I’m pleased to announce that we are moving to managed hosting for Blackboard the software that runs studentcentral.
This means that rather than having the server infrastructure for Blackboard (studentcentral) on site and managed by IS staff, Blackboard will be hosting the servers for us.
This move provides a series of benefits that will improve the reliability and performance of the service you rely on. Hosting ensures we have access to their specialist knowledge and 24/7 support in optimising the performance of the servers, and accommodate the increased usage of studentcentral on the latest/fastest servers with hourly backups, which is not something we currently have available on site.
The plan is to move the production studentcentral service to the hosted environment at Easter, in time for the coming assessment period. This should provide a much more resilient, responsive and stable service. Users will not notice any changes to studentcentral after this move and it will look the same as it currently does.
An upgrade to the latest version of Blackboard is planned to take place in the summer, making available the latest features and functionality enhancements.
The new features include a more modern interface, social learning features and improved workflows, all of which we will be testing and evaluating for implementation over the coming months. We will also be in a position to improve assessment workflow processes dramatically.
The upgrade also makes Blackboard ‘mobile responsive’ allowing it to be accessed on different devices through a web browser, allowing us to withdraw the Blackboard Mobile Learn app and use the funds to support Blackboard hosting.