Last week’s upgrade of our Blackboard system was completed without too many glitches. We’ve now moved from a single server configuration to multiple servers. This configuration should provide better performance for our users. As in the past you access Blackboard with a single URL (http://blackboard.assumption.edu). But instead of being connected to a single server, you will be connected to one of two servers with the least number of users connected. These two “front-end” servers run the Blackboard application and talk to the “back-end” machine which stores your content and the database that drives the system.
In addition to the new server system, we are changing how long we leave content on the production system. In the past we left all courses on the production system. This provided easy access for repurposing content from old courses for current offerings. However, this practice began to slow down the system. This past spring we consulted with Blackboard regarding how we could better manage our system to improve performance. One recommendation was to delete old content from the system. As an interim solution we have moved our old production system into an archive role and will be deleting courses older than 2 years from the current production system. The archive server will have course older than two years, newer courses will be deleted to avoid confusion. This work will be completed in the next couple of weeks.
This fall we will be conducting an instructional technology survey. As part of that survey we will be gathering information to guide us in develoying a system to archive old courses off the production system but providing an easy method for faculty to repurpose content in current courses.