Center for Information Technology Services

University of Maryland Baltimore
eLearning Steering Committee Meeting Notes
June 7, 2006
Prepared by: Chris Klimas

Attendees: Dave Pitts (SSW), Chris Klimas (SOP), Sarita Sanjoy (SOD), James Craig (SOD), Lowell Wilson (CITS), Chris Phillips (CITS), Brook Botvin (CITS), Dan Hughes (CITS), Matt Rietschel (SON), Jim Leoni (CITS), Lila Faulkner (Law), Alexa Mayo (HS/HSL)

Blackboard Community System

The Blackboard Community System purchase has cleared procurement, so it will be installed on development this week. The main feature that's of interest to committee members is being able to gain administrative powers over their school's courses. Auxiliary Services is simultaneously working on installing Blackboard's e-commerce system.

Some upgrades have been made to the Blackboard development server to try to improve performance.


Progress with QuestionMark is slow. The Blackboard connector is mostly functional, but a manual database update must be made the first time you synchronize a course's enrollment with QuestionMark. Although CITS is working with QuestionMark to get this fixed, Lowell will be doing these updates manually. Contact him if you need him to fix this for you.

Another odd bug still being troubleshooted is that sometimes Questionmark will ask you to log in when you visit it from Blackboard. You don't actually need to log in; if you click Back in your Web browser, you will be taken to the right page.

Matt contacted the School of Medicine to get an idea of how much storage space is required for tests. SOM used 16 gigabytes for 7 years' worth of tests (including images and any video). They have roughly 150 students/year.

Banner Integration

Development is underway on an in-house tool to feed Banner registration data into Blackboard. Chris Phillips indicated that an initial version could possibly be completed before the fall semester begins.

Library Update

Alexa indicated that soon, the username people will use to access online resources through the HS/HSL Library will be changing. The new login will use the 15-digit number printed on the back of your UMB1One card. Please disseminate this information as widely as possible, since it will be affecting all students, faculty, and staff across campus. If you have questions on the change, please contact Alexa.

Fall Course Creation

Fran asked that schools send over fall course creation requests as early as possible, in order to make the process go as smoothly as possible. If Community is set up in time for the beginning of the fall semester, it is possible for some course creation duties to passed
onto the individual schools, depending on semester schedules. 

Next meeting: July 13, 2006