Scheduled Blackboard Outage – Friday, 5/27/2011, 10:00 PM to Monday, 5/30/2011, 9:00 PM

A major upgrade is scheduled to be performed to the Blackboard Learning System over Memorial Day weekend, beginning at 10:00 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2011.  Blackboard Next Generation (NG), is scheduled to be available at 9 PM on Monday, May 30th, 2011.  The Blackboard system (http://webcourses.niu.edu/) will be UNAVAILABLE during this time.

The new version of Blackboard NG, 9.1, will deliver a new set of social learning and teaching tools, as well as a more intuitive and easy-to-use interface. It is strongly recommended that current faculty, instructors, teaching staff and teaching assistants attend any of the upcoming May, June and July training programs on Blackboard NG. For information on workshops and programs for Spring and Summer 2011, please visit http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/ng/workshops.shtml.

Blackboard NG will introduce many new exciting features, some of which include:

  • Course Wikis: Enable active collaboration around course content and group projects
  • Blogs and Journals: Promote conversation and reflection
  • Group Tools: Simplify group communication and collaboration
  • Web 2.0 User Interface: Create and deliver content with a more intuitive user interface
  • Mash-ups: Integrate resources from youtube.com, slideshare.com and flickr.com
  • New Notification System: Revamped notification system to help students better manage academic priorities and course deadlines
  • Increased Accessibility: Advanced Accessibility Options certified by the National Federation of the Blind for Non-Visual Accessibility
  • New Assignment Tool: Facilitates group assignments by assigning a grade that is automatically given to all group membersl NOTE: This new tool replaces the existing Digital Drop Box tool.

To see a complete listing of all upcoming features, or to learn more about the upgrade, please visit The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/ng/.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 815-753-8100 or helpdesk@niu.edu.

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