Monday, July 25, 2005

Blackborad 5 Incompletes

Students with an incomplete grade from spring and summer 2005 courses will have access to Blackboard 5 through December 31, 2005 to complete their work.

Blackboard 6 ( will be available to students on August 15. At the same time, the current Blackboard url ( will be redirected to Blackboard 6
( After this date, the only way to get to Blackboard 5 will be by a new url ( On August 16, all courses on Blackboard 5 will be made unavailable to

Instructors have two options for students with an incomplete in a Blackboard course site:
Option 1: Moving Content to Blackboard 6 - The faculty member can request from their college Blackboard Administrator that the course be exported from Blackboard 5 and imported into Blackboard 6 (all enrolled students from spring and
summer 2005 will have accounts in the new Blackboard 6). The student can then be enrolled in the course site. Student course data (grades, drop box postings, discussion board posts, etc.) will not be brought over to the new system. This is a good option for students that only need access to course content.

Option 2: Completing the course in Blackboard 5 - The second option is for the student to complete the course in Blackboard 5. All student accounts will remain in Blackboard 5. The risk with this option is that the Blackboard 5 system is no longer a
supported environment. Blackboard will end support for Blackboard 5 in September 2005, and the VCCS will not have any official support after our August 15 Blackboard 6 Go Live date.
If an instructor would like to use Blackboard 5 for an incomplete, it is the instructor’s responsibility to make the course available to students and to communicate the url for the course location ( make the course available to students, go to the course ControlPanel, select Course Settings and then set Course Availability to Yes.

Exceptions and Constraints
If a college has a significant number of courses that should be left available after August 16, please submit them on a spreadsheet on an IssueTrak help ticket. The issue type is Blackboard 5. Blackboard 5 may only be used for incompletes and courses that started before August 15. If instructors foresee a reason for students to have access beyond that date, the course will need to be exported and imported into Blackboard 6. Faculty may also log on to Blackboard 5 to retrieve content that they still need from there. Faculty should be aware however that the server, while functional, will not be actively maintained as a production server.

Blackboard 5 will no longer be available after December 31, 2005.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Changes to DSII (

Posted by Matt Lawson on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 10:22 am:

For, passwords are not yet synchronized real-time with directory. By go-live, (actually sometime before) there will be real-time password synchronization with and directory services.

Currently, there is password synchronization, but it is done as a batch process twice a day at 11 AM and 11 PM. So if a user's password is changed in, at 11AM/PM it will be synchronized back to directory.

If a user changes their password in directory, it wont get updated in until 11AM/11PM. (Directory Services II)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Blackboard Performance Testing

Posted by David Carter-Tod on Friday, July 15, 2005 - 4:45 pm:

Over the next three weeks we will be performance testing our Blackboard 6 system with a Blackboard Engineering Consultant.

Each night from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., the system may be slow or unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

It is, however, critical work as we prepare to ensure a seamless start to the Fall semester.

Thank you Matt, David and Sue Ann

Student Access and Blackboard 5

Students will be given access to this Blackboard 6 system on August 15 at 8 a.m.
At that time, will start to redirect to
To access the previous Blackboard 5 system, all users will need to go to

Friday, July 08, 2005

PeopleSoft Integration with Blackboard

Posted by David Carter-Tod on Friday, July 08, 2005

One of the elements that we have discussed and planned for with Blackboard 6 was the automatic creation of classes based on PeopleSoft data and the resulting automatic enrollment management that would come with that. As we have indicated in our meetings, we have been working towards implementing that for Fall.

However, we are at the point where we need to reconsider that deadlinefor a number of reasons.

Our top priority is system stability and performance. Dedicating resources to the integration work will consume time that we need to spend on these elements.

After reviewing the business processes at all the colleges, we understand that there is a wide variety in practice at the colleges. We need more time to work together as a group to come to a consensus as to how best implement the integration. We have focused on introducing the new functionality, most notably the roles in the Community System. The roles in the Community System have formed the groundwork for our implementation of the Content System which is targeted to be released to all instructors in November. With theContent System in place, it will change how faculty manage and store their content for their courses. One consideration has been that many instructors merge and collapse course sections in order to not edit the same piece of content in multiple locations. We need the additional time this fall to study how faculty usage may change withthe implementation of the Content System and use that data to inform how we do our integrations.

We will convene an integration workgroup this fall to begin working onthe integration. We plan to have the group use the data gathered fromthe Blackboard course creation and enrollment business process interviews to draft a recommendation on how best to proceed with theintegration of Peoplesoft user and course data with Blackboard.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Matt, Sue Ann and David