Blackboard Learn Outage Associated with May 2018 Upgrade

Posted: 4/30/2018

See What's Better

An upgrade is scheduled to be performed to the Blackboard Learn System to migrate from local servers to Blackboard's Cloud Service (SaaS) and to upgrade to the Q2 2018 Release.

The upgrade and migration will require 2 outages, durign which Blackboard Learn will be unavailable. Between these outages, Blackboard Learn will be in read-only mode for all completed courses, all future courses, all Shells, and all Communities. Intersession and College of Law courses will still be active, with the exception of the outages, so that students and faculty can participate fully in these courses.

Timeline

  • 1

    12-Hour Outage

    Friday, May 18 @ 11 PM

    Blackboard will be unavailable at this time for all courses.
  • 2

    Migration to the Cloud

    Saturday, May 19 @ 11 AM to Monday, May 28 @ 12 PM

    Blackboard will be available, but completed and future Courses, Shells and all Communities will be in read-only mode. Any changes made during this time will be lost during the second outage.

    Intersession courses (any course which is scheduled to begin before or during the read-only window) and Spring 2018 College of Law courses will be live and will be migrated automatically during the second outage.
  • 3

    12-Hour Outage

    Monday, May 28 @ 12 PM

    Blackboard will be unavailable at this time for all courses.
  • 4

    Upgrade Complete

    Tuesday, May 29 @ 12:01 AM

    Blackboard will be available and fully operational for all courses.

Read-Only Phase

During the read-only phase of the migration (May 19, 11 AM to May 28, 12 PM) you will be able to access all of your Blackboard Courses, Shells and Communities. This will allow you and your students to review materials, download files and access grade information. Any changes made during the read-only phase will be lost during the second outage and will not be available on the new cloud servers.

You will be reminded that the system is in read-only mode with a banner when you log into Blackboard.

Intersession and College of Law Courses

Spring 2018 College of Law courses and any course that is active during intersession will remain live throughout the read-only phase and will be manually migrated during the final outage. If you are teaching an affected course, you will receive further information about this directly.

For the purposes of this migration, intersession includes any course that begins before or during the read-only phase. Between May 19, 11 AM and May 28, 12 PM, you and your students can interact with these courses normally, including uploading materials, submitting student work, or grading. All data from these courses will be preserved during the final move to the cloud servers.

If your course has been identified as an intersession course, you will be notified with a banner when you log into Blackboard. Note that only your intersession course(s) will be live; your other courses will be in read-only mode.

More Information

The latest version of Blackboard Learn, 9.1 Q2 2018, will introduce several new exciting features, including:

  • Migration to Blackboard Cloud Service (SaaS): more flexibility for server capacity, quicker feature releases, and future upgrades without an outage
  • A built-in tool to track attendance: mark student attendance for each class meeting and incorporate it into grade calculations
  • Quick clean up the Grade Center : delete multiple columns at once
  • Assignment submission receipts: students will receive email confirmation for assignment submissions in addition to seeing a confirmation code in the browser

To learn more about the upcoming features and more, please visit www.niu.edu/blackboard/upgrade

If you have any questions or concerns, please review the Frequently Asked Questions, or contact the IT Service Desk at 815-753-8100 or ServiceDesk@niu.edu.


Need Technical Assistance?

Call the IT Service Desk at 815.753.8100 or email ServiceDesk@niu.edu


Need Assistance Teaching with Blackboard?

Call the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at 815.753.0595 or email facdev@niu.edu


Keeping Current

Stay up-to-date with the latest news regarding teaching with Blackboard at NIU, by following @NIUBlackboard on Twitter