Purpose: To ensure requests for new instructional and institutional Blackboard Building Blocks or other Bb-integrated tools are completed in a consistent and timely fashion.
Background: In the past, Learning Systems has been contacted directly by building block vendors and or individual faculty about installing building blocks on the VCU Blackboard system. A policy is needed to help structure the management of the increased amount of building block requests. To meet the most critical needs of the university, Learning Systems has developed a policy about the process. The policy will provide a consistent and timely response to all requests.
1. A new Blackboard Building Block or another Bb-integrated tool request must be requested by a VCU Dean (or equivalent) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The request must include each of the following:
2. Upon receipt of the request, a confirmation email will be sent to the requester within 24 hours (M-Th).
3. Learning Systems will determine if the new building block is compatible with the VCU Blackboard System. Once established, the requester will be provided with details about proceeding with testing and implementation.
4. Learning Systems will provide a plan to the requester for the following actions and will implement them as per the timeline in the plan:
5. Once the building block is acquired, installed, configured, and basic functionality tested (on the test system), the requester will be notified and asked to proceed with testing. If any issues are encountered, the requester must contact the vendor for assistance.
Testing must be completed within three weeks. Once testing is complete, the requester is responsible for following-up with Learning Systems as to whether or not the building block meets their needs, if their testing was successful, and if any issues were encountered.
If testing and or a decision to proceed is not made within three weeks, and no further communication is received, then the request will be considered complete, and the building block no longer an option for production implementation. Due to various systems, browsers, and other technology-related changes, if the requester decides later to have it installed for testing or production, this requested procedure must be followed and submitted as a new request.
6. Depending on successfulness and completion time of testing, Learning Systems will schedule the building block for installation on production, and the requester will be notified of this schedule. Note: If the installation requires a Blackboard system downtime, then it will be scheduled with Blackboard Managed Hosting for appropriate maintenance time.
7. Once installed on production, a confirmation email will be sent to the requester.
1. Any building block developers and or vendors contacting VCU Technology Services about new instructional building blocks should be instructed to contact the Dean of the department or school targeted for use.
2. Learning Systems support will be limited to working with the vendor on any building block functionality or configuration issues. End-user support will be limited to and provided by the vendor/developer.
3. Updates to all building blocks are periodically reviewed, and Learning Systems compile a plan for testing and implementation. Upgrades to building blocks will not be handled individually and will follow documented procedures for preparation and scheduling with Blackboard Managed Hosting.
This article was updated: 04/28/2020