As part of the planning process for upgrading from Blackboard v5 to v6 a mind map (created in Mind Manager 2002) was developed in an attempt to identify the issues that would need to be considered. After a lot of “brain storming” I finally settled on four main issues. These are:
- Staff and Student Issues,
- Migration Issues,
- New Features.
Each of these main issues is subdivided into a plethora of sub-branches.
A web version of the map was exported and modified to suit publication for Bbmatters. The map and associated links can be found at: http://testbb.paisley.ac.uk/bv6/bbmatters/upgrade-mindmap.htm.
So far I have had the time only to develop the underlying resources for the staff version of the “New Features” branch. A student version is in the pipeline.
The topics considered are Navigation, Asset Management and Collaboration. The Navigation and Asset Management topics contain mute animations (created with Camtasia Studio) which are designed to help academic staff appreciate the differences between Bbv5 and Bbv6 and the advantages that these offer. The animations for the Collaboration topic are under construction and will be added in the next couple of weeks as will the resources for the other three main branches.
The problems I have highlighted for Collaboration are important to us because of the number of distance learning programmes we run and in which the Collaboration is an essential element of our online tutorial support. It is fair to say though that they are not insurmountable and are being pursued actively for resolution.
Should any Bbmatters colleagues wish to have a contribution added to this “work-in-progress” for the sake of the common weal I will be happy to incorporate such. If anyone wishes to suggest design changes I will be equally happy to amend the map to suit given that the changes can be made within the limits of my talents and available time.
Please feel free to contact me directly * (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like a copy of the main mind map for your own use.
Dr. Arthur Loughran, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Paisley
* Editors Note: This is the first of many real time collaboration projects which will be supported by BbMatters. I would encourage you to contact Arthur as mentioned above.