On January 30, 2012 directed mail was sent to all faculty and staff using Bb OWL during the Winter 2012 term. The title of the message was Retirement Planning for Bb OWL (aka BLS).

In case you missed that message, what follows is the generic version.


Date:     30 January 2012

To:          George Ramsay (gramsay@dal.ca)

From:    Phil O’Hara, Integrated Learning Online, (phil.ohara@dal.ca)

Re:         Bb OWL (aka BLS) Retirement Planning

With the start-of-term surge behind us all, I write to update you about the retirement schedule for Bb OWL (aka BLS). Also in this message, my goal is to advise about several resources we’ve setup to help as you transition to our new Learning Management System (LMS) called BbLearn.

Allow me to begin by emphasizing that I, and my colleagues on the ILO Team, strive to make your migration to BbLearn a positive and comfortable experience. What follows are some important dates through next few months:

  1. Bb OWL is scheduled for retirement at the end of the winter 2012 term (May, 2012).
  2. During our current term, both BbLearn and Bb OWL are in use. Kudos to those faculty members running their classes in BbLearn this term. To date, those who made the leap, report that although different, BbLearn is easy to use, reliable, and better organized that our current system. Personally I find BbLearn terrific and hope you’ll share my enthusiasm.
  3. For the summer 2012 term onward, BbLearn is ready for use with all courses and online communities. With that said we have a handful of online communities, a few programs through the College of Continuing Education which started last fall, and a couple of huge courses which will remain for a couple of months past the retirement date.
  4. Bb OWL is scheduled for removal from service (the date the plug is pulled) on August 31, 2012. Beginning soon after the retirement in May, we’ll be making course-by-course backups and storing them for safe keeping in our departmental vault. We will use these backups to restore courses inBbLearn on request.

To assist you with the transition:

  1. I invite you to setup a personal Sandbox on BbLearn. You can use your Sandbox to become familiar with our new system. To do so, simply send email to ilo@dal.ca asking for a personal Sandbox.
  2. I encourage you to set aside a half-day during the February 20th Reading Week to become familiar with BbLearn.
    1. You might consider registering for an ILO workshop during the week by clicking on the Train F2F button at http://ilo.dal.ca .
    2. For those who like to learn about technology on their own, you can click on the Train Online button at http://ilo.dal.ca .
  3. You can always contact the ILO Team to arrange for a one-on-one consultation with any one of our instructional specialists.
  4. We are currently training 3 student employees on co-op work terms to be available for one-on-one assistance. By the Reading Week they will be ready to assist with migrating and/or setting up courses in BbLearn. If this service is of interest, please send a note along to ilo@dal.ca .

In addition to participation in the events starting on the Reading Week, I encourage you to visit http://blogs.dal.ca/elearning and scan the articles at that location. You should also find our FAQ at http://ilores.ca/bblearn-move/ beneficial.

On a final note, I and my fellow members of the ILO Team appreciate how daunting a transition to a new system can be. We are here to help with your migration and we’re confident that once you make the transition, you will discover numerous improvements in BbLearn which make the effort worthwhile.

Regards

Phil O’Hara