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Skidmore and Blackboard 9

The Skidmore College Academic Technologies Team is very excited to announce the upcoming move to Blackboard 9. Nothing changes quite like technology. And course management systems are no different. We have had great success with Blackboard 8 over the past 2 years, however, it’s time to make the move to Blackboard 9. Talk to any of our early adopters, and they will tell you it’s worth it!

Over the summer we recruited around 25 faculty members to become our early adopters of Blackboard 9 for the fall semester to help us kick the tires on this new release. The Academic Technologies team is excited to see it adopted with such great enthusiasm. Here are some new features you can look forward to:
1. New and improved user friendly interface with drag and drop functionality, reducing the number of clicks to complete tasks.
2. Allows for easier course management of groups.
3. Notifications system improves communication with students.

Our Upgrade Plan:
1. Fall 2010: Early Adopters (25 faculty trained and teaching with Blackboard 9)
2. Spring 2011: All faculty and students will be using Blackboard 9.

The use of early adopters will allow faculty and students to provide the Blackboard 9 implementation team with feedback throughout the semester. We expect that all will go smoothly, and in early November Academic Technologies will begin the task of preparing to move all Blackboard users to version 9 for the coming spring semester. Faculty will be invited to Blackboard 9 training sessions in early December and throughout January, which will prepare them for the change. As part of the upgrade process all courses created in Blackboard 8 will be automatically converted and imported into the Blackboard 9 system. To request your courses, you will be asked to use the same form that you have been using, accessible from the faculty self-service system.

The rollout of Blackboard 9 is complemented by a support website that provides information on resources, pedagogy and workshops to help you get up and running. http://cms.skidmore.edu/it/acadtech/bb9.cfm

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Dempsey-Little at (518) 580-5933, or email kdempsey@skidmore.edu

Have a great fall semester!

Kelly Dempsey-Little
Instructional Technologist


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