Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Chris Gardner
Spring Commencement to Feature Inspiring Speaker
Sarah Davis, News Editor • April 23, 2024
View All
Griffin Miller tallied four strikeouts in four innings.
Ragin' Cajuns Ravage the Herd
Ben Cower, Student Repoter • April 24, 2024
View All
Walk For Hope Flyer

Courtesy of Phi Alpha
Walk for Hope to Shine Light on Suicide Prevention
Baylee Parsons, Copy Editor • April 19, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter

MyMU and Blackboard to Become Virtual Construction Zones

Dr.+Jodie+Penrod+and+Dr.+Julia+Spears
Courtesy of the Office of the President and Marshall Online
Dr. Jodie Penrod and Dr. Julia Spears

Students will notice changes to both MyMU and Blackboard in the near future, according to Marshall’s chief information officer.

“The MyMU platform is coming to its vendor ‘end of life’ in December 2024, so it was time to find a replacement,” Dr. Jodie Penrod, CIO, said. She and Dr. Julia Spears, assistant provost of Online Education and Certification, made it clear early into their tenure that they wanted to take Marshall’s Learning Management System in a new direction. 

For students, the MyMU and Blackboard websites house many software and applications used for the daily operation of the University. This includes coursework, gradebooks, financial tabs and DegreeWorks, among other important tools.

The websites will undergo renovations, both cosmetic and in functionality. The MyMU website will receive design updates, and Blackboard will be converted to Blackboard Ultra.

Story continues below advertisement

Penrod and Spears are working on these updates with the help of the IT Department. They describe the updates as both useful and needed. 

“With both enhancements, there will be many new features and an overall better user experience,” Penrod said in an email interview. “For the MyMU project, we will soon be contacting faculty and staff to participate in a week-long design thinking event. During this event, we will encourage faculty, staff and students to share their ‘dream’ portal, and then we will work to find ways in which we can optimize the design for the best experience.” 

“The updated LMS [Learning Management System] version, Ultra, has a better user interface and is mobile friendly and responsive. In addition, the common navigation will make it easier for students to know where to find items from course to course,” Spears said.

Penrod added that these changes will not require updates on the user’s end, saying that, “Students shouldn’t have to modify or install anything separately.”

Despite the virtual construction zone, both websites are expected to be compatible with the current Marshall internet bandwidth, according to Penrod and the IT Department. They also say that although “bugs” are bound to come up, precautions to handle them are in place.

“We continuously monitor it to ensure we are all well below our bandwidth. MU IT does not anticipate any issues with the network during these technology upgrades,” Penrod said. “With any technology, there can be an occasional issue that impacts performance or capability. The MU IT team will do our best to test and troubleshoot these issues prior to going live. All issues can be reported to [email protected], along with any other technology issue you might experience.”

Faculty and students can expect to see the outcomes of these projects in 2024.

“The MyMU project will likely be ready mid-summer, prior to the Fall 2024 semester,” Penrod said. 

According to Spears, Blackboard Ultra began its conversion this fall.

“There are about 480 sections using Ultra this fall with the goal to transition all course materials into Ultra by next summer” she said. Since we have multiple phases to the upgrade, students may see some of their courses using Blackboard Learn Ultra and others in the original version of Blackboard Learn.” Penrod believes that these updates will greatly improve the usability of both websites and grow as they begin their projects.

“Both products will have a much more intuitive user experience and provide an enhanced feature set. There will be more to come as we get closer to the implementation of these projects!” Penrod said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will help continue the work of independent student journalism at Marshall University. If you benefit from The Parthenon's free content, please consider making a donation.

More to Discover
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Parthenon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *