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Blackboard Learn Migration & Upgrade

During the holiday recess, the College will be migrating its Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS), Blackboard Learn, to a new modern infrastructure and shifting to a delivery model known as “software as a service” (SaaS). This migration and shift will happen from December 27 at 12:00 a.m. to December 31 at 11:59 p.m. Blackboard Learn will be unavailable during this period.

The above-mentioned new infrastructure and SaaS delivery model will provide the following benefits:

  • Zero-Downtime Updates: After the migration, there will be minimal or no service interruptions for any future software updates or modifications.
  • Improved performance: When clicking on links and using Blackboard Learn, the system will perform faster and respond quicker.
  • Regular updates: Rather than delivering large updates annually, the updates will smaller, less noticeable, and delivered on a monthly frequency.
  • Faster issue resolution: Being that updates will be provided on a monthly basis, any fixes for product issues or errors will be received much quicker. This means that if there is an issue in February, you will not have to wait for the December upgrade for a resolution. As soon as the fix is released by Blackboard, it will be available to Mercy faculty, staff, and students.

As part of the migration, Blackboard Learn will be upgraded to version Blackboard Learn, 9.1 Q2 2019. The new version does not provide new features, however, it includes fixes that resolve many previously reported issues. The look and feel of Blackboard will not change.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How will this migration and move to SaaS impact me?

A: The look and feel of Blackboard Learn will not change. Mercy will be upgrading to a new software version, Blackboard Learn, 9.1 Q2 2019. Many issues or errors you may have experienced when using Blackboard Learn before will be fixed. The biggest short-term impact will be the downtime when Blackboard Learn will be unavailable due to the update from December 27 at 12:00 a.m. to December 31 at 11:59 p.m. As a result, if grades need to be posted and you need to review items in Blackboard, you will need to do it before December 27 or wait until January 1. Additionally, while Mercy staff and faculty members will be testing the new SaaS environment thoroughly before the migration, it is possible with any migration that issues or defects can be introduced. IT technicians will work quickly to resolve any issues found.


Q: What is the SaaS delivery model for Blackboard Learn?

A: Software as a Service (SaaS) is a contemporary delivery model enabling Blackboard to deliver continuous updates and improvements without any downtime to the College’s LIVE environment. It includes a migration of the Blackboard Learn Software Platform to a new modern cloud-based computing infrastructure.


Q: Will all my courses be transferred to the new software environment?

A: Yes, an identical copy of your courses and content will be copied over to the new SaaS environment.


Q: Will I be able to access my courses or content in Blackboard Learn during the migration period?

A: No, you will not be able to access any of your courses or content in Blackboard Learn during the migration period from December 27 at 12:00 a.m. to December 31 at 11:59 p.m.


Q: Can course copies be completed during the migration period?

A: No, it is highly recommended that you request your Blackboard course copies for the Spring Term classes now, allowing plenty of time for them to be completed before the migration starts on December 27. If you submit a course copy request during the migration window, it will be processed post-migration, but you may be subject to a longer wait time.


Q: Why does this upgrade have to be done now?

A: There is never a perfect time to do upgrades and the holiday recess provides the best window of time with the least impact on faculty, staff and students. While it is understood that it not ideal to lose access before the start of the Spring Term, it is important to take time for this important upgrade.