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Skills Inventory

Because Blackboard Learn deployments vary widely in size and scope, there is not a single formula for the composition of an implementation team on campus. In many cases, one person plays multiple roles.

It is important for human resources that understand the installation and support of enterprise software be available to install and maintain Blackboard Learn.

To prepare for Blackboard Learn, make sure that you have a team with skills that cover the key areas listed in this topic.

If after evaluating your team against these recommended skill sets, you find tou need help in any of these areas, consider Blackboard services. Backboard can provide consulting, training, and Managed Hosting for your Blackboard installation. Blackboard services teams are capable of providing information and training to complement the skills your team already has and equip them to do more. You can learn more about these services by talking with your account team or visiting

Non-Technical Skills

Project Management


  • Manage overall project schedule
  • Deliverables
  • Budget
  • Resources

Skills Required:

  • IT implementation
  • Change management experience

Faculty Training

Responsibilities: Provide training for faculty and staff on product functionality, change management, and best practices.

Skills Required: 

  • Blackboard Learn designer and instructor; training development and delivery.

Help Desk Support

Responsibilities: Provide support on application functionality and tool use to faculty, staff, and students.

Skills Required:

  • Expertise in Blackboard Learn, including end-user, customer service, and knowledge of escalation processes; Familiarity with resources available on Behind the Blackboard.

Instructional Design (Optional)

Responsibilities: Assist faculty with the development of courses. Develop and design course templates and other course standards. Help develop and design exemplary online courses using best practices that are pedagogically sound and promote the course’s goals and objectives.

Skills Required: 

  • Blackboard Learn designer and instructor, instructional design competency, and Web development skills.

Technical Skills

Database Administration


  • Manage the database for Blackboard Learn, including:
    • Experience with Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle
    • Accessing and running SQL scripts
    • Performing online and offline database backup and restore
    • Monitoring and reconfiguring database parameters to meet growing demand
    • Tuning the performance of the host machine and the database server
    • Space/memory management
    • Security plan
    • Upgrades

Skills Required:

  • Experience acting as DBA for production Oracle® or Microsoft® SQL Server instances
  • Production experience in the use of monitoring and backup utilities deployed at the institution
  • Platform specific operating system (OS) administration knowledge

System and Network Administration

Responsibilities: Administer Blackboard Learn and the supporting system infrastructure, including:

  • Operating system software on application servers and on a database server
  • Network infrastructure (switches, routers, firewalls, etc.)
  • System and Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 security
  • Performance monitoring and tuning

Skills Required:

  • Intermediate-level system administrator with expertise in TCP/IP networking and experience with OS platform.
  • Experience troubleshooting network bottlenecks
  • Knowledge of authentication and experience with institutional authentication methods (LDAP, Microsoft Active Directory®, or similar method)
  • Experience supporting 24/7 network environments with failover contingencies
  • (Optional) Experience configuring load-balanced solutions

Operating System and Application Server Skills

The following operating system and application server skills are recommended for installing and maintaining Blackboard Learn.

  • (Optional) Experience with Microsoft IIS® or Apache™ HTTP Server
  • Experience with Apache™ Tomcat
  • Experience with the operating system including file management and permissions
  • Experience with optimization and monitoring techniques
  • Comfortable using a text editor to make changes to configuration files
  • Experience installing software
  • Starting and stopping applications on the server to avoid damaging or corrupting the workstation or database
  • Creating scheduled jobs to automate system processes such as backup and log file management
  • Installing and troubleshooting operating systems
  • Comfortable using the command line interface
  • Knowledge of how application servers work and how to start and stop the various servers and system processes
  • Knowledge of how to add hardware to the server
  • Performing backups, archive operations, and understanding how to use backup tools to move files around the system and between machines
  • Experience managing server networking configuration
  • (Optional) Experience managing hardware load balancers
  • (Optional) Experience managing SANs and connectivity

Programming (Optional)

Responsibilities: Execute integration between Blackboard Learn and your student information system, portal, authentication system, and other systems.

Skills Required: Programming expertise in Java/Perl or Visual Basic, or C++ and XML, as well as familiarity with involved products.

The following skills are recommended to create Blackboard Building Blocks or to use the Event-Driven API.

  • Knowledge of compiling software
  • Experience with relational databases
  • Experience with Java development at the mid to senior programmer level
  • Experience programming Java Server pages
  • Experience with JDBC™ 2.0
  • Experience with Java™ SE
  • Experience with Connection pooling
  • Creating and testing JSPs
  • Experience with object-oriented programming