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April 27, 2010

SU2010 Faculty Enrolled in Bb 9.1 "Sandbox" Course

All SU2010 Faculty have been enrolled in one practice course on the Bb Learn 9.1 development server located at http://bbdev-10.umbc.edu. DoIT took this step to allow those faculty teaching this summer to gain some experience with the new Bb 9.1 interface prior to the major upgrade scheduled over Memorial Day weekend. We encourage faculty to log on to this server, and explore the capabilities of Bb Learn 9.1 prior to the start of your summer class. At the very least we ask that you post an announcement, upload a file, and add a comment to the discussion board to familiarize yourself with the new format.

Because all 300 faculty have been enrolled into the same course, AND because this instance of Bb 9.1 is run on a development server, we want you to be aware of several things.

1. First and foremost, do not use this "Sandbox" as a staging ground for your summer class. Summer course shells have been recently created on the production server and you should place all summer course material there. Directions on exporting a course from a prior semester and importing it to a new shell can be found here. All of the material will be carried over intact during the upgrade process. In fact, ALL existing Bb courses from prior semesters will be upgraded to Bb Learn 9.1 format.

2. Please note that if all of you access this course at the same time, the server response time will slow down dramatically. Please be assured that this reduction in speed is not an indication of the product and how it will behave on the production server after we upgrade.

3. We have purposely removed the ability for Bb instructors to import course packages into this course shell. We have also enforced an overall "course quota", and limited the size of individual files you can upload. Again, this is a necessary step to make sure that the development server response time remains reasonable. These abilities will be available to you in your courses on the production server.

4. Please feel free to create and adapt content (documents, assessments, blogs, etc.) in order to "test drive" the system. However, do note that if the course quota is reached, content will be purged to allow more faculty to try things out throughout the month of May.

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