Blackboard Support Procedures

Support

Students with questions about course content, availability, assignments, or grades, should contact their course instructors. Students with how-to questions and technical problems should first check Blackboard Student Help. If this resource does not resolve the issue, students should contact Jayhawk Tech Clinic (IT Help Desk) at 913-588-7995.

During regular business hours, faculty and staff needing immediate assistance contact TLT at 913-588-7107 or tlt@kumc.edu. After hours, faculty and staff should contact Jayhawk Tech Clinic (IT Help Desk) at 913-588-7995. Jayhawk Tech Clinic (IT Help Desk) will contact appropriate on-call support staff for critical problems, such as a complete Blackboard outage. Non-critical problems will be handled on the next business day.

Communication

If Blackboard is not running at all, TLT posts an announcement on the IR Blog (http://kumcir.blogspot.com) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/tltKUMC) and updates the blog when the problem is resolved. When Blackboard is running but a component/tool is not working correctly, TLT posts an announcement in Blackboard about the problem and updates the announcement when the problem is resolved.

Access

All KUMC faculty, staff, and students have access to the KUMC Blackboard Learning system (https://bb.kumc.edu) using their regular KUMC network account. Occasionally, a user with a KUMC network account will not have needed Blackboard access. To resolve these problems, please contact Jayhawk Tech Clinic (IT Help Desk) at 913-588-7995.

Using university enrollment data, KUMC students are automatically added to Blackboard coursesites for all courses that have a Blackboard coursesite. Students who do not have access to a needed Blackboard coursesite should contact their course instructor. As Course Editors, instructors can manually add students to and remove students from their coursesites, or TLT can do this for an instructor if needed.

The procedure for faculty requesting Blackboard coursesites varies by school and department. Although the procedure is described below, faculty should check with their school or department administration about specifics for their areas:

  • School of Health Professions: Faculty request coursesites using an online form.
  • School of Medicine (Year 1, Year 2, and Clerkships): Coursesite creation is handled by TLT working directly with school administration.
  • School of Medicine (HPM and PRVM): Faculty request coursesites using an online form.
  • School of Nursing: Coursesite creation is handled by TLT working directly with school administration.

Beginning-of-Term

Starting two months before the beginning of each semester, the TLT Liaison for each school emails several faculty reminders to request coursesites, and send reminders when students are added to coursesites and about enabling coursesites for student access. During the second week of the semester, a Blackboard system announcement is posted reminding all Blackboard users of regularly scheduled maintenance times/outages and outage communication procedures.

End-of-Term and Course Retention

Three weeks after the end of the semester, all coursesites for that semester, excluding CORE medicine courses, are disabled for student access. After disabling student access, all  coursesites for that semester are archived. These archive files contain all course documents and student data. Allied Health, Nursing, and Graduate coursesites are maintained on the  system for two years after the completion of a course. Access to a coursesite during the two years is controlled by the primary course instructor. (CORE Medicine students have access to their Blackboard coursesites during the four years they attend medical school at KUMC.)

Update

The Blackboard system must be periodically updated to maintain performance, improve functionality, and ensure security. Every morning from 3:30 am - 4:00 am, Blackboard is temporarily unavailable while the application is restarted. Every fourth Wednesday of the month is a regularly scheduled maintenance window, and Blackboard is unavailable from 12:00 midnight until 1:00 am, while updates are applied. During the second week of each semester, TLT posts a Blackboard system announcement informing users of these two outage times. (If critical updates must be applied outside these two time frames, TLT posts an announcement informing users of this outage, providing as much time as possible for users to work around this outage.)

Trouble Ticket

Some of the problems users may encounter may be problems with the application itself, which only Blackboard is able correct. When TLT has identified such a problem, they will open a trouble ticket with Blackboard Support, and these two groups will work together to resolve the problem. Once the problem has been resolved, the TLT Liaisons will communicate this to affected users through Blackboard announcements, TLT Blog entries, Twitter, direct emails to specific users, broadcast emails, etc. 

Back up and Restore

The Blackboard Learning System is backed-up nightly to ensure lost data can be recovered and restored. Nightly backups are kept for four weeks. (Faculty, staff, and students should also keep copies of all important course files on their own computer system or network directory.) Faculty and staff should email TLT (tlt@kumc.edu) restore requests within twenty-one days of the deletion. Restoration may take up to three business days.

Last modified: Jun 15, 2014
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