Center for Information Technology Services

Blackboard Steering Committee
Minutes for 6/14/2001

Attendees: Brent Nickles, Tom Connolly, Brook Botvin, Kay Kazinski, Marian Jackson, Russ Russo, Barbara Zirkin, MJ Tooey, Alexa Mayo

Blackboard Agenda
• Next Blackboard meeting is July 12th from 9:30-11:30 in the Richmond Conference Room

• Blackboard Inc. Relationship Update:  Brent Nickles
What is it?
- This committee is made up of Blackboard  administrators in the University of Maryland System.   The goal is to create a relationship with Blackboard Inc., and help in training of the administrators, and discuss product development and needs with the technical staff of Blackboard
- The committee made this trip to Blackboard  in the beginning of June and spoke with numerous persons in charge of technical support,  and product development.  Hopefully, the group can continue these meetings and create a strong support group within the University of Maryland System.  

• Blackboard V5.5 is here, what is new?  Plans and concerns with the upgrade and what time frame works best:  Brent
- The document containing the highlights of the new version was sent to
- Our current plan is to test the upgrade in a non-production environment.  The servers have not been ordered and depending on shipping time, we may or may not be able to do this in a timely fashion.  The schools will start classes on or around 8/20/2001.  More to come at the next blackboard meeting.

• Training from Blackboard:  Brent
- Last meeting Kent passed out “Blackboard Training Services” which contains the courses offered through Blackboard Inc.  The committee will determine the need for these courses. 
- Alexa Mayo and the HSHSL has put in for a grant to teach blackboard to faculty/staff/students.  Included in this grant is an upgrade to the server and advanced training for blackboard.  More to come at the next meeting!

• Help via Blackboard Technical Support:  Brent

-  Some of you have asked if you can call blackboard technical support directly.  I passed on     the 1-888 number but was unsure what our contract stated.   Well, our contract states that “only” the blackboard administrator can get support.  However, Barbara Zirkin has had success in calling this number directly and they resolved the problem in a timely manner!  If we can keep this 1-888 within the point persons at the schools, this shouldn’t be a problem….but if you do need to call, please inform bbsupport of the issue.

• CE Committee:  Brent
- We need to schedule a kickoff meeting to discuss Continuing Education.

• Sending problems to is important!  Brent
- People are starting to get into the habit of sending emails to or with blackboard issues.  Bbsupport was set up as a distribution list and is sent to the CCITI team in case someone is not available to address the problem.   


Questions to/from the users:

1. Internal Server Errors Update:
Many people were experiencing Internal Server Errors in May.  I worked with Blackboard technical support and they had me change a configuration setting.  Since this change, I have not seen any Internal errors.

2. Virtual Classroom Update
Again I worked with BB Technical support and we changed a configuration setting.  This was a problem and resolved some of the issues with entering the VC.  SON has still reported errors when using the VC, but this is a separate issue.  I will continue to work with SON to resolve these problems.

3. Input of UMB academic calendars into Blackboard  (Nola Stair)
Nola was unable to attend, we will discuss at the next meeting.

4. How is the remote mailbox being utilized  (Nola)
Nola was unable to attend, we will discuss at the next meeting.