Friday, 17 August 2007

From Pilot to Mainstream - pain, gain and fun?

Bit of local news for a change. Here in NUI Galway we've just upgraded our virtual learning environment to Blackboard Academic Suite (Enterprise Licence 7.2) from the Basic Edition. It's been quite an undertaking and has involved months of hard work by colleagues in Computer Services, CELT, MIS, Records and other groups as well as with Blackboard themselves. We now have multiple, high-spec servers and integration with the University's various information systems so that courses and enrolments are handled automatically and with student and staff accounts being managed centrally. It's been nail-biting stuff as the new academic year looms (beginning of September) and no doubt there'll be a fair bit of drama in migrating over content from the old system to the new, in addition to training and support needs. But still, should be worth it in the end and the new functionality and automation should ultimately improve everyone's experience.

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