Blackboard 9.1 Upgrade
RSCCD will be upgrading to the latest Blackboard release, version 9.1. The upgrade is already taking place and will go live this summer.
Drag and drop is probably the biggest visual change to 9.1. If you have ever used iGoogle or My.Yahoo, you will probably be familiar with the ability to move content areas by simply dragging and dropping them where ever you wish.
Another big change is the movement away from the Control Panel. The Control Panel still exists, but instead of being in a separate area, the options are listed in the left navigation area. There are significantly fewer items in the Control Panel because each content area has its own miniature Control Panel attached to it. This new style will allow you to complete most tasks with fewer clicks. Fewer clicks also transfer over to the Document Manager. With 9.1, you will be able to batch upload documents into your course or even drag and drop them into Blackboard from your desktop.
Student engagement is another consideration Blackboard took seriously with this new release. Web 2.0 tools are available to engage students with Wikis, Blogs, Journals, Mashups, Themes, and more. If you don’t know what some of those new tools are, don’t worry, you are not alone. Training for these engaging tools will be offered soon.
The Grade Center also got a makeover. Labels were added, along with color, to assist in viewing large grade books. The grading process has also become much more intuitive. Instead of having to go into the Grade Center to grade an item, such as a Wiki or a Discussion board, the Grade Center comes to you. Each graded content area includes an area for grading on the spot.
What Do I Need To Know About the Change
Since Blackboard 9.1 is so different, you may find it very difficult to navigate your course without training. Please plan on attending upgrade training this semester. Training opportunities will be announced soon.
Your existing courses can still be copied into the new version. Any tests, documents, announcements, etc. will still transfer over with few, if any, issues.
Please contact Scott James if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about this exciting upgrade.
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