In a presentation at BbWorld 2010 (“Upgrading to Blackboard Learn, Release 9: Field Notes from USC and UT Austin”), Patrick Crispen and Carolyn Thomas summarize some of the challenges their institutions faced when moving to Blackboard version 9. Some highlights included:

  • Old ways to navigate and build a course no longer apply: many will think it’s easier, but inevitably some faculty will not think so
  • The computer you use matters: Blackboard 9 pushes processing operations to users’ computers, thus the speed, age, and browser version of the computer you use to connect to Blackboard matters greatly
  • Hiding the course menu is evil: users will think their course is gone if the course menu has been hidden
  • Grade Center is still slow, especially in Internet Explorer 7: this is in part because the Grade Center is a web application and not a web page; again, what browser you use and the age and speed of your computer matters greatly when it comes to accessing the Grade Center
  • Digital Dropbox is gone: get used to it, it’s not coming back; the Assignments tool is much more full-featured
  • Course Files is a brand new way of managing course content (overview)