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December 7, 2011 / dlitgroup

Blackboard Team Meeting – December 7

In attendance: Garry Brand, Mark Nordblom, Bill Frikken, Meegan Willi, Eric Kunnen, Szymon Machajewski

  • Relay 4
    • Techsmith just launched Relay 4, and Garry attended the webinar today.
      • Techsmith sent out the license key today, but many subscribers did not receive it due to spam filters. Mark will check for the email; potentially, it may have been sent to Szymon M.
    • Big new feature – you can now use your webcam for a talking head in your recording.
    • Relay 4 does require a new recorder. Is there an imaging plan in IT for Winter semester?
      • The team does not think there is a specific image process for the Winter semester, but there may be a way to get an update pushed out to instructor stations and labs.
      • Can we support a pilot on Relay 4 on a second server with a plan to go live with Relay 4 in March or sometime later in the Winter semester?
      • For Winter 2012, we will upgrade to Relay 3.1 and work with a small group to pilot Relay 4.
      • Currently, all recordings are going to the 2011 folder, we will have to create a 2012 folder and update publishing destination in Relay. The directory needs to be created in all user accounts – this can all be accomplished using a shell script.
        • MashUp? We are unsure if the Mash Up needs to be updated or if it is set to automatically pull from all directories – it appears to pull up only recordings from a user’s 2011 directory.
          • We need to determine if the Mashups will stay in the new VTBE – Garry to follow up through VTBE Field Trial.
      • Mark to create new directories; modify the profile to point to the new directory.
  • iTunes U
    • Currently no use.
    • The time has come to revisit our deployment of iTunesU to look into having a public site and utilize the new features in Relay which allow publishing to iTunesU.
      • There are also building blocks available which we may be able to utilize to bring iTunesU into Bb.
      • We need to investigate the options and set-up in Relay.
      • Store the files in one place, and just provide the interfaces to publish the recordings to the various end points (iTunesU, Raidercast) using feeds. Then there is only one necessary place to go for deleting files.
      • Discussion on focusing the public site and having iTunesU files being public by default.
    • Apple provides a getting started layout document which may answer many of these questions. Bill will pull this document and distribute it to the team to investigate. Bill will start the ball rolling on this project.
      • We need to investigate the power of the building block for Blackboard.
      • We need to look at the output files of Relay to ensure the quality is high enough and the files will play on various multiple devices.
      • What is our end user desire from Relay, iTunesU…
  • SafeAssign
    • Update: For the most part it seems to be running better.
    • Some submissions are going through without SafeAssign reports. They show up in Grade Center to be graded; Blackboard Support is saying that it is a high usage time and the reports will show up when they show up. Fred and IT Help are aware that Mark is working with Blackboard Support.
    • Reports are still coming in that it is taking over 24 hours for reports to show.
    • Issues from faculty and students need to be reported to the helpdesk.
    • It would be nice to have more enduser information available from Blackboard/SafeAssign to instructors and students letting users know there is high traffic, and reports will take longer to appear.
      • We currently have a feed available on the Help area of Blackboard, but it is buried.
      • We have work to do on portal roles, secondary roles, in addition to the tabs and modules.
      • We need a communication plan; sometimes we over communicate, and sometimes we do not communicate enough.
        • What is our user’s priority and the best method to get this information to them?
        • UIC is an example of an institution who has nice dashboards showing much of this information.
      • Notices (e.g. info from SafeAssign that turnaround time is averaging more then 24 hours) available need to be communicated timely and correctly. Where is the information being displayed from SafeAssign and other services we use and rely on.
        • RSS Merge module or rotating modules for the My BB Tab?
        • Maintain one RSS with all issues which can then be published anywhere.
        • Just like we have IT Status, create a Blackboard Status, or SafeAssign Status.
    • Another discussion on Coradiant – we need a way to get metrics on the individual servers, what is being seen internally and externally for our users. Lets take the human element out of the equation so that when there are a lot of issues being experienced we can proactively address them without needing to have all issues reported.
      • Form? A simple web form which is connected to an IT Help email where a user could quickly report an issue.
      • We need to have Fred involved in this conversation.
  • Automation & W’12 Course Creation
    • Are we set and ready to go?
    • Bill Frikken is working on this. This process needs to occur on Friday, December 9, 2011.
  • Ferpa issue resolved
    • A script was sent that we could run against the database and remove guest access from the roster.
    • We need to create a new course and see if this is fixed. If not, Mark will rerun the script.
  • Windows7
    • Will Blackboard IM be on the image? How will staff and faculty get this installed?
    • The implications behind this directly related to us include: Respondus, StudyMate, BbIM, SoftChalk, Blackboard Drive, Courseware CDs, Relay.
    • We need to ask, “What is our new process of requesting software?”
    • We need to put together a list of our software and Mark will get it to IT.
  • Meegan rocks at note taking. So Szymon will take notes next week.

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