This summer, UMBC takes Blackboard to the cloud. Summer courses will be hosted in a separate environment while we prepare for the migration of our main site. Here are seven important things to remember during the migration.
(1) Export & Import Content
Since summer courses are on a separate site, you will need to export your content from our main Blackboard site and import to your summer course shell in the cloud. Please review the FAQs for more information or open an RT ticket for support.
(2) Third Party Integrations
The summer environment supports all current integrations with some differences because it is separate from our main site.
Clicker students will need to synchronize their devices and Turning Technologies accounts through the summer Blackboard site. If/when students use clickers again, they will need to repeat this process to re-associate the devices and accounts on the main Blackboard site after the migration.
If your class participates in the Course Materials Initiative, you can add the book link directly into your summer course shell or contact the bookstore for support.
If you use a publisher integration such as McGraw-Hill Connect, Cengage Mindtap, etc., please contact your publisher’s technical integration specialists for support.
(3) Improved Bb Collaborate Dashboard
A new Bb Collaborate dashboard in your course allows you to schedule sessions, assign roles, and view reports. Please review the FAQs for important information about these improvements and configuration updates such as setting browser cookies.
Your summer courses cannot reference UMBC’s existing SafeAssign archive since the Blackboard sites exist on separate servers; fortunately, the tool will continue to check submissions against the ProQuest ABI Inform database and the internet.
As a workaround, you may log into UMBC’s Blackboard site before or after the downtime to use SafeAssign’s Direct Submit tool to upload an archive (*.zip) of submissions to SafeAssign for (a) processing for plagiarism and/or (b) archiving to the institutional database.
(5) Use Box for Media & Large Files
Large files (e.g., 500+ MB) cannot be uploaded to the new Blackboard cloud environment and multimedia will cause performance issues. Therefore, you should NOT upload any multimedia files (audio, video, narrated PowerPoints, etc.) to Blackboard.
TIP: Download all of your course files from your course’s Content Collection, then remove large files and multimedia from your course before exporting. In the process, you might also discover unnecessary duplicates from repeated imports or course copies, which impacts your course quota. Removing these files will improve your course’s performance.
(6) Course Retirement
During the summer of 2016, Blackboard archived our complete site, which saved individually backed-up copies of every course and organization through SP2016. As previously announced, courses from AY12-13 and AY13-14 will be retired during the cloud migration. Organizations larger than 2.5 GB will also be retired.
You can export (course content) and/or archive (course content & student data) your courses. You should also download a copy of your grade book. We recommend saving these files to your UMBC Box account to ensure long-term access in the event you change computer systems.
(7) Essential Downtime
UMBC’s primary Blackboard site has a lot of content and data to preserve, and moving all of this takes time. As such, we will be offline for up to 7 days during the summer transition. We have identified June 30 - July 8, 2017 as the downtime period. Since the summer Blackboard site is separate from our primary Bb site, summer courses will not experience any disruption. However, please make sure you have your summer content exported before the downtime.
For more information about the cloud migration, please review DoIT’s Bb migration FAQ for complete details about:
As always, if you have any questions, please consider the following options:
Request a consult with instructional technology staff
Thank you for your patience while we bring you a better Blackboard experience!