Go “Live” Update

From Harold….


My intentions are always to do what is right for you and your students. Conversations and meetings with you over the past couple of weeks have caused me to reevaluate our complete move to Blackboard 9.1 for the Summer semester. This morning I made a recommendation that we maintain and operate both versions of Blackboard over the Summer with a full transition to Blackboard 9.1 for the Fall. My recommendation was considered and approved. I still need to work out the details on how both systems will be accessed and that information will be shared with you in the next couple of days.

After the Summer semester all Fall semester courses will be in Blackboard 9.1.

Your Summer options are now:

  1. Use our current version of Blackboard to deliver your Summer courses while you work on preparing Blackboard 9.1 courses for the Fall semester.
  2. Use Blackboard 9.1 to deliver your Summer courses while you work on preparing Blackboard 9.1 courses for the Fall semester.

The training schedule will remain the same with some additional evening and weekend sessions yet to be determined.

I really believe that Blackboard 9.1 gives you the best tool possible to deliver great instruction. I look forward to working with each of you and to a smooth transition.

I do listen and I truly appreciate your input, suggestions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me about anything relative to our move to Blackboard 9.1.

With much respect,


Looking for BB 9.1 Info?

While Harold and I know a lot of things, we (horrors!) don’t know everything about Blackboard 9.1. To be honest, we’re really about 1/2 a step ahead of you. There are a ton of things we don’t know!

One of the things we do know, however, is how to look things up. Or where to look for information.

“Ask Dr. C” is a classic Blackboard support option located at http://discussions.blackboard.com. While it lives on the Blackboard official web site, it’s actually run by a group of volunteers who are also practitioners. Folk who use BB in their daily lives.

So, a the questions about “what happened to who’s online?” came in over the weekend. When I couldn’t find it in my course, I went looking. I glanced at the active forums but they are too high level for something like this. I just put the phrase “who’s online” into the search box.

Turns out that who’s online doesn’t exist in the new version. Who knew? Well, Dr. C did! 🙂

Go look. Cool stuff out there!

Course Sites – Behaving Badly

It’s still doing it… 😦

The Blackboard CourseSites web site is not working well today (Feb 15). It’s been up and down all morning and now it’s slower than molasses when I try to bring it up. And when it does come up, it doesn’t want to cooperate.

So if you’re using Course Sites, it’s not us, it’s them.

And, watch the warnings. Blackboard is planning a system upgrade overnight tomorrow (Feb 16). Plan for that.

Online Resources

Blackboard offers a wealth of materials that we can’t even begin to duplicate — and they’ve done it way better than we have the time for.

Go to:  http://ondemand.blackboard.com

There is an entire section of materials related to:

  • building and understanding your courses
  • communicating and collaborating
  • assessing learners

Videos, documentation and suggestions galore! As I parse through them, if I find something particularly useful, I’ll make a note of it on the blog. Or tell me what you found especially interesting.

Go check it out!

Course Sites – Part Deux

When you go out to Course Sites (www.coursesites.com) to build a sandbox, you need to set up an account. It’s like anything, use information you will remember.

Now, we’re recommending you use your Genesis username when you set up your account. This is so that the username ’embedded’ in the course will be the same when we bring it back to the Genesee production server. If you use something like “Bubba666” then that will be all over the course materials if you roll that class back to our site.

You don’t have to build a course, just take advantage of the “Getting Started With CourseSites” orientation. It’s pretty parallel to the Student Orientation we’ll be making available but it’s geared to faculty.


Now that we’re moving forward and gaining momentum, I’ll be back with more about my course and the work I’m doing….

Course Sites

Blackboard has a really cool web site at http://www.coursesites.com (don’t forget that “s” at the end of ‘coursesite’ or you’ll end up at the wrong place.

For free — a very important concept — Blackboard will let you build a course. What’s even cooler, is that if you build a course there, you can ‘export’ it and we’ll be able to import it into our Blackboard instance. So, no wasted time in building a course somewhere only to have to re-build it again when we’re fully live.

I’ll be talking a bit about the Course Sites site, what’s there and where you might want to start.

I have this really huge delusion that I’m going to re-build my online Mat 129 Stats class there, kind of a ‘performance art’ approach. I’ll talk about the differences between what I’ve done in the past and what does and doesn’t work for me now. I’m not going to just ‘roll’ an existing class into the Course Site, I’m going to build from scratch so I can see how things work.

I do feel obligated to say: YES, you can roll courses from our existing BB8 to BB9. Things will change but the majority of your existing work will transfer over.

This also will be a primer on teaching an online class that anyone can take advantage of. I’ll talk about the tools I use, what I don’t use, why I’ve made those choices and how they’ve worked for me. Laying it all out there! 

After I get the build started, if you’d like to play, let me know and I’ll invite you as a student so you can see how it’s going. I’d love the feedback!


With the move to Blackboard version 9 from our current Blackboard Campus Edition version 8, there will be lots and lots and lots and lots of things to say.

And if you’re anything like us, you *hate* all the junk that pops up in your Genesee email.

This is our effort to focus that information yet make it accessible to anyone that is interested. Which should be lots of folk.

Mary Jane and Harold will both contribute on an irregular basis to this blog. MJ has delusions of some organized contributions but we’ll see what happens…

Stay tuned for more!