Start Using Zoom This Summer; Blackboard Collaborate No Longer Available After 06/30/21

This message was sent on April 27, 2021 from John Zumbrunnen, vice provost for teaching and learning, and Lois Brooks, chief information officer, to all faculty and instructors teaching in spring 2021.

This message is intended for those who have used or are planning to use Blackboard Collaborate, and especially those who are teaching remote courses this summer. Please disregard if this does not impact you.

The University of Wisconsin System (UWS) recently concluded its Web Conferencing RFP Project, and will not be renewing its contract with Blackboard Collaborate. The web conferencing tool will no longer be available to any UWS institution, including UW-Madison, after June 30, 2021. UW System has sent a Letter of Intent to negotiate a contract with Zoom for all UWS institutions going forward.

Fortunately, UW-Madison already has an enterprise contract with Zoom, and the tool is integrated with our learning management system, Canvas. UW-Madison implemented Zoom last fall, which was informed by feedback from faculty governance and a survey of 800 instructors. The majority of feedback was in support of Zoom over other web conferencing tools (including Blackboard Collaborate) due to its usability and accessibility.

We recommend that UW-Madison instructors and staff begin using Zoom in place of Blackboard Collaborate starting this summer, if they have not already done so. Instructors teaching remote summer courses should plan to use Zoom especially as the Blackboard Collaborate contract will end in the middle of some summer sessions.

There are a number of KnowledgeBase articles available to support your use of Zoom including: Overview of Zoom for Instructors, Overview of the Canvas Integration and How to Archive Zoom Recordings in Kaltura (since recordings in Zoom are not automatically archived). Ongoing updates about the transition will be posted here. For assistance troubleshooting, please contact the DoIT Help Desk.

Thank you for being flexible during this change, and we hope you have a wonderful summer.

John Zumbrunnen – Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

Lois Brooks – Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for Information Technology