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Whats New
Spring 2011-2012 - Upgrade Blackboard to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Project 
Before Spring Semester 2012, the Blackboard Learning Management System was upgraded from the Blackboard Academic Suite Version 8 to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP 7. Several new features were added to the system, including drag and drop interface, easily Accessible Control Panel, Contextual Menus.
 
The Project Team successfully released the new version of Blackboard on Jan 15, 2012 after  two-months of planning and preparation.
 
The Blackboard System Infrastructure was upgraded with up-to-date technologies as the Blackboard server was upgraded to the windows server 2008 and the database was upgraded to MS SQL server 2008 in 64 bit environment
 

Summer 2011-2012 - Blackboard Mobile

The Blackboard Mobile Service was conducted at the end of the Spring Semester and Summer 2011-2012 as a pilot project. It allows students and faculty members to access all their blackboard courses through their smart phones (Blackberry, Apple iPad and iPhone.) anytime and anywhere.

  
The project aims to study the Blackboard Mobile System within a learning environment from the academic users’ perspective and assess the ease of adaptation with Blackboard Mobile.
 

Spring 2011-2012 - Email Notifications Service

The Email Notification Service enables all course enrollment in the Blackboard System. The system notifies users through the notification board and through their UOS emails once an announcement or content is added to the course. This service has definitely increased use of the system and enabled students to be aware of all course changes once they happen.

 
Spring 2010-2011 - New Blackboard Learn 9 platform Pilot project
To ensure UoS e-learning services stay aligned with technology advancements, during the Spring 2010-2011 semester, the Blackboard system has been upgraded to the 9 release in parallel to the existing release 8 in production. The Blackboard 9 Learn system functionality is dramatically enhanced in terms of course building tools, user navigation and accessibility, easier communications tools and assessment tools with a smarter Blackboard Grade Center™ with enhancements to handle multiple sections and views, and features to facilitate self and Peer Assessments and special mechanism to handle student assignment submissions.
 
A pilot projects has been conducted to facilitate the transition towards the new platform by involving a group of keen faculty members and students through about 32 online courses. The feedback is in general very positive.
 
October to December 2009 - ITU Mailers
With the aim to communicate and channelize information to our faculty members and academic audiences, the ITU conveyed technology updates and service improvements through monthly mailers across the Fall 2009-2010 semester, continuing the healthy habit started since 2006. The mailers highlight key instructional technology tools, technical tips and videos for instructors on the Blackboard’s Online Assignments, Course Genie Course design and Grade center management. Click here to see the latest mailers
 

January 2009 - Blackboard PLAGIARISM DETECTION SERVICE - SAFEASSIGN Launched
As part of the continuous efforts by the ITU to improvise and facilitate the IT enabled learning environment, in Spring 2008-2009 a new Plagiarism detection feature has been enabled within Blackboard Courses - SafeAssign.


The Launching event was successfully held on 20th January 2009 at the Al Bairouni Hall (M9). Faculty participated in the interactive session related to the features and applications of the new services.


SafeAssign enables plagiarism detection in submissions (assignments and other forms of coursework) made by students and is of interest to those keen to know the level of originality of submitted work. To know more click here.


September 2008 - Course Genie – Course Authoring tool Introduced
In endeavors to facilitate instruction and support instructional design a new course authoring tool has been introduced this semester, called Course Genie. Simple yet effective, Course Genie, part of a broader Horizon Wimba product suite, is an MS Word plugin and enables producing enriched Blackboard courses. As part of the implementation of the project, ITU conducted training sessions in October 2008 at the main campus, encouraging adoption of the tool by faculty and heeding to their feedback.


August 2008 - Blackboard gradecenter smartviews
Since the upgrade to Blackboard release 8, Blackboard courses are now enabled with a unique feature to have Gradecenter Smartviews by course sections within the same course.
Now instructors can manage, enter and download grades of students of a specific group (or section) at a time, in addition to the ability to download all students' grades and also control the columns and schema.


August 2008 - New & Improved Online CD Resources
With the onset of the fall 2008 2009, the ITU in collaboration with the WPU relaunched the Online CD Resources site with new and improved features. Now users can search CD resources directly from myUOS , or filter them by subject and category with minimum clicks. 


Aug 2008 to Oct 2008 - Blackboard Training Series in Fall 2008 2009
As part of the continuous efforts by the ITU, under the directives of the Deanship of Academic Support Services, Blackboard Training series were conducted across the Fall 2008 2009 semester. The first of the series ran in Aug 2008 and the second in October 2008. The focus was to provide customized training sessions in two parts – “Building Your Courses” & “Gradecenter”, to new and continuing faculty members and teaching staff of all UOS campuses, as part of the larger campaign to enhance faculty Blackboard experience.


August 2008 - UOS Successfully Upgraded Blackboard to Academic Suite 8.0

To ensure UOS eLearning services stay aligned to technology advancements, since August ‘08, UOS is on the latest release of the Blackboard Learning system, release 8.0. The Blackboard learning environment has been substantially improved, with the latest update which includes several enhancements, tools & added features. In addition to the new look of “myBB”, the Blackboard system is pumped up with
  • A Smarter Blackboard Grade Center™ with enhancements to handle multiple sections and views
  • Features to facilitate Self and Peer Assessments and special mechanism to handle student assignment submissions