Friday, April 25, 2008

Thank You Blackboard

So far I have found one redeeming feature out of the Blackboard patent debacle. Based on their bogus patent, and their undeserved victory in the East Texas courtroom, and the subsequent efforts by Desire2Learn to develop a work-around to the bogus patent - there is one potentially happy development for my college and the entire state system.

Right now we are planning to upgrade the MnSCU installation of D2L to version 8.3 (MR1) in early June. If we stay on track and the upgrade happens, this will be the first time that we have been able to use a new version of D2L without waiting a year or more to do so. We have perennially been about the last client to take an upgrade so we have always been behind (way behind) the curve of getting new tools, new functionality, and that new car smell.

The things that I have seen so far in version 8.3 appear to be a major step up from the much older version that we are currently using. The lawsuit has forced us to do something that as a system we have been unable or unwilling to do by ourselves. We are actually going to take a new release while it is still new. Funny, but I guess we can thank Blackboard for getting us the newest version of D2L in a more timely manner than would have otherwise happened.


Carol Anne said...

As one of those people impacted by the June upgrade, I find it amusing as well. I'm looking forward to the end result -- but not the downtime in the middle of my term!

Mary said...

We are upgrading to D2L 8.3 in less than 3 weeks and so far, it looks like it is going to be a very smooth transition. Several instructors teaching in our "Maymester" are going to see the change mid-term and don't feel there will be any huge deterent to their students.

Let us know how it goes!

Volunteer State Community College
Gallatin, TN