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UMBC Blackboard Update
Spring 2004

This update is provided by the Office of Information Technology for students, faculty and staff using Blackboard at UMBC. If you have questions or suggestions, contact John Fritz at fritz@umbc.edu or 410.455.6596. For more information about using Blackboard, visit http://blackboard.umbc.edu or send email to blackboard@umbc.edu.


1. Migration to Version 6 Set for May 21 (ALL BB SERVERS WILL BE DOWN)
2. End of Semester Course Maintenance
3. Summer Course Requests Due By May 10
4. Blackboard Workshops Begin in June
5. FYI: Free Regional Blackboard Day at Loyola, April 29.
6. FYI: ALN (Asynchronous Learning Network) Call for Presentations Deadline Extended to 5/16
7. FYI: Goucher College Hosts 5/19 Teaching, Learning and Technology Conference


Bb5 to Bb6 Migration Schedule
5/10 Last Day of Classes
5/12 to 5/19 Final Exams
5/20 Commencement
5/26 Grades Due
6/1 Summer Session I Begins
8/20 Last Day of Summer Classes
8/30 Fall '04 Classes Begin
(Bb5 no longer available to users)

1. Migration to Version 6 Set for May 21

As communicated at the end of the fall semester, OIT will migrate the UMBC Blackboard server to version 6 at the end of the spring 2004 semester. Specifically, all Blackboard servers (version 5 AND 6) will be down all day Friday, May 21. This is necessary to use Summer Session (80-100 projected Bb courses) as an extended test to get ready for the busy fall semester (400+ projected Bb courses).

After the May 21 migration, students and faculty in spring 2004 courses will be able check (or post) grades by going to http://bb5.umbc.edu.

Migration Check List

Before the 5/21 migration:

After the 5/21 migration:

  • Spring ’04 classes on Bb5 will still be available to students and faculty through the summer (OIT will place a permanent “note” in all Bb5 courses announcing the 5/21 migration and refer users to Bb6).
  • OIT will only create summer and fall ’04 courses on Bb6.
  • Faculty should NOT develop any courses in Bb5. All future course development should be done in Bb6.
  • Bb5 will no longer be available to users after the first day of fall ’04 classes.
  • Requests to COPY past courses for winter and spring ’05 courses will be completed by copying them from the Bb6 server.
  • All Bb5 communities will be turned off and will only be available on Bb6.

If you have any questions or concerns, please send email to blackboard@umbc.edu.

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2. End of Semester Course Maintenance

With the coming migration from Blackboard 5 to 6, now is the perfect time to submit a request to have your old courses deleted and start the new version with a clean(er) slate. Just submit a course deletion request that can be found at the UMBC Blackboard Support site (http://blackboard.umbc.edu). Complete the form and make sure you select the “Delete” radio button and OIT will take care of the rest. Just remember that once a course is deleted it is gone forever!!

Since students can't delete or "un-enroll" themselves from a course, making yours “unavailable” helps avoid frustration. Go into your course control panel and click on Course Settings -->Course Availability --> select “No” and then “Submit” to make your course unavailable to your students. This important step serves a dual role in cleaning up your students’ My Instituion page and removing the course from the catalog.

Note: All Fall 2004 courses created from the UMBC course template are set to automatically turn off on May 30th.

If you have any questions, please send email to blackboard@umbc.edu, contact Bob Armstrong at rarmstro@umbc.edu, or 5-3885 or Eric Benson at ebenson1@umbc.edu.

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3. Summer/Fall Course Creation Requests

Now is the time to submit your course requests for both of the Summer sessions and the Fall 2004 semester. You can find the UMBC Blackboard Course Creation Request form by going to the Blackboard support site http://blackboard.umbc.edu. When submitting the request, you always have the option to request a copy of a past course which will save you some development time for the coming semester. If you would prefer a new course “shell”, the new course will be copied from the UMBC Course Template which contains help sheets, some basic content ideas, and tips to help you get started.

NOTE: Please submit summer course requests before May 10 so they can be completed prior to the May 21 Bb 5 to 6 course migration. If you have any questions, please send email to blackboard@umbc.edu, contact Bob Armstrong at rarmstro@umbc.edu or 5-3885, or email Eric Benson at ebenson1@umbc.edu.

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4. Blackboard Version 6 Workshops Begin in June

With the usual end of the semester crunch and the move to version 6, we won’t be offering any Blackboard workshops prior to the end of the semester. Starting in June we will be offering a variety of workshops that will highlight the new features in Blackboard 6, as well as our other workshops that focus on multi-media and the new user. For more information and to register online, visit the OIT Training site at http://www.umbc.edu/training.

As always, if you have specific questions or you just can’t figure out how to do something in your course/community, please send email to blackboard@umbc.edu, contact Bob Armstrong at rarmstro@umbc.edu or 5-3885, or email Eric Benson at ebenson1@umbc.edu.

Note: Departmental TAs are welcome to attend any faculty/staff Blackboard workshop. Also, OIT is happy to present short Blackboard demos at departmental faculty meetings or to discuss custom departmental training for faculty and/or TAs, which has been successful for the English and history departments. For more information, send email to blackboard@umbc.edu or contact John Fritz at fritz@umbc.edu or 5-6596

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5. FYI: Free Regional Blackboard Day at Loyola on April 29

Loyola College and Blackboard Mid-Atlantic are hosting a Spring Regional Blackboard Day Seminar on Thursday, April 29th 2004, that will cover the following:

  • An inside look at Loyola College's Blackboard implementation
  • Moving technology from Exploratory to Transformative: The Educational Technology Framework
  • Blackboard's New Content System (Management of e-Portfolio, Virtual Hard-Drive, Learning Content, and Library Digital Assets)
  • Blackboard Support Infrastructure Update
  • Blackboard-Presidium Partnership - Delivering End User Support to Students and Faculty
Date: Thursday, April 29th, 2004
Time: 8:30AM Light Breakfast, 9:00AM Start - 3:00PM End (Lunch Included)
Location: Loyola College Graduate Center - Timonium Campus, 2034
Greenspring Drive, Timonium, Maryland 21093, 410/617-1500
Room: 31/33 Main room (Building Map | Directions)
Parking: Free parking is available in front of the Graduate Center
Registration: To register, send a request to lgiangrande@blackboard.com by Friday, April 23, 2004 or call Lisa Giangrande at 212-988-9617
Cost: There is no fee to attend this Blackboard Day Seminar

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