgrade
    • Design prototype for layout and user interface
    • Took pressure off during upgrade week
  • 28. Upgrade Plans
    • Monday Move to new virtual application server
    • Tuesday Perform upgrade
    • Wednesday-Friday Make live system look like Sandbox and fix bugs
  • 29. Hardware configuration Application Server Database Server Share on SAN Virtual Application Server
  • 30. Actual Upgrade Week
    • Monday Move to new virtual application server and Perform upgrade
    • Tuesday-Friday Make live system look like Sandbox and fix bugs
    • Why?
    • Excellent help from Blackboard Support
    • Upgrade process very well planned
  • 31. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 32. Hardware configuration Database Server Share on SAN Virtual Application Server Virtual Application Server Node 2 Virtual Application Server Node 1 Load Balancer
  • 33. Load Balancing
    • Using Microsoft ISA Server
    • Not officially supported but does work
    • Successfully used by other institutions
    • Some scheduled tasks only run on one node
    • Node identification labels added
  • 34. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 35. BCC – The Problem
    • There are too many courses on Blackboard
    • This causes confusion for staff and students
    • Only about 10% of courses are used
    • The course names are often confusing
    • Courses are not linked to Schools
  • 36. BCC – Previous Configuration
    • Direct connection between EBS and Blackboard
    • Every course (Q, U, M) in EBS creates a course in Blackboard
    MIS EBS VLE Blackboard
  • 37. BCC – Previous Configuration
    • Produces numerous courses in Blackboard for each course taught e.g.
    • Q NVQ BasketWeaving
    • Q NVQ BasketWeaving Group A
    • Q NVQ BasketWeaving Group B
    • Q NVQ BasketWeaving P/T
    • Q NVQ BasketWeaving F/T
  • 38. BCC – The Vision
    • Middleware between MIS and VLE
    MIS EBS VLE Blackboard Middleware
  • 39. BCC – The Requirements
    • Ability to design course structures from timetables or course codes
    • Must be flexible for all scenarios
    • Must be very simple to use
  • 40. BCC – The Solution
  • 41. Summer Blackboard Projects at City College Norwich
    • What is Blackboard 9?
    • Moving the content
    • Preparing for the upgrade – users and design
    • Preparing for the upgrade – technical
    • Preparing for the upgrade – project management
    • Upgrade week
    • Load balancing
    • Blackboard Course Creator
    • User feedback and lessons learnt
  • 42. User Feedback – User Interface
    • Positive reaction to new colours and interface
    • Users liked ability to customise Home tab
    • No major problems finding resources
    • Slower than hoped, particularly in IE7
  • 43. User Feedback – BCC
    • Very simple to use
    • Most staff use it without the need for face-to-face training
    • Increased the use of Blackboard
    • Much clearer to see where Blackboard is and isn’t used
  • 44. Lessons Learnt
    • Planning, planning, planning
    • Test system is essential
    • Engaging with users vital
    • Some unexpected issues will always arise
      • New application server wouldn’t start
      • External access problem with SSL
    • Safety net needed for these issues
    • Business Continuity – users still need resources during maintenance windows
    • Can never do too much testing!
  • 45. Chris Boon [email_address]