Blackboard Managed Hosting
Blackboard Managed Hosting works and looks the same as our previous Blackboard Self Hosted system
The new Blackboard Managed Hosting system is virtually identical to our Blackboard Self Hosting system in its “look and feel”. The tools work the same as they always have, and there are no wild design changes. There are, however, a few important additions to the new Managed Hosting system that we did not have in Self Hosting.
New Tools and Features for ATSU in Managed Hosting
Content Collection is a full-blown document and learning object repository, complete with versioning, that is completely integrated with Bb Learn. Its interface is identical to the course file manager you are already familiar with from Self Hosting – but it allows you to share content across courses, add metadata, tags, and has a full search capability. In other words, add the file once, and use it in 50 different courses. Edit it once, and the edit goes out to all the courses using the shared data.
This adds “Organizations” to Blackboard Learn. An Organization can be thought of as a Course without a Grade Center. In Organizations, Instructors are called “Leaders”, and Students are called “Participants”. So, any “Student Lounge”, “Faculty Lounge”, or “Coffee Shop” type Courses would benefit from being transitioned over to Organizations.
This is remote conferencing software that is tightly integrated with your Bb Courses and Organizations. It works much the same as Zoom, and has video, audio, chat, screen sharing, etc. Each Course and Organization has an automatically-created Collaborate room by default that can be used immediately. We also have the ability to still use the older, java-based “Original Experience” Collaborate that you may be familiar with. We can also schedule Collaborate Ultra, or Original Experience sessions outside of Bb as well.
Blackboard Drive is a stand-alone application for Windows and OSX that allows you to map your course and shared file areas in Blackboard to a drive letter on your computer. You can then create, open, edit, and work on documents as-if they were present on your own computer. For example, you could create a Word document for your course, and Save it directly to the course from your computer. The, open it later, edit it, and save the changes to it, all without ever logging into the full Bb interface.
- Your login cookie is now “persistent”. This means that you MUST click the “Logout” link in Blackboard in order to truly log out. Just closing the tab, or the browser, will not work. If you simply close the tab or the browser without clicking the Logout link, the next person who opens the browser will have access to your Blackboard account. It works in much the same way that your Gmail account works. So, if your computer is not secure, or if you are using a public computer at a library, community center, or internet café, remember to always click the Logout link.
- Usernames are all now your full ATSU email address. This is important when you are enrolling Students or Participants into your Courses or Organizations. So, instead of just using their plain username (“joestudent”), you will need to use their full ATSU email address instead (“firstname.lastname@example.org”). When you log in, however, you may just use your plain username. We have an automated system in place that appends the “@atsu.edu” to it for you.
Managed Hosting is up and running and accessible to you right now. The URL is “https://mycourses.atsu.edu“.
We would like to strongly encourage all Faculty, course builders, instructional designers, etc. to begin copying your “Master Shells”, template courses, “sandboxes”, etc., from Self Hosting to Managed Hosting as soon as possible. Once they have been copied over, then you can work on them as needed and get them ready to be copied into your live courses, when they start appearing on the new Managed Hosting system. Step-by-step instructions for copying your sandbox and master course shells from Self Hosting to Managed Hosting can be found here: How to Copy Your Blackboard Course to the New Managed Hosting Server
If you need assistance with this process, please submit a ticket with the ATSU Service Desk. We will be happy to help copy your master shells, templates, and sandbox courses for you.