Blackboard Learning Management System

PDADC #68, 2007-08

MEMORANDUM

To: PDAD&C
From: David Farrar, Vice-Provost, Students
Safwat Zaky, Vice-Provost, Planning and Budget
Date: June 28, 2007
Re: Blackboard Learning Management System
Cc: Vivek Goel, Academic Vice-President and Provost

Blackboard was adopted as the University’s Learning Management System following a comprehensive RFP process and review by a University-wide Committee in January 2006. During the past 18 months, much work has been done by the interdivisional project team to customize features that are needed to support the wide variety of courses offered at the University of Toronto. These include facilities to aggregate and disaggregate course sections, to add instructors, and so on. These features have been implemented and tested, and are now available to all users. There are currently over 24,000 students using the system in some 1450 courses.

As for all such software, new features will continue to be added in response to instructor needs. However, at this time, the U of T implementation of the Blackboard LMS has reached a state of maturity that meets all the basic functionality expected of an LMS and much more. The development phase initially planned to be completed for roll out in September of 2007 is now complete.

Instructors who are not currently using Blackboard should contact the Resource Centre for Academic Technology (RCAT)[1] for information. The RCAT staff will assist in transferring course material from other systems to Blackboard. Training workshops and assistance are available to instructors who may not have had experience with learning management systems.

Many colleagues are currently using the CCNet LMS. The license for this system expires at the end of August, 2007. To provide additional time for a smooth transition from CCNet to Blackboard, the University is currently engaged in negotiations with Zumo Corporation, the owner of CCNet, to extend the license for 9 more months. Thus, subject to a successful outcome of these negotiations, CCNet should continue to be available until the end of June, 2008. After that date, there will be no central support for that system.



[1] Contact RCAT at portal.help@utoronto.ca