Upgrading From WebCT to Blackboard

This summer Academic Technologies has been working diligently to get all our WebCT using faculty moved over to the Blackboard course management system. This past year we announced that this move would be necessary due to Blackboards acquisition of WebCT. This move has offered us the opportunity to automate processes such as course creation and student enrollment, which helps greatly reduce the chances for error. With automation comes change, and sometimes we just do not like change. If you are a user of this technology, we now ask that you complete an online process for requesting your course. Instructions for how to complete the request can be found at http://cms.skidmore.edu/it/acadtech/blackboard-course-request.cfm.

Blackboard CE 8, which we upgraded to this summer, is still an interim step towards a fully merged Blackboard-WebCT product. Blackboard estimates the fully merged application, referred to as "NG" will be available in the coming year. We have no plans as to when we will upgrade to that product, and we would not perform such an upgrade during the academic year. The upgrade performed this summer has positioned us well for future growth and offers some exciting new online tools, which are now included within our Blackboard installation:

Wimba Voice - One of the many features of this application is that it allows you to record your voice to a discussion board. (Great for Foreign Languages!)
Scholar - Social bookmarking application (much like Delicious), but with a more academic or disciplinary approach.
SafeAssign - A plagiarism prevention service that assists in detecting unoriginal content in electronic submissions.

If you are interested in finding out more about Blackboard, please contact us at acadtech@skidmore.edu, or visit our Blackboard website at http://cms.skidmore.edu/it/acadtech/blackboard-at-skidmore-college.cfm.

- Beth DuPont, Director, Academic Technologies


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