Today ITS with assistance from LEI researchers and learning technologists at UoD completed the upgrade of Blackboard in a record time. So our thanks to all of those.
The upgrade changes comparatively little of the basic Blackboard functionality and, to the extent that it does, we will be updating the website at http://www.derby.ac.uk/lei/our-structure/celt/celt-help/blackboard
But there have been a number of changes to CampusPack that impact on the blog, wiki and podcasting technology provided by Learning Objects through their CampusPack software. We have now moved from CampusPack 3 to CampusPack version 4 (4.4 actually)
This upgrade has a number of exciting features both for academics and students.
- The wikis, blogs and podcasts will sit on a separate server that that on which our Blackboard is installed. That will mean
- that whatever is uploaded there does not encroach on the limits of space on your Blackboard module area.
- that staff and students will be able to access the wiki, blogs and podcasts, that have been created for them, without logging into UDo and Blackboard.
- Tutors can easily create templates which can be replicated across several wikis to give greater initial structure to wikis they build.
- Both staff and students can create podcasts from which RSS feeds can be created and pushed out to their computers or their mobile devices. A bug is currently being fixed by Learning Objects, which prevents this working properly in Internet Explorer (I.E.), so this will not working on I.E. until at least after the summer
All this and, as they say, much more…
Over the next few months learning technologists at UoD will be developing our own support materials about how these can be efficiently and effectively used for teaching.
But for anyone wanting to review these features, you can try them out in your Blackboard Sandboxes at UoD. In the meantime documentation is available from Learning Objects at http://www.learningobjects.com/training.jsp