Princeton began licensing Blackboard (then called CourseInfo) in fall 1999. We upgraded to the enterprise version, Blackboard 5.5, in September 2001, which included the Learning System and Community Portal System. We have kept up with upgrades since then, usually lagging a semester or two behind the release date to leave it to the bleeding edge institutions to discover and report the bugs so the system our users see is relatively healthy.
In fall 2008, our users got their first Blackboard experience, in the re-engineered Grade Center, with Ajax, the technology that is the basis for the major interface changes in Release 9.0, to which we upgraded in June 2010.
Blackboard, Inc. made Release 9.1 available for production installation in spring 2010. In keeping with our cautious approach, we waited until summer 2011 to upgrade, so as to avoid subjecting our users to any troubling bugs that may be discovered during it's first year of release. We hope to present our users with as clean and well-functioning a product as possible.
In June of 2015 we moved from an on-site installation of Blackboard to a private, managed hosted environment, allowing us to focus more on development of Princeton-specific tools and customer support, while considerably spending less time with system maintenance.
In June of 2017 our Blackboard installation was moved to a hosted, delivered, and managed modern cloud-computing infrastructure in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment. This will allow users to experience the most recent version of Blackboard Learn without significant downtime or service interruptions, including during future upgrades.
Blackboard Learn with the SaaS deployment positions Princeton to eventually use the Ultra experience, a new design to the user interface that makes student and instructor workflows more efficient and modern.