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Going Back to School?

Posted by tjatkin Aug 24, 2018

While school is no longer constrained to the September to May timeline, there remains a large group of students who are starting in the coming weeks.  With that in mind, if you haven’t done so already, I wanted to reinforce some organizational actions that our Global Client Support team have found helpful over the years.


There are several steps system administrators can take to ensure they’re ready for the upcoming term. This coincides with the Operations and Web Tech teams review of each client. Here are a few of their recommendations:


  1. Verify that your Institution/University’s Help Desk portal is searchable to students under Support on
  2. Bookmark for updates on planned system maintenance activities and service interruptions.  You can also follow the link at the top of the page for instructions on using free RSS feed apps to have alerts pushed to your iOS or Android device. 
  3. Review and update the information in My Profile and My Institution in Behind the Blackboard to ensure all contacts are correct for ticketing and escalations


Take a moment to consider your usage of our products. Support recommends considering the following statistics over the past school year and how any changes may impact your efforts or support needs:


  • Expected user increases greater than 5% over the previous year
  • Expected enrollment or course increases greater than 15% over previous year
  • New deployment of Analytics, Collaborate, Mobile Learn, Outcomes, or Retention Center
  • Changes to a current integration, customization, or 3rd party tool
  • Any other system-wide change or new institution policy that could potentially impact performance.  For example: Proctored Exams, Assignments/Discussion Boards due on same day/time, etc.


Please share these practices to the appropriate people – and please share your own thoughts of any best practices.


BbWorld - Time Flies!

Posted by tjatkin Aug 2, 2018

BbWorld was an exciting week – and then I took off for London to meet with several team members to ensure we are doing our best to take advantage of our best practices globally to better serve all of our clients.


I had a wonderful time participating in BbWorld and hearing from you about your work with our portfolio of products, and your overall experience.  So, now that I’m back home (and past my jet lag), I wanted to share my top reflections on BbWorld2018.


#3 – We can all make a difference and pay it forward. I was inspired by Sheila Johnson’s remarks, the discussion created by the Inclusive Education panel, and the charities across our community and around the world that are making a difference.  And it was a hugely uplifting moment for me to stand on stage with the Catalyst Award and Exemplary Course Program winners – all who are giving back by sharing their stories, their hard work and their creativity and innovation. Our individual actions matter and make a difference.


#2 – What a difference a year makes!  Earlier this week, our 400th Learn SaaS client went live in production, and we have over 50 clients in process. Over 65 clients are using Ultra in production, with an additional 35 institutions running pilots. I’m proud of my 2000+ Blackboard colleagues who have worked tirelessly to make this possible.


#1 – The LMS is necessary, but is not enough to support the complex challenges you are facing to help drive student success.  And this is why we’re working to bring you a portfolio of connected products and a super-charged ecosystem of partners to enable your efforts. And the most powerful part of our ecosystem is you, the community of user groups, discussion boards, MVPs, and peer networks.


I want to thank everyone who presented at BbWorld.  Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and expertise by presenting a session, workshop or on a panel.  BbWorld is a success because of you. And for those that may wish to watch the highlights from our general keynote, please select this link.


I noticed that this thread – “What did you learn” has been started on the Community site, I encourage you to contribute when you have a moment. Thanks @Syzmon for getting us started.