Blackboard SaaS Migration

College of DuPage will soon be moving from a self-hosted instance of Blackboard to a SaaS (software as a service) instance. While it might sound like a big leap, the upgrade to SaaS itself does not impact the design and functionality of individual courses and may offer a better overall user experience, despite downtime during set up.  Learn more below.


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The Basics

Self-Hosted vs. SaaS: What’s the Difference?

Currently, COD hosts Blackboard Learn on our own on-campus servers. This is known as being self-hosted. We will be moving to SaaS, or software as a service, hosting. This means that our instance of Blackboard will be hosted on Blackboard’s servers and will be accessed via the cloud. We will migrate existing content from our servers onto Blackboard servers. You will not lose access to any of your information (within the time span being migrated over), it will simply live in a different place. 

Learn More About SaaS Deployment

Head to Blackboard’s website to learn more about SaaS.


Ultra Update


The migration to Ultra will extend from 2024 until the end of 2025. 



Spring 2023

Ultra Base Navigation Launches

In Spring of 2023, the LMS was updated to Ultra Base Navigation. 

Spring 2024

Ultra Courses Pilots

A small group of faculty will be piloting Ultra Courses in their Spring 2024 courses. This will provide valuable information to assist us in our migration process.

Summer 2024

Pilot Expands

Our pilot will expand over the Summer Term to include adjunct faculty. 

2024 through 2025

Course Migration Starts 

We will begin the process of migrating all courses to Ultra, prioritizing online courses. 

Fall 2025

Migration Complete/ Nearing Completion

Tenative goal of having all courses migrated by end of 2025.

Making the switch

Benefits of Migrating to SaaS

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Less Downtime

Updating Blackboard will no longer require periods of system downtime, allowing important updates to be made without service interruptions. 

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Fewer Bugs

Smaller, more frequent updates to the system allow known issues to be addressed more quickly and efficiently, making for a better user experience.

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Greater Stability

In the SaaS model, system resources are balanced in response to system load, providing greater stability during periods of peak usage.  

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Ultra Upgrade with Ease

Moving to SaaS provides the option to work towards the future implementation of the Blackboard Ultra experience. 

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24/7 Server Management

Blackboard staff manage and monitor server operations around the clock, keeping service interruptions and issues to a minimum. 

What to Expect

 How Will the SaaS Migration Impact Me?

Concerned about how the update will affect you? Here are some common questions and answers.

How will the update impact individual courses? Will I need to rebuild my courses?

Nope!  The upgrade to SaaS itself does not impact the design and functionality of individual courses, though it may offer a better user experience overall. Your courses will remain in the “Original” course view after the migration and you will use the same course content and functions after the migration.

What can I do now to prepare for the migration?

Prior to the SaaS migration you should:

  • Spring clean your courses. It is helpful to reduce your course size by moving course files to cloud storage solutions like YuJa and OneNote. Learn More
  • Export FA19 and SP20 courses you want to use or save going forward.  Courses that have not already been exported, backed up, or copied into more recent courses must be exported by Nov. 15th. 
  • Prepare for the SP22 term. Blackboard will be unavailable from December 23rd until January 17th. If you need to work on courses prior the completion date, you can do so now as any changes will be migrated over. 

Will any functions not carry over to SaaS?

While there are not any anticipated changes to Blackboard functions or integrations on SaaS, we will provide additional updates once we have consulted with Blackboard. If there are any issues, we will notify you ahead of time.



More About SaaS

Read more about the SaaS migration process on our blog.

Preparing for SaaS Part IV: Blackboard’s Back, Alright!
Preparing for SaaS Part IV: Blackboard’s Back, Alright!

The migration is complete and Blackboard’s back! So what can you do now that it’s back up? Well, the answer is, whatever you want!Blackboard is fully operational and everything should be working just as it was prior to the SaaS migration. You can get started with your...

Preparing for SaaS Part III: What to Do During the Outage
Preparing for SaaS Part III: What to Do During the Outage

Blackboard will be down from December 23rd until no later than January 17th while course content, zDevs, and Organizations are migrated to the SaaS systemThis means that all of these things will be completely offline and unavailable until Blackboard is back...

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Learning Technologies

College of DuPage, BIC 3401

Phone: (630) 942-2490