Blackboard SaaS Migration Updates

Blackboard SaaS Migration Updates

At AUM, we will be making some incremental, yet significant, changes to Blackboard as we migrate to a Software as a Service (SaaS) environment by the end of the calendar year.

In the current Managed Hosted environment, we must take Blackboard offline every time we update or add new features. We scheduled these updates during times that won’t disrupt active courses, but available outage windows are becoming scarce. The longer we go between feature upgrades, the more changes we have to make at once, which can make it difficult for faculty and students to adjust and adapt to new features. The SaaS environment will allow us to continually apply updates and new features without interrupting access. Blackboard will be available 24/7/365, even as we make updates.

What are the upcoming changes to BlackBoard and the timeline?

Occurred October 9, 2020

ITS and ODL hosted a virtual open house on October 9, 2020 providing details about the migration and a preview of what faculty and students can expect starting Spring 2021.

Occurred October 15th, 2020

Courses that have large files (e.g. 150Mb+) stored within BlackBoard directly, such as large video files, should be uploaded to Kaltura or exported if needed for future use. This process applies to all courses in BlackBoard. However, it does not apply to videos stored already in Kaltura. Your assigned instructional designer will reach out or be available to assist you in this process. 

Currently, we are still in the process of reaching out to individual faculty members who have larger files and work with them to move and/or delete the larger files.


November 15th, 2020

BlackBoard courses will be retained for 5 years from the end date of the term in which they were taught and then be permanently deleted. 

In preparation for this change, faculty is asked to review their courses and preserve any course content dated before Fall 2015. Your assigned instructional designer will reach out to you with instructions on how to preserve your course content needed for future use. Courses that were taught in Fall 2015, or later will be migrated to the new Blackboard SaaS environment. FERPA related data such as grades or student information should not be exported.

December 15th, 2020

AUM will migrate to SaaS with the familiar look and feel of BlackBoard and the courses format and design will remain the same as BlackBoard original. The only noticeable change will be in the navigation menu, which will be based on BlackBoard Ultra.

High level project milestones for the SaaS migration include:

  •  9/18/20: Migrate BlackBoard content and database into SaaS Test environment. 
  • 10/20/20: Complete Test migration configuration. 
  • 11/17/20: Testing & Config phase ends. 
  • 12/1/20: Go/No-go meeting. 
  • 12/15/20: Live migration of production BlackBoard begins.
Beginning Spring 2021

FDI will be developing  and hosting several training sessions during spring semester. These training sessions will be counted towards FDI certifications and recertifications.

Summer 2021

AUM will use the new BlackBoard SaaS environment with full Ultra for classes in Summer 2021.

SaaS Migration FAQs

Yes. The videos that haven’t been uploaded to Kaltura need to be uploaded there by October 15th, and the Uploading Pre-recorded Videos to Blackboard tutorial will show you how to do this.

Once you have created and downloaded the exported file to your computer, you can delete that instance within your Blackboard course.

No, videos stored in Kalura live in the cloud, not BlackBoard.

You will be exporting your courses and not archive. There is a slight difference between Archiving and Exporting. Archiving, copies all your content, discussions, student information including grades. However, we do not want to copy student information on our computer. Therefore, it is recommended that we export and not archive. The deadline for us to complete this is November 15, 2020.

The old courses (before Fall 2015) will be deleted. If you do not need any of that old material, you do not need to take any action.

Those old courses will be deleted.

First, if you are getting errors, please reach out to your instructional designer to avoid any further complications.  Second, when you export from your Blackboard course, the zipped file that you will need to download will not be usable outside of Blackboard.

If you want to export individual files to be used outside of Bb, then it is recommended that you download them individually and not along with the whole course export.

You should begin this process now so that the Instructional Designers will be available to help if you happen to run into any issue prior to them deleting the old courses starting November 15th.  Also, be sure that all the new videos you are loading during this term go directly into Kaltura.

You don’t have to download and move to Kaltura. VoiceThread has its own cloud storage.

You may only have a few videos at this time but it is still best to store them in Kaltura. Doing so will help limit the size of your course.

Any course from Fall 2015 (Term 201601) to the present will be kept. You do need to decide to keep courses from Fall 2009 (Term 201001) to Summer 2015 (Term 201503). If you decide to keep a course from Fall 2009 through Summer 2015, you need to export the course to keep on your storage drive, then delete the export package found in Blackboard.

No, it will not affect your course. Only courses prior to Fall 2015 (Term 201601) will be affected. Any course between Fall 2015 and the present will be moved over.

Any tool used within Blackboard should remain in use.

Go to your Course Management area and click on Content Collection. You will see your course listed with the term and CRN. Click on that to see your course files. The third column will show you file size.

Video files that need to be uploaded to Kalutra are the ones that occupy the space in the Blackboard and are larger than 150 MB. The videos that are recorded in Collaborate Ultra or are accessible through links do not need to be uploaded to Kaltura.

Kaltura is a cloud-based video management system which integrates with Blackboard. That is why the videos have been uploaded to Kaltura can be embedded within Blackboard for you and students to access.

No, all of your videos are stored under your account in Kaltura, a cloud-based video management system. So uploading videos to Kaltura will not cause storage problems on your local desktop.

We do have limited storage in Kaltura. However, the storage size is much larger than what Blackboard has. Because we are facing a space issue on the Blackboard, the most effective way for us to save space on the Blackboard is to upload large files to a cloud-based storage.

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