Blackboard 6.3? No.

Blackboard's Application Pack 3 for Blackboard 6 has several new features that might make our faculty happy. Some of those new question types might resolve wishes that our faculty discussed in this week's PETE lunch. Con Beausang was wishing for a fill-in-the-blank response that could be evaluated within a mathematical range. From the feature list I saw recently, this may be in AP3.

Another interesting feature is adaptive release. The idea is that students are directed to content based on their answers in assessments. Get an answer wrong? Adaptive release will put the resource in your hands to help you understand the subject better.

Unfortunately, AP3 has problems. The discussion lists have had many posts about problems here and there, and Blackboard has just published a list of known issues in AP3 that will keep us from going to the version anytime soon.

Version 7.0 is coming someday. It sounds like beta tests are already under way. Some members of the discussion lists have seen screen shots they like. At this point, my guess is that we won't take advantage of the winter break here to upgrade to AP3, and unless 7.0 is out along with the first Service Pack, we won't try that either.

We'll stick with Application Pack 2, Service Pack 3 for the school year, and consider 7.x in Summer 2006. Stability is the best feature in Blackboard as far as our faculty are concerned, and it seems we're in a good place right now.

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