NAU e-Learning Spring'11 Welcome & Update
NAU Selects Blackboard Learn
NAU selects Bb Learn to replace Vista. After a year-long study of Blackboard Learn and Moodle, the Provost's Academic Computing Advisory Committee (PACAC), recommended Blackboard Learn to replace Vista as NAU's Learning Management System (LMS). The decision was informed by input from faculty, students, and staff including the offering of 34 pilot courses during the summer and fall 2010 with 22 faculty and 1,105 students testing both Bb Learn and Moodle in live classes. In December, the Provost and the President's Cabinet accepted the recommendation to endorse Blackboard Learn as the new NAU Learning Management System. For more information about the decision process please see: (PACAC LMS Decision Process)
Starting in Spring 2011 (January 18th, 2011) courses may be offered on the Bb Learn system that is now in place and is a fully supported production system. This new system is expected to be much faster and equally stable as the current Vista system which was down on only one unplanned occasion this past year, on Halloween. The Online Learning Environment group in ITS, led by Chris Gray, has done an outstanding job with Vista and has worked diligently over the holidays to setup and configure the new Bb Learn system. For more information on NAU's implementation of BbLearn see:
Spring into Blackboard Learn
Bb Learn is now available for hosting anything from online courses to web enhancements for more traditional in-person courses. The timeline for implementation begins with a few classes starting next week and ends with ALL NAU online courses, and online course material and activities being offered through Bb Learn by Spring 2012.
If you would like to use Bb Learn this semester
Currently for spring 2011 there are about 30 courses in Bb Learn. If you would like to use Bb Learn starting next week, you may request a shell by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is not highly recommended you try to move an online course to Bb Learn in this short a time-frame, but if you have a web enhancement for a traditional in-person class or a class starting the second eight weeks those would be good candidates. If all you want right now is a "sandbox" shell for experimenting and learning, please send a request.
Migration of existing courses - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE request migrations early
e-Learning will do the bulk of the work to migrate your course but to reasonably accommodate all requests and get the major portion of the work finished by the end of summer we need lead time to schedule and plan our work. Please try to request migrations of your current courses to Bb Learn soon! By soon we mean as early in this spring semester as possible. Thanks in advance! If you have a course in Vista that needs to be migrated to Bb Learn please request a migration at:
Training and learning how to use Bb Learn
There will be training provided by the e-Learning Center (ELC) throughout the spring, summer and fall. Sessions will be offered in several modes and in convenient locations. Hands-on in person sessions are being scheduled in the ELC training room with "road shows" to be arranged in your departmental spaces as well as to be offered online both synchronously and asynchronously. There are online tutorials available now at:
As you start the Spring semester please be aware of the following:
- Vista shells are created for every class in the schedule of classes, unless you specifically ask for a shell in Bb Learn. To access your shell login at Bb Vista (to login to a Bb Learn shell go to BbLearn).
- Even if you do not use Bb Vista, every class section has an email list created for you to send announcements and communicate with your class before the semester starts and throughout the semester. This system emails to each student's NAU GMail account. See Class Email List
- All classes are listed at NAU Classes
For help with any of the items discussed above or for other technology and learning needs, please contact us.