For Staff: New Blogs, Wikis & Podcasts

When the University launched the Blackboard Minerva in 2008 there were no Wiki/Blog/Podcast tools included in the core product. Leeds purchased and integrated three additional tools from another company (Learning Objects): Campus Pack Wiki, Blog and Podcast.

In recent years, Blackboard have introduced Wiki, Blog, and Journal (private blogs) into their core product. Initially we decided to switch these off since we already had the Campus Pack products. However, developments over the past year have prompted us to review this decision. With the introduction of Mobile Learn the Blackboard products have become more attractive since the Blog/Journal tools are mobile compatible. At the same time, Campus Pack have made major changes to their product meaning the next essential upgrade will present us with considerable data issues and change in interface/functionality for students and staff. Therefore after reviewing the possible options and seeking feedback from Faculty Minerva contacts, it was agreed that we should withdraw the Campus Pack products and move to those provided by Blackboard. This change will take place over a number of months and should be completed by the end of September 2013. For further details please see the important dates and FAQ sections below.

Important Dates

  • Now - The Blackboard Wiki/Blog/Journal tools will be made available. Staff are strongly advised to use these tools for any new Wikis/Blogs/Journals.
  • 14th June 2013 - Staff will no longer be able to create new Campus Pack Wikis/Blogs, however students/staff can continue to post to and edit existing content.
  • 30th September 2013 – Campus Pack Wikis/Blogs will be switched off and will no longer be accessible. Campus Pack Podcast tool will be switched off; a new tool will be introduced which will play existing Campus Pack Podcast episodes, we are currently working on a method for uploading new podcasts in time for the new academic year.

FAQ

Is it possible to view Campus Pack Wikis/Blogs after they are switched off?
When our Campus Pack licence ends, nobody can access Wikis/Blogs in their current format. Before the end of September staff/students who wish to keep a readily accessible copy of a Wiki/Blog should export the Wiki/Blog. The export produces a folder of files meaning the content can be viewed as a mini website. If staff wish to make this material available to students for reference, the folder can then be uploaded to Minerva. For more information, read our guide.

I have a Campus Pack Wiki/Blog which needs to be available beyond the end of September, what can I do?
Depending on the nature of the content you can either:

  • 1. Take an export of the Wiki/Blog before the end of September, upload the content onto Minerva for students to reference. Any new Wiki or Blog activity should then continue in a newly created Blackboard tool.
  • 2. Manually copy and paste entries into the equivalent Blackboard tool before the end of September. Unfortunately, author information and dates and times cannot be copied so an export should also be taken for reference. We do not recommend manually copying content in assessed student contributed Blogs and Wikis.
We encourage you to do this as soon as possible to lessen the impact on students.

Are the Blackboard Wikis/Blogs/Journals tools the same as the Campus Pack equivalents?
Much of the core functionality is the same but there are some key differences. Please see our guidance for more information.

What will happen to Campus Pack Podcasts?
After September, existing Podcast episodes will still be playable; we will have introduced a new tool to facilitate this (no action will be required by staff). We are also working on a method to allow the creation of new Podcasts in time for the new academic year.


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