UAB’s official learning-management system will be upgraded to Blackboard Vista 4 in August 2008, and it will replace the WebCT Vista 3 now in use.

Blackboard — which purchased and upgraded WebCT —has made changes to the way that designers, instructors, and students alike interact within the system; however, the similarities will present a familiar, recognizable environment for users and most differences in Blackboard Vista 4 make it more user-friendly than WebCT Vista 3.

A few new features that users should know:
• In Blackboard Vista 4, My Settings is an option that grants users the ability to set their own defaults for tools like the Calendar, Discussion Board and HTML Creator.
• Also new are the Goals and Grading Forms tools. The Goals tool enables instructors and designers to associate goals or learning outcomes to different content files for students. The Grading Form tool gives instructors or designers the option to create a grading rubric for content files that can be viewed by students.
• Course builders (designers) are able to add content files directly to the home page without using a tool to upload files within the system.
• The Page Option tool enables users to customize the home page, including layout and color.
• Builders and designers also may remove unused tools from the Course Tools Menu with tools unique to both the Build tab called the Designer Tools and the Instructors Tools distinctive to the Teach tab.

Information about Blackboard Vista 4 training classes for all users is available.