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screens displaying Blackboard surrounded by question marks

The University of Windsor has accomplished a lot with its Blackboard learning management system, says Erika Kustra, director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and input from users will advance that progress.

Kustra is co-chair — with Nick Baker, director of the Office of Open Learning, and Ryan Kenney, executive director of Information Technology Services — of a committee tasked with reviewing Blackboard.

The Learning Management System Review Committee, a multidisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students, aims to collect as much data as possible from community stakeholders, vendor engagement, and environmental scans to inform decision-making.

“Over the last 18 months it has become clear just how critical learning management systems are in higher education as the hub of digital learning,” says Baker. “All the major LMS have moved to hosting in the cloud to improve reliability, scalability, and support. With Blackboard also moving in that direction, it is time to review the system and the impact such a move would have.”

The University of Windsor has used Blackboard Learn as its LMS since 2015. The company has announced it will no longer support the University’s self-hosted model of Blackboard as of the end of 2023. Continuing with Blackboard will require significant work to switch to its cloud-based software as a service model. The changing landscape and the expiration of the University’s contract with Blackboard makes it an appropriate time to review campus needs.

The team is inviting faculty, staff, and students to participate in a 20-minute anonymous survey on the usability of current tools, desired features, and anticipated needs.

It is important to capture the perspectives, needs, and aspirations of users from across the campus community, says Jasleen Dayal, president of the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance.

"By participating in this survey, students will also have the chance to give direct and detailed feedback on their experiences using Blackboard, which will play a crucial part in selecting an LMS we can feel confident in to support the future of our online learning for years to come," she says.

Upon completing the survey, participants will have the option to enter a raffle draw for one $250 Amazon gift card and five $50 Amazon gift cards. The survey has been approved by the Research Ethics Board and will conclude Oct. 15.

For more information about the LMS Review and how to get involved, visit

computer with power off

Most campus electronic devices were turned off while employees were working remotely. Information Technology Services has put together a list of considerations for faculty and staff looking to ensure that devices are in good order.

Find the webpage with information: Returning to Campus: Tech Considerations.

screen grab of homepage

Visitors to may notice a subtle change starting Thursday. The primary corporate brand typeface, DIN, will replace the current Tahoma font and it will now feature a UWindsor blue overlay on the left-most part of the image with white text. This change better aligns the site with the University’s branding and makes the site more accessible.

“Our IT Services Web Services group has worked collaboratively with the Public Affairs and Communications team and the web governance committee to improve the user experience, enhance accessibility for persons with disabilities, ameliorate mobile navigation, and modernize the look,” says Mike Fisher, manager of web services and systems support. “These changes will also see us through to the planned Drupal 9 migration.”

Bradd Bezaire, team leader in web services, points to a slight change in the size of banner images.

“Our campus website content editors will see the carousel image aspect ratio slightly change,” he says. “They will be able to fit more text over top of the image and make use of the sub-headers both of which will help with accessibility.”

Another feature will be added to the image carousel in the coming weeks; visitors will be able to play and pause the carousel on the UWindsor and faculty homepages.

“Our homepage is our virtual front door. Whether you are visiting from a desktop or mobile device, we want the experience as welcoming as possible,” Fisher says. “It is essential that our users can navigate our site and get the most vital information easily.”

Campus content editors can receive support by opening a ticket with ITS Web Services Group.

computer screen displaying UWinsite Student system

The UWinsite Student Update Project has reached the initial testing phase earlier than expected with most of the retrofit now complete. The update includes the latest security-related features, functionality, and fixes, ensuring the agility to meet ever-changing campus needs.

“The updates are behind the scenes and most users will not notice a major difference,” says acting registrar Lorraine Grondin. “At the same time, the update puts us in a better position to address issues as they arise.”

This is also in line with the University’s commitment at the onset of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) project for UWinsite Student to be sustainable, scalable, best-practice driven, and student-centric.

A core group of staff from the Student Accounts Office, Student Awards and Financial Aid, Information Technology Services, and the Office of the Registrar have been working on the project. Employees from these offices have dedicated part of their workdays to test the new environment, leaving less time to respond to issues and provide reports.

“We appreciate the campus community’s patience as we continue with this project,” Grondin says.

In the coming weeks, as the project moves to the final implementation phase, more individuals from across campus will be asked to test. This update is expected to launch on Nov. 22.

Questions regarding the UWinsite Student Update Project can be sent to

Tech Talk logo

Interested in hosting a webinar for a large audience and collecting registration information? Microsoft Teams now offers the capabilities to do just that and more. Leverage functionality that is similar to scheduling a Teams meeting and minimize the need to use another platform.

When using the webinar function, you can invite presenters separately, provide details about your interactive event, and create a registration form with a unique link. You can customize the form with a graphic and add the necessary attendee fields to deliver an engaging presentation.

Watch Information Technology Services team member Craig Brown demonstrate how to set up Teams Webinar in this 164-second Tech Talk video. If you want more information about using the Teams webinar feature, click on the links in the Comments section below the video.

Tech Talk is a presentation of IT Services. More Tech Talks are available at