Kicking off a new programme of improvements to our digital education services, My Dundee will undergo a major upgrade between the 15th and 21st of December. There will be an impact on learning and teaching activities involving My Dundee during this period so please read on to learn about why we are making this move and how it might affect you.

(note that this post is aimed at staff but more specific info will be coming for students in the coming months)

What is happening?

Starting on the 15th of December, My Dundee will begin its migration to a new home in the cloud. This means that once complete on the 21st of December, we will no longer host our online learning environment though on-campus servers, it will be hosted through Blackboard’s new SaaS deployment option with all the benefits that brings.

During the upgrade period there will be some downtime and we plan to switch My Dundee to a ‘read-only’ state. This means that staff and students will be able to access the information on their modules and organisations, but won’t be able to make any lasting changes to the system. These plans are not finalised and we will release more details about provision over this week in the coming months.

In the meantime, if you have planned learning and teaching activities that specifically require access to My Dundee during the migration week, please fill out the following form, answering the questions in as much detail as you can: My Dundee Migration Week Impact Form.

This project is being jointly managed between the Centre for Technology & Innovation in Learning (CTIL) and UoD IT and be running all the way through semester one as we prepare for the migration.. Needless to say this will put additional pressure on the teams involved but we will endeavour to minimise any impact on our standard service delivery.

Why are we making this change?

This upgrade path has been approved as a direct result of the 2017 VLE review that amongst other things, identified a need to…

  • provide a virtual learning environment that provides a user experience and provides the functionality expected of a leading university.
  • significantly reduce or eliminate the disruption caused by downtime caused by upgrades and patches.

Moving to Blackboard SaaS is more than a simple change of delivery method. There will be the usual benefits associated with SaaS: zero downtime for patches/upgrades; increased resilience with 24 hour technical support; immediate access to the latest features and improvements.

Additionally, this move unlocks a number of long term benefits that are part of our strategy for improving our digital education services, including access to a completely redesigned user interface (Ultra Experience) and the redirection of internal resource from maintenance to development.  A paper detailing this wider strategy will be submitted to the next Senate Learning and Teaching committee and further details will be communicated in the coming months.

How to stay up to date with this project?

Further announcements and notifications will be made through the usual channels, including the staff newsletter, through the appropriate committee structure and on the front page of My Dundee.  Additionally, CTIL will be publishing regular posts under a series we are called the ‘Dev Diary’ on the My Dundee Blog. In these posts we will talk about the progress of the project, address specific elements of the move and reflect on the challenges we face along the way. Through these, the community will be have a window into what’s going on and get the opportunity to comment along the way.

You can send any questions about this project to ctil@dundee.ac.uk