It's always interesting to see how different institutions handle communications with their users. I thought some might be interested in our approach this year.
During the upgrade users will be redirected to an upgrade status page.
This page contains
- an embedded twitter feed where we will post updates
- an expected ETA for resumption of service
- a pie chart showing number of stages complete and remaining.
- an FAQ with further information
You can view a preview of the page here Blackboard Upgrade July 1/2/3 2017 we are likely to remove this link once the upgrade is complete, but the screenshot above gives a good impression.
We're doing this because in previous upgrades as soon as we went live we would have 20+ people using Blackboard within the first ten minutes, suggesting that some had been refreshing often awaiting Bb to return. Hopefully presenting the information in this way will set expectations and show that we are thinking about our customers.
Following the upgrade we will be promoting a "What's new?" page, with a short description of each change with links to further information.
With this upgrade we have also added the free version of the Qwickly Building Block and the Open Photo Roster Building Block by Szymon Machajewski, so we hope that users will find those useful and provide more feedback that we can share with the developers. We've created animated gifs to demonstrate the "floating" submit button and file upload drag and drop, which should give users an immediate understanding of those new aspects.
You can view the page here: What’s new in Blackboard? – Summer 2017