It’s time for you to start using Blackboard
Starting in the spring semester 2015, students and staff at AR, HE and ST will start using the new AU-wide course and e-learning system Blackboard. The current systems will still be available for a period of time while a specific system phase-out and data storage plan is prepared and implemented.
The general use of the Learning Management System (LMS) Blackboard is part of an AU-wide implementation process. As part of this implementation process, the first users gained access to the system in August 2014, and now the remaining users at AR, HE and ST will be introduced to the system. Currently, BSS uses another version of Blackboard, but will also transfer to the new AU version of Blackboard before 2016.
Blackboard replaces different systems in different parts of the organisation. The systems in question are:
- Health (AULA)
- Science and Technology (AULA, Course Admin, CampusNet)
- Arts (AULA, FirstClass, BB Emdrup)
Phase-out plan for current systems
The phase-out plan for the current LMS systems particularly focuses on when the above-mentioned systems will be taken out of operation and how necessary data can be archived. According to the plan, the phase-out of the current LMS systems will take the next 6-12 months. The phase-out is taking place based on a close cooperation between the project team and the faculties and in pace with the expiry/required renewal of existing license agreements.
"The individual faculties are participating in establishing the framework and the conditions for the phase-out plan while considering both users and supporters as well as system license agreements and financial aspects," says Programme Manager Per Guldbæk from the administrative division for education. Per Guldbæk is head of the cross-organisational project team responsible for the planning and implementation of the phase-out plan.
The development of Blackboard continues
The 30,000 new Blackboard users can now access the AU-wide Blackboard solution. At present, the system contains the basic system functions used by students and employees – including data transferred from studies administration systems for importing users as well as creating learning spaces in Blackboard.
The development and adjustment of Blackboard will, however, continue in 2015. Programme manager Per Guldbæk explains:
”So far, our main focus has been to make Blackboard a part of a coherent solution together with the studies administration systems to ensure that important data is transferred automatically. Now it is time for a structured focus on user behaviour and user experience to implement additional functionality in the future. This is a choice that was made to ensure that the continued development, adjustment and lay-out of Blackboard are controlled by user requirements and needs and the experience we will get when using the system.”
- Blackboard is AU's shared LMS which is to replace all previous course and e-learning systems at AU.
- The system manages the contact between teaching staff and students – and can also be used for cooperation between students and communication from studies administration.
- Blackboard must provide stable, user-friendly and reliable support of daily teaching activities and supervision/guidance as well as making it possible to try out technologies, new teaching methods and tools in accordance with AU’s focus on digital teaching and learning activities (Educational IT).
- Blackboard is currently used by more than 6,300 educational institutions in more than 60 countries. It is therefore the most widespread learning management system in the world.