Tell us your name, role, institution, how long you’ve been using Blackboard Learn, your current deployment method (self-hosted, managed hosted, or SaaS), and what you’re looking to get out of this cohort program.
Whitworth University (Spokane, WA)
We've been with Blackboard or a form of Blackboard for twenty years and I've been there all of the way.
We are on SaaS (Continuous Deployment). We moved from Self-Hosted to SaaS in Dec 2018.
I'm looking forward to learning about tips and tricks as we move to Ultra Navigation from the admin point of view as well as how to best transition our user easily. I also want to make sure we are ready with any 3rd party integrations we are using as well as our SSO and SIS integration.
I'm so glad you've joined the cohort, Judy. I believe we will be able to help you build a foundation of knowledge so that you can plan your transition to Ultra base navigation. Do you have a timeline in mind, or is it too early to have an idea on that yet?
Hi All! I'm Misty Cobb. I was your hostess for today's session (subbing in for Jasmine Banks who is on maternity leave). I'll celebrate my 8 year anniversary at Blackboard on August 1. Over the past years, I have held positions in North American Higher Education and K-12 as a solutions engineer and solutions engineering manager, program manager, and product manager in client success. Before I joined Blackboard, I was a client and the director of online learning at a regional university here in the southern part of the US. I have also previously worked as an instructional designer in higher ed and a K-12 classroom teacher and technology administrator (I taught advanced/honors business and computer science courses for 9th-12 grades).
My role in the cohort is to host/co-lead sessions and guide you in information gathering so that you can get ready to plan for Ultra adoption. Once you complete the cohort, I recommend that you join me in an Ultra Planning Workshop. Will you consider joining the July or August session? You can learn more about this workshop and register here: https://go.blackboard.com/ultra-planning-workshop I am glad you all are here and I encourage you to post your questions and comments in this community space!
Stacy Zona - Senior Programmer Analyst, Post University
We've been on Blackboard since about 2012, I joined Post in 2016. We're on the last legs of our managed hosting deployment, migrating to SaaS (continuous deployment) in August.
I've historically worked on the backend (SIS integrations, data analytics, new feature implementations, and my red-headed stepchild - third party integrations). I joined the cohort to get a bit more exposure to the front end. After today's (EXCELLENT!) webinar, I think we're going to need to evaluate where Ultra fits into overall initiatives surrounding branding, mobile access, and student engagement.
I'll be attending both Blackboard World and DevCon, so I'd love to tip back a couple pints with the lovely people from this group!
Hi Stacy, I'll be at Bb World and would love to meet you in person. My friend, Geoff Price from Belmont University, and I are presenting a session at Bb World (Transitioning to Ultra: The Whats, Whos, and Hows with that might be helpful to you.
Hello Everyone ... Honor and Respect to You!
My name is Pamela (Pami) Parker.
I currently serve as a contract instructional designer with Unity Worldwide Ministries > Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute.
We have been utilizing Blackboard since 2015. Our current deployment method is SaaS. I look forward to learning best practices for integrating Ultra Base Navigation with Original Course View in order to prepare our future launch with Ultra Base Navigation. We currently are using Genius as a third party student registration system.
NOTE: I work remotely from Amsterdam, Netherlands (Central European Time) +6 hours from Eastern Time.
Pami, I am so glad you can join us. Welcome! I expect you'll find the cohort curriculum is a good match for your goals!
Hi, Lesley-Jane Eales-Reynolds. We're on BB Learn 9.1 but are testing SaaS currently with a go live date in August. We've been using BB at the University of West London, UK. I'm a new recruit and I'm not technical but I find myself in charge of this move.
I'm desperate to hear from anyone who has made the move from managed hosting to SaaS and who uses Talis Aspire to populate reading lists. We have just been told by btBB that SaaS does not support this and that it is a known bug and there is no date fixed for addressing this. Does anyone have any experience of going through this and if so, how did you address the problem?
Desperate for the help!!
Hi Lesley-Jane, welcome! I am not familiar with the Talis Aspire tool. I checked with product management and understand that this issue has been escalated to the Learn engineering team. I also reviewed the related support case. When there are updates (like a fix) you will receive the notification since you have a related case. I am sorry I don't have additional information to help you. You might try posting in the system administrator community (https://community.blackboard.com/community/systemadministrator) to see if anyone has ideas for how to help.
Thanks Misty. It was a great webinar and really useful to someone like myself. Unfortunately, the lack of a fix for this means that we will probably not be able to go to SaaS or Ultra given that despite the great new things in Ultra, it would give our students a less seamless experience. We’re looking into it but its not looking good.
I am Susan Darlington from Gwynedd Mercy University (PA) where I serve as the Director of Online Learning. We have been using Blackboard for the 7 years that I have been employed here and I worked with Blackboard at a community college for 4 years. We moved from managed hosted to SaaS last year.
I found the Week 1 webinar to be extremely helpful, particularly, the great questions so many of you asked. I like the look and feel of the Ultra Base Navigation and hope to deploy that so that our faculty and students are accustomed to the change prior to moving to the full Ultra experience. We are in the midst of a major SIS upgrade so I cannot make the change just yet
I look forward to learning from all of you!
Welcome, Susan! We are glad you're participating in the cohort. Good wishes for a successful SIS upgrade.
Hi all! This is Rachel Schaller from Colorado Christian University. I have been with the university for 10 years and have been our Blackboard Administrator since 2014. I am in a unique position as I am the only Blackboard Administrator at the university, but am part-time and work remotely from the Philadelphia area (I live about 45 minutes from Gwynedd Mercy University, in fact). However, we have a great team of staff from our online program who support me - several of them are part of this cohort.
We have been on SaaS since January 2018, first on Flexible Deployment, now on Continuous Delivery (best decision ever). We have been watching Ultra for a few years now and finally think it is ready for us (and we are ready for it). We are hoping that this 5-week session, as well as what we see at BB World will help us make that decision. We are looking forward to the other 4 sessions! Thanks Blackboard team for offering this!
Hi Rachel, thanks for sharing and welcome!
I am Laura Blankenship. I work for Plano ISD in Texas. Our department provides online and blended courses for grades 9-12. While I have worked with Blackboard on the teaching side for many years, I am a relatively new course designer. We currently use Learn and are manage hosted. We are exploring a move to Ultra. I would like to learn a bit more so that I can provide some feedback as to the differences and the ease of moving our current courses to Ultra.
Hi Laura! Welcome! In my years as a K12 solutions engineer and SE manager, I feel like I may have worked with your institution. I'm glad you're here! I hope this cohort will be helpful for understanding differences and ease of move to Ultra courses. We will be focusing on course the next 3 sessions, so I hope you'll find the content beneficial. The Ultra Planning Workshop may also be helpful once you have completed the cohort. Here's more info on the workshop: https://go.blackboard.com/ultra-planning-workshop
Hello everybody, My name is Juan Pachon from ITBA – Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires. I been interacting from different roles with Blackboard as a partner in Colombia, then As a Solution Engineer with the Bb LAC Team and now as a Educational Innovation and Quality Analyst. This year I am Part of the 2019 Catalyst award Winners and I hope can see you at bbworld.
We plan to move to ultra in 2020 Q1.Blackboarders assemble.....!!!!
Hi Juan! I am glad to see you in the cohort and looking forward to seeing you at bb World! Given your plans to move to Ultra in 2020 Q1, I hope you'll register for the Ultra Planning Workshop in July or August. Are you planning to adopt Ultra base navigation at that time, or also Ultra courses?
Ann Crutchfield, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, North Carolina. I am an instructor and support the office of teaching, learning, and innovation in professional development. My current task is to support instructors using Blackboard for the first time or as new Ultra users.
Hi Ann! Welcome! I hope the cohort is beneficial to you so far. Given your task, you might find the Ultra Planning Workshop very useful. By chance will you be attending Bb World? Geoff Price (Belmont University) and I are presenting and he will be sharing some about his strategy for supporting faculty of all types including new faculty, those new to Belmont, those who have never used an LMS, and those who have used Original for a long time. You might pick up some useful information from that session!
I am Jane Eckert and I work as an LMS Administrator for Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. I started employment in March of 2019 and am new to Blackboard. We are currently managed hosted and plan the conversion to SaaS in December 2019. I'm looking to get a better vision of the original vs the ultra experience in order to make the transition for faculty fairly painless when we switch to Ultra in the Summer of 2020.
Hi Jane, welcome! When you switch, will it be just for Ultra base navigation? Or will you also use some Ultra courses (while also sticking with some Original, aka dual deployment)? In the SaaS Virtual Meeting today, a member of the group shared this: "I had a department chair comment that dual deployment is the absolute best roll out of any tech product we have seen at NIU. She was in support of it emphatically." I hope you'll consider using both courses experiences to meet faculty where they are regarding how they use the LMS to support their instructional goals and strategies.
Hi. I’m Gordon Jang, an Ed. Tech. with the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada. I have worked with Blackboard Learn for the last 10 years. We’re currently managed hosted and looking to move to SaaS as the servers are now available in Canada. By joining this cohort I can evaluate Ultra.
Welcome Gordon! I am glad you have joined us!
My name is Bevin Rainwater, Instructional Designer/Technologist for the University of Hartford. My job includes front/back end admin tasks and I'm also the chair of the Accessibility Commitee on Campus. We have been on Learn since 2000 or 2001 at UH, though I have only been here since 2015. I've been working on Blackboard at a few institutions since 2005, and have taught on Blackboard Learn since 2010. We migrated summer 2018 to SaaS, and are doing pilots this fall for the Ultra experience.
Bevin, I am thankful for your participation in the cohort. Your excellent questions and points certainly add value for us all. I'd love to hear more about the pilots you are conducting for the fall term. Have you considered the Ultra Planning Workshop as part of your preparations? The next one is July 10. You can register here: https://go.blackboard.com/ultra-planning-workshop
My name is Albert and I am the Director of the Academy of Excellence for Research & eLearning (AEReL) at Alabama State University (ASU) in Montgomery, AL. I am responsible for leading our instructional technology and instructional design efforts, along with our LMS, Blackboard. Presently we are managed hosted and migrating to Bb Ultra. My intentions are to introduce Bb Ultra base navigation with original courses to all faculty in fall 2019. I have 30 faculty who will pilot Bb Ultra courses also in fall 2019. Ultimately I would like for our faculty to all utilize Bb Ultra by spring 2020. This will be accomplished by utilizing intensive training on the Ultra system. I look to learn more about the intricacies of Bb Ultra.
Hi Albert, welcome! When are you set to migrate to SaaS? Will you turn on Ultra base navigation as part of your migration? I'm in Northeast Alabama, by the way. By chance you will be attending Bb World?
We are currently in the process now. Yes, ma'am I will turn on Ultra base navigation as part of the migration. That is wonderful you are in North Alabama. Most definetly I will be attending Bb World. I look forward to meeting you if you are available.
Would you like to meet at the BamaBUG meeting on Thursday, July 24? The meeting is at 1:30 in Room 2.
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