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Transition to Blackboard Provides Unified Access
Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Contact:  Brian Kirschner
Contact Email:  b.kirschner@usciences.edu
Contact Phone:  215-895-1186
The USciences campus portal is moving to Blackboard after the New Year in 2013. But there is not a speck of chalk dust or grating fingernail screeches to be found. The online portal will be home base for faculty, staff, and students to communicate, interact, and access information.
The Blackboard platform, which has been used since fall 2012 as our Learning Management System, will replace the current portal after January 1. The Information Technology (IT) and the Academic Technology (AT) Departments have been in the process of transitioning documents in the old system to Blackboard over the last few months.

“Finally all staff, faculty, and students have one place to go for information,” said Dr. Rodney B. Murray, Executive Director Office of Academic Technology. “In the past the systems were divided up between Angel and the old portal where students did not have access.”

Blackboard provides a more flexible option for many to the University’s working operations. The Blackboard portal includes enhancements such as a new phonebook, a campus marketplace, and group collaboration space. Policies, dashboards, and a new faculty research database to replace Sedona are coming in the near future.

 “The learning curve for the new platform is a lot less,” said Dr. Murray. “For those who need it, Academic Technology offers face-to-face workshops several times a month, self-paced training and should contact me at r.murray@usciences.edu if they want custom training for their department.”

Since the portal will use the current username/password system, students will also be able to use the portal to access WebAdvisor, University email, and will see future enhancements of their own.
“The current portal has been around for several years and has not undergone any major changes for quite some time,” said Chief Information Officer Mark Nestor. “As a result, a group within the IT and AT departments began looking last year into possible replacements with the goal of identifying a solution that would better serve the needs of faculty, staff, and students. We found it in a system we were already using.”

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