Learn Upgrade – 26th of February

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Learn pupgrade coming on the 26th of February, we hope you are excited.

Learn has been hosted in the cloud since July last year, one of the main reasons for moving to the cloud hosted solution was to allow us to take more frequent upgrades as the cloud hosted solution allows us to upgrade without any downtime. We have had a few smaller releases fixing bugs over the last six months but the upgrade on the 26th of February is the first larger release since we moved.

The main feature of this update is the move to JAVA 11 within Blackboard, this has meant some work by our colleagues in Information Services, vendors such as Turnitin and the Blackboard community to make our building blocks work within the new version of Learn. Building Blocks in Learn allow us to extend the functionality within Learn, adding connections to applications such as Turnitin or Media Hopper Create direct from menus within Courses.

As part of the Learn Service team it is the Digital Learning Application Services side’s job to get our TEST version of Learn ready for wider testing. We use our TEST systems to check that Building Blocks are functioning as expected and that our data integrations for our feeds with the identity management system, EUCLID and Timetabling are working smoothly. We then run through a standard User Acceptance Test plan checking all major functionality as administrators, instructors and students. Once we are happy we roll all the new building blocks forward onto our STAGING environment and open this version of Learn up for wider testing by our colleagues in Educational Design & Engagement and then to our wonderful Learn User Group members.

By opening up testing more widely we hope to let people have an opportunity to test against their training documentation and any specific workflows they might have. This process also allows us to get more feedback about any smaller issues that people make experience.

During upgrades we usually receive additional features with Learn that we like to highlight to users and fixes to known issues. We also track reported known issues and check these against our new release, this allows us to let people know if something they have reported to us is now resolved.

With this upgrade there are a couple of noteworthy things coming:

  • Mobile Compatible Tests have now been removed, for further information please see Blackboard’s advice on creating Tests supported in the mobile app via the link at the foot of this post*
  • Currently the Batch Upload Feedback tool is not working within the release of Learn. We are working on trying to get this functioning as expected, we will also be looking into alternative options for this functionality going forward.

As ever if you have any questions about Learn or this upgrade then please get in touch via the excellent IS Helpine.

*https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Course_Content/Mobile_Friendly_Courses/Supported_Course_Content_in_Blackboard_App#tests-original-courses_OTP-5

 

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