UNK’s Blackboard system will be undergoing a significant behind-the-scenes change over the holiday break beginning on December 23. In the past our Blackboard system has lived on UNK servers; starting in January 2016, we will be using the Blackboard Managed Hosting service to house our system. All data will remain in the United States at Blackboard’s datacenters in Virginia. Blackboard’s managed hosting services are FERPA compliant.
What are the benefits of managed hosting?
Blackboard offers extensive resources that help stabilize the system and allow local IT staff to focus on enhancing other services for the UNK community. This change will yield many positive results for student and faculty users, as well as the campus at large. Some of these benefits are described below:
- Dedicated infrastructure means approximately 99.9% “up time” for users
- Stringent security measures for data and information
- Technical support from a dedicated team of expert technical staff
- Ability to customize and enhance our application environment
How much time will this transfer take, and when?
We will begin the process on Wednesday, Dec 23 at 8:00 a.m. and we expect the transfer to be fully completed by Sunday, January 10 at 8:00 a.m. During this upgrade, the Blackboard system will be offline. All UNK users will be unable to login to Blackboard during this time. However, we anticipate very little “down time” thereafter.
How will these changes affect instructors?
Overall changes to the user experience will be minimal, and course management for instructors will remain the same.
Faculty will need to have their spring 2016 courses ready to go by Tuesday December 22 or will have to wait until after the holiday break to work on them. Faculty will have a true holiday break! Faculty will not have access to Blackboard beginning Wednesday, December 23 at 8:00 a.m. through Sunday, January 10 at 8:00 a.m.
How will these changes affect students?
Overall changes to the user experience will be minimal. Students will not have access to Blackboard beginning Wednesday, December 23 at 8:00 a.m. through Sunday, January 10 at 8:00 a.m.