Content | Navigation |

Frequently Asked Questions

These are issues that have been raised by NDSU students, instructors and staff regarding the project.

The N.D. University System has provided answers and follow up information to many frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions about the Blackboard consolidation project, please submit them using the question and feedback form.

Q: Will I be able to use/copy existing Blackboard course materials in our current Blackboard system?  

Yes, but some building block/LTI content may not be compatible.

Q: If we are moving from Blackboard to Blackboard, will there by any major differences?

The user experience and functionality will stay largely the same, as we will be using the original experience. 

Changes are more around business processes and related admin changes due to moving to a shared Learn environment. These changes are part of the governance committee structure and the functional and technical committee decisions that are currently either completed or in progress. Each campus is represented on the committees and executive steering committee to provide input to these types of changes/decisions.

Building blocks/LTIs are still be tested and potentially may not be compatible in the new environment. 

Q: Can the statuses of building blocks be explained in greater detail? For example, Pearson and Cengage are yellow. What does that mean and how will I know if this be a problem for my future courses?

Our priority right now are the eColleges as they go live in 2 months and we are working directly with them. Once your campus has a go live date and we have identified your must have B2s we will be able to provide campus specific information/communication as it relates to building blocks. 

Currently we are providing high-level information and then working with campuses directly as it relates specifically to them. 

Pearson & Cengage update: We are working with the eColleges to pull together a list of users to match IDs from eCollege to NDUS. This list will then be passed along to Pearson & Cengage to start working on matching users/content currently in the integration.  

We will work to update the status of B2s with more details.

Q: I use Tegrity, will the use of an “LTI" be any different than the building block? Will my students notice any difference?

No, there should be little to no change. We are working with Tegrity to provide the building block functionality. Anyone going to LTI would be temporary until full building block integration is achieved.

Q: I use Examsoft, I do not see any action on testing that building block, when will I know its status?

What is your campus go live date? This will determine when we will begin the testing. We need to prioritize the B2s of campuses that are going live first.  

Note that this B2 is SaaS compatible and only needs to be tested for level of node awareness.

Q: How are students being represented in this entire project?

Student experience was one of the key drivers of the state’s decision to move to a consistent, single instance to provide a common instance for students who take courses across multiple schools within the state system. 

We have asked each campus to provide us with student representatives for potential surveying. As of now, we have not needed to pull together this group.  

This will also be addressed at campuses ATPs and campus specific student needs/wants will be identified. 

Suggest using previous feedback/surveys to provide information at your ATP.

Q: How will I seek assistance using this new version of Blackboard? Will I still have campus level support?

Yes, you will still have campus level support. This support process will be determined by your campus and if it needs to change based on resources.  

Q: Will I still be able to request an account (add a user) for a non-NDSU user to guest lecture or help facilitate a course?  

Yes, through your campus Blackboard administrator.

Q: Will I still be able to add departmental staff or faculty to my course?

Yes, through your campus Blackboard administrator.

Q: Can I manually enroll students in my course? I enroll students who aren’t officially enrolled (wait listed) so they can participate until they are officially added.

No, due to the implications in regards to FERPA.

Q: Will my courses be kept online or available in a similar fashion to NDSU's current policy?

CTS is working to make the course content and grade retention policy the same. Goal is to have it be after the fiscal year + 5 years.

Q: Will I be able to gain access to archived courses?

Yes, through your campus Blackboard administrator.

Q: Will I still be able to use publisher course content from (McGraw Hill, Cengage, Pearson, etc)?  

Yes, the details are still being worked out with each vendor as to what information they need from us to sync accounts/information.

Q: Will I have access to the same Blackboard course tools?

This will be decided by the campus level Blackboard administrator.

Q: Will NDUS staff have access to my courses? If so, is this a FERPA violation? 

Yes, NDUS System Level Admins will have access to courses. The only time NDUS System Level Admins would enter the course is for troubleshooting.  

Limited NDUS personnel have access in compliance with Policy 1901.2 Section 4.3. System administration access: 

A system administrator (i.e., the person responsible for the technical operation of a particular machine) may access electronic information as required for the maintenance of networks and computer and storage systems, such as to create backup copies of media. However, in all cases, all rights to privacy of information are to be preserved to the greatest extent possible.

Q: I store a lot of course materials in my Blackboard courses. It is my understanding that NDSU doesn’t limit how much data I can store. Will there be limits on courses files?

Yes, as a system there is limited storage.  Quotas on course files is TBD by governance.

Q: I was told consolidating Blackboard would improve efficiency. Can you explain that rationale?

When NDUS met with Blackboard we told them our goals for the new LMS and asked for their recommendation on the best way to achieve our goals. 

Goals for the new LMS: 

  • Meets legal requirements of N.D.C.C. 15-10-44.1 (Functional Consolidation of NDUS IT services)         
  • For students and faculty at multiple campuses to have the easiest approach for accessing all of their classes in one system 
  • This number of multi-campus students continues to grow each year 
  • Have a consistent experience for all users 
  • Create operational and fiscal efficiencies  
  • Increase collaboration across campuses 

With these goals in mind Blackboard recommended going with SaaS, single instance for the following reasons: 

  • Single instance allows for a single sign on and consistent experience 
  • SaaS allows for the use of Blackboard Ultra, which is where the future is going 
  • Single instance allows for fewer instances to implement, interface and maintain 
  • Managed hosting is more expensive. Save money going to SaaS 
  • Greater operational efficiencies integrating a single instance with multiple NDUS systems 
  • Zero-downtime with updates  
  • 99.9% SLA for uptime outside of scheduled maintenance or issues outside of Blackboard’s control 

NDUS determined that based on Blackboard’s recommendation of a SaaS, single instance, this was the best deployment to achieve these goals.

Q: Can I expect the same level of support and service with this new Blackboard?

Yes, that is the main goal. However, note that this is a change for everyone and starting out there may be some bumps along the way getting used to the new process.

Q: Will I still be able to use Blackboard Collaborate?  

Yes, original and ultra versions of Bb collaborate will be available.  

Q: Will all the same tools and features be available in this new version of Blackboard? 

In regards to building blocks and integrations, CTS is still working through this to confirm that all will work in the new environment and provide alternative solutions for those that do not work.  

Since we are staying with the original experience functionality and user experience will stay the same


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

North Dakota State University
IT Help Desk Phone: +1 (701) 231-8685
Administrative Calls Only: +1 (701) 231-7961 / Fax: (701) 231-8541
Campus address: Quentin Burdick Building 206
Physical/delivery address: 1320 Albrecht Blvd, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 4510 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Information Technology Services

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 11:46:09 AM
Privacy Statement