Blackboard server back online, some data lost

March 23, 2010 | UToday
By Jon Strunk

The Blackboard server was back online Tuesday afternoon following about a day and a half of service disruption due to a technological failure.

“Thanks to the overnight work of Academic Support, the Blackboard servers are now back online and ready for use,” wrote Dr. Ben Pryor, assistant vice president for learning ventures in a memo to the campus community. “I once again would like to express my regret about this situation and assure you that we will be taking steps to mitigate the effects of technological failures in the future.”

In the memo, Pryor outlined some of details and issues students might face as they enter the system:

“First, however, it is important that you understand some of the consequences of this event:

• The servers were restored using files that were backed up over three successive days, according to the following schedule:

— Courses starting with A, B, D, E, F, G = Mar. 15

— C, I = Mar. 16

— H, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z = Mar. 17
That means that data changes in the course between that date and today’s restoration are lost. Students who took quizzes in geology on the 16th, for example, will not have their scores recorded along with the restored data.

• Any discussion postings, notes, files, etc. added to the site between the day of your backup and today will not appear on the course.

• Students who were scheduled to take quizzes or exams during the outage will not have had access to notes or lectures. I urge accommodation for students in this position and recommend that this event be treated much like we would treat a snowstorm’s effect on a face-to-face course.”
Pryor thanked the campus community for its patience.

“We have tried very hard to address student concerns via e-mail, chat, phone and Facebook,” he wrote. “I am committed to helping faculty deal with this disruption through short-term measures, and more importantly through long-term strategies to enhance and increase the kinds of technologies that can help us to communicate with students.”

Those with questions or concerns are urged to work with their individual professor or contact Pryor at

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