Blackboard VLE Relaunch

Blackboard was relaunched to improve ease of use and reliability and enable the University to get better value from its VLE in future.

About the Project

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Since its launch as the University's Virtual Learning Environment in 2001, Blackboard has proved itself as an important tool in supporting students' learning and teaching. There was a need to make Blackboard easier to support, more reliable and easier to upgrade. 

The earlier version 9.0 was not supported after September 2012 and so needed to be upgraded. Currently the administrative overhead of registering and managing student access to course sites is very high and needs to be reduced. Also the way Blackboard is used varies widely across disciplines and between modules on the same course of study. A more consistent use of Blackboard would help to improve the student experience.


The primary aim of this project was to improve the supportability, ease of administration, reliability and availability of Blackboard. The secondary aim was to enable the University to derive better value from its VLE in future and ensure students have a more consistent experience in Blackboard.  In order to fulfil these aims, the project planned to:

  • Upgrade to Blackboard version 9.1
  • Arrange for the publishers of Blackboard to host the software on behalf of the University
  • Work with departments to understand how they use Blackboard at the moment
  • Work with departments to deliver a more consistent look and feel across course sites. 


The upgrade started on Tuesday 10 July 2012 and took about two weeks.


Project Manager: Jon Gunnell

Project Executive: Christine Fyfe

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