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Helpdesk: ECS 020 / 410-455-3838 / Email: helpdesk@umbc.edu

« November 2011 | Main | January 2012 »

December 29, 2011

SP2012 Bb Courses Auto Created and Enrolled

Following yesterday's announcement of a new "snapshot" data synchronization process between SA and Blackboard, DoIT reports that a Bb course shell has been auto created and enrolled for all Spring 2012 courses in the Schedule of Classes. As previously announced, all Bb course shell enrollments are being updated daily at 9 a.m., pending further development and testing of the new process.

Reminder: All Bb course shells are unavailable (to students) until the instructor of record makes the course available.

If you have questions or concerns not addressed by this update, please consult the specific Blackboard Help section of the IT support FAQs or submit a Request Tracker (RT) ticket via the myUMBC Help menu or directly at http://rt.umbc.edu.

Sincerely,

John Fritz
Asst. VP, Instructional Technology & New Media
UMBC Div. of Information Technology (DoIT)

Posted by fritz at 9:12 AM | TrackBack

December 28, 2011

WT2012 Bb Courses Enrolled Daily at 9 a.m., For Now

To resolve reported issues with Winter and Spring 2012 Blackboard courses, DoIT has successfully tested Blackboard's "snapshot" process for automatically creating and enrolling all UMBC Bb courses based on updates to the Student Administration (SA) system. As a result, all Winter 2012 Bb course enrollments have been updated today, and will continue to be updated at 9 a.m.

Pending further development and testing of the snapshot process next week, DoIT will return to our normal practice of automatically updating all new Bb courses and enrollments from the SA "feed" every two hours.

For now, DoIT has NOT created or enrolled Spring 2012 Bb courses, so we can see what issues (if any) are reported by faculty and students using Winter 2012 Bb courses. We are optimistic we can create/enroll Spring 2012 courses soon, but will update the campus if and when we have done so.

We appreciate the campus' patience during this unexpected change in data synchronization between SA and Bb course creation & enrollment. If you have questions or concerns not addressed by this update, please consult the specific Blackboard Help section of the IT support FAQs or submit a Request Tracker (RT) ticket via the myUMBC Help menu or directly at http://rt.umbc.edu.

Sincerely,

John Fritz
Asst. VP, Instructional Technology & New Media
UMBC Div. of Information Technology (DoIT)

Posted by fritz at 9:42 AM | TrackBack

December 26, 2011

DoIT Reports Issues Creating WT & SP 2012 Bb Courses

While the campus Blackboard server was successfully upgraded on Friday, December 23, DoIT has encountered issues with the planned auto-creation of Winter and Spring 2012 Bb course shells. We are still investigating the issue, but as of today here is a status update:

We apologize for this inconvenience, especially to Winter 2012 Bb faculty. If you have questions or concerns not addressed by this update, please consult the specific Blackboard Help section of the IT support FAQs or submit a Request Tracker (RT) ticket via the myUMBC Help menu or directly at http://rt.umbc.edu.

Sincerely,

John Fritz
Asst. VP, Instructional Technology & New Media
UMBC Div. of Information Technology (DoIT)

Posted by fritz at 8:07 PM | TrackBack

December 23, 2011

Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP 6 Upgrade Completed

The scheduled upgrade for the Blackboard Learn 9.1 system was completed at approximately 2:30 pm on Friday, Dec. 23, and the system was made available to the campus community at that time.

We thank you for your patience during this scheduled downtime.

Posted by readel at 2:22 PM | TrackBack

December 19, 2011

DoIT Closed 12/24/11 to 1/2/12

The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) will be closed during the campus holiday break from December 24, 2011 to January 2, 2012. During this time, the 24/7 lab in Engineering 021 can be accessed with a valid Campus ID card. In addition, DoIT staff will remotely monitor and support (via an RT ticket ) any issues related to the December 22 Blackboard upgrade and subsequent auto-creation of Winter and Spring 2012 course shells.

Posted by fritz at 3:48 PM | TrackBack

December 15, 2011

Blackboard Acknowledges Delay in Processing of Safe Assign Reports

UPDATE: Blackboard released a final support bulletin on Friday, December 23, regarding the performance of Safe Assign. They report that all of the backlogged papers have been processed and that processing times are back to normal (24-48 hours). If instructors have papers without SA reports generated in 48 hours, it is possible that the papers are corrupted, and Blackboard suggests that they should now resubmit those papers.
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UPDATE: Blackboard released an updated support bulletin on Monday, December 19, regarding the performance of Safe Assign. Though new submissions are on the decline, there is still a significant delay in processing papers, and faculty should expect reports within 3-5 days. As previously announced, they request that papers not be resubmitted unless they have verified that an error with them has occurred.
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On Wednesday, December 14, Blackboard released a support bulletin that provided an update on the Safe Assign paper processing delay that has happened over the past several weeks. They confirmed that there is still a global backlog of papers waiting to be processed, and that reports will take 3-5 days to generate. They reiterate that the worst thing instructors or students can do is to resubmit a paper, as that will move the paper to the back of the processing queue. If you have papers that have not received Originality Reports within 5 days of their submission date, please submit an RT ticket and include your name, the Bb course, the specific assignment, and the paper ID.

Thank you for your patience.

Posted by readel at 3:26 PM | TrackBack

December 5, 2011

UMBC Blackboard Update: WT2012

UMBC Blackboard update is provided by the Division of Information Technology for students, faculty and staff using Blackboard at UMBC. If you have questions or need help, please consult the Blackboard Help tab inside Blackboard or directly at www.umbc.edu/blackboard/help. You can also contact the Technology Support Center (formerly the Help Desk) at 410.455.3838 or submit an RT (Request Tracker) ticket via the myUMBC Help menu or directly at http://rt.umbc.edu.

HEADLINES

1. Reminder to FA2011 Faculty to Download Bb Gradebook, Bb Upgrade on 12/22
2. Blackboard Collaborate Replacing Wimba
3. Course Redesign/ Hybrid Course Redesign Workshop, 1/20
4. FYI: EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 1/11 – 1/13
5. FYI: 1/18 - 1/20 Digital Storytelling Workshop

Posted by readel at 5:43 AM | TrackBack

December 2, 2011

Blackboard Collaborate Replacing Wimba

As previously announced in October, DoIT will be installing Blackboard Collaborate 11 during the Bb upgrade window starting on December 22 at 10 pm. Bb Collaborate 11 is the new web-based conferencing system following Bb's acquisition of Wimba and Elluminate in Summer 2010. It allows faculty to incorporate live, multi-way audio and video, a basic whiteboard with mark-up, application and desktop sharing and other tools for interactivity. A free 30-day trial of Collaborate 11 is available to any faculty member wishing to preview it, by signing up at http://try.bbcollaborate.com/trial/register.go. DoIT staff will introduce Bb Collaborate 11 during drop-in sessions in ENGR 025 from 12 - 1 pm on January 4, 6, 9, and 16. Further training sessions will be planned prior to the start of the Spring 2012 semester.

Posted by readel at 1:13 PM | TrackBack

December 1, 2011

Reminder to FA2011 Faculty to Download Bb Gradebook, Bb Upgrade on 12/22

As previously announced, DoIT will be upgrading the Blackboard (Bb) production system on Thursday, December 22 starting at 10 pm. Though final grades are not due until January 4, all FA2011 faculty are encouraged to back up their Bb gradebook by downloading it to Excel, before the upgrade starts. This is just a precautionary step as no problems are anticipated with the upgrade. DoIT staff will be available in ENGR 025 from 12- 1 pm on Dec. 13, 14, 20 and 21 to provide assistance, should faculty have questions about downloading their grades.

Bb course shells for Winter and Spring 2012 courses will be auto-created on Monday, December 26. Prior to that date, faculty can develop content using older course sites, and then use the export/ import process to move that content once the new shells are auto-created. However, given the start of Winter Session on January 3, DoIT will manually create Winter 2012 shells upon request, with the understanding that faculty who do so need to use a published work around if they encounter the broken links problem the upgrade is meant to resolve.

This upgrade is necessary in order to fix a growing number of web browser incompatibilities, and a known issue of broken links occurring in an imported course. There is no longer a convenient window of time when upgrades can occur during the academic year, but we have reviewed this decision with an informal advisory group of active Bb instructors in several disciplines, as well as the Faculty Senate’s Computer Policy Committee at its 9/16/11 and 10/7/11 meetings. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to improve the campus’ use of Blackboard.

Posted by readel at 1:28 PM | TrackBack

 
Office of Information Technology • Main Office: ECS 125 • Phone: 410-455-3838 • Email: oit@umbc.edu