bSpace 2.4 launched, Blackboard retired

August 19, 2007

UC Berkeley has officially launched its new release of the Sakai CLE, bSpace, for the Fall 2007. This is a pretty substantial change, moving from the Sakai 2.1.2 to 2.4.x code base. It will be a huge improvement for our faculty, student, and staff users. After this point we intend to be as aligned with the .x branch as possible so as to make our local deployments easier and bring the latest fixes and enhancements to the campus in a timely fashion. In addition to the UC Berkeley staff, we have many other schools and Sakai partners to thank for this release. There are many new features included in the Sakai 2.4.x release, but some additions that should be highlighted are Indiana University’s Forum tool (to replace the old discussion board), Boston University’s Mailtool (send email to specific roles within the course such as enrolled students or GSIs), and the University of Capetown’s poll tool (quick surveys). With this release, I can say with absolute confidence that the value of community source effort has been realized.

The ETS UC Berkeley Development and User Experience teams were responsible for:

  • a fresh new interface (local implementation), with a vastly improved skin which not only looks good, but greatly assists users navigating Sakai.
  • the integration code that campuses around the world now use to bring enterprise data into Sakai (partnered with Stanford on this)
  • an improved gradebook tool (section/group mgmt, configurable spreadsheet download for egrades, grade comments)
  • improved roster tool (not in official release — includes student photos now available for instructors from IU)
  • section info tool (integration with SIS data, auto and manual management of sections)

For our local implementation of bSpace, our thanks goes out to the ETS training and support and QA staff, and our colleagues in IST — especially those in Karen Kato and Jeff Makaiwi’s teams for getting this release off the ground and into the hands of the users.

As of July 31, we no longer host or support courses in either Blackboard or WebCT, making Sakai the single enterprise LMS on the Berkeley campus, a goal we set out to achieve over three years ago. We also assisted the Library in their retirement of their eRes system and migrated content and users onto bSpace. We expect to retire our homegrown system, Courseweb, in January, with all the primary features for the faculty now included within bSpace. Over the next several years we will be following the Kuali student project closely to ensure that we can create the best integration points between the new student systems and Sakai. Of course, we’ll be working with them also through the Fluid Project.


2 Responses to “bSpace 2.4 launched, Blackboard retired”

  1. Casey Says:

    Congrats, Mara!

    Your team has been a critical part of more than UCB’s success.

  2. jayshao Says:

    Awesome to hear that! We knocked off WebCT, so 1 down…

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