Blackboard 8 Server Will Be Removed from Faculty Access After Fall 2012 Semester

This is a reminder that the Blackboard 8 (Bb8) server will be removed from access for previous course materials after the Fall 2012 semester.  After this point, faculty and staff will not be able to log into Bb8 and access any documents, grades, or other information stored in this system.

Many faculty and have transitioned course materials to the Blackboard 9 (Bb9) server already for current courses.  If there are course materials still in Bb8 that you would like to preserve for future courses or as a record of previous work, the OIT How-To Library has several pages that will walk you through the export/archival process for Bb8 course materials.  A good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the transition process would be: What is the Blackboard 9 Transition Process?

The following strategies can be utilized when considering management of your course materials from Bb8 and your current and future use of Bb9:

  1. For course materials that you won’t be needing in the near future, you may consider simply keeping the the zipped export/archive files on your hard drive (don’t open them or extract the files on your hard drive, as they won’t import into Bb9 once the zipped file is extracted).  Since backup processes are part of any good file management strategy, you can back these zipped files up to your faculty or staff  shared drive, an external hard drive, or flash drive as needed for security.
  2. Courses are created in Bb9 as soon as the first student registers for them.  This means, for example, that most courses for the Spring 2013 semester are created in the beginning of November.  As soon as the course is created and the Registrar has you enrolled as the instructor, it is available to the registered instructor for development and you can upload materials to the course anytime you are ready.
  3. You can request a Development course in Bb9.  OIT will create a course for you in Bb that does not have students enrolled.  You are free to experiment and develop the course as you see fit.  This is a good option for course materials coming from Bb8, as most people take the opportunity to revise the organization or materials selection to accommodate the new features available in Bb9.  When the course is created in the Registrar’s database and the first student enrolls, it will show up in Bb9, and it only takes a few minutes to copy everything from the Development course over to the official course for the semester. Development courses can be requested up to one year in advance, so requests placed now will be honored for any class being taught through Fall 2013.  The request form can be found here: How Do I Get a Course Development Site?
  4. The courses that currently exist in Bb9 will eventually be removed in order to manage server space effectively for ongoing current course needs.  However, there is the option (as was available in Bb8) to roll the materials over from classes taught frequently to the new semester.  The space management plan is to remove courses 2-3 years after the end of the semester in which they were taught. You have the option to archive or export a Bb9 course and store it as well to preserve the materials for future use.

If you have any questions about transitions Bb8 materials, please feel free to contact the IT Support Center at x4357 or by opening a ticket at http://itsupport.smcm.edu.

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