Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Further comments on new blackboard

It took me a while but now I understand the logic of this product.  So a virtue is that the look and feel of most courses will be similar/identicial varying only by what tools are enabled and what modules the instructor chooses to include on the homepage.  The visual editor appears robust.  When you turn it off you can do html and thus embed.  Here are some vices. 

a.        There seems to be some redundancy of tools.  What they call journals looks like blogs (except maybe private, though it can be made public).   
b.      There is no digest form of the email update for  discussion.  So you either get everything, pos by post, or you get nothing. 
c.       It really doesn’t want you to use external tools for communicating, though you can do it as a url. 
d.      While the instructor can create contacts (presumably for himself and the TAs) students don’t have an analogous capability.  So they don’t seem to be able to upload a picture of themselves or provide a bio sketch.  
e.      Instructors have to empower everything.  Students can’t do it themselves.  Say a class has students working in group.  The instructor has to create those groups and then enable tools for the groups.  The students can’t do that on their own. 

So still some typical LMS issues. 


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

getting results from test (quiz) in blackboard

You can get the results via export of a file, but it looks terrible and not useful.  The results from a survey seem to come in ok.  There are redundant columns, but that can be readily managed. 

respondus actually worked

It gave an error message but the quiz is there in the blackboard server.   I then made Norma a student in my class site and have been using here login in student mode.   I had her take the quizzes I made and write a discussion post, but I couldn’t figure out how to see the actual submissions for the quizzes.  I will try now with a survey.  Then I’m going to do something else, so as not to chew up the whole day with this.

editing questions

I made a question with multiple fill in the blanks using a table.  There was an error in the title.  I tried to change the title.  It didn’t seem to accept the change.  Also, one has to go through three screens to get this thing to work.  That isn’t good.  I wonder if this works ok with respondus.  Otherwise, trouble.