Back to School is here; students are already moving back onto campus and in just a few days over 18,000 of these students and around 3000 faculty and staff will be logging into Blackboard to begin the new semester. With this in mind, I wanted to talk a little about the things we’ve done over the summer to make sure Blackboard is ready to handle the increasing load.
First, we upgraded to a brand new version of Blackboard, this new version titled Blackboard Learn 9 is the first in a new set of Blackboard products billed as Blackboard NG. This new version made a few changes to the interface, like multiple levels of navigation. This allows us to group like items together so you can find what you need quickly.
Second, this week we installed the first service pack for Blackboard; this service pack included several patches for various bugs, as well as some performance enhancements. As part of this patch we were also able to upgrade Java, the technology used to run Blackboard, to the latest version. This new version of Java includes several updates to the platform for both performance and stability. We’ve already noticed a difference in the startup time for the application, and expect to see this improve performance for our faculty and students as well.
Third, we are constantly working with Blackboard and other institutions in the state of Kentucky to improve performance and reliability of the system for all Faculty and Students in the state. We work closely with other institutions, sharing what works and what doesn’t. This collaboration has helped us all learn more about the best practices of managing Blackboard.
Once the semester begins I’ll compare the performance numbers for this semester to the numbers from the same time last year and post the results.