Monday, October 29, 2007

Scheduled Downtime over Thanksgiving Break

The Blackboard Vista servers will be unavailable from 12:00 AM Friday,November 23rd through 12:00 noon Friday, November 23rd. This 12 hour window will allow us to upgrade to service pack 2. SP2 includes changes to things such as the garbage collection process, which in turn improves overall performance.

Our goal of course is to improve the overall stability of Blackboard Vista and at least minimize the periods of slowness such as those we've experienced in the past.

We will let students know about this downtime directly, but you might want to remind them in your classes also.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Fall Faculty Conference Materials Available

Hi Everyone-

The conference materials and presentations from the fall faculty conference are available now at

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Request from Alice Bedard-Voorhees

From Alice:

Would anyone want to share exampes of their best student-created content? LisaMarie Johnson and I presented on tools for student-created content at the 9/28 conf. and I'm quite sure we would find examples in the CCCOnline courses...
The abstract sets it up nicely: "Enabling students to
create their own educational content increases engagement,
improves learning, and can result in products of lasting
value. So why are effective examples of student-generated
content in online education so hard to find?" the answer is
that there are so few of them to find. "Asking the question
'why are there so few good examples of student-generated
content?' is really asking the question 'why is educational
practice so hard to change?'" PDF. Via DEOS.
Direct Link:

Just a thought. I'd think Art has some, Hum has some (photos), that there are PPT's, webpages and audio recordings..and? If you have any examples please send them to



"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
--Mary Oliver

Monday, October 22, 2007

Training Update

CCCOnline would like your feedback to assist in steering the future of Training and Professional Development for 2008 and beyond. Let your voice be heard and contribute to the training process through completion of an anonymous survey.

The survey has 10 questions of various types and should take around 15-20 minutes to complete.

The survey is available until 12:00AM on Monday, October 29, 2007.

Follow this link to take the survey:

Questions about the survey can be directed to Lisa Marie Johnson at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Update on a Couple of Vista Bugs (Tracking and GC)

Hi Everyone-

I have this from David Chatham today:
I have asked Blackboard to turn off the garbage collection process. It is accessing the same tables as those that a new file upload accesses, and, since Blackboard cannot yet control when the garbage collection process runs, it is best to turn it off. The problem with GC is that when Blackboard sets a time for it to run (I have requested between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. ) the process disregards the time limits and runs all of the time, interfering with instruction. It will need until tomorrow morning to cycle through before we see any improvements.

You do not need to send me any more lists of sections with unknown users. They have enough examples to determine the issue and are in the process of fixing tracking. Those adjustments should begin to show some time Saturday.

David Chatham
Dean of Academic Technology

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Faculty Update

Hi Everyone-

Lots of small things to update you on today:

Late Registration: Student Services added 160 students to session 1 classes and 80 to session 2 classes during the first three days of classes. (Most of those over the weekend before classes started). In session 1 12% of those students had dropped by census day as opposed to an overall drop rate of 19%. John plans a student success study once the semester ends.

No Shows: Student Services staff are pulling these from the backend, so as faculty you no longer have to submit names. Once John Schmahl has the list of no-shows, he passes it on to the colleges. His understanding is that only PCC, MCC, and CNCC are automatically dropping those students, so you will probably not see them disappear from your courses. If you have no-show students on your grade report at the end of the term you will have to give them an F in the course.

Faculty Wiki Upgrade: Jonathan Fuller has upgraded the wiki software. Account creation has been automated once again, so if you don't have a wiki account and you are interested in using it to teach your class it is available at

Bug in the Tracking Feature of Vista: The student tracking tool in Vista is behaving a little oddly. You may notice several students listed as "unknown" rather than by their name. If this is the case in your course please email and let her know. We are working with the Blackboard development team to correct this.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Elluminate Upgrade

I hope we don't have too many of you using Elluminate Sunday mornings well before dawn, but if you are:

Dear Elluminate Customer,

We are pleased to inform you that we are releasing an update to Elluminate Live! on Sunday October 14, 2007, during our regular maintenance window from 2:00am – 6:00am US Eastern. This will now be reflected as Elluminate Live! V8.2. This update provides improvements to Elluminate Live! in the following areas:
  • Enhancements to the quality of audio
  • Performance improvements ensuring a superior experience, especially in large meetings
There will be no visible changes to the Elluminate Live! interface. In addition, this update also includes the Elluminate Live! Manager (ELM) version 2.8. This update will contain minor bug fixes and operational enhancements. There will be no visible changes to the ELM interface.

We will do our best to minimize the amount of time taken during the upgrade but you should allow for the full time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we appreciate your patience as we strive to deliver the best in class products to you.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Drop reminder sent to Ses 2 students

The following reminder was sent to session 2 student today and posted on the student blog.


This note is a just reminder that you have until Thursday, October 11, 2007, to drop your CCCOnline delivered Fall session 2 course(s) with a full tuition refund.

If you do not plan to drop your course(s) or have already dropped them please disregard this reminder.

This e-mail applies ONLY to CCCOnline delivered courses. CCCOnline delivered courses are those courses with a section ID of C21.

Please note that due to the large size of CCCOnline courses, we split courses into multiple sections (C21, C22, C23, etc.), therefore, the section on your MyCCCOnline home page may not be C21, however, if you want to drop the course, you will need to drop the C21 section at your college.

Do not assume you have been dropped from a class for not attending or logging in; at many colleges you must ensure you drop a class before the above date or you will be responsible for full payment. Contact the Cashier’s Office at your Home College to find out their individual policy.

**Contacting your instructor(s) will NOT result in your being dropped or withdrawn from your course(s)**

To DROP your course(s):

- go to or your home college web site
- click on the Self-Service Banner link for your home college
- select Login and enter your Student ID and 6-digit student PIN
- click Enter
- select the Student Menu and then the Registration Menu
- select Add or Drop Courses and follow the steps to get to your Current Schedule of
- on your Current Schedule, use the Drop Down box under Action and select Drop
- Click Submit Changes at the bottom of the page
- check your Current Schedule to make sure the course(s) has been dropped

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or your home college.

For any technical questions or problems with your course, please visit

Thank you for your time and we hope you continue to have a great and successful semester!

Student Services

Monday, October 01, 2007

That Green Thumbtack

Hi Everyone-

In case you weren't at the faculty conference on Friday here's a solution to the sticky green thumbtack on discussions from Stephanie Dunham (if I have the wrong Stephanie I appologize!), then updated by Heidi Barrett:

The thumbtack will disappear once Vista thinks you have viewed every message. To view each message most easily try going into each topic and "expand all", then "select all". After that choose "create printable view" to see all of the messages.

The other option that seems to work is to open each thread in each unit.