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August 23, 2010

Anecdotal Reports of System Slowness After Bb 9.1 Upgrade

Early after the Blackboard 9.1 upgrade at the end of May, DoIT received a few anecdotal reports of slowness in the new version of Blackboard. While we've not been able to consistently replicate these issues for further analysis, we have been in frequent contact with Blackboard, which has inspected our system and found nothing out of the ordinary.

Without being able to consistently reproduce a problem, it is difficult to pin down, diagnose and resolve. If you encounter slowness in Blackboard, you can help by reporting it via an RT ticket.

In addition, if you are willing and able to do so, capturing when the slowness occurs in the form of an optional, "show and tell" video screen cast would be extremely useful. I'm attaching a similar email request I sent to hybrid faculty back in June, but essentially it would be helpful if students, faculty and staff could do the following if and when there is new evidence of possible Bb system slowness:

1. Capture it with Jing (works on a Mac or PC, is free and can be downloaded at www.jingproject.com)
2. Show or tell the browser and release version you're using (e.g., Firefox 3.6.3, IE8, etc.)
3. Show or tell the operating system you're using (e.g., Windows 7, Mac OSX 10.4, etc.)
4. Show or tell the kind of internet connection you're using (e.g., wireless on campus, wireless at home using Comcast, etc.)
5. Show or tell the specific problem you are able to repeat (reminder there is 5 minute limit on free Jing videos)
6. Upload your video to screencast.com (part of the free Jing service) and get a link you can paste into an RT ticket (http://rt.umbc.edu)
7. Create an RT ticket using the "online learning" queue, perhaps with "Bb 9.1 Issue w/Jing" as first part of your subject line
8. Paste the link to your Jing video in the body of your ticket as well as text responses to items #2,3,4 above.
9. Submit the RT ticket
10. OPTIONAL: Add your Jing to the following site so others can learn about "known issues" (I've put up an example):

UMBC Bb 9.1 Known Issues
https://spaces.umbc.edu/x/vhHg

Again, creating a "show and tell" video screencast is totally OPTIONAL and not required for submitting a ticket that contains the same information in textual format. But if you can create the video, it will really help DoIT determine the root of the problem--if it persists.

As DoIT continues to investigate this issue, I will update the community if we learn more. In the meantime, if you have any questions, suggestions or need more information, please let me know.

Sincerely

John Fritz
Asst. VP, Instructional Technology & New Media
UMBC Division of Information Technology
410.455.6596 or fritz@umbc.edu

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