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Blackboard Policies and Procedures

Scheduled Downtimes & Maintenance Periods

BACKUP & APPLICATION RESTARTS

Occurring Daily

The following procedures are required to maintain system performance and to provide system restore capabilities. These procedures may cause delays in system response time.

  • 3:00 AM Database Hot Backup - Time 90 minutes
  • 4:05 AM Application Restart - Time 30 seconds

IMPORTANT NOTICE: These procedures may cause delays in the system response time. If possible, refrain from using Blackboard during these time frames.

BACKUP & UPGRADES

2nd and 4th Fridays of Every Month

The 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month are set as maintenance periods for Blackboard. Blackboard may be down for backups and upgrades on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month from, approximately, 10PM to 12AM. This downtime will allow for system backups and the application of any necessary upgrades. Reminders will be sent out via system-wide announcements. We will continue to strive to keep downtime at a minimum to ensure uninterrupted access to the system whenever possible.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please inform your students of this downtime. Also, please encourage students to plan ahead if an assignment deadline is scheduled that will conflict with this down time.

UNPLANNED HOTFIXES

Dates will Vary

In the event of an emergency situation, security issue, or other unplanned hotfix to the system, faculty and staff will be notified via e-mail and system announcement. Students will be notified by a system-wide announcement. These unplanned downtimes will be used for emergency situations ONLY.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please check your e-mail regularly throughout the week for details as to these unplanned downtimes.

Account Expiration and Course Cleanup Procedures

COURSE & ORGANIZATION DELETION CYCLE
Previous Semester-based Courses without Instructors Any course without an instructor assigned will be deleted at the beginning of each new semester.
Semester-based Courses

Policy
Courses with a Course ID that includes a semester designation (e.g. F08 is Fall 2008) will be deleted after grades have been entered for the semester 1 year after the course has been taken.

Purpose
To allow sufficient time (one year plus 72 hours after the last class) for Incomplete (I) grades to be entered.

Example
Fall 2008 courses in Blackboard will be deleted after grades are due for the Fall 2009 semester.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: In order to save your existing content, be sure to EXPORT your course using the "Export Course" feature located in the control panel. Save this export file to your J:\drive or local computer. This export file will contain the content from your course for later use. Course exports do not contain student work such as digital dropbox submissions, discussion forum postings, grades, or assignment submissions. If you need to save this information, please do so manually. You can use the "Download Grades " feature located in the gradebook to export student grades.

Template, Department/Team, or Other Courses or Organizations that are not Semester-based

These courses will NOT be deleted on a cycle. Requests for deletion can be made by the leader of the site.

USER ACCOUNT EXPIRATION
Student Accounts Student accounts are handled with the same procedure as e-mail and campus network accounts. That is, 14 days after a semester ends, a student account is expired (not deleted) IF the student is not enrolled in an upcoming semester.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you have a student with an incomplete, and this student does not enroll in any courses in the following semester, you will need to manually export and/or record any work or gradebook information for this student, in order to retain their progress in your course.
Faculty & Staff Accounts Faculty and staff accounts are expired and/or removed along with e-mail and network accounts.

Camtasia Relay File Maintenance

Camtasia Relay Files

In order to maintain sufficient space for your most recent Camtasia Relay content, at the start of every Winter semester, IT will remove files that have not been accessed for more than two (2) years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will these files be deleted?
A. This will occur after the start of each Winter semester. For example, your folders (raidercast.grcc.edu/relay/username) and associated content for 2009 and 2010 will be removed after the start of the Winter 2013 semester.

Q. What if I have content in old folders (2009 and 2010 in the example above) that have been accessed recently? I have some videos that are not lecture capture and don't need to be updated that often!
A. If they have been accessed in the last two years, they will not be deleted. Additionally, you can contact dlit@grcc.edu if you want help maintaining a tutorial or other video that is not tied to a specific semester.

Q. What do I need to do?
A. Nothing! The files will be deleted as part of the policy.

Q. Will IT maintain a back-up of the deleted files?
A. No. You are responsible for maintaining a back-up of any of your files. Contact dlit@grcc.edu if you need some suggestions.

User Account and Course & Organization Creation Procedures

COURSE & ORGANIZATION CREATION
New Courses

SEMESTER BASED COURSES:
Each semester, at a minimum of 4 weeks before classes begin, new courses will be created on the system. All courses are created from the Peoplesoft database. Each section of every course will be created.

Course ID Standard: CourseDepartmentCode.SectionCode.SemesterYear (For example: CD119.1701.S06)
Course Name Standard: The name of the course entered in PeopleSoft will be used, with the Course ID appended. (For example: Methods in Preschool Education-CD119.1701.S06)

TEMPLATE COURSES:
Instructors may request a template course to use as a content repository which enables them to copy content into a semester-based course. These template courses allow instructors to quickly set up their semester-based courses with content developed in previous semesters. Multiple templates may be requested. For example: An instructor may have a template for a day class, night class, telecourse, and an online course. (Note: These courses will not be deleted on a cycle. To request the creation or removal of these courses, contact ITHelp@grcc.edu.)

Course ID Standard: InstructorName.CourseDepartmentCode.TEMPLATE (For example: USERNAME.CD119.TEMPLATE)

New Organizations

Organization sites are currently created manually.

DEPARTMENT/TEAM SITES:
Faculty or staff may request an organization site for collaboration or team use. These sites allow for the sharing of documents, communication through discussion and chat, etc.

Faculty & Staff Organization ID Standards: TeamAbbreviation.TEAM/DEPT/GRP (For example: DLT.TEAM or DLT.DEPT)

Student Organization ID Standards: TeamAbbreviation.ORG/GRP. ORG is reserved for official student organizations.

(Note: To request the creation or removal of an organization site, contact ITHelp@grcc.edu.)

Course Enrollment & Unenrollment

Linked to the date that the course was created. In other words, as courses are created at a minimum of 2 weeks before the semester start date, enrollment will begin occurring for student and faculty assignments. The system is refreshed every 2 hours with data from Peoplesoft to account for student drops, swaps, and adds. Students that drop before the count date are marked as "disabled", meaning they do not appear in the course and the instructor cannot view them or their grades, assignments, or participation in the course. After the count date, students that drop are marked as "unavailable", allowing the instructor to still view the students participation, grades, etc.

COURSE AVAILABILITY/UNAVAILABILITY
Courses

All semester-based courses are created as UNAVAILABLE.

Semester-based courses are automatically set to AVAILABLE on the start date for the semester.

IMPORTANT FACULTY NOTICE: In order for your students to view your course, and if your course is marked as "unavailable", you will need to turn on the availability if the course is marked "unavailable". To do this, go into the control panel, click settings, click course availability, choose yes, and then submit.

Previous Semester-based Courses

All previous semester courses that are semester-based will be set to UNAVAILABLE on the start day of the next semester.

IMPORTANT FACULTY NOTICE: In order for students to check their official grade, they will need to login to the Online Student Center (eGRCC/Peoplesoft).

USER ACCOUNT CREATION
Student Account Creation

Student accounts are created 85 days prior to the beginning of the term once they enrolled. The system is refreshed every 2 hours with data from Peoplesoft.

Faculty/Staff Account Creation Faculty Blackboard accounts are linked with the creation of their Novell account. The system is refreshed every 2 hours with data from Peoplesoft.
External Account Creation User accounts that are created for external users will include a ".ext" on the end of their username. This is a manual process. (Note: To request external accounts, contact ITHelp@grcc.edu.)

Course Access

ROLE: INSTRUCTOR, SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR

Access to courses is provided to instructors who are assigned to teach the course. If the instructor of the course so chooses, they may enroll another staff or facuty member into the course using the My Courses Plus module.

Course access by the system administrator is allowed during troubleshooting reported issues.  Other access must be approved by the Dean of the School in which the faculty member resides.

Automation

The following organizations have users that are automated enrollment (snapshot runs 1 time per day):

- BIOLOGY.TUTORLAB (BI,EC)
- BUS.TUTORLAB (BA)
- MATH.TUTORLAB (MA)
- LA.TUTORLAB (RD,ES,EN)
- ADN.ORG (AD)
- ADVMATH .TUTORLAB (CM, PH, MA129, MA 133, MA134, MA255, MA257)
- AUTOTECH.GRP (TR)
- BIOLOGY.TUTORLAB (BI, EC)
- BUSINESS.TUTORLAB (BA)

- GRCC.STAFF (All staff without faculty.)
- GRCC.FACULTY (All teaching faculty.)
- BB.ORIENT (All online students.)
- MATH.TUTORLAB (MA)
- SES2.DEPT (All students.)
- LA.TUTORLAB(RD,ES,EN)

System Administration Access

ROLE: COURSE ADMININSTRATOR

Primary: Fred Bauman
Backup: Eric Kunnen

ROLE: CARD & COMMERCE ADMINISTRATOR (GUI)

Primary: Paulo Teles
Backup: Mark Nordblom

ROLE: SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR (GUI)

Primary: Mark Nordblom
Backup: Eric Kunnen

ROLE: SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR (BACKEND)

Primary: Mark Nordblom
Backup: Donovan Wallace, Ed Walker, Erich Flynn

ROLE: DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR (BACKEND)

Primary: Jesse Fuzi
Backup: n/a