Blackboard 9.1 Implementation

The University of Southern Mississippi is in the process of upgrading from Blackboard CE 8 to Blackboard 9.1. Implementation will occur in phases. Full implementation will occur in Fall 2011. Students and instructors must all switch to version 9.1 at the start of that semester.

To ensure that both instructors and students experience a positive online teaching and learning experience, a university-wide template has been developed. For more information on the template, see additional information below.

ALL faculty who will be teaching online in Fall 2011 MUST submit a request for a Blackboard 9.1 developmental course shell via an online form.

This requirement is mandatory for ALL faculty who will teach Fall 2011 Online Course Supplements, Fully Online courses, or both. You must fill out the form for each individual class you will be teaching online, but if you are teaching multiple sections of the same course, you do not need a separate form entry for each section. This online form will be available for all online faculty to fill out starting on Monday, March 28, 2010 at this link: /elo/csrf.

We will also provide continual emails, announcements, and ELO Web site updates which will include reminders, updates, details, and deadlines regarding the form and the 9.1 upgrade. Specific details and/or changes will be progressively provided as we approach the Fall 2011 deadline.

Understanding the Change from CE 8

9.1 Tutorials and training materials

University-wide template for courses

Through the Eagle Learning Online initiative, a Blackboard 9.1 course template has been developed to serve as a model for best practices in the design of the online courses at Southern Miss. This template has gone through review by the eLearning Steering Committee, chaired by Provost Lyman, and the Change Management Taskforce, chaired by Mary Dayne Gregg, Assistant to the President for Articulation and Planning.

The purpose of a university-wide template for online courses is to ensure a consistent experience for our students. The template promotes best practices in syllabus requirements, design of instruction, course structure and organization, learner support and resources, learner interaction and collaboration, effective use of course technology, and assessment and evaluation.

Blackboard Designated as the Official Course Delivery Tool for Southern Miss

Southern Miss has invested and continues to invest in robust support infrastructure for faculty and students using Blackboard learning support technology. We strive for consistency and quality in the student learning experience, rigorous standards and review, security of student information and grades, as well as maintaining a reasonable cost to support faculty training, instructional design, and course development services.

We achieve this by standardizing the institution on a single, core set of e-learning technologies. We simply cannot afford to support multiple platforms and achieve these same results. Additionally, in partnership with the University Textbook Committee, we are working with textbook publishers to develop procedures for easy transition of their e-learning course materials into the Blackboard learning environment. With all of these issues taken into consideration, we are promoting Blackboard as the single authorized e-learning support technology for our university, and the only one for which we can provide training and support services. Please help us by using Blackboard for learning support. 

- Dr. Bob Lyman, Provost

Pronto integration

The University recently purchased Wimba Pronto, the only instant communication platform designed for educators to advance and promote collaborative learning. Wimba Pronto includes unique features that specifically benefit students and teachers, including blended audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, application sharing, state-of-the-art whiteboard, queued chat for tutoring and office hours, automatic population of classmates and courses, instant access to campus services, instant school-wide notifications, universal accessibility, support of any video device, advanced privacy features, and invitations to build community. Wimba Pronto will be integrated into Blackboard 9.1 for academic use. The planned roll-out for non-academic use is Fall 2011.

 Library integration

Included in the upgrade to Blackboard 9.1, library databases will be integrated to allow instructors to provide direct links to articles for their students.  Blackboard 9.1 users will not have to log in to the library databases from inside of a Blackboard course, regardless of whether they are on or off campus.

PeopleSoft integration

With the implementation of Blackboard 9.1, Blackboard and SOAR will be fully integrated. Blackboard course rosters will now be updated in real-time, which will allow students to have instant access to their courses in Blackboard upon registration once the semester had begun.

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