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Upgrade Quick Reference

Planning Your Upgrade

Blackboard is aware that many institutions get the chance to upgrade their Blackboard Learn environment only once (or maybe twice) a year and that bringing down such a critical service impacts all of your academic departments and faculty in one way or another. Therefore, with this in mind, many of you will be in the process of planning for this upgrade right now!

This section will help you plan for your upgrade. It summarizes the various Blackboard Learn 9.1 releases that have been made generally available since February 2012.

Understanding Blackboard's Release Strategy

Service Pack Releases

Blackboard's overall release strategy has been consistent for the past several years with four service pack (SPs) releases planned throughout the year:

  • New feature service packs: Even-numbered service packs include mostly new features and enhancements.
  • Maintenance service packs: Odd-numbered service packs function primarily as maintenance releases.

Blackboard offers full support, including patches, for the current generally available service pack and the two previous service packs. To learn more this guideline, see the Client Support Services Guide located on Behind the Blackboard.

Building Block Releases

In 2013 we have been leveraging our Building Block architecture to introduce features more rapidly. This approach helps ensure that you receive the latest innovations in learning technology as soon as possible. The benefit of a Building Block release is that you can adopt it in a flexible manner -- you can choose how and when to enable it for your academic community, and you can easily incorporate it into your testing plans and readiness activities for your next upgrade. Please note that for most Building Blocks that are released independent of service packs (in between service packs), the plan is to "roll up" or "bundle" them into the next new feature service pack.

Additional Resources

The following resources are available for even-numbered feature service packs.

Additional Resources
Release Instructor Administrator
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 8 What's New for Educators Powerpoint What's New for Administrators Powerpoint
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 10

What's New

What's New for Educators Powerpoint

What's New

What's New for Administrators Powerpoint

Release Notes & FAQs

For detailed information about each release, please review the Release Notes.