Upgrading to the Q2 2017 release

The Learn Communication and Adoption Toolkit is a collection of resources that we recommend using when rolling out a new version of Blackboard Learn with the Original experience (aka Learn 9.1) to your educators and students. The following tools can help you generate awareness, excitement, and ultimately adoption of the new functionality and enhancements introduced in the most recent releases of Learn (Q4 2015 through Q2 2017).

The resources below have been created for you to re-use at your institution. Feel free to repurpose and modify these resources to best meet your needs.

Resources that cover what’s new

You don't need to create everything from scratch. The following flyers and feature guide can be used on your institution’s web properties or distributed by email to generate excitement about the latest Blackboard Learn updates.

Flyers for Academic Technologists: Overview of the latest releases for you and your IT staff

  1. Moving from the Q2 2016 release?
  2. Moving from the Q4 2015 release?
  3. Moving from the October 2014 release?

Flyer for Educators: Overview of the latest releases for you to share with your instructors

Feature Guide for Educators & Students: Details the new end-user functionality within recent releases for you to customize and distribute to your educators and students

Email template for Educators: Customize this email template to spread the word about your Learn upgrade and what’s new.

Web resources and webinars

The following list includes additional web resources and webinars that you may want to share with your educators, students, and academic technologists:

  • Mobile responsiveness GIF: Share this GIF with your educators and students to get them excited about the responsive design of the new theme for Learn, which enables them to have a great experience on all devices and screen sizes, without losing the ability to perform any of the functions they require.
  • Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS): Invite your educators to this training initiative that was developed to help augment (not replace) your internal training efforts. Harnessing our community of users, BITS webinars will share the top strategies and pedagogy for both increasing educator efficiency and improving learning outcomes. Educators can register for live webinars or watch recordings of past events.
  • Learn Feature Showcase: Share this interactive webpage with your educators and students to provide an overview of feature highlights and workflows in Learn and ultimately drive adoption of additional tools. This page covers all Learn releases.
  • Blog - Our latest investment in Blackboard Learn: Share this blog with your Academic Technology staff and other relevant leaders to inform them of our commitment to Learn 9.1 and recent investments and focus areas.
  • Blackboard Community: Invite your institution to connect with the Blackboard community through our Community site.

Communication checklist

Building a communication plan from the ground up takes time. That's why we've developed the checklist below to help guide your strategy.

Plus, check out the following blog post on the Blackboard Community Site: “Marketing” technology change: 5 tips to promote technology adoption

Channel Suggestion
Web tiles and pages Add social tiles on key institutional webpages.

Build out a dedicated page or section to discuss what's new in Blackboard Learn.

Wikis and blogs Build knowledge repositories to share information.

Link back to one or two content pieces shared above.

Don't like writing? Then just re-post one of our blogs.

Email Announce upcoming changes via email.

Broaden your reach. Include administration, faculty, staff and students in your communications.

Attach the appropriate flyer(s) provided above to your emails.

Flyers Hang the 1-page flyer provided above around campus on faculty bulletin boards.
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Leverage social media to generate awareness and excitement.

Follow @Blackboard for relevant software announcements.

Faculty and student newspapers Faculty and student newspapers are a great way to get the word out.

Consider giving a student reporter a sneak peek at the new software so they can share reactions.

Key stakeholder meetings Many of the tools in the newest release are very compelling for Deans, Academic leaders, faculty and students so it's worth the time ensuring they all have visibility into this initiative.

Academic leadership meetings, Dean meetings, Faculty Senate meetings, and Student Senate meetings all provide a great opportunity to build awareness, interest and support.

Faculty training Schedule training - online, in-person, or even one-on-one - whatever works best at your institution.

Additional Communication and Adoption Toolkits you may find helpful

If you have any comments on the tools you see on this page or if there is a tool that you want us to add, please send us your feedback.