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Blackboard Help

Get to Know Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is a sophisticated learning management system (LMS) that brings all the benefits of technology to the learning environment. Blackboard Learn is highly configurable based on institution needs or preferences. The complexity of the system can make it difficult for new administrators to know where to start. Take a look at the resources below to get to know Blackboard Learn.

Read what's new

Deploying a new release? You may want to browse the release notes to know what’s included. Knowing what’s included in the release can help you manage change for your users.

About release versions

Blackboard Learn release versions are based on the way the product is hosted for your institution. The SaaS deployment is released to production servers monthly. Learn 9.1 deployment for self and managed hosting clients is released to production twice each year, in Q2 and Q4.

Our SaaS release numbers are categorized with the numbering convention 3100.0.0. The fifth digit changes with each monthly version. Example: 3100.9.0, 3100.11.0

Learn 9.1 Q2 and Q4 releases are produced in accordance with a SaaS release. The second digit of our SaaS release numbers change to reflect the twice-yearly version.

Example:

  • 3000.0.0 = 9.1 Q2 2016
  • 3100.0.0 = 9.1 Q4 2016
  • 3200.0.0 = 9.1 Q2 2017

Understand your institution's backup and recovery

Backup and recovery is a critical part of a healthy system. Get acquainted with your institution’s process and what components of the system are being backed up on a regular basis. You may also consider using a Test environment to get more familiar with the backup and recovery process before a problem occurs in a Production environment.

Get to know Blackboard Learn's background processes

Background processes keep Blackboard Learn running smoothly, and don’t often require your attention. ActiveMQ and ETL_refresh are two processes to get familiar with. ActiveMQ is a high performance message broker and Java Message Service (JMS) implementation. It allows the servers in a Blackboard Learn environment to communicate with each other. Examples of areas which rely on ActiveMQ are:

  • Notifications
  • Course Copies
  • Student Information System (SIS)

More on ActiveMQ

Exchange data with SIS integrations

SIS integrations are a valuable tool to help transfer data between separate systems quickly. There are multiple ways to implement SIS integrations with Blackboard Learn. Familiarize yourself with how your team is currently processing SIS integrations. You can learn more about the variety of options in our help topics.

Maintain and troubleshoot Blackboard Learn

If you're also getting started with server administration, take a look at Configuration Changes to learn more about changing aspects of the system configuration. Be sure to review Blackboard Services as well to see which services should be stopped or started during system maintenance or upgrade.

The Activity_Accumulator table tracks user activity and is a great way to easily query for user activity, join additional Blackboard Learn tables, and generate custom reports. The ETL_Refresh process is the mechanism that refreshes and feeds data into Blackboard Learn database tables.

When resolving a support case, Blackboard Support may request that you edit settings in the bb-config.properties file. Support may request that you send a copy of this file from each server in your Blackboard Learn environment in order to find a solution to any issues you may experience. You may also need to restart servers after updating bb-config.properties.