July 13, 2006
Impact 2006: Thursday Session 3: Blackboard Executive Listening Session
This was a session where Blackboard executives listen to the concerns and comments from conference attendies. Detailed notes will be published online after the conference.
Plans for Future Conferences and support
- They indend to merge the BlackBoard and WebCT conferences into one conference called "Blackboard World". It will be held in the summer, when Impact normally happened. (Blackboard normally had theirs in the spring).
- The general pedegogical tracks are comparable in both conferences.
- Will continue with the pre conference workshops. This is something Blackboard never did before.
- They will be merging the community sites and web sites soon.
- They are examining the certification programs for trainers. They plan to continue this, but need more work on the details.
- They will continue to honour multi-year agreements that are in place and will continue to offer multi-year contracts.
- Some people voiced concerns for the portfolio licencing model. Their site would have to pay $37,000 which they said just wouldn't happen. Blackboard is offering some discounts for pilot programs. Talk to the service managers.
- They will be discontinuing perpetual licenses, but will grandfather those who already have these licenses.
- They will continue to offer consortia licensing. Currently negotiating these on a case by case basis.
New Support Structure
- There will now be a dedicated technical suppport rep for each institution who will be familiar with our setup. dedicated as in the person may support several institutions, but that person always will support our institution (aside from vacations, etc.)
- They are developing the "behind the blackboard" customer self service support site. Includes incident tracking monitoriing, downloads, etc. No additional cost.
- They will be making all known issues available to users again. WebCT used to do this, then lately they stopped.
Long Term single product strategy
- They will continue to keep releasing application paks for both Blackboard and WebCT product lines. These will keep moving the two systems closer together.
- Blackboard will continue to market their other products as cross platform so they work on both systems (naturally more sales for them).
- They intend to start design of the next generation system this year. Development will start in 2007. Release will be in 2008 or 2009. (although they disclaim this and say it all might change).
Reliability of Service Paks
Lately there have been a lot of recalls on service paks. They release a service pak, then a note not to install it, then a patch for the service pak, etc. People asked Blackboard to make sure they thoroughly test a new service pak before release, because now backing out of a service pak can be extremely time consuming.
One best practices recommendation is to do a full backup of the system before installing a service pak.
Some people wanted some clear instructions for best practices and recommendations for setting up test environments, like what is provided for production environments.
Posted by kvl014 at July 13, 2006 04:59 PM