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Blackboard Online Course System Upgrade Available Now

Posted Nov. 21, 2011

Kent State University faculty members are urged to adapt their online courses to the updated course management system, Blackboard Learn 9, to take advantage of the new version’s many benefits.

All online courses must be moved to Blackboard Learn by the end of summer 2012, but the sooner the upgrade is made the better for both faculty and their students.

The upgrade, from Blackboard Vista 8, makes class work more mobile and interactive. The Mobile Learn feature gives students and faculty access to many of their course features on the go, which allows students to stay connected to the educational experience 24/7, and make best use of their time.

Learn also features an improved user interface, and enhanced capabilities for interactive blogs, wikis and the integration of videos, photos and other media from multiple sources to add to class dynamics.

A special benefit is access to the Wimba Classroom suite, including Blackboard IM instant messaging system. Wimba provides synchronous virtual class sessions in which the teacher and students share documents, have online discussions and can see the whole class through group IM capability. This feature provides students with instant feedback and instant help.

To get help in making the upgrade to Blackboard 9, faculty can refer to the course migration Knowledge Base article at support.kent.edu/bbmigration, or submit a ticket at support.kent.edu to request support.

Information Services will offer drop-in sessions for faculty who need hands-on help with Blackboard or other tech issues. The schedule for the drop-in sessions, available at the start of spring semester, and other help also can be found below or at www.kent.edu/blackboard.

In addition to Blackboard questions, IS support for general technology help is available 24/7 by visiting support.kent.edu or by calling 330-672-HELP. Faculty and staff may also contact their department tech support person. That departmental support list can be found at support.kent.edu/localsupport (Kent Campus) or support.kent.edu/help (Regional Campuses).

Faculty Support Schedule - Spring 2012:

Faculty Drop-In Support, Monday, 1/9/2012 - Friday, 1/13/2012 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. in:

  1. Bowman Hall (main entrance by computer lab)
  2. White Hall (1/9:203 and 1/10 - 1/13: 221b)
  3. Kent Library (1st floor, across from the Library Coffee Cart)

Staff at all three locations are trained to provide 1-1 assistance with:

  • Blackboard courses and Wimba Classroom
  • Login and password issues
  • Computer, email and mobile device setup

Scheduled Training: Visit www.kent.edu/blackboard to sign up for one of the specialized Blackboard training sessions offered throughout the semester.