Version 6.0 of the Blackboard Learning System was made available to the BYU community Thursday, Nov. 20. Blackboard, an online course management tool that helps faculty organize their course materials on the Internet, also provides tools for online assessment, class collaboration and communication. Blackboard 6.0 replaces the current version of Blackboard (version 5.5) used by hundreds of faculty members.
New features in Blackboard 6.0 include greater flexibility with course layout and management, easier assessment management to reduce potential errors, conversion of grades from Excel to Blackboard and an equation editor available for math and science notations.
Blackboard 5.5 will continue to run for the rest of fall semester and service will not be interrupted. However, Blackboard 6.0 will be the only version available for winter semester 2004, and course materials created or existing in Blackboard 5.5 will no longer be accessible.
Because of the Blackboard version upgrade, faculty members need to either archive and rebuild their existing Blackboard courses or build new courses. Given the significant differences between Blackboard versions 5.5 and 6.0, faculty will likely need assistance with copying and converting course materials.
The Center for Instructional Design and the Instructional Media Center will provide training and support opportunities. Faculty can get more information about the Blackboard upgrade, register for available workshops or view online tutorials to assist in this transition online at http://cid.byu.edu/workshops/index.htm. Information is also available by calling the IMC at ext. 2-1888.
Writer: Instructional Media