Blackboard upgrade: Discussion board improvements, blogs, and wikis!

Okay, the cat is out of the bag . . . Blackboard at Boise State will be upgrading to 7.3 during the holiday break. Along with this upgrade will be new and improved features, which you can read about at this link.

I have not seen this upgrade, but apparently the discussion board will be quite a bit different. Here’s what the posted info says:

The Discussion Board search tools are more powerful and easier to use. Capabilities that were previously spread out among different pages have been arranged on single pages. Users can rate individual posts and grade selected threads. There are more options available when creating a new Forum..”

You are HIGHLY encouraged to review the Discussion Board tools when the new version is installed. But here is what I really want to tell you about:

Wikis and blogs are coming to Blackboard!

Sometime during the spring 2008 semester, a wikis and blogs plugin will be installed, which will allow you (and your students, I am hoping) to create blogs and wikis within your Blackboard course site. This means that the content will be viewable only within Blackboard, but students will be given more freedom to create content and collaborate with others within the Blackboard framework. I am excited to see how this work and how faculty members use these new tools.

Also, FYI, Academic Technologies will be hosting blogs and wikis on an Apple server (don’t worry, you can use a PC to create a blog or wiki on this platform) that will be publicly viewable.

Apple wikis

So, you should have 2 options for student and your posting of content–within the Blackboard system and outside. Again, I’m looking foward to seeing how these technologies are used. The Apple wikis are especially attractive (what would you expect?), so I can’t wait to get my little hands on one and start creating.

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