University officials are working to fix problems that have slowed Blackboard down significantly since school started.
The Web-based course management system was upgraded over the summer, but the University’s computer system was not able to handle the increase in traffic once school started, ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler said.
The upgrade to Blackboard 9 occurred during the summer session, when daily hits were regularly between 20,000 and 40,000, according to statistics from the University Technology Office. Visits to the courses section of Blackboard spiked this week, with a peak of more than 495,000 hits on Tuesday, and hits remained in the hundreds of thousands all week.
“[Blackboard officials] sized the hardware for ASU to match our size and use situation, but the volume that’s coming in at specific times is what’s causing the problem,” Keeler said. “It’s been quite a bit of traffic — extreme traffic.”
Upgrading the system to handle the traffic requires Blackboard to be down for several hours, which can’t be done until the weekend, a systems support analyst said.
The upgrade is scheduled for 12:15 to 7:30 a.m. Saturday, and Blackboard will be inaccessible at that time, Keeler said.
Course instructors will have to find other ways for students to submit any assignments, she added.
In a letter to faculty, ASU’s Chief Information Officer Gordon Wishon said the issues are with Blackboard and not ASU.
"I want to once again apologize to the ASU faculty and students for the poor performance of this crucial service," he said. "We are working with the vendor to resolve all these issues"